Need for Space

DQI Bureau
New Update

That are some of the infrastructure pain points of mid-sized enterprises, and

how are they managing and optimizing on the IT spend? This is what the Chennai

edition of DQ-CIO meet on Optimizing IT Infrastructure: Power of Simplicity

explored. A panel consisting of key verticals such as healthcare, manufacturing,

distribution, and IT discussed the infrastructural challenges and strategies

they have adopted.


Challenges Galore

"Data center space and connectivity are some of the challenges we face at

Redington India" said Clynton Almeida, CIO of the company.

"We have a large ERP and it calls for an enterprise wide access to IT.

Moreover, the IT resources have to be available pan-organization, and this is

indeed a big challenge," said MK Manavalan, DGM, IT at Sankara Nethralaya.

In some instances the management has the perception about IT as a cost center.

This poses budgetary constraints when it comes to scaling the infrastructure.

However, the panelists also agreed that such a perception can be addressed by

putting in place a cost-effective IT. Reflecting on that Viswanathan, manger, IT

at EBM Nadi International said that his key priority these days is to bring down

IT costs and at the same time create an effective plan that will enable IT

resources available to all the group companies.


IT managers in Chennai debating on

infrastructural pain points. Seated from left to right- M Visweswaran, CTO,

Mafoi Consulting; Sairam Pasari, senior manager, IT, Real Image; N

Varadarajan, senior GM, IT, Madras Cements; Rajneesh De, associate editor,

Dataquest; Clynton Almeida, CIO, Redington India; MK Manavalan,

DGM,technology, Sankara Nethralaya; M Viswanathan, senior manager, IT, EBM

Nadi; N Tamilvel, head, IT, Take Solutions

N Tamilvel, IT head at Take Solutions termed integration as his main

challenge in addition to data center space. He said that he is looking at a

panacea by consolidating all data centers.

N Varadarajan, senior GM, IT at Madras Cements, says that as business demands

keep growing and the IT requirements also change.


N Visweswaran, CTO, Mafoi Consulting Solutions said that rationalizing the

data center and expanding the infrastructure as the business expands is a

challenge; and it needs to be effectively countered by an efficient IT staff.

Sairam Pasari, senior manger IT, pointed out that for companies like Real Image

Media Technologies, there are some unique problems as well like managing the

access to Internet and controlling the sites accessed by users.

MK Manavalan of Sankara Nethralaya talks

about server consolidation and related challenges
N Varadarajan of India Cements makes a point

Combating the Pain Areas

Veteran IT heads, like Varadarajan suggested that SLAs can be better managed

when users enter into short-term agreements with vendors instead of long-term

multi-year deals. He also suggested that multi-vendor contracts in the areas of

connectivity will greatly help in bringing down costs and also make for

proactive business continuity.


Manavalan observed that measuring SLAs on all IT services is difficult on a

daily basis. But companies can create more measurement benchmarks by making the

SLA document more transparent, and more tuned to managing the downtime. Almeida

suggested that IT heads need to clearly communicate their service expectations

and must put in print both the cost and service implications in the event of a


According to Visweswaran of Mafoi, mission critical areas need to be managed

in-house, while non-core IT functions can be outsourced. All the panelists

agreed to this thought and suggested that both have its merits, and that one of

the biggest challenges in in-sourcing happens to be managing the IT departments



Whether it is managing data center space, or maintaining SLAs, or taking the

call on outsourcingthey have put in place a model that works best, given the

budgetary constraints. The key takeaways from the Chennai event include:

  • Data center space is a big challenge; the solution lies in consolidation

    and virtualization.
  • Creating a cost-effective IT infrastructure architecture
  • Creating more robust Internet security practices, leading to better access

    and control
  • Aligning business with IT is a big challenge
  • SLAs are pretty important, but more can be achieved if the SLA document is

    specific and matches with the unique requirements and the service expectations

  • Cloud computing is major focus area and can solve some of in-premise

    infrastructure issues by making IT as a service

Shrikanth G