Digital Leader 2018: PRAVEEN KUMAR SHARMA: ICAI

THE INSTITUTE OF CHARTERED ACCOUNTS OF INDIA | EDUCATION

PRAVEEN KUMAR SHARMA, CIO

THE IT ORGANIZATION:

T Department headed by me. I am supported by 5 Deputy Secretary-IT, 5 Asst. Secretary-IT, 5 I.T Officers, 12 I.T. support executives/ System administrators (By AMC Vendor)

KEY IT SPENDING AREAS FY 2018-19:

  1. RP TCSion implementation.
  2. Technology refresh by replacing 4,065+ old Desktops with Ultra Small Form Factor Desktops using Device as Services (DasS) model across 160+ ITT centers in India.
  3. Implementation of Answer’s sheets Digital evaluation system to gradually replace the paper-based Answer sheet evaluation.
  4. Technology refresh of the data center in the examination department replacing old rack servers and Oracle 9i database with Hyper-Converged Oracle Database Appliance (ODA), Oracle 12g, NAS, Line Printers, Laser Printers, Test servers etc.
  5. Implementation of a DMS system
  6. Replacement of 40 KVA OLD UPS (12 Nos) at regional offices PAN India.
  7. Identification and appointment of an appropriate Bulk SMS Service Provider having the capability of handling more than 12 crore SMS per Annum. Vide open Tender system.

5 KEY SOLUTIONS DEPLOYED IN 2017-18:

The solutions implemented and which are at various stage of implementation are part of the ‘Digital Transformation and Process Re-Engineering’initiative of the ICAI.

Some of the solution implemented in 2017-18 are as follows:

  1. Implementation of Answer’s sheets Digital evaluation system to gradually replace the paper-based Answer sheet evaluation. – The Institute of chartered accountants of India (ICAI) used to get the evaluation of the answer sheets (subjective answer sheets) in the traditional manner of sending the answer sheets in a secured manner to the examiners after proper coding and use of Bar Code. This process required a lot of logistic cost/efforts and manpower. In the month of September 2017 ICAI after following formal process of solution identification (i.e. tendering, POC etc.) awarded the job of managing the Digital evaluation of the answer sheets of 2 papers of IPCC as a pilot project to L1 vendor (sorry due to organization policy, cannot share the name of the vendor). In this process, the answers sheets firstly get scanned and suitably coded so that roll no. of the student remains confidential to examiners. These scanned answers sheets are uploaded in the database of the Vendor application meant for online evaluation by the examiners. The application is hosted on the Vendor cloud and ICAI pays to the vendor based on per answers sheets processed/evaluated. This is an outsource model wherein the scanners, manpower, project manager, quality assurance team, Help Desk team is taken care by Vendor while ICAI provides the space, Desktops and internet Bandwidth etc. Besides IT, A team of examination department officials of ICAI also closely monitor the execution of the project. The application has all inbuilt checks that ensure that the answer sheets are checked in a proper fashion. Every examiner has a fixed quota of the answer sheets. Application forwards the answer sheet to examiner randomly one by one to be visible on the examiner Desktop/Laptop. Next answer sheet is made available to the examiner once S/he complete the checking of the answer sheet and submit back to the database Taking cautious approach we implemented this system, to begin with, an evaluation of 2 papers in the December 2017 Semester. In every semester we are increasing more number of papers to be covered under the digital evaluation system.
  2. ERP TCSion implementation – Prior to this system, stakeholder (Students/members/Firms) used to fill in the manual forms which were fed into the system after following a manual approval process. Implementation started in February 2018. Initially, We have Gone-Live with the module related to ‘CA Members’. Remaining modules are under implementation, which is expected to Go-Live in the Month of December 2018. Using ERP all the processes including payment of various Fees would be online. There would be no need to deposit physical form and fee by DD/PO. All approval processes are online using pre-defined workflows. This ERP would bring a cultural change in the organizational way of working and Customer’s (Students/members/Firms) experience would improve substantially.
  3. CDS portal: This system is implemented to replace the manual selling of Books across 5 Regional office in India. Using CDS portal student can now purchase the CA Course-related books On-Line instead of personally going to the 5 Reginal offices and making payments across the counter. A student can book the order Online making online payment and books are dispatched using courier service. A student can track the status of his/her order online.
  4. CA Students placement portal: https://cmib.icai.org/ The Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI) provides an opportunity both to employing organizations as well as young professional aspirants / experienced professionals to meet and explore the possibility of taking up positions in Industry. This portal work as the bridge between the organization looking for talented Chartered Accounts for the appointment and other services.
  5. On-Line Examination for advance ITT courses: In a tie-up with an agency we conducted the online exams for advance ITT course for the CA students. This was conducted using ICAI infrastructures in the 160+ ITT centers and Servers on a cloud with the ability to cater to the variable load of students appearing in the examination.

WHAT DOES DIGITAL MEAN FOR YOU

“Digital” is more than a set of technologies one buy. It is the abilities those technologies create. “Digital” is the application of information and technology to raise the performance of stakeholders.

NAME 3 BEST PRACTICES FOR ALIGNING IT WITH NEW NORMAL BUSINESS DEMANDS?

IT, quite simply, is part of the business, and if we don’t think about our role like that, alignment won’t happen. Practices we followed are:

  1. We integrated our regional IT groups into one global IT organization.
  2. Created business engagement teams. These teams were embedded in the different business units, consist of people who are able to engage the business in both process and strategy while explaining IT’s capabilities and aligning with our IT Roadmap.
  3. In our weekly managers’ meetings, we do a review of the business first—priorities and concerns—and then talk about technology-specific issues.

WHAT IS THAT ONE KEY MESSAGE YOU WOULD LIKE TO GIVE TO IT VENDORS?

IT vendors should consider themselves as part of the digital transformation journey of an organization and provide products, services, and support to make these initiatives successful.

 

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