By Meghana Lal
“Smart businesses are embracing digital transformation programs that act as change agents and create business value through technology.” This statement by GS Ravi Kumar, CIO of Gati, set the tone and context at the recently organised CIO Meet in Hyderabad. Held in collaboration between Sify Technologies, Cisco, and Dataquest, the event saw IT leaders across industries citing their opinions on why digital transformation is the need of the hour.
Kumar, who was also the keynote speaker, put the spotlight on how Gati has transformed as an organization, driven by its digital efforts. From implementing a custom-made ERP solution only 13 years ago, to entering the mobile space in 2008, to becoming the first in the country to roll out a comprehensive vehicle monitoring system, technology has always been at the centre of their efforts to go digital. “But there are still miles to go on the road to becoming a truly digital organization,” he added.
The thought behind the collaboration between Sify and Cisco was to bring out the unique value proposition for businesses on technologies across data centres, and networking collaborations. “Our relationship with Sify is very different from our traditional system integrator partnerships. This alliance is an effort to disrupt the market by offering innovative and unique business models and solutions, like an as-a-Service model, for our customers,” said Sumit Pamecha, who drives the Cloud and Managed services Partnerships in India and SAARC for Cisco Systems..
Aravind Gautam, who heads the Transformation and Integration Services at Sify, spoke about several organizations who have benefitted from a digital transformation, including India Post who partnered with Sify to design and integrate the operations and management of 30,000 locations through a secured network infrastructure in an outsourced model. Also mentioned was the Sify’s strategic partnership with Reckitt Benckiser that saw multi tower services across Europe, Latin America and North America. Key competencies included data centre management, global network & security management, transition & project management as well as process management. Gautam’s presentation highlighted the key concerns of CIOs today around network, vendor management, applications, security, time to market, cloud, unified collaboration and scalability of the solution.
Taking his cue from the Gati CIO, Ashok Shivashankar, Regional Manager – India & SAARC for Cisco, reiterated the importance of technology in digital transformation. “IT has to be at the centre of digitalization and has to be supported by a robust and scalable network,” he said. He quoted a PwC study that found that 66% of CEOs face far more business threats today, than three years ago, especially given that communications are being redefined around concepts of mobility and IoT. “Customers are looking at enhanced capabilities around customer experience and workforce management,” said Shivashankar. He went on to underscore Cisco’s commitment to leading the need for digital transformation from the front which includes an investment of $100 million to accelerate digitalization in India.
Meanwhile Sridhar Bharadwaj, Specialist- Data Centre, Cloud & Virtualisation Business Unit, Cisco also impressed the audince about the IT infrastructure happening and creating an overall change in the IT landscape and how players are part and parcel of this transformation.
Focusing that digital disruption marks the “end of business as usual,” Bhavesh Mathur, VP & Head, DCT and Managed Services at Sify Technologies pointed out that the only wrong move when it comes to digital transformation, is “not to make a move at all.” In his presentation, Mathur emphasized on how ICT solutions are critical to a digital transformation strategy.
Pankaj Gupta, Chief of Operations, Sify Southern region delivered the closing remarks by observing how data centre transformation will play a key role in digital transformation.
The event was the second in the three-city CIO Meet series, the others being Chennai and Bangalore. IT leaders from organizations including ISRO, IFTAS, Andhra Bank, Mylan, and the American Oncology Institute were in attendance.