So what are the most critical IT elements for an organization? Here are a few
that most CIOs concur upon: 24x7 uptime, business application servers and
network across organization and availability of bandwidth.
Pandurang Salunkhe, GM, IT, Ipca Labs has only two things to add to this
listdata security and a balance between in-house and outsourced functions.
According to Salunkhe, "One needs to identify what are the areas at the lower
end of the value chain, but still are critically important for uptime and
customer satisfaction, and that can be outsourced with clear SLAs and preset
expectations with vendors." Security however, is something that every CIO should
keep with himself.
Pandurang Salunkhe, GM, IT, Ipca Laboratories
Every CIO should evaluate the processes that are specific to
Salunkhe thinks that the role of CIOs today is three-fold and includes:
decision, implementation and maintenance.
The Way IT is
Ipca Labs today boasts of its own primary data center in Mumbai and few other
data centers at their ten manufacturing locations. They also run a homegrown ERP
solution that takes care of their SCM activities, manufacturing financial, etc.
When it comes to making a choice between solutions in the market vs homegrown
ones, Salunkhe thinks that every CIO should evaluate, "What are the processes
that are very specific to your organization." For such processes, one should
bring their own expertise to the table while for the standard processes like HRA,
SFA, etc, one can go for solutions available off the shelf.
Salunkhe believes that this is the time in India when IT is actually
maturing. "We have gathered enough experience to understand that initial years
of most CIOs have been spent in the process of automating the structured
information," he says.
"For a CIO, a major challenge in the coming years will be to bring in a
change in the way of managing unstructured information," says Salunkhe. And
well, as a CIO he has already started working on this front. Driving the
management of unstructured data is one of his primary goals for 2010 together
with optimization of his transactional system.
One of his recent automation projects have been flagged-off with the same
aim. Under this project, Ipca did a market analysis to choose a best of breed
software for managing content, workflow information and access control. They
also developed a team to work on Java J2E and began the automation process.
According to Salunkhe, in a year time, five major processes in Ipca will be
using these systems with clear benefits of time, accuracy and man-hour savings.
People vs Tech
While tech challenges always remain, one critical challenge for a CIO
according to Salunkhe is managing his own team as well as users. He says that
the only way to bring about change is to convince people that this is not an IT
project, but a business one. "You have to claim ownership," he adds.
Also, he thinks that your own team and their training and motivation should
be a focused priority for the head of IT. "People should be motivated by showing
them the bigger picture and the growth role they can play in that," he