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SUNEEL ARADHYE, CIO, Essar Steel, tweaked his systems to gain competitive edge and set new industry standards.


Seven futuristic CIOs use IT to break the mold, forever changing their industries. Page 46

JULY 15, 2012 | `100.00 W WW.CIO.IN

VIEW FROM THE TOP Jagdish Saxena on how IT drives Elder Pharma’s business. Page 66

BIG DATA CHOICES Make the right storage decisions for big data. Page 77

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Device Drivers

While mobility spends have shot through the roof, BYOD isn’t really happening! It’s always fascinating to watch environments in flux and see Heisenberg's Uncertainty Principle at work. With technology it’s often possible to pin down either the speed of change or where exactly an organization is on the path to change but not both simultaneously. From buzzword to acceptance is typically a tortuous evolution, but sometimes, just sometimes, this process acquires a cyclonic booster shot of energy that leaves both wreckage and rainbows in its wake. Take Bring-Your-Own-Device or BYOD, for instance. The pace at which it’s morphing from consumer IT to enterprise enabler is polarizing CIO opinion of it. Often enough, an organization gets its start when a suit brings in a smart device and asks for mail to be configured on it. The next thing CIOs do is roll out a device policy double quick with a provision to issue devices to a bunch of staffers. Then follows a mad scramble to secure data and devices with terms like MDM, SSL VPN, HTML 5, App Encapsulation and VDI flying around. CIO research shows that mobility spends have shot through the roof in the past six months, yet I don’t see too much BYOD happening. Indian enterprises and their IT teams are just not comfortable with the idea of an alien (aka outside IT control) device entering the system. That’s explains the outright purchase of smart handhelds and tablets, and the de rigueur slapping on of middleware that allows remote wipes and rights allocation. Some organizations do indeed give their employees a choice of devices, but most, if not all, are wary of how much core data access is permitted. Surprisingly, software services outfits are among the most regressive when it comes to this; settling for approvals and mail access but little else. Security is the most oft-quoted reason for this (like a re-run of what cloud computing hype was met with five years ago). At the polar extreme are services organizations, particularly those in media or financial services or those that have large rural footprints—their CIOs talk of App Stores and User Experience Labs and of extending the paradigm to include customers. Where do you see your organization going with smart devices? Let me know.

EDITOR-IN-CHIEF Vijay Ramachandran EXECUTIVE EDITOR Gunjan Trivedi DEPUTY EDITOR Sunil Shah ASSISTANT EDITOR ONLINE Varsha Chidambaram CHIEF COPY EDITOR Shardha Subramanian SENIOR COPY EDITOR Nanda Padmanabhan COPY EDITOR Vinay Kumaar PRINCIPAL CORRESPONDENTS Aditya Kelekar, Gopal Kishore SENIOR CORRESPONDENT Sneha Jha CORRESPONDENTS Debarati Roy, Shweta Rao, Shubhra Rishi, Ankita Mitra, Kartik Sharma DESIGN LEAD DESIGNERS Jinan K.V., Vikas Kapoor, Jitesh C.C SENIOR DESIGNER Unnikrishnan A.V DESIGNERS Amrita C. Roy, Sabrina Naresh, Lalita Ramakrishna SALES & MARKETING PRESIDENT SALES & MARKETING VP SALES GM MARKETING MANAGER KEY ACCOUNTS


Sivaramakrishnan T. P Sasi Kumar V Poornima Prachi Gupta Sreekanth Sastry T.K.Karunakaran Satish Apagundi

All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced by any means without prior written permission from the publisher. Address requests for customized reprints to IDG Media Private Limited, Geetha Building, 49, 3rd Cross, Mission Road, Bangalore - 560 027, India. IDG Media Private Limited is an IDG (International Data Group) company.

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J U LY 1 5 , 2 0 1 2 | REAL CIO WORLD

Printed and Published by Louis D’Mello on behalf of IDG Media Private Limited, Geetha Building, 49, 3rd Cross, Mission Road, Bangalore - 560 027. Editor: Louis D’Mello Printed at Manipal Press Ltd., Press Corner, Tile Factory Road, Manipal, Udupi, Karnataka - 576 104.

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GOV E RN IN G BOA R D ALOK KUMAR VP & Global Head-Internal IT& Shared Services, TCS

Get Out of the Way The more CIOs allow businesses to be independent, the more aligned they are to it. My latest mantra for CIOs is: Empower, engage, align. Here's an example: A lot of people think that automation is the key to business growth; I don’t agree. By automating a business process or manual task, have we kept the command-and-control keys with ourselves? Are we requiring the business to come to IT frequently for support just because we have automated a manual process? Is the flexibility which existed before automation lost, and control shifted to IT? If the answer to these questions is yes, we are not aligning ourselves to the business. We have, instead, created a potential power conflict. In my view, the more CIOs release power to the business, the more aligned they are with it. This is what I call “empower to align”. The good news is that there are plenty of opportunities for CIOs to empower endusers and customers. Take the consumerization of IT, for example. We can empower users by allowing them to select devices of their choice, or enable on-demand computing through the cloud. According to me, CIOs are more empowered today to support business with these concepts. On the flip side, there are many stories floating around about how CIOs will become redundant in the new era of IT commoditization. The democratization of IT is another new concept that further empowers decisionmaking. With technology, CIOs can enable people to vote, rank, comment, and take decisions through crowdsourcing. They can also provide powerful analytics to business using big data. In my view, CIOs can get closer to business with these powerful concepts, by helping it with swifter, more accurate decision-making. CIOs should focus on promoting self-service and drive business online in a more democratized fashion to dismantle administrative bottlenecks and remove manual processes. In addition, CIOs should focus on creating more platforms that enable decision-making, two-way feedback, and analytics, among others, in order to help people independent and make the right choices.

Navin Chadha is IT Director at Vodafone Essar

AMRITA GANGOTRA Director-IT (India & South Asia), Bharti Airtel ANIL KHOPKAR VP-MIS, Bajaj Auto ATUL JAYAWANT President Corporate IT & Group CIO, Aditya Birla Group C.N. RAM Group CIO, Essar Group DEVESH MATHUR COO, HSBC GOPAL SHUKLA VP-Business Systems, Hindustan Coca-Cola MANISH CHOKSI Chief-Corporate Strategy & CIO, Asian Paints MURALI KRISHNA K SVP & Group Head CCD, Infosys Technologies NAVIN CHADHA IT Director, Vodafone Essar PRAVIR VOHRA Group Chief Technology Officer, ICICI Bank RAJEEV BATRA CIO, Sistema Shyam Teleservices (MTS India) RAJESH UPPAL Executive Officer IT & CIO, Maruti Suzuki India S. ANANTHA SAYANA Head-Corporate IT, L&T SANJAY JAIN CIO & Head Global Transformation Practice, WNS Global Services SUNIL MEHTA Sr. VP & Area Systems Director (Central Asia), JWT V.V.R. BABU Group CIO, ITC

Bangalore: Geetha Building, 49, 3rd Cross, Mission Road, Bangalore 560 027, Phone: 080-3053 0300, Fax: 3058 6065 Delhi: New Bridge Buisness Centers, 5th and 6th Floor, Tower-B, Technolopolis. Golf Course Road, Sector 54 Gurgaon- 122002, Haryana Phone: 0124-4626256, Fax: 0124-4375888 Mumbai: 201, Madhava, Bandra Kurla Complex,Bandra (E), Mumbai 400 051, Phone: 022-3068 5000, Fax: 2659 2708


J U LY 1 5 , 2 0 1 2 | REAL CIO WORLD

contents JULY 15, 2012 | VOL/7 | ISSUE/09

52 | DDB Mudra Group VC-ON-MOBILE Video-conferencing is yesterday’s news. VC-onmobile is the future. But one CIO is doing it now. By Sneha Jha

54 | CIBIL ANALYTICS ON DEMAND CIBIL, becomes the first to provide market analytics to financial institutions on a SaaS model. By Debarati Roy

56 | Narayana Hrudayalaya CLOUD COMPUTING Narayana Hrudayalaya hosts its hospital management system on the cloud. By Debarati Roy

58 | LG Electronics CHANNEL PLATFORM When LG brings 15,000 channel partners on a single platform in an industry first. By Shweta Rao

4 6

60 | ICICI Lombard General Insurance MOBILE APPS Using a mobile platform, the insurer changes how customers and employees see the industry.


By Sneha Jha

46 | The Trendsetters

6 6

COVER STORY | INNOVATION Seven all-star CIOs decide the way things work isn’t good enough and drive projects that redefine their industries. Feature by Team CIO

48 | Essar Steel ERP A large part of Essar Steel’s orders were customized, creating an efficiency bottleneck. Its CIO had a plan to fix that, but it was both bold and untried. By Shweta Rao

50 | Bharti Airtel MOBILE CASH The story behind how Airtel gave India its first open-wallet mobile service, Airtel Money. By Debarati Roy


J U LY 1 5 , 2 0 1 2 | REAL CIO WORLD

VIEW FROM THE TOP: “One has to ask: 'What have you got that big companies don’t?' The will to choose a difficult course and succeed,” says J. Saxena, Chairman and MD, Elder Pharmaceuticals.

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(cont.) DEPARTMENTS 2 | From the Editor-in-Chief Device Drivers By Vijay Ramachandran

Short Listing Long Demands

4 | From the Governing Board Alignment | Get Out of the Way By Navin Chadha, Vodafone Essar

11 | Trendlines

6 9

FEATURE | PROJECT MANAGEMENT Barraged with requests for mobile, social media and analytics apps, IT must prioritize projects to give the business what it wants. Feature by Beth Stackpole

32 | Waving the Red Flags

26 | Alert Legal | Cloud Showdown: IT vs. Legal Breach | Hijacking Your Webcam

69 | Short-listing Long Demands


Batteries | Friend’s Phone is Your Phone’s Friend Quick Take | Coping with Talent Crunch Voices | Will Microsoft’s Surface Tablet Succeed? Social Networking | China: Blocked Out Robotics | Home Alone? No More Opinion Poll | Indian CEOs Turn Talent Managers Healthcare | QR Codes Save Lives Innovation | Fuel Cell Implant Runs on Sugar History | Chomsky Disputes E-mail Inventor


77 | Essential Technology Big Data | Big Data Choices Storage | Talk About Super-sized!

80 | 5 Things I've Learnt The Voice of Experience | S. Hariharan, former SVP Infrastructure and Support Services, OFSS

UNDERCOVER OFFICER Security can play a major role in ensuring the integrity of a corporation. But it won’t happen without persistence. Column by Anonymous


| Destructive Sales Practices

IT PRACTICE What better way for a salesperson to sour a long-term relationship than to bypass the CIO and tell the CFO that IT is wasting money? The CIO at CareGroup Healthcare System, recently met a "weasel" who did just that. Column by John D. Halamka

42 | Great Place to Work THINK TANK What are you really working for? Here’s how successful companies build rewarding workplaces, engender employee loyalty, and create great products. Column by Rob Enderle


J U LY 1 5 , 2 0 1 2 | REAL CIO WORLD

4 4

ALTERNATIVE VIEWS: Are New Funding Models a Good Thing? An uncertain economy shakes established notions. And for IT, it could mean moving away from traditional IT funding models. Is it time? Two CIOs debate. VOL/7 | ISSUE/09

CIO Online


Bharti Airtel Limited


Boston Limited (India) Revamps!

Eaton Power Quality Pvt. Ltd

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EMC Data Storage Systems (India) Pvt. Ltd

To serve your needs better, we've redesigned Now you'll be able to navigate content more easily, and quickly see the stories that demand your attention. We also have more surveys and more case studies!

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Is it Time for New IT Funding Models?

We invited two CIOs to kick-start a debate on whether the economy is pushing CIOs to turn to new models of funding IT. Read all about it in Alternative Views (page 44). Which side are you on? We also have more debates for you on Is the IT-as-a-Profit-Center Strategy Just Bunk? Ayes Vs Nays Is the CIO Role Stagnant? Ayes Vs Nays >>


3 29

Schneider Electric India Pvt. Ltd


Trend Micro India Pvt. Ltd


Conversation Starter Books have been known to spark conversations and on our website you can find the genesis of one. Learn what your peers think of a book and then visit the all new CIO Book Club section online and join the conversation with your peers.


[ Cove r S t or y ] The Game Changers

A mobile wallet, a hospital on the cloud, a videoconference on your mobile and a lot more. Read how seven forward-looking IT leaders are changing the definition of 'new-age IT.'

>> Must Read @ 10

>> Alert: Cloud Showdown: IT vs. Legal >> Column: Destructive Sales Practices >> Feature: Short -listing Long Demands

J U LY 1 5 , 2 0 1 2 | REAL CIO WORLD

This index is provided as an additional service. The publisher does not assume any liabilities for errors or omissions.

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Friend’s Phone is Your Phone’s Friend

Touch charging was a major theme at this year’s Computex exhibition, with some companies pairing it with wireless data technology so that no plugs are required to re-juice and sync a device. Winstream, which began developing wireless charging about five years ago, believes it is the first to offer a two-way solution. The company demonstrated the technology at the Computex exhibition that took place in June in Taiwan. The show is one of Asia’s largest. —By Jay Alabaster


B A T T E R I E S A Taiwanese company demonstrated a twoway touch charging at the Computex exhibition in June, using a new chip that allows two people to share one phone’s battery by holding their devices together. In a demonstration on the show floor, two iPhones with external battery packs containing the chips were pressed together back-to-back. One phone was used to charge the other. Then, after the settings on the external batteries were switched, power flowed in the opposite direction. Winstream, a Taiwanese manufacturer of power supplies and charging technology, says it will begin mass producing the chip by September. It is roughly the size of a contact lens, so phone and tablet manufacturers should be able to easily fit it into their devices, said Sales Director Kevin Chi. He said that larger batteries tend to be more efficient with wireless charging, so a tablet or laptop would be better suited to charging a mobile phone than the other way around, although either is possible. He said charging with the technology occurs at about the same rate as when a device is physically plugged in.

Average is No Good. Play to Win

NEELAM DHAWAN Managing Director, HP India

CIOs need to constantly deliver what the business needs–more so in difficult times. HP has enabled CIOs to innovate consistently across the years, to stay ahead of the game.

Excellence and consistency are what the Hall of Fame Awards are all about. How does HP resonate with that philosophy? At HP we live by the code: To be average in the marketplace is not good enough, we play to win. And we have managed to hold on to our market leadership position by delivering products, services, and solutions of the highest quality for decades. With the CIO100 Hall of Fame awards, HP

VOL/7 | ISSUE/09

recognizes those stellar CIOs who have withstood the test of time and have made significant contributions to their organizations year after year. What are some of the innovations at HP that can assist CIOs with their challenges? CIOs constantly face challenges in ensuring that the IT infrastructure in their organizations is energy efficient, secure, robust, and scalable. HP has done pioneering work in areas such as green IT, carbon footprint, hybrid cloud computing delivery models, security, and big data analytics among other areas. Today, HP’s major product lines include personal computing devices, enterprise and CIO100 | PARTNER BYTES industry standard servers, storage devices, networking products, software, and a diverse range of printers, and other imaging products.

REAL CIO WORLD | J U LY 1 5 , 2 0 1 2



Coping with Talent Crunch

S T A F F M A N A G E M E N T As technology evolves at a whirlwind pace, CIOs need to cobble up a team that stays up to date with emerging technologies. As money becomes dearer and staying ahead of competition becomes even more critical, CIOs need to ensure they have a team that can take on tough times. Sneha Jha spoke to Girish Rao, head IT, Marico, to find out how CIOs can beat the talent crunch.

How do you retain a strong team of people who are skilled in cutting-edge technologies? We build small groups to explore new technologies and they present case studies on the subject to a larger team. Each time a project or idea is conceived on a certain technology solution we ensure that the solution is leveraging the latest technologies rather than just emulating a standard existing system.

How do you ensure that your team is on top of new technologies? It’s critical for a CIO to ensure that his team—in house or outsourced—has the requisite skillsets and expertise that are in sync with technology changes. This would help drive IT projects forward. At Marico, we have training sessions to address this need. We have taken a conscious decision to create a talent pool to meet today’s technology needs. We rope in freshers who are keen to learn new technologies. We interact with technology vendors to keep ourselves abreast of new technologies.

How do you deal with a shortage of skilled personnel in your organization? We have faced numerous occasions when talent is in short supply—be it in house or outsourced. The best solution is to ensure that both in-house and outsourced teams create opportunities to explore technologies together. It is important to create a pipeline of freshers who are willing to explore, learn, and present a use case for new-age technologies.

Girish Rao

Fostering Role Models in Information Management

RAJESH JANEY President - India & SAARC, EMC

Information is the most valuable asset of an organization and EMC is helping CIOs to become more responsive to business needs with its transformative portfolio.

EMC has supported the Information Mastermind Special Awards since its inception. Why? At EMC, we believe that information is the most valuable asset of an organization and it has always been our endeavor to felicitate CIOs, the information masterminds who are role models. We are proud to be associated with an award which recognizes champion CIOs who are setting new benchmarks in the industry through


J U LY 1 5 , 2 0 1 2 | REAL CIO WORLD

innovative information infrastructure deployments to transform their IT operations. How is EMC assisting CIOs with their storage challenges? EMC offers the industry’s most-comprehensive, marketleading information infrastructure portfolio that helps customers drive down costs while implementing more agile IT environments. In fact, earlier in May this year, EMC introduced its largest-ever wave of new transformative products and technologies—42 in total. Our transformative portfolio allows customers to invest more resources in advancing their business— CIO100 | PARTNER BYTES versus keeping the lights on—enabling IT to become m o re res p o n s i ve to business needs.

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D E V I C E S Microsoft recently unveiled its Surface series of tablets running on Windows OS. Launched in two versions, the Surface series—some experts say it resembles Ultrabooks—is set to take on Google and Apple that have already made their presence felt in the tablet market. But having joined the bandwagon so late in the day, can Microsoft pull it off? Shweta Rao asked some of your peers and here’s what they had to say:

VALERIO FERNANDES CIO, Continental Automotive Components


“Microsoft has proved that it’s capable of building an ecosystem with the advantage of unlimited resources at its disposal. The Surface series will be a huge success. Microsoft is aiming to morph the tablet into a hybrid PC-mobile device which—if suitably priced—could be a huge game changer.”

SHALABH RAIZADA Head-IT, Safexpress “Windows isn’t stable. While Microsoft may have great plans to fill the gaps that others have left in the tablet market, selling its tablets on the cheap isn’t a great idea. As a large logistics organization, where margins run thin, I’ll go with a stable technology which promises value for money.”

TAMAL CHAKRAVORTY CIO, Ericsson India “Though I am not a hardcore Microsoft fan, I still think the Surface series will enjoy more support for its apps than Android. Despite both Apple and Google gaining a head-start, it’s a fact that app developers have a natural inclination toward Microsoft. I will definitely encourage them in my IT environment given that there may be better support in future.”


J U LY 1 5 , 2 0 1 2 | REAL CIO WORLD

A Solid Foundation for Success As the largest datacenter player in the country, with over 1 million sqft of datacenter space in India, Tulip is well equipped to address the dynamic data and connectivity needs of enterprises. It is, thus, perfectly poised to partner with CIOs. How does supporting Infrastructure Awards fit in with Tulip’s vision? Today, Tulip provides infrastructure that enables mission critical applications for most mid-size and large DEEPINDER SINGH BEDI companies across India. Executive Director , Tulip Telecom Tulip is today India's largest MPLS VPN provider as per Frost & Sullivan with a network that reaches over 2000 cities across India. With over 20,000 kms of fiber across India, Tulip is today the largest owner of last mile infrastructure across India. Tulip is also India's largest datacenter provider with over 1 million sq ft of datacenter space across the country. This includes Tulip Data City in Bangalore, which is the world's third largest datacenter and has set new benchmarks globally with regard to datacenter build quality and power efficiency. Tulip partners with 80 percent of India's top 500 companies to smoothly run their business infrastructure. Realising the importance of quality and efficient IT infrastructure, CIO100 Infrastructure Awards provides us with the right platform to identify and felicitate IT implementations which are aimed at maximizing returns from their IT infrastructure.

Cut Size ( margin to margin) 9.2 cms width 27.6225 cms Height

How can Tulip help CIOs create a better IT infrastructure for their organizations? We work with about 80 percent of India's top 500 companies to provide them reliable and cost-effective ICT solutions. With a reliable network across the globe, secure datacenters, skilled resources, industry standard tools and innovative processes, we are trusted partners CIO100 | PARTNER BYTES for all ICT infrastructure requirements for organizations.

VOL/7 | ISSUE/09

Sustainable IT for a Greener Tomorrow The rapid adoption of IT as a business enabler has increased dependency on fossil fuels as a source of energy. This has amplified datacenter energy costs worldwide. Schneider Electric aims to address this with its innovative energy efficient solutions.

Why and how is Schneider facilitating Greener IT? IT is at the heart of every successful modern business and yet it has had significant, unintended side effects. The awareness of these side effects, though somewhat late in coming, has led some successful companies to turn to a sustainable practice known as “IT greening.” IT greening is about using IT more efficiently to achieve reductions in energy consumption, and therefore, considering the acquisition of energy-efficient IT solutions. Schneider Electric provides goals and direction to improve the energy efficiency and sustainability for datacenters. We provide capability descriptions by datacenter area such that operators can benchmark their current performance using the Data Center Maturity Model Equalizer, thereby: - Determining their levels of maturity. - Identifying the ongoing steps and innovations required to achieve greater energy efficiency and sustainability improvements, both today CIO100 | PARTNER BYTES and in the future. - Using the higher levels of model to inform datacenter and IT strategy.


J U LY 1 5 , 2 0 1 2 | REAL CIO WORLD

S O C I A L N E T W O R K I N G One of China’s most popular Twitter-like sites, Sina Weibo, announced a new penalty system to temporarily close and shut down the accounts of users found spreading untrue or harmful information. The new rules are part of a larger government-backed effort to control sensitive political talk on the nation’s microblogging platforms. Authorities have even detained users for allegedly fabricating online rumors. Sina Weibo already heavily regulates content on the site, blocking sensitive search terms and shutting down users accounts for the spreading of so-called rumors. The site defined new rules that have already taken effect. The company has introduced the rules to explain how to use the service properly, said Sina spokesman Liu Qi. “This will help standardize what activities are appropriate,” he added. Under the new rules, harmful information can include spreading rumors, opposing the principles of the Chinese constitution, and inciting the illegal assembly of meetings or demonstrations. Users, who deliberately spread harmful information, will be blocked from posting for more than 48 hours, and could see their accounts closed. In addition, the rules also penalize users for posting untrue information, which can include exaggerations when describing actual events, or posting an opinion along with the truth that is taken as fact. In the most severe cases, where the untrue information has been re-posted 1,000 times, the users will be banned from posting content for 15 days, and be docked 10 credibility points from their account. A committee assembled from Sina Weibo users, who are experts in their field, will judge whether the content posted is untrue. Sina Weibo is asking users for feedback on the new rules. Some users posted, stating that it was important for the site to fight against fraudulent activities. But others have complained that the rules violate user rights. “Freedom of speech is what the (Chinese) constitution says. Sina I think you need to have a group study on the constitution,” wrote one user. The new rules were announced following Sina Weibo’s implementation of a government required real-name system, where only verified users will be allowed to publish posts on the site. — By Michael Kan

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Why does Schneider support the Green Crusader Awards? The world's energy consumption has risen 45% since 1980 and it is projected to be 70% higher SHRINIVAS CHEBBI by 2030! At the heart of CGM & President - India & SAARC, Schneider's strategy is a APC by Schneider Electric simple and powerful idea: using natural resources much more productively and efficiently such that it is both profitable and better for the environment. There are many CIOs who subscribe to this philosophy and with the CIO100 Green Crusader Award, Schneider aims to recognize and highlight the Green initiatives of these CIOs.

China: Blocked Out

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InfraStruxure data centres mean business!

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Discover which physical infrastructure management tools you need to operate your data centre. Download White Paper #104 today — 10 lucky respondents can WIN a free telescope. Visit Key Code 45291y Call 1800-4254-272/877 ©2012 Schneider Electric. All Rights Reserved. All trademarks are owned by Schneider Electric Industries SAS or its affiliated companies. email: • Schneider Electric India Pvt Ltd, 9th Floor, DLF Building No. 10, Tower C, DLF Cyber City, Phase 2, Gurgaon – 122002 • 998-5037_A_IN-GB

Home Alone? No More


R O B O T I C S Everyone has days where, as much as you love your friends, you’d rather have some alone time. Everyone also has days where, as much as you enjoy your alone time, you’d much rather be with your friends (who went out and saw a movie without inviting you--sigh). Of course, with something like Yamagata University’s shoulder robot, it doesn’t mean you have to be totally alone. The MH-2 telepresence robot sits on your shoulder, and can be controlled by another person at any time. Once a friend has control, it will become an avatar of sorts for them. The shoulder bot has two flexible arms, along with a head and body, and it can even simulate a person’s breathing to make it as realistic as possible (although I don’t know how realistic a shoulder-mounted bot can be). It also has small cameras on either side of its head. Here’s how the robot works: Your friend would use a 3D TV (or the most immersive display you could get) while standing in front of something capable of motion capture, like a Kinect. When you put the MH-2 on your shoulder, your friend can (virtually) come along for the ride. The robot will mimic every movement that your friend makes. It can also talk if you want to chat with your friend. It’s like a robotic version of a hologram. Unfortunately, to make the robot actually realistic, you have to carry around a bulky backpack. Still, the bulkiness isn’t such a big deal if you’re sitting at home looking for ways to banish that loneliness.

—By Elizabeth Fish

Indian CEOs Turn Talent Managers S T A F F M A N A G E M E N T More Indian CEOs—84 percent compared to 73 percent last year—are spending half their time on talent-related activities.

Top 5 Talent Priorities of Indian CEOs Building teams to build business Increasing people productivity Increasing motivation and engagement Retaining talent Building internal capabilities

81% 64% 51% 48% 42%

Innovation is at the Core of Our DNA Today, innovation is a requirement for organizations that survive and thrive, and it cannot be ignored. Wipro supports CIOs in innovating by leveraging the pillars of consumerization, variabalization, smart technologies, and big data analytics. Why does Wipro support the Innovation Architect Awards? We believe that innovation is the quintessential ingredient to successfully differentiate, and outperform the competition and ANAND SANKARAN it is at the core of our DNA. S.V.P. & Business Head , Wipro Infotech Innovation is a discipline to be mastered and managed. Getting good at it requires significant practice and the investment of time, people, and money. We revere CIOs and organizations that have successfully mastered the art of innovation. We are proud to be associated with the Innovation Architect Awards as over time they have emerged as the most coveted recognition for organizations that have created significant value by leveraging the tenets of imagination, technology, and discipline effectively. How is Wipro perfectly positioned to assist CIOs in innovating? Wipro has built expertise in cutting-edge technologies such as mobility, web-sciences, nano technology to help organizations reduce their consumption and dependence on the constrained ‘resources’. Our passion to maximize IT‘s potential for clients has led to an increased focus on new models of technology and business variabalization, which enables CIOs to differentiate their IT investments. We are transcending consumer technology to the enterprise world, which enables high-tech personal gadgets such as the iPad to double up as powerful and competent enterprise devices. In the era of information explosion, we are also empowering CIOs and their leaders to “do business better”; by leveraging advanced CIO100 | PARTNER BYTES analytical capabilities for capturing,storing, integrating big data into actionable business insights. People Matters 2012 Study


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Raising the Bar on Enterprise Security

How is Websense positioned to help CIOs secure their business? Websense allows businesses to take advantage of the transformative technologies of mobility, cloud and social computing. These technological changes are redefining the nature of work and the definition of the network — and they are exposing the weaknesses of traditional legacy security systems that many organizations have in place today. It’s creating a gap, a vulnerability, and organisations must find ways to close it. This is what Websense does, it helps organisations keep their data safe from internal and external threats. We have recently won the Best Security Management Award at SC Magazine Awards Europe 2012. Winning this Award recognizes the effectiveness of our solutions in a world with more social networks, an increasingly CIO100 | PARTNER BYTES mobile workforce, and sophisticated modern malware.


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QR codes are being used for more than just advertisements in Marin County, California. There, paramedics hope the stickers could help save lives in emergency situations. Lifesquare, a Silicon Valley start-up, has partnered with two emergency response agencies in Marin County to run a year-long pilot program. Lifesquare wants residents to input personal information about their medications into its website, then place corresponding QR code stickers where emergency responders can scan them with an iPhone. The secure link from the sticker will then provide paramedics and firefighters with information they need during a medical response call. Lifesquare said its first task will be to get people to sign up on the site because of privacy concerns. “The way that we look at is that people already put their information into their driver’s license, that’s owned by the government, people put their information into credit card company’s and that’s owned by private corporations,” said Ryan Chamberlain, director of public outreach at Lifesquare. “Here you own it, you put it into your own profile and nobody else touches it.” Residents can sign themselves up by picking up Lifesquare stickers at a CVS pharmacy. Ideally, Marin County emergency medical responders could then respond to a call about someone feeling sick, scan a QR code on the patient’s bike helmet, for example, and learn whether or not the patient has a drug allergy or what medications they are taking. “It could benefit so many folks,” said Mike Giannini, Marin County Fire Department EMS Battalion Chief. “The consumer for the piece of mind, us for information at the scene, it’s just a time-saving piece and beyond that it could do so much for health care at a much larger, grander scale if physicians embrace it.” Giannini said Lifesquare would improve on the idea he helped champion in Marin County about seven years ago, when the department started promoting “Vials of L.I.F.E,” which were tubes people could place in their refrigerator with a list of medications they take inside. Paramedics in the county already know to check refrigerators for this information, but still must enter it by hand, then later enter the same information into a computer. —By Kerry Davis


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What makes Websense the perfect partner for the Security Supremo Awards? Websense is constantly raising bar on security defenses. It is constantly proving its effectiveness JOHN MCCORMACK against the toughest President, Websense security threats. This is in line with what CIOs are doing to enable their networks and people by constantly innovating and protecting themselves from advanced threats and preventing data thefts and loss. With the Security Supremo Special Awards at CIO100, Websense extends its commitment to support CIOs who go that extra mile to secure their business environment.

QR Codes Save Lives


In an ever-changing world with more social networks, an increasingly mobile workforce, and sophisticated modern malware, Websense is constantly raising bar for security defenses with its award winning solutions.

Fuel Cell Implant that Runs on Sugar The biggest hurdle we face with implantable chips is that they need to run off a limited power supply that inevitably needs to be replaced. MIT engineers may have cracked this problem with a new implantable fuel cell that runs off the same sugars you got from your morning bowl of Wheaties. MIT’s fuel cell is built upon a silicon wafer laced with a platinum catalyst that strips electrons from glucose. The chip is able to draw energy from the same sugars that your cells’ mitochondria digests to generate the adenosine triphosphates (ATP) that powers your cells. So far, the prototype fuel cell can generate hundreds of microwatts, which happens to be enough to power an ultra-low-power neural implant. These fuel cells could



potentially be integrated into longterm brain implants that help the disabled with ‘brain-control’

interfaces or a neural prosthesis. The team calculated that the chips would be able to draw all the energy they need from the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) that bathes the human brain. According to the researchers, CSF contains very few cells that would provoke an immune response. The fluid also carries more than enough energy to power the chip along your brain cells at the same time. The engineers say that their research is still years away from real medical use, but their proof of concept is a good first step toward developing an implant that does not require an external power source. The next step for the research will be to demonstrate that the system can work in a living animal. — By Kevin Lee

Creating More Smiles Per Cubicle

NAJIB KHAN CMO, Airtel Business

With a wide portfolio of cutting-edge business solutions, Airtel Business offers customers the right platform to innovate and take their businesses to newer heights.

Why has airtel been a loyal supporter of thought leadership at CIO100? Airtel has always been at the forefront of leading innovation and transformation in the telecom industry. Therefore, Airtel Business is associated with CIO100, which is about recognizing innovative and transformative IT initiatives by various companies. Airtel Business provides a suite of ICT solutions to enable customers to transform their business. What are some of the innovations at airtel? Airtel Business offers a wide portfolio of services such

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as voice, data, managed services, network integration, and applications. These innovative solutions free our customers from mundane tasks, enabling them to unleash the potential of their human capital thus creating more smiles per cubicle. For instance our innovations in Mobile Application Tools for Enterprise (MATE) enables companies to have instant access to latest market information, enabling faster decisions. Their workforce too is empowered to work from any place using any device they choose thus achieving more each day. Our range of managed video solutions give our consumers an array of choice from extreme hi-end video conferencing to ultraportable tablet VC, thus enabling them to improve the productivity with a solution that fits their needs. To be on the top of the innovation curve, Airtel has launched nextgen technologies, including 3G and 4G LTE, which CIO100 | PARTNER BYTES gives customers access to enterprise and multimedia applications and HD content with higher uplink and downlink speeds.

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Noam Chomsky: An Indian Invented E-mail However, most histories of the Internet point to electronicmail systems being in place well before 1978, according to Internet historian Ian Peter. The first e-mail systems resided on single multi-user computers, Peter noted. Then, the process of electronically sending someone a message involved using a program that would place the message somewhere in the recipient’s file directory where it could be read, in a directory named mail. The MIT ‘s Mailbox program offered this capability in 1965. As computers were joined on the Defense Department’s DARPAnet, the precursor to the Internet, users needed a way to send messages among different computer systems. Bolt Beranek and Newman (BBN) engineer Ray Tomlinson created an address format in 1972 that would allow messages to be sent across DARPAnet to different computer systems. The system was in use by hundreds of DARPAnet users by 1974. That BBN has claimed itself as the inventor of e-mail has enraged Chomsky, who called the company’s assertions “the childish tantrums of industry insiders. —By Joab Jackson

Leading the Charge to Architect the New Network

RAVI CHAUHAN MD, Juniper Networks

Networks are becoming more relevant in the world we live in today and Juniper is leading the charge to architect these new networks that hold a great wealth of possibility, innovation and discovery.

Why does Juniper support the Networking Pioneer Awards? Networks are becoming more relevant in the world we live in today, and at Juniper Networks we believe the network can create a connected planet that unleashes a great wealth of possibility, innovation, and discovery that cannot be measured. With this special award, Juniper aims to recognize the exceptional work done by CIOs in India to create the network of the future.


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How is Juniper the perfect partner to help CIOs with their IT network? Juniper is leading the charge to architect the new network. At the heart of the new network is our promise to transform the economics and experience of networking. We offer a highperformance network infrastructure built on simplicity, security, openness, and scale. We are innovating in ways that empower our customers and partners. As a pure play, high-performance networking company, we offer a broad product portfolio that spans routing, switching, security, application acceleration, identity policy and control, and management designed CIO100 | PARTNER BYTES to provide unmatched performance, true flexibility, while reducing overall total cost of ownership.

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Disputing a great deal of counter-evidence, famed cognitive psychologist and linguist Noam Chomsky insists that e-mail was invented in 1978 by a precocious 14-year-old. “The facts are indisputable,” Chomsky wrote, in a statement. V.A. Shiva Ayyadurai invented e-mail in 1978 in New Jersey, as a part of a summer project to digitize an interoffice mail system for a hospital lab, Chomsky asserted. Chomsky’s comments follow a heated debate over the merits of Ayyadurai’s claim, sparked in part by a Washington Post article that ran in February that also named Ayyadurai as the inventor of e-mail. Chomsky’s argument is largely linguistic, noting that the term “e-mail” was not used prior to Ayyadurai’s use of it. In 1978 Ayyadurai coined the word “e-mail” to name the technology he created to electronically replicate an interoffice, inter-organizational mail system. Ayyadurai submitted his code to the US Copyright Office, which awarded him a copyright on the term in 1982. Borrowing from inter-organizational mail systems, Ayyadurai also specified a number of features common to e-mail systems today. H I STO RY

Bio-man: One Finger at a Time We’ve seen more than a handful of research projects that aim to make robots look and feel more like humans. A team of scientists from the University of Southern California’s Viterbi School of Engineering is aiming specifically to make just a single artificial finger sensor, called BioTac, which can detect textures even better than a human can. BioTac is a tactile sensor created by biomedical engineering professor Gerald Loeb, and recently graduated doctoral student Jeremy Fishel. The sensor is designed to mimic the human finger’s ability to feel motion, temperature, and even identify materials—like differentiating plastic and Gorilla Glass—by simply touching them. The technology could be implemented into robot hands, or a new generation of artificial limbs. BioTac does not only imitate a human’s ability to feel surfaces and



materials, but also anatomically acts like a real human finger. The sensor’s outermost layer is made of a soft, flexible skin with its own fingerprints. There’s a liquid-filled layer under the skin followed by a hard, bone-like core.

As the finger glides on a surface, the “skin” vibrates, and these vibrations get passed through the liquid layer to a hydrophone (underwater microphone). By looking at the waveform picked up by the hydrophone, BioTac is able to judge the direction of its motion, and identify materials based on its surface friction. Fishel built the finger sensor into a specialized robot that can distinguish 117 different materials, including stationery, fabric, and wood. When given a random material, the robot could correctly identify the mystery surface 95 percent of the time. Loeb and Fishel are now partners in Syntouch LLC, a startup that makes tactile sensors for mechatronic systems. Meanwhile, BioTac sensors are currently being sold to other researchers and manufacturers of industrial robots and prosthetic hands. — By Kevin Lee

Creating More Smiles Per Cubicle

NAJIB KHAN CMO, Airtel Business

With a wide portfolio of cutting-edge business solutions, Airtel Business offers customers the right platform to innovate and take their businesses to newer heights.

Why has airtel been a loyal supporter of thought leadership at CIO100? Airtel has always been at the forefront of leading innovation and transformation in the telecom industry. Therefore, Airtel Business is associated with CIO100, which is about recognizing innovative and transformative IT initiatives by various companies. Airtel Business provides a suite of ICT solutions to enable customers to transform their business. What are some of the innovations at airtel? Airtel Business offers a wide portfolio of services such

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as voice, data, managed services, network integration, and applications. These innovative solutions free our customers from mundane tasks, enabling them to unleash the potential of their human capital thus creating more smiles per cubicle. For instance our innovations in Mobile Application Tools for Enterprise (MATE) enables companies to have instant access to latest market information, enabling faster decisions. Their workforce too is empowered to work from any place using any device they choose thus achieving more each day. Our range of managed video solutions give our consumers an array of choice from extreme hi-end video conferencing to ultraportable tablet VC, thus enabling them to improve the productivity with a solution that fits their needs. To be on the top of the innovation curve, Airtel has launched nextgen technologies, including 3G and 4G LTE, which CIO100 | PARTNER BYTES gives customers access to enterprise and multimedia applications and HD content with higher uplink and downlink speeds.

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Best Practices

Luxury Brands Log In India, Brazil and Russia are playing hosts to online shoppers keen on filling their carts with luxury brands. Despite its limitations, the Indian online market is set to boom.

Site Load Times



Less than 3 Seconds

Over 10 Seconds


Over 10 Seconds


3-10 Seconds


Over 10 Seconds



3-10 Seconds

3-10 Seconds


MAKE sure your brand’s site does not take too long to load. High speed broadband connections aren’t easy to find in India. Consumers prefer sites that load quickly and are easy to navigate.


LIMIT heavy media elements to reduce load time. Creating a local site with region-specific content is an effective way of optimizing sites.

Less than 3 Seconds




Inline to Get Online

Less than 3 Seconds


ENABLE different modes of payment on your online retail site. In addition, also include an alternative option of cashon-delivery. India is still in a phase where most consumers don’t trust the online medium with their money.


R S 4.62 LAKH CRORE The amount online retail business in India is expected to touch by 2016—up from Rs 385 crore in 2010.



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A survey by L2 Think Tank, in collaboration with the International Herald Tribune, revealed how luxury brands are piggybacking on online retail sales in Brazil, India and Russia. The research group foresees tremendous growth for luxury brands in all three markets. The total business of the brands is expected to grow from $4 billion to $64 billion (Rs 22,000 crore to Rs 3,52,000 crore) in Brazil, $10 billion to $74 billion (Rs 55,000 crore to Rs 4,07,000 crore) in Russia and $3 billion to $57 billion (Rs 16,500 crore to Rs 3,13,500 crore) in India by 2025. The rise of e-commerce is one of the major drivers for this growth, especially in India. The online retail business in India is expected to increase twelve-fold from $7 billion in 2010 to $84 billion (Rs 385 crore to Rs 4,62,000 crore) in 2016. Sixtyseven percent of e-commerce in India comes from mobile devices as 59 percent of Internet users access e-commerce sites for luxury brands from their mobiles. But it isn’t a rosy picture. Poor load times, low Internet penetration rates, and a lack of sites offering e-commerce are party poopers. More than 40 percent of the global sites take longer than 10 seconds to load in Russia and India. Internet penetration is only 10 percent in India, compared to 44 percent in Russia, and 39 percent in Brazil. But despite these factors, online retail for luxury brands is set to attain 51 percent CAGR by 2016.




Cloud Showdown: IT vs. Legal T



he first time a client brought intellectual property lawyer Janine Anthony Bowen a cloud computing contract to look over, her reaction was these people must be nuts. “I read the clause saying the service provider would bear no liability for anything that went wrong with its service, and even if something did go wrong, my client would still be responsible,” says Bowen, lead partner at Jack Attorneys & Advisors. To recover any losses, her client would have had to bring suit, and the maximum recovery amount equaled no more than the fees paid for twelve months of service—not even come close to the value of a data loss. Tanya Forsheit, founding partner at InfoLaw Group, echoes those concerns. “Cloud providers convey a take-it-orleave-it attitude for their contracts, expecting people to click through the ‘I Accept’ options the way people click through the iTunes website.”

cloud computing contract. The bottom line, for Finley and many other IT execs, is this: Cloud computing was supposed to make things easier and cheaper for IT; instead, it’s turning lawyers and CIOs into adversaries. As an IT leader, how can you come to terms with your legal counsel? How can the two of you work together to make the transition to the cloud computing fruitful rather than fretful?

The Trouble with the Cloud Cloud computing is a relatively recent development and, therefore, an area with scant legal precedence. “People don’t think about the legal issues because this is so new,” says Barry Murphy, principal analyst for eDJ Group, a research firm focusing on information governance and

Wounded and Lost

Loss Due to Cyberattacks

In a global survey on endpoint security, respondents say their biggest loss as a result of cyberattacks was loss to productivity.

Lost productivity

$ 1.74 Lakh

The amount organizations have lost due to a dip in productivity as a result of endpoint cyberattacks in the last 12 months. SOURCE: Endpoint Security Best Practices Survey


That take-it-or-leave-it approach is causing problems for IT internally. At the Port of San Diego, for example, Director of Business Information and Technology Services Deborah Finley has just begun thinking about cloud computing for e-mail archiving with a small cloud vendor. “We’re a medium-sized organization without the leverage a larger organization might enjoy. The vendor’s contract had a limitation of liability for the cost of the contract, while our legal department has standard language about indemnification,” Finley explains. “To change that language, we would need board approval.” After some back and forth, Finley and the Port lawyers reached a compromise, but she’s reluctant to go to the board every time she wants to sign a

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Labor costs to recover endpoints to a working state


Lost revenue

24% Loss of organization, customer or employee data


Damaged brand reputation

18% Costs to comply with regulations after an attack

3% Reduced stock price

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Ranked #1 in Server Security* yet again.

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*IDC, Worldwide Endpoint Security 2011-2015 Forecast and 2010 Vendor Shares ©2012 Trend Micro, Inc. All rights reserved. Trend Micro and the t-ball logo are trademarks or registered trademarks of Trend Micro, Inc.



e-discovery. “There’s no prescriptive case law, so there’s a lot of trepidation” among lawyers anxious to both protect their company’s data and remain on the correct side of the law, Murphy explains. Case law is clear, however, when it comes to e-discovery in the cloud. “The courts say, if you’re storing information, we expect you to produce it for litigation or compliance,” says Murphy. “Most companies aren’t smart enough to ask a service provider if they’ve mapped out a chain of custody for data. And a lot CIOs don’t know the implications of privacy and transparency laws.”

Your New Best Friends Paul Lewkowicz, an intellectual property attorney at Daly Crowley Mofford & Durkee advises, “Both sides have to think of things from the other party’s perspective. [The lawyers] don’t want to say no. They want to know what can make the contract more acceptable.” If IT wants or needs to negotiate details of a contract with a service provider, Lewkowicz says, they should have counsel do it. “Negotiating is an art form, and lawyers are trained to do it. IT people think of contracts as a couple of pages of specifics and then boilerplate. But it’s that boilerplate that saves everybody’s bacon when something goes wrong.”

While it’s important that the CIO and corporate counsel have a good relationship, says Thomas Trappler, a Computerworld columnist who teaches a UCLA extension course on cloud computing, it’s even more important that they bring together a team to pore over the agreement and ensure that all issues are covered. Admittedly, this may seem counter-productive because one of the benefits of the cloud is to reduce timeto-market and increase a competitive advantage, but it’s worth spending the time, Trappler insists. Once an agreeable contract is nailed down the first few times, it should get easier—and take less time and effort—for future contracts, at least in theory. “David Wells” (a pseudonym for a Fortune 500 corporate counsel who requested anonymity) agrees that getting subject-matter experts into one room promotes understanding. “Otherwise, you can have lawyers spinning scenarios and creating fear, uncertainty, and doubt. If you can’t get past FUD because people don’t understand it, you’ll either crater the deal or worse, do a bad one.”

Question and Question Again How do CIOs and counsel start collaborating? By asking questions. Ideally, the CIO knows the right questions

to ask before the counsel even requests the answers, but that doesn’t always happen. “That’s why I ask the same questions over and over when it comes to our cloud contracts,” says Wells. “My people finally know not to come to me without the answers to my questions.” Beyond that, lawyers recommend CIOs ask what clauses in the contract really mean. What drives Wells crazy in particular are service level agreements (SLAs). He sees contracts promising restitution for downtime beyond an agreed-upon limit, but the amount of payback is minimal. Another issue lawyers tend to ask questions about—that CIOs don’t—is e-discovery. “In the cloud, data is being replicated, so it creates more data for discovery, including metadata,” warns Forsheit. “But if there’s a server in the cloud that nobody thought about, people can get sanctioned or jailed, and lawyers can be disbarred.” In the end, getting IT and legal to agree on cloud contracts comes down to a matter of careful communication. “They have to speak each other’s languages,” Forsheit says. “Counsel needs to understand IT and vice versa. Doing it another way is not an option.” CIO Howard Baldwin is a freelance writer. Send feedback to


“With cloud projects, it is important to know which law of the land is applicable, if it’s the US’ Patriot Act ct or the UK’s Data Protection Act, ct, for instance. You must also find out, from your service provider, how the confidentiality of your data is ensured when law enforcement agencies request for it.” — BHARAT PANCHAL, HEAD-RISK MANAGEMENT, NATIONAL ONAL F INDIA PAYMENTS CORPORATION OF


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Hijacking Your Webcam


new variant of SpyEye malware allows cybercriminals to monitor potential bank fraud victims by hijacking their webcams and microphones, according to security researchers from Kaspersky Lab. Some banks require customers to confirm transactions initiated from their online accounts by typing secret codes sent to their mobile phones or generated by portable hardware tokens. Cybercriminals need these codes to steal money. In other cases, the banks actually call their customers in order to authorize transactions over the phone, and this is when having webcam and microphone spying abilities can be useful to attackers. SpyEye is a computer Trojan horse that specifically targets online banking users. Its plug-in-based architecture allows third-party malware developers to extend its original functionality, Kaspersky Lab malware researcher Dmitry Tarakanov said in a blog post. This is exactly what happened with the new webcam and microphone spying feature, which is implemented as a SpyEye plug-in called flashcamcontrol.dll, Tarakanov said. As suggested by the DLL’s name, the malware accesses these two computer peripherals by leveraging Flash Player, which has webcam and microphone control functionality built in. Under normal circumstances, users get prompted to manually allow websites to control their computers’ webcam and microphone via Flash. However, the SpyEye plug-in silently whitelists a list of online banking websites by directly modifying Flash Player configuration files. At first, the Kaspersky Lab researchers thought that this might be part of a scheme to bypass facial recognition systems used by some banks for secure authentication. However, after contacting the targeted organizations, they learned


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that none of them had any webcam-reliant features on their websites. The Kaspersky researchers later found out, by analyzing a different SpyEye component, that the malware injects the webcam and microphone, hijacking Flash content into the targeted online banking websites locally, when these sites are opened in a browser on the infected computers. “Using a microphone, the intruder can listen in, and later the criminal can call the bank himself, masquerading as a client whose code he has eavesdropped,” Tarakanov said. “With this code it becomes possible to update the phone and login details, taking full control of the victim’s account.” On the other hand, by hijacking webcams, cyber-criminals can monitor how victims react when they read the socially-engineered messages displayed by the malware on online banking websites.

The “Fraud Factory”


In order to protect themselves from such attacks, users could cover up their webcams when they’re not using them, but that’s not as easy to do with microphones, Tarakanov said via e-mail. Both webcams and microphones can be disabled from the operating system, either manually or with the help of specialized software, but that would hardly be convenient, especially for people who regularly use these peripherals. It’s much easier to prevent the infection in the first place by following basic security best practices like keeping all computer software updated, running an up-to-date antivirus program, scrutinizing links before clicking on them, and avoiding installing programs from suspicious sources, Tarakanov said. CIO Lucian Constantin is a news reporter for IDG News. Send feedback to

Six men have been sentenced for their part in a huge “fraud factory” that sold utterly convincing bogus identity document sets to an estimated 11,000 customers for use in crimes such as identity theft. British ringleader Jason Place, 42, set up the Confidential Access website from his Spanish home, offering high-quality fake documents, including bank statements, credit history print-outs, driving licenses, wage slips, and even utility bills. To give the documents an air of authenticity, the gang set up a fake firm, National Chartered Accountancy Network, hijacking the identity of a real accountant to back up its references. Not content with merely aiding identity theft, the gang moved into consultancy, helping to coach criminals buying a £5,500 ($8,500) ‘Platinum Profile’ in how to carry out crimes, backed up by a web chat forum for an inner circle taking out a VIP monthly subscription. The gang even turned to extortion, threatening to wreck the credit profile of customers carrying out successful identity theft unless they paid over 50 percent of the takings from their first fraud. British police now have the task of tracing the worst offenders from the thousands of Confidential Access website users, which is known to have caused at least £1 million of fraud in addition to the £11 million the site generated for its masters over three years of business. — By John E. Dunn

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cio_hi.pdf 1 7/10/2012 11:44:35 AM









Undercover Officer


Waving the Red Flags Security can play a major role in ensuring the integrity of a corporation. But it won’t happen without persistence.


here is no Fairplay Award for Corporate Integrity, but if there were, the CSOs of this world would be among those with a bullhorn on the nominating panel. Or at least, they ought to be. I can’t think of a role more attuned to the mission of overseeing risk than ours. In my view, no member of the corporate governance team is more qualified to deal with the key elements of oversight than the CSO. The security department can administer the programs required to assure the organization’s integrity, and the CSO is in a good position to be an advocate, an owner of sorts, of a variety of business-conduct policies. In addition, he can fill the role of adviser to top management on issues affecting the reputation of the enterprise. Some would argue that it is the auditors, both internal and external, who are the logical overseers for integrity assurance. I beg to differ though. Audit is cyclical, and it is not meant to be an investigative function in the same way that security is. As a matter of fact, the compliance department of an organization may have input into security policy, but might not have the scope and reach of security. How about the members of the HR team? They certainly can participate as an employee advocate, but as a department, they lack the objectivity that security brings to the table.


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At least as I see it, it is the security department that has the unique perch to see the cautionary signals that are a part of daily corporate life, and we’re paid to understand that aspect of operational risk better than anyone else in the executive team. When corporate security provides its share of oversight and controls maintenance in an organization, it can see a variety of red flags that others don’t. Yet in all of the current commentary and debate on corporate scandal and wrongdoing, I’ve not seen one word acknowledging the CSO’s or even the corporate security department’s role in risk management. If you don’t believe me, just do some research on corporate governance and see how many times you find a reference to the security function or the CSO as a member of the team. You won’t, I promise. VOL/7 | ISSUE/09

Undercover Officer


Connecting the Dots “I was so busy, I never saw it coming!” This comes from the line manager who’s just fired an employee for misconduct. With downsizing, rightsizing, and just plain working our butts off to do more with less, the velocity of business dealings often masks control weaknesses. Yes, indeed. It is the rare and clever CSO who understands the importance of getting involved in the governance of his business organization and establishing a policy that encourages a corporate culture that will influence and eventually reinforce the integrity of the entire organization. But given the dynamics of risk in the world today, can anyone reliably claim that their organization has bulletproof safeguards around the assets that contribute to shareholder value? I doubt it. Most corporations have a

limited knowledge of risk because the risk analyses they do are insufficient to uncover key vulnerabilities. Yet if a company isn’t doing effective risk analysis, it will have to assume it has exploitable vulnerabilities. Security is in a position to see such weaknesses in its investigative findings and should influence managers to pause and understand the risks we are all charged with monitoring. In fact, we have a fiduciary obligation to ensure such vulnerabilities are addressed at a sufficient level to deter opportunity. That dictates one part common sense and three parts due diligence.

Got Supervision? First-line managers are the key to maintaining a climate of integrity and effective risk management. Even when top management makes its commitment

to integrity clear, the action is in the trenches. Unless supervisors are riskaware and work within an accountability model that makes their roles clear, they are not likely to be part of an effective system of controls. Besides internal supervision, outsourcing and offshore relationships are also integral parts of the competitive environment. Yet we are increasingly assigning high-risk jobs to individuals or vendors about whom we know very little or nothing. Our relationships with these outside organizations need to follow our integrity model. We must insist that they apply the same standards of ethical expectations to themselves as we do to our own organization. Easy to say, but not so easy to do. Where is the CSO’s role here? Think back to the “I-was-so-busy-I-never-sawit-coming” guy. “Look,” he says, “it’s your job to give us a heads up! You guys

Undercover Officer


in security may see this stuff as a routine part of your job, but I’ve got a committed team here busy working 24/7, and we didn’t have a clue.” If your culture shoots the messengers of bad news, don’t be surprised when various managers even those who have been diligent enough to have “seen it coming” may clam up when concerns are aroused. Explore this issue in your organization. You’ll probably discover that a lack of notice is more indicative of a climate of fear or wagon circling than anything else. Then there are the interesting places we find ourselves housing critical business processes. We are working in very complex global and technical environments. We depend on global data networks and dispersed computing environments that live within very risky local infrastructures with differing standards of care. While it is recognized that a resilient recovery strategy is essential, don’t forget that the cultural issues around corporate hygiene can land you on the front page of The Wall Street Journal faster than you can say “scandal.” And then there’s honesty. It’s acknowledged that the “honesty quotient” within our workforce has declined during the past few decades. Don’t argue with me. The evidence is everywhere. Effective background investigations, however, will screen out the most serious threats.

On the Radar If you think the rank and file doesn’t watch to see how the stars get treated when they trip and fall, you’re fooling

Moral Police To learn more about corporate integrity and ethics read The Company That Did Everything Wrong Visit



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There is a booby prize for corporate integrity: If companies don’t pay attention to ethical behavior, they’ll reap their rewards with a lack of shareholder confidence and customer defection. yourself. And the whole process of integrity administration is up for question. It’s great that security folks are learning new things and passing that information along. But at the end of the day, the CSO needs to translate them into a clearly articulated set of expectations that needs to be, in turn, reinforced by equally consistent applications. The CSO should manage a formal takeaway process from every internal misconduct or criminal incident. If you have no plans for doing post-incident analysis and sharing the lessons learned, your organization is destined to repeat its mistakes. What would you think about a business unit that had either multiple or a broadly based misconduct experience that combined little or no risk analysis? What if it failed to pay attention to security recommendations on background or due diligence findings? That’s why it’s important to have a governance team. That’s where it’s important to connect the dots. Security and other inputs from colleagues on the governance team provide a vibrant picture of health and hygiene in the company. A quarterly interchange between human resources, security and internal audit on issues within specific risk-ranked business units can yield a synergy—you know, that 1+1+1=4 thing—on assessing the adequacy of applicable controls and influencing the audit plan. When presented as a collaborative give-andtake exercise with no surprises, the result can be very positive in terms of the relationship as well as in the

measurable improvement of issues of concern. And where proactive doesn’t work, maybe the courts can help get attention. Prior cases have broadened the risk awareness parameters of the officers and the board, and even allowed that a corporate officer can be convicted for the criminal acts of subordinates even if he/she lacks the intent and has no knowledge of the specific wrongdoing. Perhaps, this incremental trend of corporate accountability was best dramatized by Time magazine’s celebrating three whistleblowers for its 2002 Persons of the Year. So, where does this bring us? First, it argues for creating a role for the chief security officer that encompasses a 360-degree view of the operational risk environment. It means letting the CSO serve as a peer with the other members of the senior corporate governance team. The CSO’s ability to connect the dots within his scope resulting in a perspective unique to the management team is an asset that cannot be missed in these risky times. Second, it argues mightily for a CSO with clear strategic and operational accountability for the full scope of security functions. OK, so there is no Fairplay Award for Corporate Integrity. But there is a booby prize: If companies don’t pay attention to ethical behavior, they’ll reap their rewards with a lack of shareholder confidence and customer defection. CIO This column is written anonymously by a real CSO. Send feedback on this column to

VOL/7 | ISSUE/09

John D. Halamka


DestructiveSales Practices


n my 15 years as a CIO, I've experienced a to evaluate new technology and they What better way for a gamut of questionable sales techniques. were happy with XXX. I know healthcare salesperson to sour a Some favorites, so to speak, include organizations have to think smarter and get long-term relationship the "end-of-quarter deal never to be more value out of the IT dollar. Our storage than to bypass the CIO repeated," which is then repeated at the end of is easier to manage (we have customers and tell the CFO that IT is the next quarter; the promise that "we're your who reduce admin by 90 percent + with wasting money? The CIO partner and you always get our best price," our storage), our storage is faster, highly which you suspect is being made to all of the available (ability to have five 9's reliability at CareGroup Healthcare company's hundreds of other customers; and for critical applications) and has superior System, recently met one the selling of products that don't yet exist. service/support. such "weasel". As much as I hate all of those, they can't Can I schedule some time with you next compare to a reprehensible technique I week to go into detail on how our storage can recently experienced: The salesperson end run around IT. make your IT budget go further and give your stakeholders Here's how it works: The vendor's salesperson doesn't like the best experience they deserve? Please let me know a time the answer IT is giving him. That's normal; salespeople don't that fits your calendar. like to be told no. But the salesperson then goes to the CFO Best Regards, and tries to convince financial leadership that IT leadership Storage Sales Specialist at a large vendor is squandering the budget. Here's the e-mail that the salesman in question sent I completely respect the challenges that commissioned to the CFO of Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. The salespeople face, as well as the difficulties that the lackluster salesman's name, along with a few other identifying bits, has economy has presented for large technology vendors. But an been redacted, though I'm not sure why I want to protect the end run such as this is intolerable. Quite simply, there is no identity of this weasel. better way to sour a long-term relationship than to bypass the usual lines of hierarchy in an organization. I am unlikely From: Storage Sales Specialist at a large vendor to be receptive in the future to someone who has tried to Sent: Wednesday, March 28, 2012 9:00 AM undermine the trust that exists between me and BIDMC's To: BIDMC Chief Financial Officer CFO and who is willing to suggest that I and my group are Subject: Lower Storage Costs cavalier about how we spend the organization's money. You I am the Storage Sales rep for the Caregroup hospitals. We can be sure that no one on my team will return the calls of this have been working with healthcare organizations that are salesperson for years to come. typically XXX shops and saving them $500,000+ in storage This salesperson works at a company I respect a great deal, costs and associated resources. We will guarantee that we so I believe this is an example of rogue behavior. Does this will migrate your current environment to 50 percent or less remind you of someone? CIO storage. The industry leading analyst group Gartner has named our storage as the leader. Managing Vendors Why am I reaching out John D. Halamka is CIO at CareGroup Healthcare System, CIO and associate dean To read more about how to deal with to you? I met with IT a for educational technology at Harvard Medical School, chairman of the New England tech providers, read our FAQ-style few weeks ago and they Health Electronic Data Interchange Network, chairman of the national Healthcare feature Vendor Management on told me they didn't have Information Technology Standards Panel and a practicing emergency physician. Send c the time or the resources feedback on this column to

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REAL CIO WORLD | J U LY 1 5 , 2 0 1 2












ation rds ar

THE AWARDS & CELEBRATING EXCELLENCE CIO100 2012 promises to be a grand spectacle like non other, reserved only for the highest achievers of excellence in enterprise IT. With a fine blend of recognition and thought leadership, CIO100 is the ultimate stage where IT leaders get their due.

Schneider Electric presents the Green Crusader Special Awards for the 5th year

Now in its 4th year, the Infrastructure Special Awards will be presented by Tulip Telecom

& SYMPOSIUM AND THOUGHT LEADERSHIP Jonar Nader, who hails from Sydney, will deliver the keynote presentation at the CIO100 symposium. He is a best selling author, lecturer, broadcaster and journalist with an intimate understanding of technology and society.

SCE& SYMPOSIUM AND THOUGHT LEADERSHIP EMC presents the Information Mastermind Special Awards for the 7th consecutive year

e d Jonar Nader, who hails from Sydney, will deliver the keynote presentation at the CIO100 symposium. He is a best selling author, lecturer, broadcaster and journalist with an intimate Dell presents the understanding of technology and society. Efficient Enterprise Special Awards

Websense presents the Security Supremo Special Awards for the 3rd time

Wipro presents the Innovation Architect Special Awards for the 5th year HP honors the 4-time CIO100 winners with the CIO Hall of Fame Awards

Juniper presents the Networking Pioneer Awards

Airtel presents the keynote sessions at CIO100 for the 6th consecutive year. This year features three international aclaimed thought leaders.

Paul Dunn aka the Wizard of WOW, travels from Singapore to present his extraordinary perspectives on creating wow businesses.

Canon, Cognizant and VMware present CIO Conversations, an all new series of high profile CIO panel discussions on critical IT and business issues.


Jim Harris is one of North America’s foremost management consultants, public speakers, authors and thinkers on change and leadership. He will share insights from his #1 international bestseller, Blindsided!

Rob Enderle


Great Place to Work What are you really working for? Here’s how successful companies build rewarding workplaces, engender employee loyalty, and create great products.



aving worked for both large and small companies, I have seen massive layoffs and reorganizations, and watched painfully as entitlements were stripped in order to feather executive bonuses. In the end, there are companies that value employees and those that don't, and, given a choice, my recommendation based on a lifetime of experience is to find a path to work for the former. Living for the 5 pm bell, the weekend or retirement has not made sense to me after I watched a close friend suddenly die one year short of retirement, which almost assuredly wouldn't have happened had he made different choices about his life and work. Yes, he made a ton of money, which his heirs will now spend, but I've shifted from the belief that "he who dies with the most toys wins" to "the person who had the most fun in life wins." My recent visit to the enterprise and consumer tech solution provider, Plantronics, only reaffirmed that conviction. Here is a company that has transitioned itself from an environment characterized by a typical employee grind to a successful and fun place to work. This is a place where accomplishment is more important than compensation, and employees, when given a choice, often opt to come to work rather than work at home, even when it's inconvenient. In a way, it is also a contrast to Google, because Plantronics is embracing this concept, while Google, another great place to work, appears to be abandoning it. Let's talk about some of that.

A Fine Example There is some irony in writing this. What I saw at Plantronics was what I'd hoped to build myself someday. But, as it often works out, I ended up taking a different path. 42

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Rob Enderle


Still, I did work for the one company that actually established a "Great Place to Work" department. This was an idea of some of the young executives who believed that you could do amazing things if you built a talented group that entirely focused on the care and feeding of employees. Perhaps the most inspired insight was the realization that if they collected all the money spent for company parties, they could build a company recreation center and ROLM Corporation had one that rivaled any in the world—with racquetball, basketball and tennis courts, a state-of-the-art weight room, aerobics classes, and an Olympic-sized swimming pool. They put on monthly beer busts where employees and executives socialized together and folks like me who thought that work and fun shouldn't be separate jumped at the opportunity. Unfortunately, we took this for granted at ROLM, and when it was acquired by IBM, these critical aspects of the company were eliminated before I left. Instead of being a place where people wanted to work, some divisions like engineering had a 200 percent turnover rate, meaning that on average, the entire team was being replaced every six months. On the revenue side, we went from a $750 million (about Rs 37.5 lakh) company to a $250 million (about Rs 12.5 lakh) company. I'd write a book on the burning of ROLM, but it would just make me, and everyone else who was there, that much sadder.

Plantronics Transformation While Plantronics does not have a ‘Great Place to Work’ department, human resources has picked up this responsibility under Pat Wadors, and the end result has been an amazing transformation. The company used to have the typical dingy, fluorescent-lit cubicle farms common to most modern companies. Pat and her team smashed this model and replaced it. Plantronics is now largely bathed in natural light, and instead of grungy mini-cubs and executives who sit in isolated offices, everyone now shares the same brightly lit environment, and teams are co-located to enhance collaboration. Areas have been set up like restaurant tables where ad-hoc groups can assemble and enjoy their lattes and discuss projects. Conference rooms come in all sizes and have dedicated AV equipment, cameras and TVs with connections to collaboration tools so that remote workers can be conferenced in, and the walls are white boards they can write on and share ideas. Plantronics has a very distinct logo, a kind of stylized sound wave that appeared on most surfaces, reinforcing the connection between the employees and the company, and there were highly visible showcases of existing Plantronics products and prototypes. The company even had a public wall showcasing trends, something that often only select teams and executives get to see. This is to keep the employees connected to the product lines and the vision for the company's future. I doubt that most employees in typical companies have even seen the firm's products, and fewer still actually use them. For

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I doubt most employees even use their own firm's products. I was told of how the CEO of General Motors looked in his own parking lot and saw it filled with Toyotas. instance, I was told of a story about General Motors a few decades ago, when the CEO looked in his own parking lot and saw it filled with Toyotas. I didn't see anyone wearing a headset that did not carry the Plantronics brand, while I can recall seeing a lot of folks on Microsoft's campus with iPods during their Zune years. Over the years, I've seen a lot of companies restrict work at home because they believed that most employees, given the choice, wouldn't come in, and they'd likely be less effective working remotely. Plantronics promotes work at home, but the folks I spoke with actually indicated that they prefer to come in. Not because they felt left out—the more normal reason—but because HR had created such a great work space and, admittedly, for many of the social aspects.

Making the Right Choices We all have choices in our lives. I've watched CEOs decide to trade off long-distance business-class travel in favor of better corporate jets for their own use, or forgo updating company offices in favor of higher personal bonuses. Generally, the employees catch on, and these CEOs are shot down from inside as their top human assets go to greener pastures or stick their hands in the company till, following the examples the top executives have set. These environments aren't fun for anyone, and as I think about the massive number of people who are currently working under the expectation that they may be part of the next layoff, I am reminded, and want to remind them, that there are better places to work, and it is often the folks laid off that are the lucky ones in these cases. I use a number of Plantronics products, and they are the best in their segments. I doubt they could be if it wasn't for the company's high level of employee care. I wish all companies were this focused on creating great places to work, and I can't help but wonder if it is truly more valuable for a CEO to have that extra yacht that he'll likely never have the time to use, or a large number of employees who will follow him with unfailing loyalty. HP's high-profile CEO Carly Fiorina is a case in point. Had she taken care of the HP employees, they would have taken care of her, and she'd be a senator now. Instead, they worked to make sure she wasn't elected, and she was not. CIO Rob Enderle is president and principal analyst of the Enderle Group. Send feedback to

REAL CIO WORLD | J U LY 1 5 , 2 0 1 2


Alternative Views


Is the Economy Pushing for New Models of Funding IT? An uncertain economy shakes established notions. And for IT, it could mean moving away from traditional IT funding models. Is it time? Two CIOs debate.


n my opinion, turning to newer models of funding IT is a great way forward to fight the cash crunch that’s coming our way. In future, businesses will not have enough capital to fund their IT infrastructures. If we need to be future ready—in a fund-scarce global economy— it is important that we move beyond just conserving cash. Honestly, we need to change the way we look at IT funding models. When capex commitments become more and more difficult to make, IT leaders will have to look at leasing, transaction fees, payper-use, and outcome-linked charges to procure technology products and services. Such financial innovation or risk-taking capability can be a powerful force of change. It will allow CIOs to free capital to invest and generate rich opportunities.

Subscription-based models will give CIOs the freedom to be flexible. They don’t have to wait for funds that business puts on hold for strategic reasons. Such strategic competitive advantage gives CIOs lucrative options in a tough environment. It’s time we started thinking differently. New ways of funding will lead to novel ways of measuring IT investment. It also means that user-vendor relationships will be put to test and, hopefully, ensure more collaboration between the two parties. Newer ways of funding will also solve the problem of financial structuring within enterprises. An IT leader can offer different risks and returns for different applications in the enterprise instead of delivering a blended, single return for all investments. This new approach can close a large amount of capex-ROI gaps.

“Subscription-based models give CIOs flexibility. They don’t have to wait for funds from business. This gives CIOs competitive edge in a tough economy.” —Sunil Mehta, Senior VP & Area Systems Director, Central Asia,JWT 44

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Alternative Views



einventing IT funding models is not an answer to enterprises’ new-found demand for cash conservation. It has always been the CIO’s responsibility to ensure that expenditure stays within budgets, especially when we anticipate slow revenue streams. Keeping the committed expenses low and maximizing revenues is the simplest way to win the battle against cash deficit. Looking at other alternatives, like subscription-based IT funding, is going against the concept of cash conservation. Most of the new funding models require periodic outflow commitments. Also, I have not really seen pricing that is simple and value-based in models like pay-per-use (PPU). Sure, a one-feefits-all price isn’t fair either. But that doesn’t justify the complexity of tracking PPU models. Role-based user pricing— mainly for highly customized core applications like SAP—is a much better way to monitor diverse usage profiles. On-demand services definitely bring in flexibility, particularly for short-term requirements. But defining and tracking core applications is a complex and daunting task. Contrary to popular belief, subscription-based funding will

“New IT funding models defy the concept of cash conservation. They demand periodic outflow commitments.” —Manish Shah, GM-IT, Indus Fila encourage unpredictable and uncontrollable usage fetching operating costs as much as infrastructure procured from direct investments. Price is driven by negotiation, influence and competition, not the funding model. Also, the entire exercise on the whole seems counter-productive to me. If a CIO needs his end users to benefit from the tools made available, isn’t a transaction-fee based model creating a cost disincentive? There are also additional costs to look out for. For example, leasing out IT will require bracing up for insurance costs which wasn’t important in the traditional IT funding model. Most vendors will ensure that insurance covers the cost of the equipment they own. Is it worth losing a sense of control on one’s own IT just to cling on to cash at hand? I don’t think so. CIO

As told to Shweta Rao Shweta Rao is correspondent. Send feedback to




When Aircel’s growth drove its data volumes up and its existing storage creaked under pressure, it dialed EMC. Here’s how EMC helped.

In This Issue

65 | DATA IS THE NEW OIL Rajesh Janey, President, India & SAARC, EMC, says big data gives CIOs the opportunity to change the way IT is perceived.

An IDG Custom Solutions Initiative

Cover Story





For Essar Steel and Narayana Hrudayalaya

Setters Seven all-star CIOs decide the way things work isn’t good enough

By Team CIO

Reader ROI: How to create opportunities in tough times The benefits of being a trendsetter How to innovate with mobile technologies


and drive projects that redefine their industries.

J U LY 1 5 , 2 0 1 2 | REAL CIO WORLD


These Projects Also...

LOWERED OPERATIONAL COSTS For Essar Steel and Narayana Hrudayalaya


INCREASED EFFICIENCY For Essar Steel, DDB Mudra Group, Narayana Hrudayalaya and LG Electronics

For ICICI Lombard General Insurance

IMPROVED CUSTOMER SERVICE For Essar Steel, Narayana Hrudayalaya, LG Electronics and ICICI Lombard General Insurance



For Bharti Airtel, DDB Mudra Group CIBIL and LG Electronics

For Bharti Airtel, DDB Mudra Group CIBIL and LG Electronics

If you are an avid follower of Masterchef—a cooking reality TV series—you are probably familiar with the invention test. For the uninitiated, it’s a test where contestants work with the same ingredients from a big box to invent a new dish. The winner gets to choose the core ingredient that the rest cook with in the following round. The winner dictates the future. And the rest follow suit. Likewise, inside IT’s big box, CIOs constantly toy with everyday technologies. But some get off the beaten track and invent wonders that revolutionize their industries and businesses. Like Airtel’s Airtel Money, like DDB Mudra’s videoconference on a mobile, like ICICI Lombard General Insurance’s mobile apps set. And some more. In this cover story, we feature seven CIOs who have broken the mold and created new, better, and profitable ways to beat competition. They have changed the definition of new-age IT—and forced their rivals to follow the leader.

Steeling Up to be Streamlined

Pg 48

Money on the Move: Mobile Cash

Pg 50

On Your Mobile, Get Set, Go

Pg 52

Credit Intelligence on Demand

Pg 54

The Intensive Cloud Unit

Pg 56

At Your Service

Pg 58

App of the the Customer’s Eye

Pg 60

Cover Story


Steeling Up to be

Streamlined A large part of By Shweta Rao Essar Steel’s How do you support India’s largest steel manufacturer, with revenues of over Rs 15,000 orders were crore (2011 figures), with an IT team of just 17? customized, A) Superman is masquerading as a CIO. B) The 17 IT staff are actually robots with no creating an ‘stop’ button. C) Its IT system is extremely resilient. efficiency Clearly, it will be a long time before options A and bottleneck Its B are possible. As light-hearted as the question it throws hard light on the game-changing CIO had a plan is,amount of flexibility Essar Steel has built into its systems, a feat unparalleled in its space. to fix that, but it was both bold Melting Point If there’s one thing Essar Steel knows well— and untried. apart from steel, that is—it’s how to push

the envelope. It’s, for example, the first steel company to set up an end-user distribution chain for steel products. It’s the world’s largest steel retail chain with a network of over 375 retail outlets. It also owns India’s largest steel processing and distribution facilities with an annual capacity of 4 million tons. That retail strategy, however, took a big bite out of the company’s efficiency. On any given day, Essar receives a lot of specific, custom Because each of its products—running in the orders—across a wide range of products, from hundreds—can be customized, Essar Steel’s automobile body parts and ship building and list of unique products hits an unwieldy 1 from boilers to heavy engineering structures. lakh, and finalizing a sale takes up to three For example, a girder, one of its many products, weeks. But it’s the way everyone operates. could have multiple variants depending on chemical composition, physical attributes or surface treatment. Essar Steel’s The CIO trims material master “Every material has to be defined in data to just 260 configurable materials data terms of many characteristics which belonging to 450 different products, cutting can be as high as 25 and needing a order finalization time by a factor of seven quality plan which needs derivation of and changing the industry.



J U LY 1 5 , 2 0 1 2 | REAL CIO WORLD

at least 250 characteristics. Most orders are specific, and require a high degree of process customization,” says Suneel Aradhye, CIO, Essar Steel. In 2006, when orders hit 35,000-a-month levels, each customized order was still being processed manually. That took a toll given the complexity of steel manufacturing; raw material is subjugated to numerous specific treatments for a certain chemical composition, mechanical properties, and dimensional tolerances. The way Essar dealt with the problem was to attach a code, called material code, to each new product it created, a list that got longer by the day. In 2006, the number of material codes in the company’s SAP system had already hit 100,000. Because it was so complex—and the costs of being wrong were high—sales staff lacked the confidence to complete orders by themselves. Orders were finalized only when a staffer with metallurgical knowledge, preferably someone from the quality department, was involved in decisionmaking. That slowed the decision making. “Due to the confusing three-way interaction between sales, quality, and production planning, it could take up to three to four weeks to book and finalize orders,” says Aradhye.

Inside the Crucible Things only got more complex when the world’s only vertically-integrated steel company (it has businesses from mining to retailing) disclosed plans to increase its VOL /7 | ISSUE/09

Cover Story





Suneel Aradhye, CIO, Essar Steel, implemented a Variant Configuration tool, forever changing the way the steel giant runs its business.

production capacity by 40 percent within a year. Aradhye saw a thin line drawn between Superman and a deep abyss—and he was walking on it. But as luck would have it, Essar was considering a SAP re-implementation at about the same time. “We were running on an older version of SAP, which was due for an update. I decided to ask the guys at SAP if they had a solution to my problem,” says Aradhye. SAP consultants advised Aradhye to look at SAP’s Variant Configuration (VC) tool. Thus began the course of evaluating Essar’s internal processes. “Earlier, SAP ordering happened when a salesperson input market demand into the system. Orders were then processed by the quality department over an offline database with appropriate characteristics and metallurgical knowledge. The

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two databases were not in sync,” says Aradhye. That was a problem the VC tool could help fix. Implementing the VC tool meant that all variants had to be reflected across every integrated system involved in processing an order. This was akin to converting the system’s metallurgical brain into rules decipherable by machines. A small error meant tons of incorrect products and a threat to the plant’s physical wellness. The dice was loaded against Aradhye. Essar isn’t the only Indian business that deals with extremely customized orders, but few had attempted to use the VC tool. Worse, the reference cases he came across seemed to have ended in failure, a fact his management brought up. To top it all, he wanted to make changes to the core of a running business. “We met with serious apprehension from the business when


we proposed changes to process design principles. It called for separate efforts on change management. References to failed efforts in the past were also a challenge in our bid to win the confidence of the business community,” he says. Undeterred, Aradhye forged on. During the initial implementation, variants were calculated and evaluated (in Excel) for each process and sub-process. While the plant’s capability based on inputs from quality and production planning were mapped, Aradhye’s team also ran checks against 10-year-old order book to build a robust prototype. Business plans in terms of plans to manufacture new grades of steel for next two to three years were also considered. It was a lot of work, but, in the end, worth it. Today, the VC tool has become an indispensable part of Essar Steel’s daily operations. It trimmed material master data from 90,000 to about 260 configurable materials belonging to 450 different products. “If we had not implemented the tool, by now Essar’s system would have generated 500,000 unique material codes—a picture of chaos!” says Minesh Mohile, GM and chief solution architect-IT at Essar Steel. By simplifying the system, Aradhye also shrunk opportunity-loss by cutting sales order processing time by a factor of seven. “Today, the sales team makes a data entry, prints out the contract, gets it signed, and finalizes order sitting right across the client. The whole order process is completed in three days flat,” says Aradhye. There are other benefits as well. The project helps improve customer service by achieving the pre-agreed time lines and lowering cycle time. It also curtailed data entry errors and saved about 3,000 man-hours a year in supply chain management. Sometimes, all it takes to be different is steely resolve. CIO

Shweta Rao is correspondent. Send feedback on this feature to

REAL CIO WORLD | J U LY 1 5 , 2 0 1 2


Cover Story


Money on the Move:

Mobile Cash The story behind how Airtel gave India its first open-wallet mobile service, Airtel Money.

By Debarati Roy

You’ve heard Samua Munda’s story before. He’s a migrant laborer in Mumbai, who hails from Harubeda, a tiny hamlet in the Hazaribagh district of Jharkhand. His Maoist-infested village comprises 84 huts, one school in an utter state of neglect, no banks, no hospitals, and spasming lights that work about two hours a day. But, amazingly, despite this lack of infrastructure, Mandu sends money to the family he’s left back at home, bang on the first every month, regular as clockwork. Thanks to Airtel Money. It’s an Airtel TVC that will never be made. But that’s only because it’s an idea, like free lemonade on a hot day, that doesn’t need the indignity of being hawked. Since it launched as a pilot in June 2011, over a million people have already subscribed to Airtel Money, just one indicator of the demand for the service. In 2011, Airtel Money was an idea whose time had come. Consider this. Rural India, which houses 70 percent of the country’s population, has access to only 30 percent of the country’s bank branches, 24 percent of any type of banking point-of-sales, and a measly 5 percent of India’s ATMs. Banks and money transfer services—with “India has a large un-banked population. marginal presence in non-urban India—are With the widespread reach that Airtel has, Airtel the only options to move money. Payments at Money is an attempt to bridge that financial retail outlets are cash or card dependant, and inclusion gap,” says Amrita Gangotra, DirectorATMs are the only way to get money fast. IT (India and South Asia) at Bharti Airtel. As noble as that emotion is, Airtel Money is also a new way for India’s After Airtel Money, more telcos are offering largest telco to make a pile of money. customers the ability to use their phones as wallets. Today, consumers can pay—and Although they couldn’t have withdraw—money at shops, transfer money, known it then, the company would pay for utilities and phone recharges. need it with low ARPU’s (average



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revenue per user) and the hailstorm of scandals and regulations that would hit the industry. The question back in 2010, when the idea was unheard of, was: Could they figure out how to implement Airtel Money?

The Smart Money Circa 2010. The management and board at Airtel began to notice a number of trends that would impact their business. For one, the market was starting to get flooded with smartphones. Then mobile penetration in urban India was fast approaching saturation. “We had an intensive brainstorming session to see how we could build new sources of revenue. We were looking at what telcos around the world were doing,” recalls Gangotra. One such idea was an open wallet-like service. It would offer Airtel’s customers the ability to make retail payments and do basic banking using their mobile phones and Airtel’s network. From an IT perspective, however, it was a daunting conversation. “The focus of such an initiative is very different from the demands of a monolith like Airtel, which has its procedures, stable workflows, and infrastructure all grounded,” says Gangotra. So one of the first things Airtel did was to carve out a separate company for the new idea. It would, says Gangotra, give the new undertaking more freedom, and the flexibility to take into stride the specific trials the venture would face. “We had to make separate niche systems from scratch because we realized that as VOL /7 | ISSUE/09

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the product goes through various phases of evolution, requirements would change accordingly,” she says. “Making those changes in the already stable systems made no sense.” Since there weren’t any existing standards, Gangotra decided to build a separate system and integrate it as and when systems stabilized. From a management perspective, the company hired a new CEO, while Gangotra reached out to people who were skilled in the banking domain and could work in tandem with the telco expertise that she and her team came with. The new team focused on open-wallet use cases by studying and collecting examples of how these services were consumed across the world, who consumed them, and for what purposes. “We collected intelligence like the corridors where money transfer happens a lot (Mumbai and Bihar, for example, due to migrant laborers), and where maximum recharges happened,” says Gangotra. Like many pioneers, Gangotra says that an important learning for them was to first understand the landscape and draw clear boundaries. In this case, one of the questions that arose was how much of the project was about banking and how much was about being a telco. They also needed to convince regulators to get on the same page. “It has not been an easy task to convince the RBI to do things like this,” says Gangotra. From a technology point of view, Gangotra had some options open to her. “Initially, we wanted to use a STK (SIM Tool Kit) where the application was preloaded on the SIM. But we realized that would hassle customers by requiring them to come to a retailer, change their SIM, and reconnect to the network,” says Gangotra. So the team, says Gangotra, decided to switch to the USSB model. She also realized that unlike telcos in the West, Airtel couldn’t use J2Me applications. “J2ME applications need a data connection and though India has

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Amrita Gangotra, Director-IT (India and South Asia) at Bharti Airtel, was a key part of the team that first introduced an openwallet mobile service to India.

a substantial voice connectivity, data penetration is low in rural India,” says Gangotra. “Our attempt was to get to the bottom of the pyramid. So we launched our services on SMS and USSD.” (USSD or Unstructured Service Supplementary Data, is a GSM technology, that uses asterisk or gate (or hash) characters “*” or “#” and then a combination of numerals.)

Cashing In After a series of pilots, Bharti Airtel, through its wholly-owned subsidiary Airtel M Commerce Services, went live with Airtel Money in March 2012. Today the service is available in 300 Indian cities, and allows Airtel customers to load cash on their mobile devices, pay utility bills, top up recharges, transfer money to other Airtel accounts. And crucially, and this what really differentiates it from a

service like ngpay, Airtel customers can make payments at retail outlets and are offered a cash-in and cash-out facilities (with select merchants, Airtel customers can trade virtual money with real cash, making merchants ATMs of sort) For Gangotra, it has been a stressful two years. “When you are creating something for the emerging market, it needs a different type of agility, learning and exposure,” she says. She realizes that after all the work she’s put in, Airtel’s competition is following suit. “Many of our competitors have started small pilots and we know that they will catch up soon,” she says. “But we were the first.” CIO

Debarati Roy is correspondent. Send feedback on this feature to

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On Your Mobile,

Get Set, Go Videoconferencing is yesterday’s news. VC-onmobile is the tech of the future. But the CIO of DDB Mudra Group is doing it here and now.


Traditionally, a video-conferencing set up requires participants to sit in office using desktops or boardrooms with HD cameras. This ties down staffers on the move, limiting their productivity.

By Sneha Jha

New Delhi, Ahmedabad, Kolkata, Chennai, Mumbai, Vizag, Trivandrum. If this list is exhaustive to read, imagine how taxing it’d be to travel. For Sanjay Panday, SVP-account management, DDB Mudra Group, shuttling between these cities is an occupational hazard. And an expensive one to boot. But it was a hazard that videoconferencing nullified. No, not your vanilla videoconferencing, we’re talking about VC-on-the-iPhone kind. In other words, VC on your mobile, when you’re mobile. Arguably, a first in the VC world, the project is the brain child of Sebastian Joseph, presidenttechnology and FM, DDB Mudra Group. The solution provides anytime, anywhere VC capability on smartphones like the iPhone, and devices like the iPad, tablets and other Android OS devices. In a country where there aren’t many takers for a technology like VC, Joseph has leapt many steps ahead.

You See, I See, VC

Not one to shy away from the untried and untested, Joseph has always been among the early movers. Be it his Facebook-like enterprise social media platform or the company’s journey to the cloud. With that track record, it should come as no surprise that Joseph created the The DDB Mudra Group has provided its possibility of doing VC on a mobile clients and employees with the ability to phone and a laptop. videoconference on their mobiles and laptops Conventional wisdom has it that while on the move. All it takes is a URL for nonVC is only used via hard end-points— VC users to join a video call.


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like desktops at the low end of the spectrum to a dedicated boardroom setup with HD cameras. But Joseph doesn’t think so. He felt that traditional VC denies access to the rank and file of the company who directly engage with clients. By enabling VC on soft end-points like laptops, and mobiles, he wanted to make VC a way of life at Mudra. “I wanted to make VC a regular practice at DDB Mudra and not reserve it only as a privilege of senior management. I wanted it to become the most preferred method for communicating with clients,” says Joseph. To be able to do that, Joseph had to ensure that the solution is easily accessible through the Internet and interoperates with other vendors for both incoming and outgoing calls, It should also have the ability to share content—like presentation files and documents—for geographically scattered clients. He wanted to add a unique feature to the VC stack: Give users the flexibility to invite other users who do not have a VC infrastructure. In Joseph’s mind, the VC tool was not just a means to save travel costs or provide ease of use. It was to create a never-had-before experience that would provide DDB Mudra with a competitive edge. It was a tall order.

On the Go VC on the move can be a long row to hoe. Most available solutions didn’t meet VOL /7 | ISSUE/09

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Joseph’s needs. ”They required dedicated end-points, dedicated bandwidth, were expensive and lacked mobility features. They defeated the very purpose of a mobile VC,” he says. But Joseph found a winner in no time—a US-based VC company called Vidyo. The solution supported multiple end-points. It was easy to configure and user friendly. What’s more? It can also be deployed as a private, public or hybrid cloud. “The infrastructure is completely transparent to end users. This delivers cost savings in traffic localization, Internet firewall traversal, and the ability to scale from a handful to thousands of concurrent multi-point connections,” says Joseph. The company has currently deployed the solution on an on-premise model. This will shift to a cloud model once it





Sebastian Joseph, Presidenttechnology and FM, DDB Mudra Group, created a VC-on-amobile solution that’s given his company a competitive edge.

commences its shared services for the DDB Worldwide network, says Joseph. The Vidyo central servers Vidyo One and Vidyo Gateway are implemented at DDB Mudra’s headquarters in Mumbai. They can connect to the existing VC setups at all those locations. The solution provides the flexibility to have both in-room and mobile conference. Vidyo Portal provides a Webbased environment that allows end users to access and administrators to manage the Vidyo Conferencing system. The user interface features a single click action button to initiate a meeting–via the Web— from anywhere. Now for Joseph’s most sought after benefit: It is possible to invite guest users to your meeting room by simply sending them the URL of your meeting room. All users including guest participants can share their presentations, documents


and other content with all the others in a meeting. This feature gives the company a competitive edge as it gives DDB Mudra’s clients the flexibility to connect from anywhere—even if they do not have a VC infrastructure. “Once a client told us that he doesn’t have a VC infrastructure. We made him a guest user. The client was enthused that he can do the meeting sitting at home,” says Joseph.

It’s Like Being There If ROI is the barometer by which the success of an IT project is measured then this project has been a quick success. VC on the move has evolved as a very effective and frugal spending tactic. Post-implementation all monthly review meetings, client meetings and recruitment interviews happen on this platform. “Hiring processes can be lengthy and costly especially when candidates are located in other cities or when multiple people are involved in the interview process. We have reduced expenses and time by conducting interviews on VC, thanks to the guest user feature,” he says. It has trimmed travel costs significantly. Earlier the company incurred Rs 1,60,000 on travel for each monthly review meeting. On an annual basis they spent close to Rs 20 lakhs. Now that cost has optimized. The VC platform has quintupled productivity across dispersed workforces. Today, decision making is faster, projects are completed sooner, and several manhours are saved. From January to May 2012, there were 1,467 video conferences using the VC platform, saving 564 manhours. But the most strategic benefit is that DDB Mudra’s employees are always available to their clients. This has enhanced their relationship with clients and set them apart in the industry. DDB Mudra’s Mobile VC has given the world a glimpse of the future where distances are irrelevant. CIO

Sneha Jha is senior correspondent. Send feedback on this feature to

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Credit Intelligence

on Demand India’s first credit information company, CIBIL, also becomes the first to provide market analytics to financial institutions on a SaaS model.


Only financial institutions that can afford in-house analytical teams can really make fact-based decisions like the viability of expanding its business to a new geography. And even then, their decision would be based on a small sample size.

By Debarati Roy

It was by the beginning of the new millennium and the India Shining story was just about to get started. Middle-class folks everywhere were hungry to spend and private banks were just too willing to feed their new found addiction to spend. It was only a matter of time before many loans went sour and the private banks resorted to other ways, reminiscent of 80’s Bollywood movies, to get their money back. It opened the gates for a credit information system that would help financial institutions better decide who to give loans to. That was when The Credit Information Bureau (India) or CIBIL, came into existence. Launched in 2001, it started providing banking and financial institutions with credit reports, which soon morphed into a CIBIL score, making it easier for banks to evaluate a loan applicant. And today, keeping with its tradition of bringing path-breaking solutions to financial institutions, CIBIL has become India’s first company to provide decision support system to banks and other NBFCs.

Filling the Gaps

Sudesh Puthran is a man used to playing with large numbers. The current CIO of CIBIL, he worked at OTC, India’s first Automated Stock Exchange, and CRISIL (Credit Rating and Information Services of India) before joining CIBIL in 2002. In the 7TB of CIBIL leverages its huge information data CIBIL had built over the years, repository and team of analysts to help he saw a business idea that could small financial institutions like NBFCs and lend CIBIL competitive edge and MFIs make strategic decisions. They pay per transaction. create a new revenue channel.


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The idea was sparked by changes in the environment. Puthran noticed the strong emergence of NBFCs (nonbanking financial companies) and MFIs (microfinance institutions). As of March 2011, for example, there were 12,409 registered NBFCs with the RBI. “NBFCs and MFI are still bullish about growth, and are gunning for rural penetration and expansion. To us, they were a whole new market we could partner with,” says Puthran. While NBFCs nurtured big dreams, they generally lacked the resources to support and fuel such growth. “The smaller institutions normally lack the skill sets of an analytical team and don’t have large risk management teams who can scrutinize reports,” he says. So if a small NBFC from the south wanted to expand its gold loan business to the north, it required in-house analysts to figure out the viability of such a move. Even if it managed to fund such a team, its analysts would only have a small amount of data—provided by the NBFC—to work with. Puthran learnt that every time these institutions got a report, they needed time to analyze it (it takes time even for an extremely experienced banker.) He figured that what they really needed was a solution, not a report. “With our existing database, we could help them figure out how borrowers from the north perform on gold loans, whether people tend to default on loans, and the age bracket of VOL /7 | ISSUE/09

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Sudesh Puthran, CIO, CIBIL, helped the company be the first to offer analytics to financial institutions, opening a new revenue channel.

most defaulters,” Puthran says. He says that CIBIL could go as far as predict what the next loan of an existing client was likely to be. This was in addition to CIBIL’s previous offering: Delivering scores. With the decision support system, CIBIL could transform itself into a strategic partner, understanding the risk appetite of its partners and helping them make decisions. The service, launched in 2011, helps CIBIL extend a plethora of services to its member banks, including consulting services. CIBIL could advise its clients at every stage of their lifecycle—from acquiring customers to strengthening and expanding relationships with them, and from market-sizing, and competition benchmarking to ‘decisioning’ services. This decision support system which CIBIL now offers—through their technical partner TUSSPL—on a SaaS model to

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smaller organizations, helps them make faster decisions and save manpower cost.

Technical Challenges For Puthran, getting to this point is a dream that started in 2002. “The foundation of a good credit reporting system and BI solution is a clean database and quality data. Gaining access to data and ensuring it’s standardized was a tough nut to crack,” he says. Since 2002, CIBIL had managed to successfully convince banks to share their data. But when data started to flow in, Puthran realized that the lack of standard identifiers made entire datasets almost redundant. “Some banks used voters ID cards, while others used PAN numbers or passport details” to identify people who had taken a loan, he says. Over time, CIBIL got banks to follow a set of acceptable norms. “We convinced them


by making them understand that only when they identified a customer across various product portfolios, could we identify them across various banks,” says Puthran. That work has accumulated into a central repository of 220 million trade lines (accounts like credit cards, personal loans, auto loans, etcetera) and 150 million subjects (people holding those accounts). CIBIL’s systems currently handle about 80,000 to 90,000 credit score requests everyday. It takes only three minutes for them to deliver a credit score or report. So when Puthran wanted to plug in his analytics solution to the system, he chose not to rock the boat. “Credit scoring has been our biggest strength and we didn’t want anything to interfere with that. So we added the analytics solution as a separate application infrastructure, drawing data from the same database but operating as a separate entity,” he says. The single biggest challenge Puthran faced with buying an off-the-shelf BI software and plugging it into the CIBIL systems was the immense amount of customization. It had to uniquely identify an individual among over 150 million subjects and provide a credit score within three seconds. “Things as basic as the name nomenclature and identifier are very diverse in India. It took a lot of effort to adjust the nuts-and-bolts to Indian conditions,” he says.

Going Further If imitation is truly the sincerest form of flattery, Puthran should be pleased. CIBIL’s success formula has been emulated by several other Indian credit bureaus including Experian India, Equifax Credit Information Services, and High Mark Credit Information Services. What sets CIBIL apart, though, is its constant need to bring something innovative to the market and help its partners gain value. “One can’t eliminate competition,” says Puthran. “In a way, that’s good because they continuously push you to keep thinking, innovating, and getting better.” CIO Send feedback on this feature to

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The Intensive

Cloud Unit Narayana Hrudayalaya finds a way to deliver better healthcare services and expand by hosting its hospital management system on the cloud.

By Debarati Roy

During the second week of July, 2003, a twoyear-old Pakistani girl with a damaged heart crossed both the Wagah border and the Thar Desert to get to Narayana Hrudayalaya. The hospital was her only hope for survival. Noor Fatima’s heart-rending story caught the attention of two nations that had just gone to war four years earlier. News updates on her condition were watched anxiously in both India and Pakistan, who set aside their differences for a while as the child fought for her life. At the heart of that national drama, was a Narayana Hrudayalaya program whose singular focus is to help poor children with heart conditions. The program forms a crucial part of the hospital chain’s single-line vision statement: Affordable quality healthcare for the masses worldwide. An aim like that costs money, a lot of it. But Narayana Hrudayalaya is used to battling costs. The chain, which created a world record by performing about 15,000 surgeries on patients from 25 countries, has a higher profit margin (7.7 percent after taxes) than most private American hospitals (6.9 percent). Most Indian hospitals create and maintain It’s ability to keep costs low was put to their own IT infrastructure, slowing down test when, in 2010, Narayana Hrudayalaya their ability to grow fast, due to high capex decided to expand from a 5,000-bed costs and the challenges that come from operation to 30,000 beds in five years. To managing complex IT systems. support that growth Srikanth Raman, CIO at Narayana Hrudayalaya, would have to find a way to create IT infrastructure, The cloud ensures Narayana Hrudayalaya literally from thin air—or carry the doesn’t make huge capex investments, burden of taking money away allows it to grow unfettered, enables it to from children, like Noor Fatima, offer better, faster patient services, and changes the way the industry views IT. who really needed it.



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Etiology The hospital, which opened in 2000, has made great strides in turning its vision of easily available, world-class healthcare into a reality. “From our primary centers in Bangalore and Calcutta, we expanded to 15 centers and the number of smaller hospitals that we are associated with now is close to 25,” says Raman. But its 2010 vision—to go from 5,000 beds to 30,000 beds in five years, making it India’s first private hospital group to operate at such a scale—was a challenge on a whole new level. “We realized that to support a massive operation like that we would need IT infrastructure that was extremely scalable and robust,” Raman recalls. Setting up and maintaining that IT infrastructure was not what Narayana Hrudayalaya specialized in; fixing HS (human systems) is a different ball game from fixing IS (information systems). “There were issues of building up and owning systems, being able to find skilled IT resources and retaining them,” says Raman. Moreover, if they built datacenters, either centralized or disparate, they would need to be backed up with a hot, real-time DR site. “The upfront cost implications were huge, let alone the manageability issues. A conventional datacenter set up, whether at a centralized location or at every hospital, would be a time consuming, tedious affair,” says Raman. VOL /7 | ISSUE/09

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Rx Cloud Raman needed a solution that freed the hospital from the burden of building and running a datacenter; a solution that was scalable, agile, and allowed him and his team to focus on the business of healthcare. The cloud, it seemed, was just what the doctor prescribed. In 2010, however, the idea was extremely forward-looking, especially for a healthcare player. On the plus side, Raman says, they were fortunate they entered the market at a time when most cloud solution providers were developing the idea and were eager to partner and experiment. Raman says he chose to go with a private-hosted model with HCL’s blu Enterprise Cloud’s Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) solution. Right away he was faced with the challenges CIOs face with the cloud, even today. The first was integrating Narayana Hrudayalaya’s hospital information system (HIS) with the cloud. “It would have been difficult to migrate the entire system to the cloud if the applications were build on a .Net framework,” he says. But fortunately, Raman had ensured that from day one, his outsourced partner built Web-based applications. Security is another issue that keeps CIOs away from the cloud. Raman’s attitude reflects the outlook of a growing number of IT leaders: Leave it to the experts. “The biggest organizations, with the best of security systems, have lost the battle to cyber criminals. With my modest IT team, we could spend our entire waking life just trying to keep systems secure,” says Raman, explaining why he believes he made a right choice by trusting his partners. Another large challenge was connectivity. “With the complete HIS on the cloud and 1,500 concurrent users logging into our systems at any given point of time, we could not afford connectivity going down,” says Raman. So when Raman started a six-month proof-of-concept at the hospital’s center in Jamshedpur, a small township in the state of Jharkhand, he made sure the

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By moving to the cloud, Srikanth Raman, CIO, Narayana Hrudayalaya, has made the hospital chain’s dream of ramping up to a 30,000-bed operation, a real possibility.

hospital’s Achilles heel was protected. He asked his service provider to provide not one but two major lines, the second from an independent service provider from a different geographical area. “The n+1 arrangement ensured that even if one line was disturbed because of a fiber cut, the other could take over. The chance of both of them going down at the same time is a very remote possibility,” says Raman.

Good Medicine In 2010 and throughout 2011, while IT leaders were busy debating the challenges and benefits of the cloud, Raman was already knee deep in it. Today, Narayana Hrudayalaya is reaping the harvest of an early sow. Raman has helped Narayana Hrudayalaya save between Rs 20-25 crore in capex costs

by moving to the cloud. “If we built our own infrastructure, including an active DR site, it would have cost us between Rs 1-1.5 crore per facility,” says Raman. The cloud also allowed Raman to raise the standards of healthcare that Narayana Hrudayalaya promises. With a central database, patients referred from one branch of the hospital chain to another don’t have to carry files or register all over again. And doctors can get a look at a referred patient’s history even before that patient steps into a doctor’s cabin. For patients like Noor Fatima that can mean the difference between life and death. CIO

Debarati Roy is correspondent. Send feedback on this feature to

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At Your Service When LG brought 15,000 channel partners on a single platform to get to know its customers better, it probably didn’t realize it, but was creating an industry first.


In the white goods industry, once a product is sold by a channel partner, it takes a month for the manufacturer to know that its product has been sold. This information is bereft of which model of a product has been sold, where, and who bought it.

By Shweta Rao

About 1,300 kms from India’s national capital, in a small, unassuming township called Jharsuguda, Mr and Mrs Iyer enter one of LG’s outlets and buy a fridge. An LG GL205XFDG5 single-door refrigerator. Almost instantly, a laptop at LG’s plush headquarters in Noida, flashes up: Mr and Mrs Iyer, LG GL-205XFDG5, single-door refrigerator, Jharsuguda. Two years back, looking for this information was akin to finding Neverland— it didn’t exist. All that the multi-brand electronics retailer would know was that a fridge was sold in Jharsuguda—and only a month later. It’s the same story everywhere. With a sudden surge of demand from smaller cities and towns, many companies have had to come up with more product models and a wider network. This increased the importance of trade or channel partners. But in the chase for greater sales, organizations have forgotten who their real customers are. Not Daya Prakash. As the Head-IT of LG Electronics Prakash, has spent over a decade with the company—and with a not-soefficient sales information system. Although the system is the norm across the industry, Prakash realized that it was time to change the way the industry worked.

Life Isn’t So Good

Prakash has seen LG grow from a few hundred crores in revenue to Rs 16,000 crore in 2010-2011. Today, its products are among one of the most-sought LG has broken the mold. It has created a single Web platform for its trade partners after in the market. which instantly updates LG’s systems when a But operating a retail product is sold by its partners. It also registers electronics business out of 1,000 the customer and informs the billing and authorized service centers with customer service departments.


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over 700 trade partners, over 12,000 sub-dealers and more than 450 exclusive LG brand shops, and various multibrand outlets is no walk in the park. “About 400 of our trade partners are exclusive LG showrooms (known as Brand Shoppes) and the rest are distributors. Together they constitute over 80 percent of our turnover,” says Prakash. It was this major chunk of its sales arm that worried Prakash. “We were efficiently capturing secondary sales (trade partner). But, were clueless about tertiary sales—the end customer. In terms of stock, we had end-to-end visibility of ‘sell-through’ data but not ‘sell out’ data,” says Prakash. This was affecting their outreach to the market. Year after year, says Prakash, LG was unaware of how many units of which model were sold to which end customer and where. In the white goods market, great customer experience is probably the only yardstick to measure a brand’s success. To be able to service their customers better, improve customer loyalty, and hone their market research, knowing their customers is an imperative. Also, LG’s practice of hiring agents (internal as well as external) to collect customer data from its trade partners was time consuming and highly inaccurate. It would take the company about two weeks to a month to collate data. “We slowly realized that we were spending months in analyzing sales data—not consumer data,” says Prakash. So, in order to give its customers a face and a name, Prakash realized that VOL /7 | ISSUE/09

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LG needed to capture the actual sell-out information in real time—with customer data. “We also needed to begin predicting our trade partner’s stock to get a better hold of the market situation and to build a viable sales and production strategy,” he says. It’s not everyday that a company decides to break from the mold and venture on its own in a direction nobody else has gone. Prakash needed a lot more than guts.

Stacked Together The three elements that essentially made up LG’s trade cycle were: The company itself, its trade partners, and end customers. The plan was to bring all these elements onto a single platform. So Prakash formulated a Web interface to essentially facilitate two-way


communication between LG and its trade partners called a Sell-out Management System (SOMS). Now, any sale happening at the partner’s end is immediately captured in the system. SOMS provides information on stock replenish dates for every individual trade partner, captures market dynamism, and identifies real market trends for LG. It also registers every single end consumer once they buy a product— in real time. Customer data that flows back to LG is immediately passed on to the customer service department. This empowers the post-sales service team make custmer experience memorable and delightful.

Out of Stock Every change is close to a revolution. And is met with resistance. “It’s hard


to thrust a new way of working on an external customer. Its like making aliens understand about your system. It took a long time for them to accept that SOMS was created to help them,” he says. So, Prakash cooked up a new strategy to win users over: Tame the home-bred horses first. This would help build confidence as he went up the value chain. “We began implementing SOMS with LG Brand Shoppes first. Then, we used them as prototypes to exhibit the system’s benefits to the distributors,” says Prakash. Soon enough, LG’s partners realized that SOMS could form a reliable base to monitor their ROI for the business they do with LG. Also, LG’s management couldn’t overlook the benefits of the project and eventually got deeply involved with it. “LG’s senior management got involved in the communication process with the trade partners about the changes that would ensue. They ensured we received due support from our partners,” he says.



Daya Prakash, Head-IT, LG Electronics, created an efficient sales information system that increased the company’s market share and sales.

Today, LG has been able to increase its market share, a fact that can partially be credited to SOMS. The system has also helped the company increase its sales. Armed with real-time information updates, LG Electronics’ sales staff is enabled with instantaneous decision making. “The time required to collate customer data has drastically reduced from a few days to a few minutes,” says Prakash. It has improved marketing, pre-sales and post-sales service capabilities of the company. Today, fast-moving models in specific markets are re-fueled according to demand. And LG knows what works in which market. “Be it Diwali or Dussehera, LG Electronics’ forecast accuracy has improved by 50 percent to an extent when it’s able to meet market demand even during seasonal spikes,” he says. CIO Shweta Rao is correspondent. Send feedback to

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App of the the

Customer’s Eye Using a mobile platform, ICICI Lombard General Insurance, changes how customers and employees see the industry.


Life is hard if you’re a customer or an employee of a motor or medical insurance company. Customers are burdened by having to learn how to file a claim, and claims surveyors by travel and paperwork.

By Sneha Jha

A road mishap is always a traumatic experience. Whether or not it ends in physical injury, it results in mental agony; agony that’s compounded by dealing with motor insurers. Usually, claiming motor insurance follows a standard procedure: Contact the insurance company as soon as possible; seek guidance from a company representative on how to proceed with the claim; finally arrange for the forms and documents required to support the claim. All of this, typically, can be a long-drawn process. But to be fair, the insurance industry doesn’t sit up all night plotting how to make customers unhappy. It’s just that most systems are so plagued with inefficiencies that claiming insurance can easily turn into a protracted battle. Ram Medury, VP-technology, ICICI Lombard General Insurance, wanted to change that. He saw an opportunity to buck the industry’s terrible norm by using a mobile platform. “We identified that there were a lot of efficiencies that were waiting to be realized. Clearly, we wanted to enable our organization to lead this change,” he says. His work has brought real-time insurance servicing to consumers—and is changing the way the industry functions.

In the Mobility Lane

Mobility is a rising star in the technology firmament, and Medury knew that leveraging it for customer service was ICICI Lombard’s customers can initiate the a win-win proposition. “Through claims process with mobile apps. Surveyors the mobile platform, we wanted to can then take over. They now use tablets and make insurance servicing as easy mobile apps to conduct surveys improving as a doodle. This would benefit our their productivity by 40 percent.


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customers, our intermediaries, and our internal surveyors. Importantly, it would augment our organization’s customercentricity by several notches,” he says. The company’s mobile initiative started simply enough, with a set of basic applications that gave customers a consolidated view of all their policies, a reminder service to renew a policy, and a way to track the status of a claim. “But as we matured with the mobile platform, we re-visited the paradigm and devised new ways to provide customers with more value-added and user-friendly features,” he says. If, for example, a customer’s vehicle has an accident he can use his Android smartphone with an ICICI Lombard app to initiate a claim process. He simply needs to click on the ‘Claims’ button, which will automatically use the phone’s camera to take a picture of the damaged car. The app then sends these pictures, with a claim request, to ICICI Lombard’s datacenter. At this point, a surveyor can look at the damage, remotely, and take decision on the claim or get a closer inspection done. That’s a far call from the industry norm, one that forces customers to become experts in insurance, as they learn the claims process of their insurer and fill their phones with the numbers of multiple representatives. It’s also a great deal quicker. Medury didn’t stop there. He ensured his team offered apps that provided the customer with a guide to nearby garages. Similarly, the process of medical insurance claim has also VOL /7 | ISSUE/09

Cover Story

Point of Origin

was only natural for top management to embrace mobile technologies just as long as the top line, the bottom line, and the customer were all kept happy. And Medury ensured his business case did all of that. “We built a value-based business case grounded in business reality. We also kept a sharp focus on the implementation so that it would pave the way for enterprise value. It was clearly a technology-led business transformation move,” he says. What really got management nodding, says Medury, was the solution’s ability to do much of the heavy lifting for the business, thereby increasing productivity, enhancing customer-centricity—and creating competitive advantage. From a technology-perspective, an important milestone, he says, was their decision not to pursue app development on the J2ME platform, but to standardize on the Android platform and remain phone-model agnostic. For end consumers the choice was to leverage a cross-platform standard that would work across all platforms. Another was to follow an agile development cycle so that they could introduce new features at regular intervals. Key to that strategy was to start with easy features that showcased early and easy wins, whetting business’ appetite for more. “We constantly monitored usage, collected feedback from the field force, created awareness of the capabilities of the mobile application, and did frequent site visits. We also revisited our solutions strategy often and fine-tuned it based on the feedback. We ensured that the solution was in line with the user expectations,” he says. Medury’s efforts paid off as the company realized massive efficiency gain. “With our mobility app we have seen significant productivity improvements in internal processes and workflow timelines. As far as our consumers are concerned, we are now clocking more than a few thousand downloads of our app. The user experience has been the strong driver enough for the word-of-mouth publicity of our mobile apps,” he says. CIO

ICICI Lombard has always been fairly bullish on emerging technologies. So it

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Ram Medury, VP-Technology, ICICI Lombard General Insurance, introduced a slew of mobile apps that’s raised the industry’s bar on productivity and customer service.

been simplified. If a customer needs to visit a hospital, he doesn’t need to have his entire insurance docket on him, it’s all loaded on his phone. With a simple click of a button, his medical insurance card will appear in a landscape format on his mobile, along with a map pointing him to the nearest hospitals on ICICI Lombard’s list of preferred providers.

Competitive Edge Medury and his team also decided to bring the power of mobility to internal users and significantly improve their productivity. If, for example, you’re an insurance sales agent, you probably make calls throughout the day, and end your shift collating data to issue policies. A big challenge is the ambiguity in calculating premiums. So Medury created a ‘quote’ app which helps agents instantly quote premium amounts in sync with the organization’s backend

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systems, leaving behind calculation errors, speeding up customer service, and improving productivity. The mobile app platform also benefited ICICI Lombard’s surveyors. When a fourwheeler is damaged, for example, a fairly comprehensive survey is conducted to process its claim. To shrink the time those processes take, ICICI Lombard’s IT team issued tablets to its surveyors. “Now using an app on the tablet, our claim surveyors can pull up case details, take pictures, tag these to various categories, and complete the entire workflow. This has improved their productivity by 30-40 percent; where a surveyor could survey about six cars a day, he can now do much more,” says Medury.

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ANSWERING THE CALL FOR SCALABILITY When Aircel’s growth drove its data volumes to grow over ten times its original size and its existing storage creaked under pressure, it dialed EMC. Here’s how EMC’s newer platforms stepped up and delivered.

Company Aircel

Industry Telecom


Provides telecom services across India

But, it may not scale. How many times have you heard that in a businessIT meeting, especially, if your business plays in a high growth, large volume space? At Aircel, which falls dead center of the high-growth, large-volume category, Krishna Basudevan, head of product and solutions of Business Services, didn’t even get a chance to ask the question. As the telecom-major graduated from being a regional player to a pan-India operator, the business’ explosive growth blew his systems from hunky-dory one day, to overwhelmed-central, the next. Among the first to get hit were a slew of business-critical applications including MIS reporting, billing and CRM systems. As the performance of the underlying storage subsystem reeled under the double whammy of a sharp increase in the amount of data that needed to be stored, and the number of queries on it, it took efficiency down with it. “Our MIS reports, which shouldn’t have taken more than five minutes for each to generate, began taking about 40 minutes. This impacted business visibility in a major way, as the timely delivery of business-critical reports cumulatively became a massive challenge,” Basudevan recalls. The danger, implied in Basudevan’s memory, was that without MIS reports business could be flying blind. So, together with EMC and Wipro, Basudevan and his team committed themselves to fixing Aircel’s storage ecosystem—and making sure it stayed fixed for the next five years.


Our MIS reports, which shouldn’t have taken more than five minutes for each to generate, began taking about 40 minutes. Without timely MIS, business is blind. Looking at the state of our data and systems, business decided quickly and we migrated to newer technologies.” KRISHNA BASUDEVAN Head of Product & Solutions of Business Services, Aircel

CALL INTERRUPTED The Aircel Group, an alliance between Maxis Communications Berhad of Malaysia (74 percent equity) and Sindya Securities & Investments (26 percent equity), started operations in 1999. It first concentrated on the south of India and quickly emerged as the regional leader. In addition to its leadership position in Tamil Nadu, Aircel became the market leader in Assam and the North Eastern states within 18 months of launching. Its success whetted its appetite. Soon, the regional telecom company grew from having a foothold in seven circles to playing the field in all 23 national circles. It also began providing 3G services in many parts of India. That head-rush inducing growth, had an effect on its data, which swelled up phenomenally. Soon Aircel’s systems were handling over two billion call data records (CDRS) everyday. All that data, which ran in double-digit terabytes everyday, needed to be maintained on online, primary storage for 90 days, before it could be moved to secondary storage, due to telecom regulations. As a result, 23 of about 50 MIS reports that needed to be generated at regular intervals, for each circle, began taking about 40 minutes, each, to be computed. That’s about eight times the time it should have taken, despite attempts by IT to find workarounds.

“Without timely MIS, the business is blind. Business needed to know what happened over the last day or in last couple of hours. However, our batch windows and the business’ requirements were not matching at all because we were getting delayed,” recalls Basudevan, who at that time was chief enterprise architect-IT. That was in mid-2009. By February 2010, the problem had become so palpable that senior management became concerned and asked IT to solve it at the earliest. An important factor that contributed to the challenge was that the IT team was instructed begin centralizing IT across 23 circles. At that time, Aircel owned 500 Sun Solaris servers, which constantly interfaced with implementations of various storage technologies. Of these, the EMC storage subsystems catered specifically to operational systems such as billing, CRM, the mission-critical MIS reporting application, as well as feeding to subsidiary systems such as revenue assurance, fraud management apps, and others. Different applications demanded different levels of performance from the storage system. Basudevan and his team realized that their existing storage subsystem wouldn’t be able to cope with the ensuing load coming in from all the circles, as more and more servers got virtualized and systems were centralized. Something had to be done fast.

THE ESCALADE After consulting with EMC and its SI partner, Wipro, Aircel decided to migrate and consolidate its data on a newer storage platform from EMC, called VMAX. And Basudevan says he didn’t have any problems getting management to clear it. “MIS are the eyes and ears of sales and operations. Looking at the state of our data and systems, business was able to decide quickly and we migrated to newer technologies,” he says. The consideration was pretty clear: Aircel wanted performance with scalable capacity, optimized costs, and high availability. And EMC was able to present Aircel with a clear proposition: For the next three years, at least, Aircel would require only three of EMC’s enterprise-class arrays instead of five if they went with any other technology. And data from existing storage could be migrated to scale-up and scale-out platforms such as VMAX in combination with DMX and CX4 systems. The moment Aircel implemented EMC’s technologies, it began to experience performance improvements. MIS reports, with the added benefits of fine-tuned SQL queries and more optimized Oracle DB parameters, went back to being generated in under five minutes— despite how data volumes on the EMC arrays have risen to over 200TB, while Aircel’s total storage, across different systems, has hit over a hundred petabytes.

Business information is useful only when it is current and delivered on time. We are now able to meet business expectations using virtual provisioning and tiered-storage solutions, keeping the most recent required data on flash drives.” RAVINDER JAIN

Former CIO and Chief Business Officer-Enterprise, Aircel

The sense of a good job done, is helped by the fact that their decision to go with EMC, made financial sense. “Our existing investments were protected by reutilizing the older storage for less critical applications or by making it a part of the tiered, secondary storage. The return on TCO was significant as the migration resulted in an efficiency gain in decision-making. In fact, with the result of faster intra-day reports, our MIS batch window can now support more in-depth analytical reports,” he says. Basudevan and his team also opted for better app performance optimization using Fully Automated Storage Tiering (FAST) and Virtual Provisioning (VP). Aircel is one of the first users of EMC’s VP technology in India. With FAST-VP, the IT team can now provision storage virtually on multiple tiers for various applications with varying capacity and performance requirements. One such application using FAST extensively is the document management system that transacts with huge loads of newly-acquired customer data. As the data becomes old and is no longer required to be online for compliance, it is automatically moved to secondary, lower cost SATA drives. “Business information is useful only when it is current and delivered on time. We are now able to meet business expectations using virtual provisioning and tieredstorage solutions, keeping the most recent required data on flash drives,” says Ravinder Jain, former CIO, and chief business officer-Enterprise, Aircel. Among several other solutions for better storage utilization, Aircel also leverages EMC’s Symmetrix Remote Data Facility (SRDF) family of remote mirroring software to take block-level remote backups of its critical data from its primary datacenter to its DR site. This ensures greater availability of several of its mission-critical applications such as CRM, billing, order management and service provisioning systems, with 15 minutes RPO (recovery point objective) guaranteed.

FUTURE PERFECT Aircel now expects EMC to synergize even better with the organization’s roadmap to continue to scale both horizontally and vertically and to efficiently address both evolutionary and revolutionary business demands. “We now expect EMC to upgrade us to newer, storage technology advancements on-the-fly, without business downtime, and monetize our current investments,” says Anil Sachdeva, head of infrastructure operations at Aircel. Jain wants to keep up with the times. “With the advent of social media and the adoption of the web in every walk of life, the phenomenon of big data is here. The scale and performance of storage needs to meet the real-time analytics demand of the industry,” he says. “We are banking on EMC to help us solve the big data problems in the future,” says Basudevan. In the meanwhile, he won’t have to face the ‘it-maynot-scale’ argument. Not, at least, in the near future.


“DATA IS THE NEW OIL” CIOs have an unprecedented opportunity to change the way IT, business, and the way they are seen, with the advent of big data and the cloud. RAJESH JANEY

President, India & SAARC, EMC Corporation An industry veteran with over 27 years of experience, Janey has led companies to leadership positions across diverse business segments. He is responsible for accelerating EMC’s growth in India and enhancing relationships with partners and alliances.

What do you think on the amount of change you see in the IT industry? Also, how do you think this affects CIOs? There’s never been a better time to be a CIO—or in IT—as the focus shifts to the ‘I’ of IT. For years, IT departments have been slaves to big iron and legacy applications, and reluctantly succumbed to the proliferation of shadow IT in their environments. All that has changed in the wake of virtualization, cloud computing, and big data. CIOs need to ask themselves: How can I break away from the traditional approach to IT, and standardize infrastructure, rationalize applications, and deliver services to transform IT and the business? New-age CIOs are no longer IT’s gatekeepers, they are brokers of value. We live in a data-driven world. Increasingly, the efficient operation of organizations relies on the effective use of vast amounts of data. Making sense of big data is a combination of CIOs having the tools, skills, and more importantly, the mindset to see data as the new ‘oil’ fueling a company. CIOs also need to transform as new roles

and new skills emerge. This includes the cloud architect who will design IT services from end-to-end and the data scientist will lead the data science team in big data analytics. IT will become the technology broker delivering efficiency and agility to the enterprise. Cloud models promise to tame big data and extract business value from it. How important is the cloud’s role in big data? Is it the most efficient platform? By 2020, a significant portion of the digital universe will be centrally hosted, managed, or stored in public or private repositories that we, today, call ‘cloud services’. Even if a byte does not “live in the cloud” permanently, it will, in all likelihood, pass through the cloud at some point of its life. Cloud computing makes big data possible by providing an elastic pool of resources needed to handle the massive scale of big data. Through cloud computing, IT resources are more efficient and IT teams are more productive, freeing up resources to invest in big data.

The future belongs to those who will understand the present scenario, manage risks, and innovate with a vision to create a new order. How can EMC help CIOs achieve this? EMC is enabling CIOs through three key themes: The cloud, big data, and trust. We are helping IT transform its operations to run IT-as-a-service—some of which IT creates and delivers itself, some of which are delivered by service providers (which are also being enabled by EMC). Big data creates an extraordinary opportunity to transform business, but the scale and significance of big data demands a new approach. IT needs cloud infrastructure to harness the scale-out compute and storage efficiencies that are required to gather and analyze massive amounts of information quickly. To harness big data, organizations need to embrace data science and big data analytics. Dynamic security requires that you understand all your areas of vulnerability, the value and location of your digital assets, and assess your ability to repel new and innovative attacks.


from the TOP

Jagdish Saxena, Chairman and MD, Elder Pharmaceuticals, says large doses of IT transformation have helped the pharmaceutical grow strong.

Growth Vitamins By Shubhra Rishi

If there’s one trait that embodies Jagdish Saxena, it's perhaps the man's mettle. The first public hint of that came in 1987 when Saxena was at the top of his career. In 27 years he had gone from a commissioned officer in the Indian Air Force to managing director of Dehli-based pharmaceutical Waltner Bushnell. That’s when his management dropped a bomb on him. They wanted to shutter some plants and unload 300 employees. He would have none of it. He took the 300 people who were about to lose their jobs and started Elder Pharma. Since then, he’s shown that strength of character a number of times; recently, when he tried to introduce a new product, Shelcal, to the market and faced resistance. He made it one of Elder’s three biggest brands. That’s the spirit Elder’s people continue to look to, as the company chases its Rs 5,000-crore dream.

Tell us about being what you call an 'accidental entrepreneur'. What do CEOs and other C-level executives expect from you? Read all about it in View from the top. Visit


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Jagdish Saxena:

I belong to a family of working professionals. It was by chance that I became an entrepreneur. It was my expertise in pharmaceuticals that made me confident enough to establish my own

company. But one cannot do business by chance. That needs indulgence. Business, you see, is a question of not what you are determined to do, but adapting to changes in the market. The name Elder was also accidental because it came into being when I was vacationing in Australia and saw a large

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Jagdish Saxena expects I.T. to: Reduce costs and improve processes

Expedite decision-making and simplify information flow

Help Elder Pharma achieve complete business integration

trailer with the name ‘Elder’ inscribed on it. The trailer belonged to a company with the same name. It was also a pharmaceutical company and on that day its stocks were doing very well.

Photo by fotocorp

What has it been like setting up Elder? I faced many challenges when I founded the company 25 years ago. There were bureaucratic issues and opportunities were very few. Today, it’s a dog-eat-dog world. Big corporations are taking over small-

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and-medium enterprises. To get business at any cost, the ethical environment in the pharma business has been compromised. From Elder Pharma’s perspective, our main challenge was to establish ourselves in the domestic market. To pursue international markets, an organization first needs to ensure that it gets its bearings right. The Indian market was an untapped one with very promising growth rates. Today, we cannot confine business to just urban areas. We realize that the opportunity in the rural market is much bigger.

Is it true you consider Elder's intellectual capital your principal asset? India doesn’t recognize intellectual property as a right (laughs). It’s difficult for me to say that my principal asset is intellectual capital. Elder’s cohesive working environment and a binding workforce of over 5,000 remains its principal asset. The sense of belonging in this organization is phenomenal. Our attrition levels are also very low. We have employees who have worked in the company for decades.

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View from the Top

How do you view Elder Pharma's competition? The demand for any Elder product is because there’s competition. Sometimes, a product category succeeds because of competition, while another category collapses because people weren’t sure of the product. One has to ask the question: “What have you got that big companies don’t?” It’s the determination to choose a difficult course and succeed. When I started Elder, we manufactured only two products. Then I decided to introduce ‘Shelcal’ to the market as a treatment for osteoporosis. Shelcal is made from an organic source (oyster shells). My medical department and the marketing team rejected it. But I realized that it was doing exceedingly well in the US, where it was not seen as a supplement, but as prescribed medication. For six months, I struggled because no chemist was willing to sell it. But once it was launched, Shelcal became a popular choice for calcium-deficient pharmaceutical products, thus becoming one of Elder’s three biggest brands.

How have you tapped IT to drive business? We have a lean IT team. We are now making investments in several enterprise solutions. We are also instituting a huge system in UK. It’s all IT-driven now. But I have always believed that IT is a facilitator, not a thinker. Every month, we conduct a review meeting with our key stakeholders. We discuss appropriate technologies which can deliver value to business in terms of cost and process improvement. In every review meeting, we talk about what’s happening. With the help of several service providers and marketing/research teams, we aspire to replicate other success stories, and try and align our company’s objectives with technological implementations.

How do you make technology decisions and investments? A challenge in Elder Pharma is giving IT solutions to the business and aligning them 68

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intranet are also some tools which contributed to creating an integrated work flow.

What kind of investments have you made in R&D?

“One has to ask: 'What have you got that big companies don’t?' The determination to choose a difficult course and succeed. ” —Jagdish Saxena with its strengths and strategies in the best way possible. The information obtained from market analysis, field-doctor coverage, and product growth is shared with stakeholders who make these decisions. Every year, we prepare an IT budget for the new projects we plan to roll out. Our CIO participates in the management strategy planning in order to discuss new technologies that could be implemented. Accordingly, 2-3 percent of overall turnover is allocated to IT. We have identified process improvement, cost-cutting, faster decision-making and information flow as our key priorities. We have also looked at each and every function, and started our initiation and integration of business functions. We have succeeded in completing 80 percent of overall business integration so far. The first step was to implement an integrated Salesforce automation project. Our success rate was very high, and we aligned 3,500 sales representatives with a single solution. Online reporting and corporate

We conducted a complete analysis of the international pharma market. We felt that the products which were doing very well didn’t belong to large companies, and had tremendous capabilities. So, we picked up products and convinced companies to market them. What makes these products click is the benefit they offer to patients. A lot of companies have stayed on course with us. I am a great supporter of the fact that copies of research-based products should not be sold. There’s a lot of effort spent in building a product. The benefit to the patient is compromised if one buys copies. Particularly, in the disease and the chronic segment, prescription recall is longer, and the patient compliance is significant. We have a fairly large R&D department, but we don’t discover any molecules. I don’t have the means to do it. Recovering molecules requires millions of dollars of expense, as well as time. For R&D, import substitution is not an attractive option. It’s dependent on our source of supply. This is the reason we don’t conduct new product research. We improve a product’s quality, a drug’s delivery system, and product availability.

What are your plans? There have been major transformations in the technology infrastructure of our company. All the manual processes in Elder have been replaced by IT-enabled ones, leading to a direct profit of Rs 1 crore. We have invested in an opex model, and therefore, the burden of the working capital has been reduced from IT’s point of view. I also believe that with our acquisitions in Bulgaria and UK, we are slowly moving towards the global market. With this progress and success rate, I hope to take Elder Pharma to a Rs 5,000-crore group in the years to come. CIO Send feedback to

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Barraged with requests for mobile, social media and analytics apps, IT must prioritize projects to give the business what it wants.

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Short Listing Long Demands By Beth Stackpole

Reader ROI: As the top IT executive at Aspen Skiing for the past 16 years, Paul How to create a framework to Major has become skilled at keeping multiple balls in the air. prioritize projects With responsibility for all technology initiatives that support the New approaches to manage Colorado resort’s four mountains and extensive lineup of hotels, retail large business-critical projects shops and rental operations, Major has grown adept at helping his staff How to increase IT’s value of 20 handle IT-related requests from the company’s 3,400 employees. Lately, however, the juggling act has grown far more intense, says Major, Aspen’s managing director of IT. Thanks to the mania surrounding mobile and social technologies, Major’s group is constantly being peppered with requests to launch new projects. A business executive reads about a cool app in an in-flight magazine or Joe in operations overhears casual conversation about technology while on the slopes, and Major’s e-mail box starts to fill up. “The game-changer is the sheer amount of demand on IT for new technologies that don’t follow the normal trajectory of IT,” says Major. “You can’t just have a thousand random requests coming in because so much is new and untested. More than ever, there has to be a voice of sanity about what these technologies are going to do and what the long-term strategy is.” Major is up against the same challenges that a lot of IT shops are facing. Surging demand for new mobile, social and advanced analytics tools is adding to IT’s already full plate of traditional enterprise system work. The still-uncertain economic climate doesn’t help—tech budgets are up a bit and companies seem more amenable to expanding their IT staffs, but people with expertise in the new technologies are scarce. In the heyday of IT hegemony, executives like Major would have had an easier time managing priorities. Back then, line-of-business managers looking for new technologies REAL CIO WORLD | J u ly 1 5 , 2 0 1 2


Project Management submitted requests and then waited in line for IT to set up their systems. These days, ordinary end users can tap the power of the cloud to get what they want if they think IT is slow or unresponsive. “The formal models and mechanisms of prioritizing things no longer work,” says David Cearley, an analyst at Gartner. “It can’t be done in isolation from the business, but rather needs to happen in tight partnership with the business. If IT just says no or doesn’t put the right things high on their priority list, business will just go around them.” Against that backdrop, IT is feeling the pressure to get more agile in its delivery methods, more flexible in project prioritization, and savvier in assessing ROI—all so it can work with, not against, the needs of business.

applications for those big ideas and using traditional financial tools to determine ROI. “There’s no such thing as fake dollars in a company—everything costs money. And especially in this financial climate, things need to be scrutinized,” Major says. “You have to apply whatever tools are in your financial quiver” to justify or deny new proposals. So rather than signing off on a virtual desktop client that would have allowed Aspen’s enterprise apps to run on a mobile platform— but needed to be developed from scratch—the management focus group instead suggested a handful of specific ticketing, rental, retail and human resources applications that could run on employeeowned devices without the high costs and labor associated with mobile development.

Explaining Pros and Cons

Taking Stock of the Portfolio

The consumerization of IT, in particular, is driving radical changes not only in what IT needs to prioritize, but in how it interacts with other business units to deliver new tools. IT needs to figure out how to manage, acquire, support and build mobile apps. It also needs to rethink the entire end-user computing experience with mobile in mind, according to Cearley. Since resources aren’t infinite, he says, IT management needs to recast its role to become more of a broker of services—one that works in concert with the business side to understand priorities and then acts to facilitate, rather than impede, new technology deployment. For example, instead of shooting down a request for a mobile application because of security concerns—or green-lighting another simply because someone thinks it’s cool—Cearley says it is

In addition to involving business directly in the prioritization process, Major is kicking off a new project portfolio management strategy to rein in what he says is an unsustainable number of projects in the IT pipeline. Working with a strategic group of six people evenly split between IT and finance, the team is conducting interviews with senior staff members from every area of the business to identify all current and requested IT projects—anything as complex as a call for a new business intelligence system or as simple as an order for a new mouse. The projects are then categorized to find opportunities for reuse and optimized licensing arrangements. “The idea is to see at a high level what we’re doing, find out where we want to be in 18 months, and then categorize projects using man-hours, costs, risks and

Since resources aren’t infinite, IT needs to recast its role to become more of a broker of services—one that works in concert with the business side to understand priorities and then acts to facilitate, rather than impede, new technology deployment. IT’s responsibility to help the business understand core risks and highlight the technologies available to help mitigate those risks. “Being proactive means helping the business understand how new technologies like mobile can impact the business,” he explains. “Governance cannot be the mechanism to just say no. Governance needs to be the mechanism to help direct and support the requirements of the business.” That’s an outlook that Major is taking to heart at Aspen Skiing. With an onslaught of personal devices showing up at work and near universal demand among employees for mobile apps that can support guest services like ticketing and ski rentals, Major put together an executive steering committee to which he introduces new technologies and presents case study examples, encouraging feedback and collaboration to get the creative juices flowing. Once ideas start to percolate, Major enlists help from a different management focus group, this one charged with finding practical 70

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priorities,” Major says. “If we can distill out of the list the top five or 10 projects, we can present those to executive leadership and get decisions about funding.”

Developing Apps in a New Way At Catalina Marketing, new mobile apps and BI projects are so central to the corporate charter that business units are eager to work in step with IT to lobby top management for support. As a result, Catalina’s 250-person IT department has essentially been given a blank check to bring in the resources that it needs to get the job done, “and there is no argument about moving [other projects] down the hierarchy list,” explains Eric Williams, former CIO at the company. “Sales teams in the different business units have made it clear to the CEO that this is where we need to be,” says Williams, who retired last December.

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Project Management The high level of involvement from business stakeholders has also spurred IT to rethink its development process, moving from a very structured, waterfall method to a more ad hoc approach where IT teams up with marketing or other business units to quickly build a mobile app or launch an analytics program—sometimes in a matter of days rather than weeks or months. “Business people and the marketing team are so wanting this technology, they are willing to work with developers, literally sitting at the desk with them throughout the day answering questions,” Williams says. “It’s much more cohesive integration of product development than I’ve seen in the past.” Williams admits there has been a ramp-up to the new, more agile approach and that the team is doing a bit of on-the-fly learning as it takes on mobile app development. Yet even with these adjustments, Williams says programmers have been able to complete a steady stream of mobile and business intelligence projects in a timely fashion.

Soliciting Input Northern Kentucky University has also adjusted its prioritization process, moving to a more open system where input is solicited from advisory committees made up of faculty, staff and student representatives, according to Timothy Ferguson, associate provost for information technology and the university’s CIO. “Previously, we took a more traditional IT perspective and worked through management to get priorities approved and get funding as needed,” he explains. “Now, with the impact of things like social media and mobile so widespread, we’re listening more to end-user demands and are less worried about back-office [computing] as we go through the prioritization process.” When it comes time to actually develop new mobile and social media systems, Ferguson has access to a unique resource: Students in the university’s computer science program who not only have technical expertise, but also are well acquainted with new technologies. “They’ve grown up with this technology, they are connected, and this is the way they’ve always worked,” he says. Ferguson has enlisted five or six student developers to work 25 hours a week on new projects. So far, it’s been a win-win situation: The students are teaching the IT staffers a lot about emerging technologies, and the veteran IT professionals are helping the students understand what it takes to write back-end apps as well as teaching them about enterprise issues like authentication and security.

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Filled to The Brim A survey of 192 Indian CIOs has revealed that too many IT projects is one of their current top five challenges. This makes the need to prioritize projects even more crucial.

Top 5 CIO Challenges Frequent change demands from business users


Too many IT projects


Lack of business sponsorship/ accountability for IT projects


Delayed decisions from business


Inadequate in-house skill sets


Automating Mobile Development At international freight transportation company CSX, the IT department is using automated tools to manage its lengthy queue of projects, especially those that involve mobile development. Demand from business users for mobile apps was outstripping the IT department’s ability to keep pace, according to Jon Yuan, a solutions architect on CSX’s enterprise architecture team. What’s more, because CSX has a liberal bringyour-own-device policy, IT was struggling to stay on top of the wide range of platforms it needed to support, principally Apple iOS and several flavors of Android. “We’re finding that mobile is a different animal. There are considerations that we didn’t have to take into account with past technologies,” not to mention business users who expect fast turnaround, Yuan says. “People are used to getting things in near real time. They don’t want to wait six months for new functionality.” To help expedite development, the IT shop turned to a mobile enterprise application platform (MEAP) from Verivo (formerly Pyxis Mobile). MEAP tools allow developers to design an app once and then quickly deploy it on any of a variety of mobile platforms—without writing unique versions for each one, Yuan explains. Instead of having to recode apps to support each individual Android device and for every operating system upgrade, Yuan’s team now develops apps using the MEAP’s drag-and-drop development environment. Subsequently, they can deploy the app to run on any device without modification. At Aspen Skiing, being responsive to user demand for new technologies, in a fiscally responsible way, defines this new era of IT, says Major. Without formal methodologies for prioritization and proactive governance, IT departments run the risk of being marginalized—a risk that Major says he’s not willing to take. “There is not enough space today to miss important technology opportunities. You will be overrun by rogue IT,” he says. “Departments will take things into their own hands.” The result, he says, is something most CIOs don’t like to contemplate: “Instead of strategic technology decisions, you will end up with oneoff projects that go well for six to nine months, and then IT is overrun with calls from people looking for support.” CIO

Source:Mid Year Review 2012

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CIO’s First PSE Summit

BALANCING COST, GROWTH AND GROUND REALITIES This is perhaps the first time, in recent history, that the economy has betrayed expectations twice in a row. And with earth-shattering impact. But this time around, India isn’t an immune spectator but a battered victim. And Indian Public Sector Enterprises (PSEs) are probably among the first ones to be affected. That’s why CIO, in it’s first-ever PSE Summit, gathered IT leaders, economists, and IT providers to craft new strategies to beat the economy blues. Here are the highlights.


Your employees can come up with truly transformational ideas. So, foster innovation among your them. ” DR. REENA RAMACHANDRAN Former Chairman & CMD, Hindustan Organic Chemicals

Transforming PSEs: It’s Time for Innovation Dr. Reena Ramachandran, Former Chairman & CMD, Hindustan Organic Chemicals, says it’s time for CIOs to sound the clarion call for innovation.


n her presentation at CIO’s maiden PSE Summit, Dr. Reena Ramachandran, former chairman and CMD, Hindustan Organic Chemicals, said that PSEs need to encourage innovation in their organizations to emerge unscathed from the economic turbulence. She said it was important to think positively to be successful in uncertain economic times. She used the Indian cricket team’s World Cup victory as an example to illustrate this point. The team’s former coach Gary Kirsten’s thrust on ‘success imaging’ had inculcated a positive mindset within the team, she said.

And it’s the team that makes a difference in an organization. Dr. Ramachandran said that people are the greatest strength in any organization. “Employees are always willing to contribute to the organization’s growth. But they don’t know what to do to make this possible. It is the management’s duty to provide them with the direction they need.” She also added that in hard times, innovation is a potent weapon. Dr. Ramachandran said that it’s the employees—and not board members—who come up with truly transformational ideas. She advised the CIOs assembled

at the summit to foster innovation among employees by creating an environment that encourages it. Dr. Ramachandran also emphasized on the importance of gaining the confidence of the board. She said that CIOs should maintain transparency in all their dealings so that their integrity is unquestioned. “So long as you are honest in what you do and transparent in your dealings, people will continue lending you their support. All that you need to do is come up with ways to pay dividends, and not do anything out of the way for anyone in the system,” she concluded.

Manufacturing Trust in IT


TRIPURESWAR CHATTOPADHAYA Domain Head-Client Relationship Group, Wipro

ripureswar Chattopadhaya, domain head, Client Relationship Group, Wipro, spoke about the importance of IT in creating a strong supply chain. For most PSEs—predominantly manufacturing companies—the prompt delivery of raw materials and efficiency of the supply chain are critical. Highlighting the typical challenges a manufacturing company faces when transporting goods to their destination, Chattopadhaya said that technologies like GPS and RFID could check illegal activities during transit. “These technologies monitor transit. The power to control goods in transit is with the organization, and not the third-party logistics provider,” he said. Effective monitoring could make an organization profitable, he said.

HP Performance Suite: Measuring IT’s Value


tool to measure IT’s performance is just what enterprises need today to sustain growth, and make business realize the value of IT. HP Software’s offering promises just that, said Manish Gupta, business manager at HP ALM Software Solutions, India, who explained how HP’s IT Performance Suite can help organizations achieve these goals. “It’s a comprehensive system that helps IT leaders manage IT performance and ensure that IT is aligned to the business. It helps control costs, improve service delivery, and monitor compliance management,” he said. The suite provides a way to track the performance of all IT components, be it in-house or from a third party. He added that the suite has helped several Indian and global PSEs see significant cost savings.

MANISH GUPTA Business Manager-HP ALM Software Solutions, India

The State of the Economy: What Lies Ahead


ccording to CIO’s Mid-Year Review report, only 38 percent of CIOs say their organizations have a high risk appetite. Dharmakirti Joshi, chief economist, CRISIL, threw light on the reasons behind this in his presentation at the PSE Summit. Joshi said that the global economy is highly unstable, and India is only experiencing the shockwaves. However, he believes that the Indian economy would continue to grow at 6.5 percent, and infl ation at 7 percent in the coming years. Surprisingly, he expects the rupee to start appreciating and becoming stable by March 2013. Joshi added that the prospects of growth could even rise to 8.5 percent if the bottlenecks in the domestic industrial side are addressed, and if the rate of growth remains steady at the global level.


Goods and Services Tax: Key Areas of Impact


outed as one of the biggest taxation reforms in India, the Goods and Service Tax (GST)—a comprehensive VAT that’ll be levied concurrently by the center and the states—will replace all forms of indirect taxes. Pratik Jain, partner, KPMG, familiarized CIOs with this new form of taxation. According to Jain, one area that the GST will impact first is the supply chain. It’ll do away with regionbased exceptions and also levy tax on destination instead of origin of goods. Hence, pricing of products will lower as effective rates go down. Consequently, most internal compliances will get centralized, leading to increased focus on process automation. Organizations would also have to revamp their accounting systems as taxes will be considered costs.


Discussion: Shielding Your IT Infrastructure


n organization’s IT infrastructure is its backbone. And protecting it in a tough economy is even more crucial. In a discussion titled Critical Infrastructure Protection, CIOs shared some best practices on how to secure their organization’s IT infrastructure. “Enterprise traffic management is crucial because today organizations get a lot of traffic from unauthorized sources. Enabling access is certainly an effective way to secure a

company’s IT perimeters,” said Thyagaraj M., advisor-IT, ONGC. In terms of access, Sidharth Mutreja, pre-sales consultant, McAfee, shed light on how McAfee enables white-listing of specific apps and people, thereby effectively restricting access to suspicious and unauthorized users. But even if organizations implement a technology to check breaches, thay can’t control insider threat. “We can avert certain serious threats, but we’re not yet equipped to tackle advanced



Panasonic Toughbook To help PSUs work better in a rugged environment, Panasonic showcased its new range of laptops: The Panasonic Toughbook series. Gunjan Sachdev, national business head and GM, Panasonic India, and Masaki Yamamoto, AGM, Japan factory expatriate, Panasonic, said that this range of laptops is resistant to vibration, water, and extreme weather conditions. The Toughbook range comes in three variants: Business-rugged, semi-rugged, and fully-rugged. Sachdev and Yamamoto explained how both Indian and global giants such as Tata Motors, Mahindra & Mahindra, Shell, and Exxon Mobil are using Toughbooks in their organizations and realizing great benefits.

threats. The most significant and effective way to ensure security is to implement best practices related to people and processes,” said S. Ramasamy, executive director-information systems, Indian Oil. McAfee’s recommendation to strengthen IT security is to establish a common security platform. The advent of BYOD will introduce more devices into the infrastructure, making such a platform an imperative for enterprises, Mutreja said.


technology Big data has the potential to drive growth, but how do you decide what storage you should use?


Big Data Choices By Frank J. Ohlhorst

Big data | Disk storage is a lot like closet space. You can never have enough. Nowhere is this truer than in the world of big data. The very name ‘big data’ implies more data than a typical storage platform can handle. So where exactly does this leave the ever-vigilant CIO who has a multitude of decisions to make with very little information in hand? The truth is that wading through the storage options for big data does not have to be an impossible journey. It all comes down to combining some basic understanding of the challenge with a little common sense and a sprinkle of budgetary constraint.

First of all, it is important to understand how big data differs from other forms of data and how the associated technologies (mostly analytics applications) work with it. In itself, big data is a generic term that simply means that there is too much data to deal with using standard storage technologies. However, there is much more to it than that. Big data can consist of terabytes (or even petabytes) of information that can be a combination of structured (databases, logs, SQL and so) and unstructured (social media posts, sensors, multimedia) data elements. What's more? Most of that data can lack indexes or

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What Makes Big Data a Big Deal

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other organizational structures, and may consist of many different file types. This circumstance greatly complicates dealing with big data. The lack of consistency eliminates standard processing and storage techniques from the mix, while the operational overhead and sheer volume of data make it difficult to efficiently process using the standard server and SAN approach. In other words, big data requires something different—its own platform; and that is where Hadoop comes into the picture. Hadoop is an Open Source project that offers a way to build a platform that consists of commodity hardware (servers and internal server storage) formed into a cluster that can process big data requests in parallel. On the storage side, the key component of the project is the Hadoop Distributed File System (HDFS), which has the capability to store very large files across multiple members in a cluster. HDFS works

The Fabric of Your Storage It all comes down to the fabric involved and the performance of the network. For organizations frequently analyzing big data, a separate infrastructure may be warranted, simply because as the number of compute nodes in a cluster grows, so does the communication overhead. Typically, a multimode compute cluster using HDFS will create a great deal of traffic across the network backbone while processing big data. That occurs because Hadoop spreads the data (along with the compute resources) across the member servers of the cluster. In most cases, server-based local storage is not the picture of efficiency, which is why many organizations turn to SANs that use a high-speed fabric to maximize throughput. However, the SAN approach might not lend itself well to big data implementations—especially those using Hadoop—simply because a SAN takes

Big data can consist of terabytes of structured and unstructured data. And it can can lack indexes or other organizational structures.This greatly complicates dealing with big data. by creating multiple replicas of data blocks and distributing them across compute nodes throughout a cluster, which facilitates reliable, extremely rapid computations. All things considered so far, it would seem that the easiest way to build an adequate storage platform for big data would be to purchase a set of commodity servers and equip each with a few terabyte-level drives and then let Hadoop do the rest. For a few smaller enterprises, it may be just as simple as that. However, once processing performance, algorithm complexity, and data mining enter the picture, a commodity approach may not be sufficient to guarantee success. 78

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on the role of centralizing the data on the spindles that make up the SAN, which in turn means that each compute server will need to access the same SAN to retrieve data that would be normally distributed. Nevertheless, when comparing local server storage to SAN-based storage for Hadoop, local storage wins in two very important ways: Cost and overall performance. Simply put, raw disks without RAID placed in each compute member will collectively outperform a SAN when processing requests under HDFS. However, there is a downside to server-based disks, and that comes in the form of scalability.

Big Data, Big Opportunities Organizations are viewing big data predominantly as a business prospect rather than an IT challenge and are moving fast to do something about it, according to a recent global survey by data integration software provider, Informatica Corporation. The survey showed that nearly 70 percent of organizations are now considering, planning or running big data projects—with 44 percent now considering, 22 percent planning, 13 percent testing, or 20 percent running big data projects. In the survey Balancing Opportunity and Risk in Big Data, most respondents cited the management of growing transaction volumes (74 percent) as the most relevant aspect of big data to their organization. The company claimed that this statistic indicated significant challenges in the more traditional enterprise data realm. However, other respondents picked newer technologies as well, with 46 percent selecting Hadoop and NoSQL for efficiently processing big data. It also found that the management of big interaction data, including social media data (35 percent), mobile device data (31 percent) and machine-generated data (22 percent), is rising in relevance. According to the study, the lack of maturity in big data tools was the top challenge (52 percent) , including a lack of support for reuse and metadata in current Hadoop environments. The absence of support for real-time streaming data was another key challenge (39 percent), followed by concerns over poor data quality (38 percent), data security and privacy (38 percent) and the limited availability of skilled developers to manage big data (35 percent). Other top concerns are overly difficult development for Hadoop , and lack of data governance capabilities. — Hafizah Osman

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The question becomes how you add more capacity when needed when the servers rely on local storage. Typically, there are two ways to handle that dilemma. The first is to add additional servers with more local storage. The second is to increase the capacity on the member servers. Both options require the purchase and provisioning of hardware, which can introduce downtime and may require a redesign of the architecture in place. Nonetheless, using either approach should prove to be significantly cheaper than adding capacity to a SAN, and that proves to be a notable benefit. However, there are other options for storage when it comes to Hadoop. For example, several leading storage vendors are building storage appliances specifically designed for Hadoop and big data analytics. That list includes EMC, which is now offering Hadoop solutions such as the Greenplum HD Data Computing Appliance. Oracle is looking to take it one step further with the Exadata series of appliances, which offer compute power as well as high-speed storage. Finally, another option exists for those looking to leverage big data, and that comes in the form of the cloud. Companies such as Cloudera, Microsoft, Amazon and many others are offering cloud-based big data solutions, which provide processing power, storage and support. Making a decision about a big-data storage solution comes down to how much space is needed, how frequently analytics will be performed and what type of data is to be processed. Those factors, as well as security, budget, and processing time should all be considered before investing in big data. However, it is probably safe to say that a pilot project could be a good starting point, and commodity hardware proves to be a low-cost investment for a big data pilot. CIO

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Talk About Super-sized! Storage | The National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA) is rolling out a storage infrastructure that will include 380 petabytes of magnetic tape capacity and 25 petabytes of online disk storage made up by 17,000 SATA drives. The massive storage infrastructure is designed to support one of the world's most powerful supercomputers, called Blue Waters. Commissioned by the National Science Foundation (NFS), Blue Waters is expected to have a peak performance of 11.5 petaflops, though the specification given by the NFS is for it to offer 1 petaflop of sustained computing power for applications. The NCSA, which is run by the University of Illinois, has awarded Cray a contract to build the supercomputer. The system will run a Lustre parallel file system with more than 1 terabyte per second of throughput to its back end storage. The Blue Waters project will create a 1 petaflop supercomputer to handle real-world science and engineering applications. Among others things, it will aid in understanding how the cosmos evolved after the Big Bang, help predict the courses of hurricanes and tornadoes, and play a role in the design of new materials at the atomic level. The supercomputer will be made up of more than 235 Cray XE6 cabinets using 380,000 AMD Opteron 6200 Series x82 processors. The system will include 1.5PB of aggregate memory from 190,000 memory DIMMs. The system offers up to 1TBps of aggregate bandwidth over 40Gbps Ethernet. "We've been working heavily with ... networking vendors to make sure they're ready to go with the 40 gigabit Ethernet," said Michelle Butler, the NCSA's senior technical program manager in charge of storage and network engineering. "We're not the first to use 40Gbps Ethernet, but we're among only [a few]." Behind the primary storage are four Spectra Logic 17-frame T-Finity tape libraries that will have 366, 240MB/sec. IBM TS1140 enterprise-class tape drives. The libraries will offer an aggregate read/write rate of up to 2.2PB per hour. Butler said the goal for aggregate throughput on the tape library was 100GB/sec. Currently, it's right around 89.5GB/sec. — By Lucas Mearian REAL CIO WORLD | j u ly 1 5 , 2 0 1 2


Illustration by vik as k ap oor

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Extreme Case


Things I've Learned

S. Hariharan, former SVP Infrastructure and Support Services, Oracle Financial Services Software, says CIOs should never stop learning.

the voice of experience

Keep Yourself Abreast I believe experience gives immense power. The past plays a huge role in molding the present. My early experiences in various IT roles gave me the confidence to lead as a CIO. I have always found myself toying with cutting edgetechnology—be it while pursuing my master’s degree, or when I began my career in the late '70s with ISRO and then Air India. I fondly remember subscribing to a regular dose of technical magazines and periodicals to keep myself updated back in college (in the pre-Internet days). Since then, I’ve always cherished opportunities to apply my knowledge, and learn new techniques. It is often the early bird that gets the worm in technology. Customers only look for companies that possess skills in a leading technology so that they can use it as business differentiators. If you’re not alert, you might miss the bus! Create a Strong Team When a hands-on approach doesn’t work, delegation becomes important. Delegation is crucial when people need to feel empowered and shown that they make a difference to the organization. Time and again, I have learned that milestones are


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a s to l d to S h w e ta R a o

halfway achieved by building skills—related to not one, but various areas of business— within the team. Whether we like it or not, an undeniable truth is that CIOs will find themselves caught in the middle of a hailstorm in the event of unprecedented attrition. They'll scramble for the right kind of talent to fill the second and third levels of their teams. To avoid such a handicap, I've made it a high priority to develop both technology and management skills, and prepare for challenging times. I consciously assign and push every team member’s talent to his or her maximum potential. Find Friends in Business Results! Results! Results! All one hears at work is how to achieve results. It’s easier said than done to synchronize technology with business. But that is the only way to ensure results! A CIO, more often than not, gets noticed in the event of a failure than a successful implementation. Who likes the taste of negative publicity? That’s why we take special pains to minimize failure. Constantly interacting with my peers in business has helped me lay a bed of shock absorbers for all future endeavors. Similarly, it’s a good practice to tell your HR head if something is coming up. Be transparent. The last thing your project needs is a surprised business user.

Learn from Your Peers The skill to predict the future, and the ability to stay flexibile are two important attributes that differentiate a good CIO from a not-so-good one. Getting to the top requires the ability to recognize and capitalize on opportunities to hone what you’ve learned. My peers, more than anyone else, have helped me develop that area. Meeting, interacting, and carefully listening to my peers in conferences and dinners have helped me immensely. It is better to learn from another’s mistakes than your own. Be What You Are Shakespeare said it best: “To thine own self be true.” Don’t ever change who you are. I always allocate time to rekindle my passion for things other than work. I love spending time with children. They bring out the positivity in me which I can’t seem to find elsewhere. At work, I continue to arrange concerts, workshops, and stress management classes that involve music. CIO

S. Hariharan is the former SVP, Infrastructure and Support Services of Oracle Financial Services Software (OFSS). He was with OFSS for 22 years. He started his careerwith ISRO and Air-India. Hariharan is an avid follower of Indian classical music and is associated with numerous NGOs.

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Lenovo ® recommends Windows® 7.


Powered by 2nd gen Intel® Core™ processors Passes 8 military-grade tests Built-in innovations like Active Protection System™ and spill-resistant keyboard Boots up in under 10 seconds with RapidBoot Technology

WWW.LENOVO.COM This image is a creative representation and not an actual shot.

Source: IDC's Asia/Pacific Quarterly PC Tracker, Q1 2012, for shipments in the Jan – Mar 2012 period to businesses of 500 employees or more. © Lenovo 2012. All rights reserved. Lenovo, the Lenovo logo, For Those Who Do, ThinkPad and Active Protection System are trademarks or registered trademarks of Lenovo. Microsoft and Windows are registered trademarks of Microsoft Corporation. Intel, the Intel logo, Intel Inside, Intel Core and Core Inside are trademarks of Intel Corporation in the U.S. and other countries. Lenovo reserves the right to alter product offering and is not responsible for photographic or typographic errors. Product images are just for reference and might not resemble the actual products. REM _ IND _ HPA _ Q1-13 _ 28006 _ CIO

CIO Magazine July 2012 Issue  

Seven all-star CIOs drive projects that redefine their industries.

CIO Magazine July 2012 Issue  

Seven all-star CIOs drive projects that redefine their industries.