Emerging Technologies influencing the transformation of the CIO role
The roles and responsibilities of the modern CIO have undergone a drastic change over the years. In a fast changing technological world today, the equation between the CIO and the other C-level executives in the corporate value chain is that of a dynamic one. No longer is he looked upon as someone driving merely the IT functions in an organization, but he is also beginning to get involved in many business decision making process.
Today, digital has become the quintessential platform for any customer to interact with businesses, before taking any other point of engagement. With global digital commerce revenue over $1 trillion annually, organizations view digital business as their fuel for growth. In the years to come, this might change again. Riding with this wave of change, a CIO has to see how best he can fit himself/herself in these situations that require adapting to new technological developments, business models and rising customer demands.
The shift in the nature of the CIO’s role is most influenced by the changing technologies of social, mobile, cloud computing and big data and analytics. With IT operations largely automated, CIOs today no longer need to monitor and manage campus infrastructure at a granular level, which also means that the technology leaders have now more time to focus on the concepts that really matter - agility, innovation and business value.
Chief Information and Technology Officer - Sankara Nethralaya
“We are clear about a defined roadmap in terms of making information actionable to drive a lot of digital transformation and adapting to the new technologies which includes Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence. We have designed our roadmap that is line with major technology enhancements. One of the major initiatives that we have done is to look at the screening of patients, particularly for adaptive retinopathy and come up with an algorithm that could be completely transformative as far as patients are concerned.
The major problem as far as some of these new technologies are concerned is skills obviously. The second thing is enabling users to make decisions in terms of these new technologies, which are completely disruptive in nature. I think these are probably on the extreme side of both adoption and development.
There are quite many best practices that I can potentially list out. I think, largely one of our major successes has been the adoption of the new technologies in the first place and trying to evangelize them with our users. I think that itself speaks in terms of both adoption and the kind of response that we have been receiving from users.
Deputy GM - IT, Energy Efficiency Services Ltd
“As far as key priorities are concerned, our company is growing exponentially since last couple of years. Verticals like smart meter, e-mobility and the street lighting business have a lot of scope for improvement; we have an installed base of streetlights of more than 80 lakhs in India, which is totally governed by centralized control & monitoring system and is an IoT based solution. So, while initially we were monitoring it on a local level, we now want to collate at a national level and then have a dashboard and centrally monitor it from a single control centre. We are also coming up with a smart meter which can be used for billing only, but later the data that gets fed into the system can also be used for value added services.
If we talk about new technologies like AI, ML, cognitive science and deep learning, there are a lot of potential out there. We are working on most of the projects which are new to India and talk about technologies like mobility telematics, an IoT based solution and we are not talking about the Trigeneration, which gives heat, cooling and power all with the same engine. So, I think there will be a lot of opportunity with new technologies.”
Dr. Rajeev Papneja
Chief Growth Officer, ESDS Software
“This year, our company is basically expanding in 16 countries and one of the priorities that is identified amongst others is definitely how do we make use of all the emerging technologies like Big Data, IoT and Machine Learning to optimize our processes, which will help us in increasing our efficiency and bottom line.
We are into Cloud and Datacenter industry so with the new set of emerging technologies, the real challenge that we face is how we get the skill set for the new technologies. It takes time to build up those skill set. So definitely, because we have our team we have our organization which has been working we have international experience of serving more than 40,000 clients all that adds up in working with organizations who lacked the skill set today, which itself has opened up a huge opportunity for us.
Since our organization itself is into innovations, we have our patented cloud technology. We have our own R&D team. So our team constantly keeps on working on newer technologies. We have tied up with many innovation labs, colleges. So we work with them very closely and we try to come up with innovations by challenging the status quo.”
General Manager – IT Dept., Hitachi Hi-Rel Power Electronics Pvt Ltd.
“We are in the phase of digital transformation and are identifying one by one the areas of the company where manual processes are going through, which we are then digitalizing it. Like for instance, the quality department still has a manual process of checking the materials that arrive at the gate; they need to quality check first and then they need to give a criteria. They need to fill in the parameter that we are going to digitalize, starting from quality and we are going to introduce an e-procurement system now. The purchase order processing is taking too much time since it is a manual process; we are going to digitalize that system and automatically the PO will be converted based on the quotation which has been submitted by the parties online. So, there is no vendor development required as they will come to the portal and this way we will cut the lead time as well as get rapid RoI.
Manoj Kumar Jha
Chief Manager – IT, Polyplastics Industries Pvt. Ltd.
“We are into the manufacturing sector and we are supplying to all major companies. So, our priorities are mainly defined by the customer itself, because we are producing and supplying to them. This year we have defined the total centralization of our IT systems as our key priority.
In our organization it's very hard to adopt new technologies because we are 52 years old company; it started in 1967. So the management is not familiar with the latest technologies, but with the coming of the new CIOs, the management has been convinced and they are now ready to adopt it. I have to personally go to the older people in the management and convince about the new technology and make them properly understand. We have a free hand to see what latest technologies are available in the market. So, in spite of being a fifty year old company, we are the first in the auto sector to adopt the blockchain technology. The management is also very keen and interested and are really supporting us to adopt this technology.”
Senior Manager & Head – IT, CII
“This year we in Confederation of Indian Industry have prioritized cyber security and digital transformation as our highest priority. We have done lots of work this year in cyber security, and user awareness training sessions. We are now empowering our workforce by training them properly in terms of cyber security and doing lots of work for digital transformation also.
We are ready to explore new technologies in terms of anything related to digital transformation, and cyber security, cost saving mechanism etc. We are ready to explore these possibilities also.
For us, the best practice we are exploring within the organization is digital transformation, because most of the things are organized and done manually still. Instead of doing manual activities, we are trying to teach within the organization and also the external members to digitally transform themselves.”
Head - IT GRC & PMO - Group IT, Minda Industries Ltd.
“As we have a decentralized environment having different locations across India, so from the first focuses is on centralization of the activities, locations, and manpower has to be centralized first.
As far as organization is concerned, it is very positive in that direction. Management is also focusing on the adoption of new technologies for productivity, information security etc. The organization is very much focused on it and they are helping us with the budgets also.
The environment is a major factor which is contributing a lot, so before adapting any new technology we have to have the monitoring system, how we are going to implement and enforce it. So, the things which we need to have as a baseline are the only challenges that we are facing now.
The best practice that we do is the awareness. The awareness offering to our staffs by putting a lot of posters, screen savers, wallpapers, doing a lot of awareness sessions with the security expert and other technology partners.”
VP – IT, Teleperformance D.I.B.S.
“The biggest priority at this point for us is to actually integrate all of the applications which are running within the environment. These are essentially in silos. As we are in a customer satisfaction industry and customer service industry, the challenge, which we face today is in providing customer services, the information available for the end users is in a discrete platform. So, unless those are in a cohesive manner available for them, the customer satisfaction is not going up to that level. So the biggest challenge for us is to integrate all of those platforms into one.
What we are primarily trying to do is, we are building certain middleware application to actually integrate all of those different applications. Another thing which we are planning to do is that most of our platforms are still on premise. So, we are trying to adopt cloud because that is one of the big things in today's industry for scalability. That is the second priority. The third priority is to automate processes which are more mundane and repetitive jobs through RPA.”
Vinay Kumar Chowdhary
Dy. General Manager (ERP), Power Grid Corporation of India Ltd.
“Basically we have gone through implementing of SAP in our organization. So currently our key challenge is to make it mobile friendly. Cyber Security is another of them. Once you are going to sync with mobile, then we have to think about how we can make it safer.
We are a transmission company and have already 350 sub-stations. We're trying to adopt remote monitoring because we are trying to make them an unmanned sub-station. We have a national center in Manesar from where we can monitor all stations without any human intervention.”
CIO, Lux Industries Ltd.
“Our key priority from an IT point of view is to strengthen our secondary sales tracking system. Our objective is to connect all; we have already connected around 1500 distributors all over India and are trying to connect around three lakhs retailers in the digitalized single system to ensure that the information flows and becomes transparent at all levels. It is a robust foundation of the organization because our sales depend on the retailers. So, if you have a strong distributor level all over India, we can know about the inventories and the kind of schemes they are getting from the retailer.
This year we are looking at investing a lot of money. Also it requires a strong team. It becomes equally important to encourage the in-house team, also our customers specifically and so do our management. And this benefits the company and the customers equally. Definitely we need some investment now that we are in the digital age.
The best technologies are those that encourage the customer and both the internal & the external team. Before focusing on the right technology, testing is very much important and this is what we are following.”
Dr. Sushil Kumar Meher
CIO, Department of Computer Facility, All India Institute of Medical Sciences
“We want to do the process engineering for our new product which will be developed in house. After adoption of new technology we want to reduce the process, make the doctors more efficient, provide quality service and the outcome of research results will be more accurate.
When we adopt a new technology, particularly in the healthcare domain it is very difficult to convince the health worker to adopt the technology and for this you have to make an interface with the doctors and Nursing Informatics Specialist so, that they will continuously work with them to elevate the technology.
For best practices, always we go on two methods, one is the agile method and other is the scrum method. So, initially we do some small problems to resolve in the new technology, to add up new technology and we implement it properly so that we can adopt other options as agile methods to implement it. So project will be most successful and it will continue for a long time.”
CISO, IRIS Software
“We have identified two key priorities, one is no security incident. It means that we will ensure no data leakage, nothing in terms of any client data and the IRIS IPR that should be leaked out. We are already taking steps for that and are in implementation of many awareness programs, data protection framework etc. Another will be definitely taking new technologies like adoption of AI and Big Data. We are a software company, so we already identified areas where we can take up AI as key pointers for our clients.
As mentioned earlier, we are a software company, if we do not adopt the innovation we will definitely be out of the market. We are working on some projects that are integrated with AI or RPA.
There are challenges like, we should move to cloud but it has so many security risks that we need to consider. There are some opportunities also like we get a centralized management, cost effective solution as a cloud. But with the cloud, there are so many challenges like to maintain the security, providing the framework to another vendor to maintain. So I think we are actually tackling with this and we are working on that.”
Sr. Vice President & IT Head, Capital Small Finance Bank Ltd.
“The key priority for the bank today is at first to redesign and rethink the digital experience for the customers. Second, use Big Data Analytics in a way so that we can understand our customers and last, the security. The data, information and the financial records we have for the customers should be protected and the customers should feel safe when they do banking through multiple delivery channel.
The way the digital landscape is changing today and the way people are banking for the last decade, it is improving. The newer technology is coming in like Blockchain, Artificial Intelligence. Every organization today have to gear up with all the new technologies which is available, make the right choice of technology not just to use technology for the sake of it. We need to make sure whatever technology we use should bring down the cost and better experience for the customers.”
CISO - CNH Industrial
“Though there are several priorities for our organization, some of which are very critical from a business point of view, we have identified the adoption of cloud strategy as a key one. So a lot of our critical adoption applications we are adopting are towards the cloud.
“We have a strategic tie up with Microsoft Azure and Express Route to connect to the cloud so that we can move our technologies there. Cyber Security is highly critical for our organization. So, we are bringing in new technologies to improve our landscape to fight against new threats in the cyber security space. In the IoT space too, we are doing a lot of work. We are doing a lot of work towards Telematics because that's the key for customer experience.
The Board has today come of age and is talking about latest technologies. The business is quite dependent on new technologies. Digitization is our key priority and we have a separate digital vertical within our organization. We are prioritizing our digital related experiences.
When new technologies are implemented, they bring a lot of opportunity. But there are some challenges too, because it's a change of culture and it will bring a change in the way the organization has been doing business for long.”
Joyjit Roy Ghatak Choudhury
Director – IT & Knowledge Management, SRM University.
“The key priorities for us are datacenter modernization, creating a mobile app, digitalization for our students and the communities and revamping the existing ERP solution to a new ERP solution. So, there has been a complete revamp our internal website.
The organization has geared up for adoption of new technologies, because now we have a full-fledged support from our senior management and our internal senior leadership team. We also have support from the finance department for our budgeting purpose.
My work is predominantly in the education domain and there are a lot of internal challenges. Like for instance, the students come with their own devices to our internal network. So we do not have any control on their devices, but still have to give them a filtered internet and connectivity there. So we have to safeguard our internal network through firewalls and make effective rules and policies.
The best practices are adopted based on what the other universities are doing presently. If you think about an Indian scenario, we continuously try to identify what the universities in other countries in US, UK and other Southeast Asia are doing it precisely. So we are trying to create a roadmap of how we are going to meet the global standard.”
GM & Head – IT, Adlabs Entertainment Ltd.
“We want to implement a Chatbot and also Artificial Intelligence (AI). So, these are the latest technologies which we want to implement this year.
Our management is very supportive for taking off any new initiatives and they are providing us freedom to implement new technologies. So, the management is very supportive and they want to bring the entire thing to digitalization.
Previously we used to have some issues, when people were in the water park they were not able to scan the barcode which is actually fading due to the chemical water and there we implemented the RFID technology and now it becomes very easy for the customers to do the transactions.
We are also doing a lot of market campaign to get the customers experience. We are also adapting some of the applications where we can implement our in house applications to get the RoI for company.”
CISO, Indiabulls Group
“2019 will be a very important year for us because we have recently got the license for insurance. We are also into the NV FCI and are merging with one of the banks very soon this year. So, this year will be a very challenging for us, because there will be a lot of things which will be happening from the bank perspective or from the insurance perspective as well.
There are a lot of challenges these days because the cyber risk is increasing and every organization is facing a lot of problems these days. We are actually focusing on the awareness for the organization and also increasing resilience in our organization.
Every new technology has pros and cons, at the same time we need to basically take care of other things. With technology, awareness is one of the very important things, which is becoming a challenge because there are many legal liabilities. Also, there are new threats which are actually emerging on daily basis.
The best practices are we are largely focusing on the awareness this year. We have a lot of technologies, a lot of things we have already implemented but now we are emphasizing on the awareness part this year.”
“Being a global KPO company, there are several initiatives we have identified this year. One of them is datacenter consolidation across the globe. Second is standardizing our connectivity, like MPLs and making it streamlined. And the third is cyber security priorities and the security best practices that we are supposed to implement. The fourth one is implementing a hyper-converged technology across the globe.
We are quite well advanced when it comes to technology; we work with large MNCs, and international banks. And we have already started adopting technologies like RPA, artificial intelligence and have already deployed for certain clients. We have also implemented some new cyber security tools across the nation. So we are very much updated and we continue to evolve and implement these technologies across the globe.
One of the biggest challenges obviously today every organization is facing is in terms of the security - how do we improve our security posture within the organization? How do we safeguard client information? so on and so forth. What we as a company is doing is to get all the best practices in place; we have recently started a cyber training program for all the employees and started it with IT as a team first.”