Multiplication of applications: A headache for the CIO

A CIO needs to be adept at achieving technological changes with business requirements, which can be extremely challenging at times

The role of the Indian CIO has been evolving, but in that leap from the tactical to the more strategic and business oriented, sometimes it seems that the challenges do not stop accumulating.

And so, the CIO becomes a kind of juggler who must find the perfect balance between giving business agility, delivering the best tools, guaranteeing the user experience and creating a solid security strategy, to mention a few. Achieving technological changes with business requirements can be challenging, and this is something that a CIO has to manage in a skillful manner.

A failure in this balance can have multiple consequences, but one of them may be that employees do not feel productive with the tools that the company provides, that they feel their work experience is negatively affected; and therefore, they begin to use tools not authorized by the IT department (Shadow IT), putting the security of information at extreme risk. In this context, SaaS appears is a better alternative to deliver applications securely and make them easily accessible to the user.

As digital transformation is picking steam, Software as a Service (SaaS) is emerging as the big spend among Indian companies. SaaS is a model that does not stop growing. In fact, according to Gartner, (SaaS) is set to be the fastest-growing market segment in India, estimated to grow by 23% in 2019 reaching $1.15 billion, accounting for nearly half of total public cloud services revenue.

Without a doubt, SaaS has many advantages but it also has challenges, and it is not the only type of application that the CIO must deal with. The CIO and her IT teams have multiple application types to deliver: Web, SaaS, virtualized, containerized, on-prem. And in turn, they are delivered to the end-users from different places (public clouds, private datacenters). Many times they are applications that are not managed by the company and that do not respond to the company’s security policies.

Given this scenario, some tools become key for the CIO

  • A platform that allows administration of all applications in a unified manner, regardless of what type they are or where they are stored
  • Single sign-on so that employees do not have to log in to each application they need to use. Simplifying work and saving cumbersome clicks.
  • Ability to add company security policies to those applications, such as watermarks to guarantee the traceability of files, determine whether or not files can be downloaded in pen drives or send them by e-mail; and even if it is possible or not to take screenshots

In short, CIOs need tools that allow them to take control of IT, have visibility and improve the user experience. CIOs often have to align these strategies to contribute to and support business growth as their roles expand to become even more critical.

By Vijay Jayaraman, Director – System Engineering, India & SAARC, Citrix

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