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STaTE of ThE Cio: india’S moST ExhauSTivE Cio SuRvEy

6 november 15, 2011 | `100.00 w ww.CIO.IN

SuCCESS SECRETS For our sixth anniversary, we speak to 66 Indian IT leaders to uncover new ways to make you a better CIO. Page 26

voL/07 | ISSUe/01

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CIO_Magazine_1115_98145t.indd 1

11-10-21 上午10:19

From The Editor-in-Chief

Publisher, President & CEO Louis D’Mello E d i to r i a l Editor-IN-CHIEF Vijay Ramachandran EXECUTIVE EDITOR Gunjan Trivedi Features Editor Sunil Shah Senior Copy Editor Shardha Subramanian Senior correspondents Anup Varier, Sneha Jha, Varsha Chidambaram Correspondent Debarati Roy Trainee Journalists Shweta Rao, Shubhra Rishi Product manager Online Sreekant Sastry

Gap Analysis

Only CIOs who contribute directly to topline growth are likely to get a voice on the management table I’ve been on the road this past week, sharing highlights of the State of the CIO study (see insert) with many of you. Interpreting the data points has been an exercise in analysis—both statistical and psycho! While I’m aware of the caution that’s entered the hearts and minds of corporate India off late, and it’s reflection in budget forecasts, salary expectations and headcount numbers, it’s actually been pleasing to know where CIOs see themselves within organizations and what they hope to achieve. As the technology landscape matures, more IT departments are transitioning to being seen as trusted partners and competitive differentiators, and IT’s cost center image is fading bit by bit. And, more CIOs are donning roles alongside IT—HR, admin, logistics, supply chain, and, gasp, even those that come with P&L responsibilities. And, reflecting post-slump realities, a mere 8 percent of CIOs now feel that technology or project management are core strengths as opposed to 38 percent who state that their life and work is based on business and domain expertise. Impressive! But, do 38 percent of managements consider their CIOs to be business leaders? That’s the insidious gap that needs addressing, and not that dumb clichéd hogwash about business-IT alignment! (While on that subject have you ever seen business-sales or business-finance alignment come up for discussion?) If you continue to be considered a specialist member of the senior management why then should anything but the technology role waft your way? Corporate executives scale managerial heights because the expertise they bring along is vital to an organization’s growth, which these days is more about the topline than ever. That’s why it’s imperative that your priorities, efforts and behavior directly align that way. Seek out business peers. Connect with your end customers. Build the blueprint for better revenue growth. I know enough CIOs who have taken this approach to know that it not only works but that the payoff is what Gary Beach, CIO Magazine’s Publisher Emeritus, refers to as the ‘voice’ on the management table. What do you feel about this? Write in and let me know.

Custo m Pu b l i s h i n g Principal Correspondents Aditya Kelekar, Gopal Kishore Trainee Journalist Vinay Kumaar Design & Production Lead Designers Jinan K V, Jithesh C.C, Vikas kapoor Senior Designers Pradeep Gulur, Unnikrishnan A.V. Designers Amrita C. Roy, Sabrina Naresh, Lalita Ramakrishna Production Manager T. K. Karunakaran Ev e n t s & A u d i e n c e D e v e l op m e n t Vice President Events Rupesh Sreedharan Sr. Managers projects Ajay Adhikari, Chetan Acharya, Pooja Chhabra Asst. manager Tharuna Paul Senior executive Shwetha M. Management Trainees Archana Ganapathy, Saurabh Pradeep Patil Sales & Marketing President Sales & Marketing Sudhir Kamath VP Sales Sudhir Argula Asst. VP Sales Parul Singh AGM Marketing Siddharth Singh Manager Key Accounts Kalyan Basu, Minaz Adenwala, Sakshee Bagri Manager Sales Varun Dev Asst. Manager Marketing Ajay S. Chakravarthy Associate Marketing Dinesh P. Asst. Manager Sales Support Nadira Hyder Management Trainees Anuradha Hariharan Iyer, Benjamin Anthony Jeevan Raj, Rima Biswas Finance & Admin Financial Controller Sivaramakrishnan T. P. Manager Accounts Sasi Kumar V. Asst. Manager Credit Control Prachi Gupta

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.

Vijay Ramachandran, Editor-in-Chief 2

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.

IDG Offices in India are listed on the next page

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From The governing board

Gov e rn i n g BOARD Alok Kumar VP & Global Head-Internal IT& Shared Services, TCS

What We Put At Stake For the sake of innovation, IT teams often compromise security, putting their organizations in a high-risk zone. Typically, in the rush to innovate, many IT teams fail to acknowledge the existence of advanced security threats, even when these are actually closer than they appear. In response, there is a growing movement among IT security leaders to make security a partner at the innovation table. Here's the problem: The work profiles of each component of a CIO's team—be it a programmer or an architect—is restricted to a limited view of systems and individual building blocks. This phenomenon coupled with project deadlines and urgent business requirements tend to drive innovation-driven folk to a path of least due-diligence. The approach is: Get it to work! And over time—as long as things work—controls and the security agenda are pushed further back—and sometime become optional. This approach needs to change if we are going to defend our organizations against increasingly sophisticated attacks from a maturing hacking community. While members of our teams are possibly ignoring infrequent 'border-line' cases, somewhere hacker is busy crafting new ways to exploit our data using multi-dimensional avenues. The question is: Should CIOs allow their teams to forgo embedding security into new projects for the sake of innovation? The answer is, IT leaders who are serious about aligning security with the business need to be strong advocates for making security an integral part of business innovation. And it's a tough balancing act! But IT leaders must step-up guidance on the quality of decisions, point out the consequences of people's decisions, and sensitize business owners to the threats out there, to residual risks, to the desired level of controls. IT needs to bridge and build perspectives, demystify the competitiveness of the choices that are being made, provide guidance on the cost of mitigation, drive process-maturity and highlight possible issues that could affect brand-reputation. The trick is to do this with the finest mastery, weighing internal and external perspectives, and creating alternatives and workarounds. CIOs need to partner early with the business and help it succeed in an increasingly risky world by shepherding innovation and grooming security effectiveness.

Murali Krishna K., SVP & Group Head CCD, Infosys

Amrita Gangotra Director-IT (India & South Asia), Bharti Airtel Anil Khopkar GM (MIS) & CIO, Bajaj Auto Atul Jayawant President Corporate IT & Group CIO, Aditya Birla Group C.N. Ram Group CIO, Essar Group Devesh Mathur Chief Technology & Services Officer, 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 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


n o ve m b er 1 5 , 2 0 1 1 | REAL CIO WORLD

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co onten ntts november 15, 2011 | vol/7 | issue/01

48 | 6 Ways to blow off Steam 54 | 6 Paths You Would never go down 61 | 6 Traits You Look for in Your Team 69 | 6 Questions You always ask in an interview CoLumnS | Think Tank Six IT experts share lessons, ideas and strategies that you would have never come across.

74 | The all-rounder Cio 77 | iT’s Sports illustrated effect 86 | Lessons from the Trenches 90 | Lost in Translation

2 6

91 | never back down 93 | iT Suffers from mid-life Crisis more »

26 | 6 Secrets of Success FeaTureS | iT STraTegY From your career to your team and from your vendor to your boss, our six features open up a world of possibilities for your success.

9 4

28 | 6 hard Truths iT must Learn To accept 36 | 6 biggest iT money Wasters 44 | 6 Quick and easy iT Productivity Wins COVER: COVER DESIGN By VIKAS KAPOO R

50 | 6 Stars in Your a-Team 56 | 6 Ways to divorce Your Tech vendor 64 | 6 iT Superheroes—and Their Fatal Flaws oPinion | Cio roLe and Career IT leaders from some of India's most prestigious organizations tell you what you need to know to become a better CIO—work-wise and otherwise.

34 | 6 Truths Ceos ought to know 42 | 6 Life-changing Pieces of advice

VOL/7 | ISSUE/01

vieW From The ToP "it is the lifeline of all our functions. it provides visibility and control in a highly scattered environment," says Chander agarwal, executive director, tCi.

REAL CIO WORLD | n o V E m b E R 1 5 , 2 0 1 1


11/14/2011 6:48:47 PM


(cont.) departments 2 | From the editor-in-Chief

Annual Report Card

Gap Analysis By Vijay Ramachandran

4 | From the Governing Board IT Strategy | What We Put At Stake By Murali Krishna K, Infosys

’11 what it really eally means to be

9 | trendlines


5 7 4

Mobile | Bottoms Up On Your Mobile Quick Take | IT’s Reflex to Regulation Hardware | Table Salt Boosts Data Storage Technology | In Your Face Networking | Top Up Mobile Broadband Fun Aviation | Virgin Atlantic Touches Up Wi-Fi Hackers | The Chinese Hackers’ Pledge Internet | Let 'em Surf at Work Research | LinkedIn Defines the Entrepreneur Career | The Four Faces of Difficult People By the Numbers | It's Time for Social Action

18 | alert Staff Management | Great Security Teams Crime | Explosive Tech Gaffe

State of the CIO 2011 SurveY | annuaL rePorT Card

110 | essential technology

CIOs no longer control all of a company’s technology choices. But they still need to manage risk and save rogue users from themselves. Feature by stephanie Overby

Case Files 98

| aaramShop


Social CRM | What Your Customer Wants CRM Upgrade | Re-looking Your CRM

116 | What We’re reading Book Review | What to Ask the Person in the Mirror By Vijay Ramachandran

TeChnoLogY AaramShop, an online retail platform, is combining mobility, the cloud, and analytics to bridge the gap between kiranas and their tech-savvy customers— giving kiranas a real chance to take on large retailers. Feature by Debarati Roy


| hikal

CoLLaboraTion After getting a cold shoulder for videoconferencing in 2008, the CIO of Hikal dared to do it again in 2011. This time the results were different. Feature by Sneha Jha


| ogilvy & mather

buSineSS inTeLLigenCe When one of the world's most-coveted ad agencies, Ogilvy and Mather, wanted to take customer satisfaction to a new level, it turned to BI. Feature by Debarati Roy

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2 4

aLTernaTe vieWS: are users ready for self-service it? Social media, bYoD and the cloud are making users more independant. but are users mature enough? Two CIos debate.

VOL/7 /7 | ISSUE/01

Cio online

.in CIO adverTiSer index

Alcatel Lucent - EmG



Check Point Software Technologies


learn from the best

HID India

Dell India

It's hard being a leader. You have to juggle multiple roles, align with business, and stay on top of multiple trends. but you don't have to do it alone. Take advice 's governing board. from CIo's Click on the mentor tab on



is self-service it a good idea? We invited two CIos to kick-start a debate on self-service IT. Read all about it in Alternate Views (page 24). Which side are you on? We also have more debates for you on Is There an Age Bias in IT? Ayes Vs nays Who Should Lead Social Initiatives: CIOs or CMOs? Ayes Vs nays >>

Conversation starter

7 + belly band 35

HP Enterprise Services

39 & 49

HP ES Apps Services


HP networking

70 to 73

HP Storage


Ibm India Juniper networks India

IFC Survey insert

Lenovo India


novell India

88 & 89

oracle India


Riverbed Technology India




SAS Institute (India)


Schneider Electric India

1, 21 & 23

Tata Consultancy Services

78 to 85

Trend micro


Tulip Telecom


Tyco Electronics Corporation India Wipro infotech

11 33

books ooks have been known to spark conversations and on page 116 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.


[ Ca se File ] kiranas go high tech

An online retail platform AaramShop is combining mobility, the cloud, and analytics to bridge the gap between kiranas and their tech-savvy customers—giving kiranas a real chance to take on large retailers.


must read @ 8

>> Alert: How to build a Solid Security Team >> Column: The All-rounder CIo >> Feature: IT Superheroes—And Their Fatal Flaws

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

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EDITED BY sharDha suBramanIan





Bottoms Up On Your Mobile


It’s Reflex to Regulation

For companies in BFSI and telecom, 2011 has been the year of regulation, as regulatory bodies like TRAI, the RBI, and IRDA introduced frequent changes in policy. Debarati Roy spoke to Navin Chadha, director-IT, Vodafone Essar, to find out how IT departments are coping with the pace of change.


What pressures do the CIO and the IT team face? Adhering to compliance can be tricky and expensive. While CIOs need to be constantly vigilant to make systems are compatible with new reforms, there is also a need to keep costs under control. It's the CIO’s imperative to keep the team motivated because team members could be disheartened with constantly building and rebuilding systems and processes. How do you ensure a quick turnaround time? It’s important to start early. As soon as a new regulation comes into effect the entire team

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Hard Rock gains full integration with its CRM, and a way to track the purchases of big spenders. It also hopes to use Kickback to develop and push promotions based on a customer’s preferences, spending habits or location within the resort, says Kickback Mobile CEO Leo Rocco. Kickback uses a technology called geo-fencing, which uses a smartphone’s GPS capabilities based on nearby cellular towers to estimate where a customer is located when she places an order. Customers select where the server should deliver the order using a pre-defined list. Revelers, take note: Your days of elbowing your way to the bar are almost over. —By Matt Villano

IllUStratIon by pradEEp gUlU r

M o b i l e On busy weekends in Las Vegas, getting a drink at many bars and nightclubs can be a full-contact sport. First you muscle your way through a crowd to get near the bar. Then you shout your order and hope the bartender hears it right. The Hard Rock Hotel and Casino is advancing a different approach. It is enabling customers to use their smartphones to order food and drinks, which are then delivered to their location by a server. The technology, dubbed Kickback, is the flagship product from startup Kickback Mobile. Customers download a free app to their smartphones and register with their credit card information. From there, Kickback uses GPS to determine which of seven Hard Rock venues the customer is visiting and pushes menu options accordingly. “As long as [customers] have a smartphone, they are part of the community,” says Todd Moreau, VP of food and beverage with Hard Rock. Moreau advocated for the project, working with Hard Rock Director of IT Mike Essig to make it a reality. Kickback offers a number of benefits. For customers, it means that ordering drinks no longer requires adventures at the bar.

evaluates the practicality of the deadline in which a change needs to be made. System changes are always accompanied by changes in business processes, and both these factors need to be managed in tandem to ensure quick turnaround time. Starting early gives us enough time to inform the regulatory authorities in case some core changes demand more time than what had been originally provisioned.

Navin Chadha

Is there a way to build systems that are more flexible to accommodate frequent changes? CIOs need to constantly engage with internal legal and corporate affairs. This may give the IT department a head start when it’s time for new regulations. A distinguishing feature in most regulated industry verticals is the varied number of products. So, CIOs should ensure that systems in such sectors are built in a way that any change on the fringes can be isolated and does not affect the entire lot. REAL CIO WORLD | N O V E M B E R 1 5 , 2 0 1 1


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Table Salt Boosts Data Storage Density researchers in Singapore say they've found a way to use common table salt to increase by 5.3 times the density by which bits of data can be stored on a hard disk drive platter. the discovery, they said, will allow what a drive can hold from 1.9 tbit/in. to 3.3 tbit/in. or six times what a Seagate 4tb hard drive has today, which is 625gb/in. given that today's hard drives can come with as much as 4tb of capacity, theoretically, the new technology would allow more than 21tb of data on a single drive. the secret of the research lies in the use of an extremely high-resolution e-beam lithography, which is the process by which fine nano-sized circuitry is created. by adding sodium chloride (salt) to a developer solution used in lithography processes, the researchers were able to produce highly-defined nanostructures that were as small as 4.5 nanometers (nm), without the need for expensive equipment upgrades. a nanometer is equal to one-billionth the size of a meter. t today's nand flash-based solid-state drives use lithography processes that create circuitry about 25nm in width; a human hair is 3,000 times thicker than 25nm. an example of how nanopatterning more closely packs bits of data together. the researchers' "salty developer solution" method was invented by Joel y yang, a scientist at the Institute of Materials research and Engineering (IMrE) at the agency for Science, technology and research. y t yang first developed the method when he was a graduate student at MIt. ty t. yang and researchers from the national University of Singapore and the data Storage Institute, perfected the nanopatterning technique. In the simplest of terms, nanopatterning more closely packs miniature structures that hold information in the form of bits. "What we have shown is that bits can be patterned more densely together by reducing the number of processing steps," y yang said in a statement. Scientists use the term "grain" to describe the packages of bits deposited on the surface of the platter. Current technology uses tiny grains, about 7 nanometers or 8 nanometers in size, deposited on the surface of storage media, y yang said. However, a single bit of data is stored in a cluster of these "grains" and not in any single "grain." the researchers' bits are about 10nm in size but store information in a single structure. the researchers are now working to increase the storage density even further.


h a r d wa r e

—by lucas Mearian


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In Your Face The Internet was in an uproar earlier this year following Facebook's launch of facial recognition software for its photo services, enabling users to identify their friends in photos automatically—and without their permission. Though critics described that move as creepy, the controversial technology may now be on the verge of widespread use. For instance, this month a Massachusetts company called BI² Technologies will roll out a handheld facial recognition add-on for the iPhone to 40 law enforcement agencies. The device will allow police to conduct a quick check to see whether a suspect has a criminal record—either by scanning the suspect's iris or taking a photo of the individual's face. In Las Vegas, advertisers have taken a page from Minority Report, the 2002 Tom Cruise movie. The Vegas advertisers use facial recognition to target ads to passers-by. For instance, if a woman in her mid-twenties walks past the advertising kiosk, its built-in software will identify her likely age and gender and then display ads for products deemed appealing to her specific demographic. Meanwhile, in Chicago, a startup called SceneTap links facial recognition technology to cameras in bars and clubs so that users can figure out which bars have the most desirable (in their opinion) ratio of women to men—before they even arrive. If you think the corporate implications are unsettling, wait until the general population gets deeply involved in using facial recognition technology. One recent instance: In the wake of the August London riots, a Google group of private citizens called London Riots Facial Recognition emerged with the aim of using publicly available records and facial recognition software to identify rioters for the police as a form of citizen activism (or vigilante justice, depending on how you feel about it). The group finally abandoned its efforts when its experimental facial recognition app yielded disappointing results. Though the members of London Riots Facial Recognition undoubtedly believed that they were working for the greater good, what happens when people other than concerned citizens get their hands on the technology? It shouldn't take too long for us to find out. —By John P. Mello Jr.


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Double Your Mobile Broadband Fun rice University researchers have come across a breakthrough that could double the capacity of wireless signals. y yes, double. the ‘full-duplex wireless technology’ allows a wireless device, such as a phone or tablet, to upload and download data on a single frequency as opposed to the two required by today’s technology. the idea is that if a device could simultaneously receive and send data on the same frequency, it would free up more wireless bands without ever needing to build more antennas. However, if a device tried to ‘talk’ and ‘listen’ on the same frequency on a network today, the transmissions would cancel each other out in the same way that shouting over someone on speakerphone would. the team of rice researchers achieved a dual-signal band by employing a multiple-input multiple-output antenna (MIMo) technology. the receiving antenna is able to catch multiple signals in a way that does cancel the signals out, but the node can pick up a clear signal in a single frequency. the researchers claim that the resulting signal quality is at least 10 times better than before thanks to multiple antennas improving the performance. Wireless companies are already looking into the technology because it can be easily retrofitted onto their multi-antenna cell towers. Meanwhile, the researchers say that this duplex technology could be easily rolled into networks as they upgrade to 4.5g or 5g. —by Kevin lee

Mobile: The Indian User’s Great Expectations Indian mobile users are hard to please. A majority feel that their Web experience over mobiles is slow and lethargic.

84% 58% Expect a website to load in 3 seconds

Expect websites to load faster than computers

Will go to a

39% competitor’s site, if a site doesn’t load quickly


Are only willing to retry a website two times or less if it does not work initially


Are unlikely to return to a website that they had trouble accessing from their phone Source: Compuware


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IllUStratIon by p HotoS.Co M

Virgin Atlantic Touches Up Wi-Fi Gone are the days when a cross-country flight meant being stuck for hours without a way to contact the outside world. In-flight connectivity is going mainstream. Virgin America—one of the most tech-embracing airlines— recently announced substantial tech upgrades to its in-flight entertainment system at the Airline Passenger Experience Association Expo in Seattle. The revamp of RED (Virgin America's proprietary in-flight entertainment system) aims to improve seatback entertainment for each passenger by offering larger, Internet-capable, touchscreen HD monitors, as well as Wi-Fi for them to connect their own devices to the Internet for the duration of their voyage. Passengers will be able to surf the Web on their seat-back monitor and connect multiple devices to the Wi-Fi at once. David Cush, president and CEO of Virgin America, said his airline wants passengers to multi-task across tech platforms with this new system. To get all this technology off the ground and make its fancy new tech-equipped planes work, Virgin America is partnering with Lufthansa Systems. The IT company—part of the German Lufthansa Aviation Group—designed BoardConnect, an on-board Wi-Fi network found in the German airline Condor's planes. BoardConnect is currently in back-end testing on a brand-new Virgin America Airbus A320 cleverly named nerdbird. Since the equipment is still in testing mode, specifics are not yet available, but passengers can expect to see the new RED system on flights starting in late 2012. With growing passenger connectivity needs—and with competitors raising the bar—major airlines have a real incentive to push in-flight entertainment in an even more tech- and device-friendly direction. — By Leah Yamshon

av i at i o n

InFo grapH by VIK aS Kapoo r



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The Chinese Hackers’ Pledge through stealing from the public. Hacking groups will also not spread knowledge or tools that are meant to take income. "The public's

"I Swear

not to mix hacking and


Let 'em Surf at Work a small business owner might frown on the idea that employees are surfing the Web at work time. but, when done in moderation, giving employees the freedom to roam the Internet can actually help them work better. Surfing the Web at work is not only harmless but it can even boost productivity, according to a team of researchers from the national University of Singapore. Web surfing offers workers "immediate gratification" and helps them "restore resources that are drained as a result of work," the researchers reported. the findings were based on a study of 98 participants with an average age of 21, who were divided into three control groups. Each group surfed the Web for 10 minutes, did whatever they wanted during the time period except look at Web pages, or performed the task of bundling sticks into groups of five. after the 10-minute time period, each group was given another 10 minutes to highlight with a marker the letter "a" where it appeared in a 2000-word text. after the tests, the participants answered a questionnaire to help determine their levels of boredom, mental exhaustion, and psychological engagement. the results showed that the group that had surfed the Web for 10 minutes scored the best results in the test that involved finding the letter "a" in the text. they performed the task more efficiently than the other two groups of participants who had either worked by bundling sticks or were allowed to do whatever they wanted during the time period except look at Web pages. the Web-surfing group also reported in the questionnaire that they felt less bored and mentally exhausted and felt more psychologically engaged. but that doesn’t include e-mail. according to the study, checking e-mail, in fact, does not offer the benefits that Web surfing does. this is because checking e-mail demands more attention and is more cognitively taxing. —by bruce gain internet

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privacy, especially that of children and minors, will be protected," the document says. Any activity to buy or sell people's private information is considered inappropriate. The pact also defines hackers as people who promote the development of the Internet and computing by studying security vulnerabilities. "What hackers do is not malicious damage," the document notes. "Hackers are not used for politics." Both Gong and Wan currently work in the IT security industry, but gained prominence as two of China's earliest hackers. Gong is the founder of the Green Army Corps, one of the country's first hacker groups, while Wan founded the hacking group China Eagle Union. Both groups are believed to have been involved in attacking and defacing a number of foreign websites. Gong and Wan first told the Chinese media about their plans to write a convention after the Chinese supreme court ruled in August that hackers could be subject to penalties based on existing laws. Gong said China lacked a healthy hacking culture, and newcomers with an interest in technology could easily fall down the wrong path. Chinese authorities have repeatedly denied that the government supports hacking. But the country has come under suspicion of state-sponsored cyber attacks. One recent large-scale attack involved a hacking group that targeted 72 companies and organizations across 14 countries, according to security vendor McAfee. Analysts have pointed fingers at China because of the targets selected.

REAL CIO WORLD | N O V E M B E R 1 5 , 2 0 1 1


Two prominent Chinese hackers have released a convention calling for the rejection of cybertheft and are asking their peers to support it. The development takes place even as China is increasingly seen as the source of international hacking attacks. The two hackers, Gong Wei and Wan Tao, released their Hackers' SelfDiscipline Convention to the Chinese media and posted its contents on the Internet. The hackers declined to offer further comment, but the document presents itself as a moral code that outlines appropriate hacking activities. The document states that hackers will not obtain money



11/14/2011 3:46:01 PM

Are you destined to be the next Steve Jobs? Maybe, if you studied entrepreneurship at Stanford University, are between the ages of 30 and 39, have worked at Yahoo and currently reside in San Francisco. That, according to professional social networking site LinkedIn, which combed through more than 100 million profiles to decipher the qualities and characteristics—such as the top 10 most entrepreneurial business schools, top startup regions, most popular fields of study and which companies they come from—of today's entrepreneurs. LinkedIn defines entrepreneurs as people who identify themselves as founders or co-founders of US companies created after 2000 and who currently have between two and 200 employees. So what's today's entrepreneur look like? They likely attended either Stanford University, Harvard University, MIT or Berkeley. LinkedIn also found that entrepreneurs average 2.5 years in their work position before launching their first startup.



"Two-and-a-half years is pretty standard in Silicon Valley for an average position length," says Monica Rogati, senior data scientist at LinkedIn. "The Bureau of Labor Statistics says that it's about 4.4 years for an average person. Relationships and mentors are also crucial to an entrepreneur's success. LinkedIn found that the top industries connected to founders are venture capital, online publishing, Internet and recruiting. "If you think about it, they're connected to people who can help them: People who can give their company money, people who can give their company publicity, and people who can help them find employees," says Rogati. Age also matters. Most entrepreneurs (40 percent) were between 30 and 39 years-old when they launched their first startup. Twenty to 29 year-olds rounded out the second age group (34 percent), followed by 40-49 (20 percent) and over 50 years old (5 percent). —By Kristin Burnham

illustration by

LinkedIn Defines the Entrepreneur

The Four Faces of Difficult People C a r e e R Office dramas create stress, drain employees and hamper productivity. To address these conflicts, managers need to understand the ‘drama type’ of employees, says Kaley Klemp, co-author of The Drama-Free Office. Here she points to the four primary drama types: Complainers Characteristics: Don't take accountability for their performance. Instead, they blame everyone around them for not getting their work done. Handle Them: Listen to a complainer just once, or you risk getting sucked into their I’m-such-a-victim drama. When complainers finishes their spiel, Klemp recommends that managers remind them that everyone is working with limited resources and to ask her what she believes her options are for getting her work done.

Cynics Characteristics: Cynics are sarcastic and often arrogant. They can also be manipulative. Handle Them: Klemp recommends starting any conversation with a cynic about their attitude by complimenting them. "They'll be much more open if they know you're coming from a place of care." Managers could also try making this point to cynics: You have good ideas and you're smart, but the way you communicate undermines the points you're trying to make. Here's how you can be more effective. Controllers Characteristics: Controllers like to be in charge. They can be micromanagers and sometimes bullies, says Klemp. They tend to be bad at delegating, too. CIO.IN


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Handle Them: The key to handling a controlling co-worker is to understand clearly where your and the controller's responsibilities begin and end, says Klemp. For a CIO, that means clearly delineating his staff’s roles. Caretakers Characteristics: Caretakers need to be liked and feel valued. To that end, they go out of their way to help others, often to the detriment of their own work. Handle Them: Mangers who oversee caretakers need to help them set boundaries so that they don't take on too much work. Before caretakers are allowed to take on a project or pitch in to help a co-worker, they need to run it by their manager. —By Meridith Levinson

To find the hottest jobs in the Indian market visit

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ViewPoint Support Innovation with Application Transformation

Creating a roadmap for increased agility and flexibility

Rajesh Narasimhan Vice President APPlicAtions A Ations serVices And PPM AsiA PAcific And JAPAn HP enterPrise serVices Rajesh Narasimhan is the vice president of Applications Services for the Asia Pacific and Japan region, spanning 16 countries, including India and China. Based in Singapore, he is responsible for developing and executing strategy and operations for HP’s Applications Services business in the region. FOR MORE INFORMATION: download the free whitepaper “The Case for Applications Transformation: Harnessing Applications for Innovation and Agility” at whitepapers/hpinnovation

Which business issues are affected by applications? Why? Applications influence every business issue, as technology touches virtually every aspect of our daily lives. The applications deployed by an organization today have a direct impact on its customers, employees, partners and suppliers. Applications both enable and deliver an organization’s products and services. More specifically, organizations need applications in order to exploit the mobility megatrend. HP has new research on the primary forces challenging IT and the organizations it serves. How do these challenges influence the way IT leaders run their applications organization and manage applications? The gap between what business demands and what IT can deliver is widening. Typically organizations spend about 80 percent of their IT budgets on core operations. However, 78 percent of IT executives say that the ability to add new value through applications is significantly more important today than it was two years ago. IT leaders need to “flip the ratio” and focus the majority of their budget, resources and effort on driving innovation. Supporting this requires a flexible and agile applications environment with a shift in mind-set. As an emerging market with relatively few legacy applications, Asia Pacific-Japan makes integration a higher priority than the rest of the world, with a lot of activity involving cloud and mobility. However, the challenge in APJ is the shortage of the required skills and resources, which necessitates importing talent and capability from outside the region. How do you suggest CIOs think about transforming their entire application portfolio to better meet the organization’s objectives? Applications transformation involves three major elements: 1. An accurate, complete, and honest assessment of your applications portfolio, processes, governance, people and skills 2. A clear view of how these elements affect specific goals and strategies

3. An actionable roadmap of projects to get from the present to the future Every part of the organization needs to be involved, whether in an overarching end-toend initiative or in individual applications rationalization projects. End users must be confident that new technology will help them become more successful, not replace them. Technologies such as cloud computing, service-oriented delivery, mobility and virtualization add up to a diverse and complex landscape for applications. How can a CIO get started? Start by understanding the organization’s objectives and the status quo by getting answers to these questions: ➤Who will deliver the IT transformation? ➤ What value is expected from it? ➤ When is it required? ➤ Which applications will undergo transformation? ➤ Why is it being done? ➤ How can we derive maximum value from it? Having visibility into the issues and possible solutions enables CIOs to prioritize projects that apply appropriate technologies and delivery strategies to deliver an outcome at optimal cost with minimal risks. What important criteria should a CIO bear in mind when considering the role of a service provider or a partner for this initiative? Client references are critical. CIOs can’t afford to provide a “training ground” for an untested partner or service provider; they need proven partners with relevant experience. How will IT leaders know they’ve been successful? A successful CIO is a respected, accepted, equal partner on the core leadership team that makes decisions about business strategy. CIOs know they’re successful in delivering IT innovation that supports business goals when their input is not just heard but also actively sought out in board meetings and other decisionmaking arenas.


c o m p i l ed by Va r s h a C h i d a m b a r a m

It's Time for Social Action



Large numbers of young staffers clamoring for the Internet and social media will force CIOs to re-look their social policies. 1 Now it’s official: According to a Cisco survey, your younger employees can’t live without the Internet. According to the study, 61 percent of young Indian employees (under 30), say that they “could not live without the Internet, it is an integral part of my daily life.” Young staffers from other parts of the world say the same: US (73 percent), Brazil (75 percent), and China (78 percent). This is a stark reminder that Indian CIOs—who for the most part block the Internet and social media sites—need to change their mindsets—and their systems—faster to keep pace with a young workforce. Even more telling: 37 percent say that the Internet is as important to them as water, food, air, and shelter; and 56 percent say it’s close. Another 54 percent say the Internet is more important to them than “going out with friends/partying, or dating or music.” CIOs also need to adjust to the importance of social media to this set of staffers. Just over 35 percent of young Indian employees access their Facebook page a few times a day; 18 percent at least once a day. Roughly seven in 10 young professionals indicate that they have ‘friended’ or ‘follow’ their managers and/or co-workers on Facebook and Twitter, respectively. Interestingly, only 15 percent believe in keeping their professional and personal lives separate.

Best Practices Access to social media is a given. CIOs need to understand the value of social media sites and enable them. Part of the shift means moving from an hour-based work model to an output-based one.


Blanket bans hamper productivity. For many young professionals social sites are a way to communicate with colleagues. Many don't understand the need for a faceto-face meeting because they are used to Skype.


Make information workflow more ‘social’. There is a new way of thinking and gathering information out there. It’s less linear and a lot more intuitive.

Internet as Important as Water, Air, Food, Shelter: Your Staffers 37% It's as important as

I could not live without the Internet

29% 61%

water, food, air and shelter

I could live without the Internet but it would be a struggle

56% Not that important but pretty close


7% No, not that

I could live without the Internet

58% I have friended both my manager and my work colleagues


21% Only my work colleagues

6% Only

15% I keep my work and

my manager

personal lives separate

Source: The Cisco Connected World Technology Report


N O V E M B E R 1 5 , 2 0 1 1 | REAL CIO WORLD

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Lenovo® recommends Windows® 7.

LENOVO THINKPAD – ENGINEERED TO PERFORM WHEREVER BUSINESS TAKES YOU. The ThinkPad® is a business-critical notebook that delivers blazing-fast performance even in the harshest of conditions. ■ ■ ■ ■

2nd generation Intel® Core™ i5 processor RapidBoot technology Active Protection System™ Spill-proof keyboard


1800 200 3033 Lenovo, the Lenovo logo, For Those Who Do, Active Protection System and ThinkPad are trademarks or registered trademarks of Lenovo. Intel, the Intel logo, Intel Core and Core Inside are trademarks of Intel Corporation in the U.S. and other countries. Microsoft and Windows are registered trademarks of Microsoft Corporation in the U.S. and other countries. © Lenovo 2011. All rights reserved.




Enterprise Risk management

Great Security Teams: 5 Tips F


or a security industry leader, Tim Williams is a pretty modest guy. As global security director for the construction equipment manufacturer Caterpillar, Williams has won his share of recognition, which he doesn’t take lightly. But Williams would much rather tell you about his team than about himself. His speech is strikingly devoid of the first-person singular. He declines to be photographed by himself for articles, saying his team members deserve the credit. Creating and sustaining team spirit are clearly strong suits for Williams. In a home-office-centric culture that valued longevity with the business, he quickly set about assembling a team that would embody the precepts of what he calls contemporary enterprise security risk management (ESRM). Here are the top five things he did to revitalize the team and mitigate risks across the entire enterprise:

Rethink Everything. After taking stock for a few weeks of how the then56-person security team operated, Williams moved swiftly to establish a global team focused on ESRM. ESRM takes a holistic view of risks to people, networks and IP. Williams felt Caterpillar had some exposure that needed to be addressed. Two pressing issues: The security team had been based almost exclusively at headquarters and an unusual focus on physical security. “We pushed the physical security responsibility back to property managers and changed outsourced partner,” says Williams. He established regional security directors globally. “We were able to attract some of the best talent in the market at the time,” he says. Many, like Graham Giblin, now regional security director for Europe,

the Middle East and Africa, had lived in the areas they cover. For a company that had had a ‘headquarters first’ mentality, this was a big departure. “Our internal focus transitioned to a global focus,” Giblin says. Williams wrote a three-year operating plan detailing the revamped group’s strategic vision and alignment with corporate objectives, roles and responsibilities. “If you don’t have your processes clearly defined, you could end up chasing what other groups believe your priorities are, versus those issues that actually pose the greatest risk,” Williams says. “We articulated our plan to other staff groups, obtained agreement, and then set out to urgently execute the plan.” Moving so quickly and making major reductions caught the culture a bit by surprise. To ease the transition,


Is Security Effective? Indian security leaders were asked how confident they were of the effectiveness of their information security activities. The percentage of those saying very confident has not declined in the last year despite an increase in threat vectors.



Don’t know

Not at all confident

41% 40%



Not very confident

Global respondents who replied very confident


Very confident

Somewhat confident


26% 18%

Asia South America Europe North America Middle East and South Africa

Source: Global information security survey 2011


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11/14/2011 3:16:43 PM


Welcome to CloudSec 2011 – The Cloud Security Event Of The Year HAVE A VISION NOT CLOUDED BY FEAR is an ancient Cherokee proverb that is timely and apt for organizations that are concerned about cloud security today. Cloud computing has arrived but it introduces transformational risks and threats that require new security strategies and solutions to manage these challenges. CloudSec 2011 has been specially designed for CXOs and senior managers with cloud security responsibilities.

City: Mumbai Date: 24th November 2011 Venue: ITC Grand Maratha City: Delhi Date: 25th November 2011 Venue: Le Meridien Time: 9:00 am - 4.00 pm

Event highlights include: • Thought leadership and predictions on cloud security • VIP summit programme and networking lunch • Keynotes and panel discussion by global and regional security experts • Top threats to cloud computing today • Best practices and guidelines for cloud security • Free gifts and prizes to be won

Supported by:

Admission: FREE. Seats are limited.

WHO SHOULD ATTEND A premier conference tailored for CXOs, Directors and Senior Managers with cloud security responsibilities. Powered by:

For Registration call: +91 99999 01218 Or visit:


EntErprisE risk managEmEnt

Williams enlisted the aid of a few HR specialists and an internal communicator to help people understand what was happening and why. Formalize Underserved Functions. Soon after he arrived, Williams put in place global crisis management processes and personnel. These processes were to be overseen by the newly minted regional security directors. Todd Wagner was working in computer forensics for Caterpillar when he was recruited to crisis management. “We didn’t have a formal group at that time,” he says. “We now handle any crises that may impact Caterpillar—everything from natural disasters to terrorism to major disruptions in our supply chains.” Wagner brought experience as a shift commander for the FBI’s Terrorism Command Center to his new role. The crisis management team had to mobilize to support locals in Japan during the March earthquake and tsunami. Caterpillar immediately dispatched a crisis manager to the area. “Our first priority was to make sure our people are safe,” says Wagner. Caterpillar has 5,000-odd employees at three Japanese facilities, the closest of which is a little over 100 miles from the site of the disaster.

Caterpillar has internal programs to track business travelers. “We don’t stop until we get through to them and can confirm they are safe. If we couldn’t do that, we would go to the local authorities. We also work with a local company that has boots on the ground that can help us track the person down. We might even send someone out to knock on the door of their hotel or house.” Demand Proven Business Skills. Karen Frank remembers the day, early in Williams’ tenure, when he called an all-staff meeting to tell everyone they should seriously consider getting an MBA if they had not already done so. “I had never thought of it,” says Frank, brand protection and investigations manager. She decided to take advantage of Caterpillar’s tuition reimbursement policy and pursue the degree. Williams’ emphasis on personal growth and development “made me feel important,” she says. “You can support the business much better if you understand the principles of business decision-making.” Williams himself has an MBA, which made him a huge believer in its value. And it drives him to distraction when people suggest sending employees to take a course that only teaches the “language of business.”

[OnE :: LinEr]

“BYOD is definitely on the security priority list in 2012. it is becoming increasingly important to couple security and consumer devices with technologies like VD VDi and DLp.” p p.” ManiSh Dave, CiSO, eSSar GrOup Gr

“Spouting catchphrases can get you into more trouble than it is worth. It’s better to take the time to really understand business principles through in-depth coursework,” he says. Create a Communications Czar for Security. Williams made some sweeping changes when he came to Caterpillar. In addition to asking for help from HR, he pulled in Ashley Hunt from the corporate public affairs office to be his communicator. Hunt helped communicate the re-organization of the security team to both affected employees and the broader group. “She has helped all the employees understand the real risks they face,” says Williams. “Ashley is a force multiplier for us.” Now her role is much more proactive. She publishes a monthly security bulletin on the intranet—basically a newsletter with a variety of awareness information on topics such as travel security, scams and fraud. Hunt spends roughly half her time on security matters and the other half on general corporate affairs. She has not yet encountered anyone who performs her role at another company. Williams hasn’t either. She believes employees view security as having a higher value within the organization now, and they have a better understanding of the role they play in enterprise risk management. Nurture Dissent. Williams encourages his staff to bring honest disagreement to the table—respectfully, of course. “He’s very open,” says Frank. “He is open to the opinions of others.” “We have respect, but we get the conversations on the table. I solicit people to challenge management. It creates much better decisions when people can respectfully and openly challenge assumptions, thinking and decisions. It keeps us away from the traps of groupthink—and keeps all of us focused. It happens every week,” says Williams. CiO

Lauren Gibbons Paul is a freelance writer. Send feedback on this feature to


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Enterprise Risk management

Explosive Tech Gaffe


he man who claimed to have attached a bomb collar to an Australian high school student some weeks ago thought it would be a good idea to leave a ransom note on a USB stick looped around her neck. What he probably didn’t realize is that he also left his name, hidden deep in the device’s memory. Court documents that were recently describe the harrowing incident, which began when a man broke into Madeline Pulver’s bedroom wearing a striped balaclava and wielding a black aluminum baseball bat. He told her to sit down and chained a black box around her neck. He also draped a purple lanyard over the terrified girl with a note saying that the black box was a bomb. The note included ransom instructions for Pulver’s family, telling them to e-mail a Google address—dirkstraun1840@—for further instructions. Also on the lanyard was a 4GB USB stick that contained a digital version of the note, saved as a PDF file. The next 10 hours were a grueling ordeal for the girl before a Sydney police bomb squad was able to determined that the threat was a hoax. But a closer look at the USB drive turned up a couple of files that the criminal thought he’d deleted. One of them, a version of the ransom note written in Microsoft Word, contained metadata about the document’s author, including his name: Paul P. A few days later, US authorities arrested Paul “Doug” Peters, 50, in La Grange, Kentucky, seeking to extradite him to Australia to face kidnapping and breaking-and-entering charges. It’s not clear why Peters attempted such a bizarre crime, but US prosecutors say he once worked for a company linked to Pulver’s family. The girl’s father, Bill


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n o v e m b e r 1 5 , 2 0 1 1 | REAL CIO WORLD

Pulver, is the CEO of voice recognition software company Appen Butler Hill. Police collected footage from surveillance cameras in a library where a computer was used to access the Gmail account. The footage, along with the USB drive and circumstantial evidence, such as purchases made around the time of the incident, link Peters to the crime, prosecutors say. Even if the collar bomber had known his name was on the USB drive, it would have been very hard to remove it, according to Frank McClain, an independent computer forensics expert. As computer geeks and investigators know, when users delete a file from a computer the file isn’t deleted immediately from the hard drive. Instead, the computer takes note that the area of the disk where the file is stored is now available to be written

ATMs: Heat Signal


over. So investigators can often recover at least snippets of data from files that are supposed to have been deleted. With flash drives things are more complex, thanks to mechanisms built into the drives to prolong their lifespan. Because flash memory cells stop working after they’ve been overwritten too many times, flash devices use tricks called “wear leveling” to even out how the memory cells are used. A side effect of wear leveling is that it is “almost impossible” to completely erase data from a flash device, McClain said. That can come in handy for people trying to recover photos or other files they’ve accidentally deleted, and there are many tools, some of them free, to help recover their data. CIO Robert McMillan covers security for The IDG News Service. Send feedback on this featured to

Researchers have documented a method for working out ATM PIN numbers using residual traces of heat left on keypads after they have been touched by a person’s fingers. That’s according to research by Keaton Mowery, Sarah Meiklejohn and Stefan Savage of the University of California at San Diego. They say a thermal imaging camera could be used to visually record the heat left on each key as a way of snooping PINs. Using this simple principle it would be possible to record the numbers entered, including their exact order (more recent key-presses appearing as warmer), for up to a minute after they are entered. Even without being able to detect the precise order of the PIN entered, just knowing which four numbers were involved would reduce the number of PINs from 10,000 combinations to only 24. According to the researchers, if used in large-scale attacks the technique could outperform the tradition criminal method of shouldersurfing PINs or recording them from a distance. “Based on our current results, the obvious approach to prevent thermal-camera-based attack would be to use metal keypads exclusively,” conclude the researchers. The air temperature culd also play a part in the success of detecting key-presses on metal ATM keypads, which could reduce the security advantage of using this defense in some circumstances. — By John E Dunn

Vol/7 | ISSUE/01

11/14/2011 3:16:53 PM


Anniversary Special

6 success

secReTs secR R By Team CIO

In celebration of our sixth anniversary, here are six stories, six columns and six collections of ideas that will help you take the CIO role— and yourself—further.

coverstory_6_Success_Secrets.indd 44


Anniversary Special

We are now six. Six is a funny age. Six is neither here nor there. It isn’t five, which is a great number for lists (and also when most businesses are likely to fail). It isn’t seven, an important number thanks to the seven-year itch and Seven Years in Tibet. Six is neither here or there. In fact, the Brazilians have two different words for six: seis and meia, which is a short for meia duzia or half dozen, a reminder that six is nothing but stepping stone, a halfway house. But being meia duzia also a reminder that having spent six years with you, we have twice the road—and more—to look forward together. So, in fact, six is both here and there: A reminder of the past, and of the future. Six is both here and there. Our sixt year milestone reminds us that for six whole years, we’ve had you backing us. You’ve shared secrets with us you wouldn’t tell your closest friends, like your salaries. You’ve told us your greatest aspirations and challenges, and only sometimes off-the-record. And more times than we can count, you’ve shown us the way ahead. As a small token of our gratitude, we’ve put together our biggest cover story to date: A 35page package, broken down into three sections— with six stories each. And we did it with the help of 66 CIOs. Why did we choose 66? Not because it’s 6 twice over. But because 66 Reader ROI: resembles an open How to become a more quote; the start of a coneffective CIO and leader versation; a reminder What your peers think to ourselves that this about key, non-IT issues Tips on dealing with some is a conversation we of IT’s trickiest challenges never want to close. Vol/7 | ISSUE/01

coverstory_6_Success_Secrets.indd 45

Features 28 6 Hard Truths IT Must Learn to Accept 36 6 Stars in Your A-Team 44 6 Quick & Easy IT Productivity Wins 50 6 Tricks When Divorcing Vendors 56 6 of IT’s Biggest Money Wasters 64 6 IT Superheroes and their Fatal Flaws

Voice of Experience 34 6 Truths CEOs Ought to Know 42 6 Life-changing Pieces of Advice 48 6 Ways to Blow Off Steam 54 6 Paths You Would Never Go Down 61 6 Traits You Look for in Your Team 69 6 Questions You Always Ask in an Interview

Columns 74 The All-rounder CIO 77 IT’s Sports Illustrated Effect 86 Lessons from the Trenches 90 Lost in Translation 91 Never Back Down 93 IT Suffers from Mid-life Crisis

REAL CIO WORLD | N O V E M B E R 1 5 , 2 0 1 1


11/14/2011 1:44:29 PM


Anniversary Special

6 Hard Truths IT Must Learn to Accept Unsanctioned devices, compromised networks, and downtime—today’s enterprise IT is all about embracing imperfections.

E Reader ROI:

Why CIOs should strive to be influential How to get the respect you deserve Why IT help-desks will never be irrelevant

coverstory_6_Success_Secrets.indd 46

By Dan Tynan Envision a perfect world: Your network would suffer no downtime and be locked down tight. You’d be in perfect compliance with all government regulations, and your users would all be self-supporting. The cloud would take care of nearly all your infrastructure needs, and there wouldn’t be a single device accessing the network you didn’t first approve of and control. Good luck with all that because there is no such thing as a perfect world. The gap between your dreams and cold hard reality just gets wider every day. There are more harsh realities than the surreal promise of all that IT can do. For one, it isn’t the proverbial be all and end all. It comes with its set of imperfections and unpolished edges that technology—or you—can’t do anything about. Some of those bitter realities take the form of the cloud that can’t solve all your problems, your systems that will never be fully compliant, your staff will never be enough or that whether you like it or not, your network has already been compromised. But that doesn’t mean you should give up, but it does mean you need to get real about what you can change and what you must accept. And as CIOs the sooner you accept it, the better. Here are six things IT must learn to live with.

Vol/7 | I SSUE/01

“Building knowledge management in the area of IT-self help is a

lengthy task and it requires patience.

P hotoS In SI dE by Foto coRP, d.R. loh Ia, an an dI ta ghoSh, S RIVatSa Sh an dIlya, SUj Ith SUjan, SURES h PhotogRaPhy, FI nElI ght, and ShaRP Imag E

IT Concession No. 1 Your Users Will Never Support Themselves It’s the dream of every IT department. If they could only get those needy users off their backs they might get some actual work done. But despite investments in online knowledge bases and automated support solutions, the notion that organizations can ditch their help desks is still the stuff of science fiction, says Nathan McNeill, chief strategy officer for Bomgar, a maker of remote support appliances. “IT can deflect a big chunk of common issues—like password resets—with self-service, but it will always be more cost-effective to have humans handle the one-off and more complex issues,” he says. “Even if the technology miraculously works 100 percent of the time, users won’t be able to figure it out 100 percent of the time. As long as technology keeps evolving, humans need to be around to evolve IT support.” One way of dealing with this is to create and maintaIT self-help guides. “Building knowledge management in the area of IT-self help is a lengthy task and it requires patience. But according to our end-user satisfaction survey, it’s a positive contribution that has increased end-user IT capability and saved costs,” says Sanjay Jhamb, head-IT, Nokia IT. Instead of self-service, organizations would do better to invest in remote assistance solutions, says Chris Stephenson, co-founder of management consulting firm Arryve. “Many organizations build a database of questions and leverage workflows to help drive end-users to an online answer,” he says. “In reality, end-users are more frustrated when they finally talk to a support person. The investment in self-help support would be much better replaced with remote assistance in many situations where the support staff can gain access to the user’s computer immediately and solve the problem directly.”

IT Concession No. 2 You’ve Lost Control Over How Your Company Uses IT It’s not just consumer devices invading the workplace. Today, a business user with absolutely no tech acumen can spin up a thirdparty business cloud service with a phone call and a credit card or, in many cases, a Web form and a click of a button. “With information now ‘just-a-Google-away’, there is always the risk of employees

Vol/7 | ISSUE/01

But according to our enduser satisfaction survey, it’s a positive contribution that has increased end-user IT capability and saved costs.” Sanjay jhamb,

Head-IT, Nokia IT

“With the number of Gen-Y employees increasing in organizations, IT teams face a lot of challenges.

With information now ‘just-aGoogle-away’, there is always the risk of employees circumventing IT controls.” RaghU KUmaR PaRUchURI,

Head-ERP & IT, Tata Power Strategic Electronics Division

circumventing IT controls,” says Raghu Kumar Paruchuri, head-ERP and IT, Tata Power Strategic Electronics Division. It is more than evident that IT has lost control over IT. That’s not necessarily a bad thing. The burgeoning universe of cloud and mobile apps can give frustrated business users access to tech resources they need without putting an additional burden on IT staff or budgets. “For years, IT has controlled every device, application, and process around technology,” says Jeff Stepp, managing director of Copperport Consulting. “But with business units getting more technically savvy and frustrated with IT, they have gained executive support to go off on their own to research, procure, and implement new apps and gadgets. These newly empowered business units are often successful in getting what they need implemented more quickly and cheaply than going through their own IT department.” REAL CIO WORLD | N O V E M B E R 1 5 , 2 0 1 1


11/14/2011 1:44:32 PM


Anniversary Special

“I can never trust anything electronic. It is a part of its design that it is bound to fail.

Digital assets are at stake whenever the network goes down.

A clear DR policy needs to be in place.”

manISh Shah,

GM-IT, Indus Fila

Your job is no longer to provide top-down solutions; it’s to enable business users to make the right decisions, says Scott Goldman, CEO of TextPower, maker of text-messaging platforms for business. “Instead of struggling to regain control, tech departments should strive for something more valuable: Influence,” he says. “When IT departments treat their users as customers instead of complainers, they get more of the results they want. The days of the all-powerful IT department dictating methods are gone. The sooner they realize it, the faster they’ll actually regain some level of control.”

IT Concession No. 3 You’ll Always Have Downtime Eventually, even the best-maintained datacenters will go down. Think you have redundancy up the wazoo? You’re one of the lucky few. In a September 2010 survey of more than 450 datacenter managers, sponsored by Emerson Network Power and conducted by the Ponemon Institute, 95 percent reported suffering at least one unplanned shutdown during the previous 24 months. The average

“Compliance and security are an ongoing process. It’s like a

cat-and-mouse game. You will always

be a step behind and always trying to catch up.” K. l. mUKESh,

CIO, Tata Sky


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“As a bank, we have tie-ups with multiple service providers to attempt to eliminate all points of failure. But if

we are unfortunate, multiple service providers may fail at the same time.” SIlajIt SammadaR,

Head-IT Operations, HSBC Technology & Services, India

length of downtime: 107 minutes. In a perfect world, all datacenters would be built around highly redundant, dual-bus architectures where maximum load on either side never exceeds 50 percent, says Peter Panfil, a vice president for Liebert AC Power, a division of Emerson Network Power. They’d be able to handle peak loads even when critical systems fail and others are down for maintenance, with a separate recovery facility ready to come online in case of a region-wide disaster. In the real world, however, 100 percent uptime is only possible if you’re willing to pay for it, and most companies aren’t, says Panfil. That forces datacenter managers into a game of “IT chicken,” hoping outages don’t occur when systems are beyond 50 percent capacity. Organizations where uptime is essential to survival are segmenting their datacenters, he adds, reserving high availability for their most critical systems and settling for less elsewhere. If their e-mail goes down for half an hour, it’s annoying but not fatal. If their real-time transactions system goes down, they’re losing thousands of dollars a minute. “It is always better to have the capacity and not need it than to need it and not have it,” he says. “But the people who are signing the checks don’t always make that choice.”

IT Concession No. 4 Your Systems Will Never Be Fully Compliant Like uptime, 100 percent compliance is a lofty goal that’s more theoretical than practical. “Compliance and security are an ongoing process. It’s like a cat and mouse game. You will always be a step behind and always try to catch up,” says K.L. Mukesh, CIO, Tata Sky. Also, in many cases, focusing too much on compliance can hurt you in other ways. Your level of compliance will vary depending on what industry you’re in, says Mike Meikle, CEO of the Hawkthorne Group, a boutique management and information technology consulting firm. Organizations in heavily regulated fields like health or

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Questions to Ask

Before Getting Started with Enterprise Risk Management


nterprise Risk Management is a practice that has been around for decades, tracing its roots to the early 1970s. However, even today, a lot of companies that want to make changes and enhance the maturity of their risk management initiatives do not know what steps to take. Many understand the principles behind the leading methodologies and frameworks but do not have the resources or the knowledge to put together a program. The basic premise of risk management boils down to three steps: identify, evaluate and respond.


How do I know what my risks are?

The first step in building any risk management program is to list out the risks. The most important thing to remember when creating this list is that you should not be afraid to start small. Too often there are cases in which companies will not publish a risk register because it is not all-inclusive. The list can, and will, grow, and you will never be able to get a risk management program off the ground unless you start somewhere. There are two basic approaches for aggregating a risk inventory: top-down and bottom-up. The top-down approach involves understanding what the company’s objectives are and thinking about what could threaten the achievement of those objectives. On the other hand, the bottom-up approach involves getting inputs from your colleagues.


How should I prioritize my risks?

No one has the resources to tackle all their risks, nor is it possible to fully mitigate all risks, so you must prioritize them. This is done through risk evaluation and determination of inherent risk. You must ensure that everything is measured on a level playing field. Risk evaluation also enables you to support making trade-offs when allocating resources for risk mitigation. Typical inherent risk evaluation

involves analyzing the impact the risk could potentially have on your company, and the likelihood or probability that it will occur.


What should I do about the high-priority risks?

The number of risks you tackle depends on the availability of your resources. This is an ongoing effort and should be built into the normal course of business. Risk response typically comes in four flavors: reduce, transfer, share and avoid. The most important part of risk response is tracking and measuring progress. It is vital to define a risk response plan for each high priority risk and then track progress against the achievement of the plan.


How can I show value from this process?

As a risk manager, you will be asked to show value for the investment made in identifying, evaluating and responding to your risk inventory. Fortunately, showing value is easy. During the course of this process, you have accumulated a wealth of data that you can mine and report on. Bringing visibility to the information is key to demonstrating value. Dashboards and metrics are powerful concepts that are common in sales, marketing and other departments. Risk management should be no different.


What are the solutions available?

Consider the following top requirements for selecting a risk management tool: Ease of Implementation: You need a system with best-practice processes built in so you can hit the ground running. Ease of Use: User adoption is key to making the program successful. Transparency: You want to encourage participation in the process by making all the data available on a real-time basis. It is the core competency of RSA Archer and most point solutions.

Reporting: You will need to slice and dice the data in your risk program quickly and easily. Most point solutions have many canned reports but do not provide the ability to easily create ad hoc reports. Giving end users the ability to build reports will increase their engagement in the process. Ability to Correlate Data: You will be handling lots of data in the risk management process, and you will need to leverage a tool that is proficient at gathering and correlating data. RSA Archer and some point solutions have built-in questionnaire capabilities. Flexibility to Grow: Your needs will change as your process matures. You will need to change your evaluation scale and methods as well as track new attributes and hierarchies.


Is there any action required once the solution is selected?

Yes as the maintenance of the program cannot be ignored. Many companies go through the identification and evaluation process once and do not update the information thereafter. The information in your risk register will quickly become stale as your company changes and the world around it evolves. Thus, you need to re-identify and re-evaluate your risk profile on a quarterly or semi-annual basis. This will enable you to continuously provide value back to your company and assist in the achievement of its objectives.

This Feature is brought to you by IDG Custom Solutions Group in association with


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finance probably aren’t in full compliance because of how often the rules change and the different ways they can be interpreted. “It’s safe to say that just as no network can be 100 percent secure, no organization can be sure it’s 100 percent compliant,” he says. “If a vendor is trying to sell you a product that ensures perfect compliance, they’re lying.” Another danger area is falling into the compliance trap, where organizations expend too many resources trying to stay in sync with regulations while ignoring other, more vital parts of their operations, says Meikle. “Organizations that strive for compliance with regulations often fall down in other areas,” he says. “Being compliant with regulations doesn’t necessarily mean you’re doing what you need to do with your business. Compliance is really just a component of risk management, which is itself a component of corporate governance. It’s an overarching business issue and needs to be addressed as such.”

IT Concession No. 5 The iPad Revolution is Here to Stay More and more workplaces these days resemble a geeky party that’s strictly BYOD (bring your own device). The problem? Many IT departments either never got an invitation or failed to RSVP. May 2011 surveys by IDC and Unisys found that 95 percent of information workers used self-purchased technology at work—or roughly twice as many as executives in those surveys estimated. IDC predicts use of employee-owned smartphones in the workplace will double by 2014. “The inlet of iPhones, iPads and other devices is bound to happen. Updating security policies for these devices has stood out as one of the biggest challenges for us,” says Puneesh Lamba, head-enterprise applications, Punj Lloyd. And that’s a challenge that is bound to have a huge impact on organizations and IT departments as a whole. Nathan Clevenger, chief software architect at mobile device management firm ITR Mobility and author of iPad in the Enterprise says the iPhone and iPad are the catalysts for the consumerization of IT. Tech departments can either enable them to be used securely or risk the consequences. “Unless IT supports the devices and technologies users demand, the users will simply go around IT and use personal tech for business purposes,” Clevenger says. “That is a much more dangerous situation from a security standpoint than supporting the consumer devices in the first place.” Tech departments also need to steer a middle course between attempting (and failing) to keep consumer technology completely out of the workplace, and allowing unfettered access to the network from any device, notes Raffi Tchakmakjian, vice president of product management at Trellia, a cloud-based mobile device management provider. “BYOD is a scenario IT departments are learning to live with, 32

N O V E M B E R 1 5 , 2 0 1 1 | REAL CIO WORLD

“The inlet of iPhones, iPads and other devices is bound to happen. Updating

security policies for these devices has stood out as one of the biggest challenges for us.”

PUnEESh lamba,

Head-Enterprise Applications, Punj Lloyd

but they struggle to manage them from a security, cost, and operations perspective,” he says. “It becomes very difficult to ensure compliance to corporate standards and still meet business needs. They need a management solution that ensures corporate data security and allows them to manage costs with minimal impact on IT operations and infrastructure.”

IT Concession No. 6 You Will Never Get the Respect You Deserve Call it Rodney Dangerfield Syndrome: No matter how hard they work or how vital they are to an enterprise’s very existence, IT pros shouldn’t expect to get a lot of respect outside their own ranks. “What IT people want is to be appreciated, valued, and understood,” says Steve Lowe, founder and CEO of Innovator, a custom software developer. “And they so rarely are.” Depending on the circumstances, IT is usually either perceived as Santa Claus (bringing cool new toys for all the business girls and boys), Dr. No (only interested in keeping users away from the resources they need to do their jobs), or the NSA (monitoring their every Internet move for suspicious activity and cutting them off), Lowe says. The best way to finally get some respect? Earn it every day, Lowe says.“The main thing IT leaders can do to counter these misconceptions is to focus on providing extraordinary value to the company in any way they can,” says Lowe. “Find a place where a little technology will have a huge payoff, and just do it. Success is very difficult to argue with. If you can show that IT makes a difference, which makes it easier for executives to give IT the respect it deserves.” CIO

With inputs from Shubhra Rishi Dan Tynan is contributing editor at InfoWorld. Send feedback on this feature to

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Anniversary Special

6 Truths CEOs Ought to Know “The benefits of an IT implementation are realized over time. If

CEOs want to shrink this timeframe they need to provide the apposite environment through intense collaboration between end-users and IT.”

Prashun Dutta, Senior EVP (IT & Quality), Reliance Infrastructure

“Enterprise IT can meet some of the organization’s CSR needs by

disposing of electronic waste efficiently and lowering power needs using virtualization and

consolidation technologies. This could provide carbon credits.” S.R. Reddy, VP-IT, UTI Mutual Funds

“IT often takes on the responsibility of executing enterprise programs that significantly impact business. But the success of such programs

depends on collaboration across departments. Good CEOs

realize this and create mechanisms that enable such collaboration.” Eswaranatarajan N., Head-Operations & Technology, ICICI Lombard

“By moving beyond legacy, enterprise IT can

be a game-changer that can challenge the status quo and

achieve business outcomes that matter.”

Tridib Bordoloi, CTO, Press Trust of India

“Service-level expectations and transactions are on the rise and IT costs are relatively flat. Enterprise

IT systems must be augmented to meet this increased volume and raise reliance levels.”

Yusuf Roopawalla, Head Technology, India and South Asia, Standard Chartered Bank

“The CEO must know how IT governance can be integrated with corporate governance— and also how the appropriate controls can be put in place using technology.”

Mukund Prasad, Director-Corporate Strategy, Business Excellence & Group CIO, Welspun Group 34

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11/14/2011 1:44:55 PM


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6 stars in You ur A-Tea A-Te am The different personalities and skills you need to build a crack special ops team ready to tackle the toughest IT assignments. By Dan Tynan



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Reader ROI: The importanceof picking out the skills to create a crack team Six skills you absolutely need Personalities you want to groom

IT is a tough job, but somebody’s got to do it. And these days it takes a team of talented technology professionals, each with his or her own special expertise, to carry out mission-critical assignments. But how do you assemble your Alpha Team to tackle a fasttracked business initiative, to shore up a new attack surface in your infrastructure, to transition your IT operations to take advantage of the latest advancements? You start by choosing a tough leader who’s backed by friends in upper management and can keep everyone working together. You’ll need infrastructure sherpas to keep the packets flowing and coding geniuses to keep your software development on track. You’ll need experts in physical and network security (Mohawk hairstyle optional). And you’ll want people who have their eyes on usability and trends, to keep current with the latest generations of software and devices. “It really is a team,” says Susan Anderheggen, VP of service management and field force support systems for Verizon’s wireline division. “There are very few programs that can be done by an individual, so you have to trust the other people on the team

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Cover Story

It t Strategy

“A CIO who has team members that are well-connected with the business helps technology be a strategic partner. A well-oiled

will do their part. You can’t be a lone soldier. You need to ensure you do have your ‘A’ people on your team because you need all of these components to get things done.” Here are the seven essential members of your IT A-team.

IT A-Team Personnel No. 1 Air Support Every IT project needs a well-placed friend on the business side who can provide air cover from on high. The trick is to find the suit who will not turn out to be the evil mastermind who sends our heroes to certain doom—a movie cliché that too often plays out in IT special-ops scenarios. Often this is a CIO who can assure other C-level execs the money they’re pouring into that IT project will pay off in spades over time. Or it might be a tech-savvy business analyst who fends off resource-sapping requests from upper management, or merely someone who takes cigarette breaks with the CFO and knows the organization’s pain points. Most importantly, this key team member acts as a bridge between the suits and the geeks to clear roadblocks and run interference when necessary. “A CIO who has team members that are well-connected with the business helps technology be a strategic partner to business rather than just being an enterprise function,” says Kalpana Maniar, head-business solutions & IT, Edelweiss Capital. “A cohesive and well-oiled relationship between the senior tech team and the business can create collaborative magic. Senior tech team members with good strategic and tactical connects with business teams can create buy-in from executive sponsorship to channel innovation.” “This person knows the political pulse of the organization and can get things done in an expedient manner by using unofficial channels,” says Patrick Gray, president of Prevoyance Group, a business strategy consultancy. “He helps force decisions to be made that would otherwise stall the project in its tracks and serves as a buffer for the team, doing everything from preventing them from being called into pointless meetings to ensuring that ancillary players fulfill their responsibilities.” This person doesn’t have to be a geek, but does need to be

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relationship between the senior tech team and the business can create collaborative magic.” KalPana manIaR,

Head-Business Solutions & IT, Edelweiss Capital.

“An organization’s excellence depends on the innovation path it is taking. That requires fearless people, who dare take risks, break rules, and experiment with technology.

A fearless leader is a musthave in an IT alpha team.” o.a. balaSUbRamanIam,

Sr. VP-IT, Roots Industries India

fluent in both tech talk and managementese. They also need to have good communication skills and a genuine passion to deliver value, adds Maniar. He or she also needs to master the delicate skill of telling the bosses no without offending them, says Adriana Zona, director of IT for Minco, a manufacturer of components for military and medical facilities. “You can’t tell the business side an idea is nonsense if they’re the ones who came up with it,” she says. “I call these people the bouncers or gatekeepers—they guard IT from irresponsible requests. Half of their job is saying no in a friendly way. Every IT department is bombarded with these kinds of requests. If you did them all, you wouldn’t be doing the right thing for your company.” REAL CIO WORLD | N O V E M B E R 1 5 , 2 0 1 1


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IT A-Team Personnel No. 2 Fearless Leader This no-nonsense, cigar-chomping leader is responsible for both assembling the right team and keeping it on task. It’s a job that demands equal parts technical know-how and management aplomb, not to mention financial savvy, says Abid Ali, vice president of Tata Consultancy Services. “Team leaders are more like an army general,” says Ali. “They’ll need some grounding in technology, but they also have to have a good understanding of the business they’re delivering to, and of the bottom line. That is often what makes or breaks the success of a team.” There’s another reason to bring in fearless leaders: They aren’t afraid of innovation. “How different an organization is and its level of excellence depends on the innovation path it is taking. It’s a riskier path, but it’s also more rewarding. It also requires fearless people, those who dare to take risks, break rules and conventions, experiment with technology and learn from their mistakes. A fearless leader is a must-have in an IT alpha team,” says O.A. Balasubramaniam, Sr. VP-IT, Roots Industries India. Ali says the key to a good team is diversity—assembling the right mix of system architects, database admins, infrastructure grunts, business and data analysts, security specialists, and so on—and getting them to work together. The right leader is one who can achieve this in a seemingly effortless manner. As you can imagine, these types are few and far between. “Wouldn’t it be great if you could throw a bunch of professionals together and they just all get along and work wonderfully together?” says Brenda Kerton, owner of Capability Insights Consulting. “That can happen, but relying on it is rolling the dice. Most A-teams got to that because someone paid attention to

IT A-Team Personnel No. 3 Über Hacker If life were the movies, your special ops team would feature two standard players: An attractive, misunderstood psychopath who loves to blow things up, and a ‘squirrely’ hacker who can penetrate NSA-level network security using nothing but a random password generator and a toothpick. Sadly for your IT A-team, the explosive babe is strictly optional, but a security expert is a must. The difference? Instead of trying to break into networks, your über hacker is there to keep the bad guys out. “I strongly recommend that CIOs have a security expert in their teams because it provides an advance protection mechanism against impending security threats. A security expert can proactively look for security loopholes and plug them. A security expert in an alpha team props up the security posture of a company,” says Samir Kumar Mandal, GM-IS, Haldia Petrochemicals. “For everything you’re dealing with today, information security becomes key,” says Tata’s Ali. “For large programs, especially those involving Web 2.0, it helps to have an ethical hacker as part of your team—someone who’s working from the inside and finds

“I strongly recommend that CIOs have a security expert in their teams because

“The infrastructure sherpa is important role because they insulate the CIO

SamIR KUmaR mandal,

V. SEEtaRamaIah,

they provide an advance protection mechanism against impending security threats. A security expert can proactively look for security loopholes and plug them.”

GM-IS, Haldia Petrochemicals. 38

helping them gel as a team. The team stages of forming, storming, norming, and performing don’t go away just because we throw a good mix of skills together.” Being the fearless leader also requires both extreme tenacity and excellent communication skills, says Verizon’s Anderheggen. “They have to be able to take the bull by the horns and question things, yet also be likable,” she says. “A program manager who ticks everyone off will never be successful.”

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from day-to-day operational issues. An infrastructure sherpa should not only be a technical wizard, but must also be able to handle and manage people issues tactfully.” GM-IT, Paradeep Phosphates Vol/7 | I SSUE/01

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the holes in your information privacy and security.” Mandal agrees. “CIOs must have certified or ethical hackers on their teams. The organizations information protection mechanism should not depend on an outsider,” he says. Here, temperament and ethics are every bit as important as skill. Even if they don’t sport rippling biceps or gold chains, über hackers can be aggressively macho about their tech skills—and equally quick to get their buttons pushed, says Mark Kadrich, author of Endpoint Security. We pity the fool who crosses them. “It’s not a good idea to piss off someone who can have you declared dead on every computer system on the planet,” says Kadrich. “You’re looking for people with the ability to break into systems and do things to people but who choose to use their powers for justice.” They also need to understand physical security as much as network security, a factor many organizations overlook. If attackers can physically touch a system, they can almost always extract data from it, Kadrich says. The problem? The obsessive-compulsive geeks who make the best security wonks often have difficulty working closely with other bipeds, says Kadrich. And many of them are a little too good at their jobs, adds Scott Archibald, a managing director for Bender Consulting. “A lot of guys who know security really well can make something so secure nobody else can use it,” he says. “You need somebody who knows where to draw the line.”

IT A-Team Personnel No. 4 Infrastructure Sherpa Somebody’s got to do the dirty work—keep the lights on, the datacenter humming, and end-users happy (or as close to that state as you can reasonably expect). That job falls to the infrastructure sherpas on your team. Though they’ll never be huge stars, they will have occasional heroic moments. The exact kind of infrastructure infantrymen will vary depending on your environment, but if you must pick a generic skill set, networking expertise is a good bet, says Bender’s Archibald. “If the environment isn’t highly specialized, I’d look for someone who understands the networking/telecom side and the server infrastructure,” he says. “Datacenters have a lot of servers, and someone who understands the server infrastructure and hardware usually also understands the client connectivity issues that can come up. What you really want is someone who knows when to dig in and learn more and when to call other people on their BS.” At Paradeep Phosphates, GM-IT, V. Seetaramaiah has another set of characteristics he looks for in his sherpas. “The infrastructure sherpa plays an important role because they protect and insulate the CIO from day-to-day operational issues. An infrastructure sherpa should not only be a technical wizard, but must also be able to handle and manage people issues tactfully. Using a small technical team, infrastructure sherpa is usually 40

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“A coding genius transforms ideas into realistic business activity. They can introduce innovative solutions thereby providing competitive advantage. Without

a coding genius on your team, you limit creativity.”

c.S. RamESh,

VP, CIO & Head KM, PFP, Titan Industries

the one empowered by the CIO to iron out most of operational issues arising from infrastructure and people, allowing the CIO to concentrate on strategic IT matters that can create value for the business,” he says. Even then, every infrastructure grunt these days needs to be a little bit of everything: virtualization virtuoso, cloud connoisseur, mobility maven. The ability to wear multiple geek hats is essential, says Bob Cuneo, CIO of IT recruiters Eliassen Group. “Within each technical discipline individuals must be multifaceted and dexterous in their ability to handle a wide range of assignments,” says Cuneo. “For example, a network engineer must be able to handle architecture, as well as configure and manage switches, routers, firewalls, load balancers, WAN accelerators, spam, Web filter, proxy appliances, and other similar devices.” According to Seetaramaiah, sherpas are also useful for other things. “The infrastructure sherpa is also very useful helping with change management in relation to all policy or system changes. He is the one that bridges the gap between IT and users, creating awareness, updating users from time-to-time, and convincing them of the benefits of IT and IT changes,” he says. They also need to be experts at change management, says Joe Tait, director of IT at NMS Labs, a clinical toxicology lab, and a chapter board member of The Society for Information Management. “The most important part of infrastructure revolves around change management,” says Tait. “At NMS we mostly try to follow the core parts of ITIL. Someone once said that 85 percent of the problems you encounter in technology result from someone making a change to something. You want someone who does things in a structured way, pays attention, and keeps careful logs.”

IT A-Team Personnel No. 5 Coding Genius Development demi-gods who can write a Perl script or hack JavaScript in their sleep are essential to any IT special-ops team—

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Cover Story

bonus points if they can do it upside down while dangling from a helicopter. “A coding genius transforms ideas into realistic business activity,” says C.S. Ramesh, VP, CIO & Head KM, PFP, Titan Industries. “A coding genius knows how to meet vast requirements with limited resources thereby reducing time-to-market, and increasing customer satisfaction. They can introduce innovative solutions thereby providing competitive advantage. Without a coding genius on your team, you limit creativity.” Here the challenge is to find someone who mixes the requisite coding chops with a measure of humility, says Minco’s Adriana Zona. “You want the genius guys who aren’t arrogant,” she says. “They want to impress you, so they do in an hour what would take standard developers a week. But the most important thing is they don’t challenge you. You don’t even have to explain what you want or provide a document. They just complete the job.” Though extremely rare, the humble coding genius can be found via word of mouth, says Zona. She also weeds out the arrogant ones by asking prospective employees to rate their skills on a scale from 1 to 10. “A good developer will never say 10,” she says. “Technology changes so rapidly no one can possibly know everything. But the arrogant ones will. And a non-humble developer will destroy your department.” If your strategy is to buy what you need rather than build it, you gotta have someone on the software side who knows what solutions are available and how they fit into the larger business needs, says Archibald. “My bias is toward someone who understands basic database and software principles, can evaluate software, and works well with vendors,” he says. “They need to be able to apply that software to a business problem and tie it back into the company’s strategic architecture.”

“Usability wonks provide that essential collaboration that converts business needs into specific and usable IT deliverables.

They are the single most important factor in deciding the efficiency—or inefficiency—of an

It t Strategy

IT A-Team Personnel No. 6 Usability Wonk No mission can be considered a success if it results in a fix nobody uses. Here, a usability wonk is key. After all, if you can’t get people to use your in-house development projects, you might as well have invested that money in “MacGruber.” “The user interface is an integral part of all software, as important in the enterprise as it is in consumer products,” says Rene Bonvanie, vice president of worldwide marketing for security vendor Palo Alto Networks. “If you and I stood on top of all the software that was developed and never touched because it was unusable, we’d be on a pile taller than Mount Everest.” “Usability wonks are key because they serve to provide that essential collaboration that converts business needs into specific and usable IT deliverables. I believe that this ‘personality constituent’ is the single most important factor in deciding the efficiency—or inefficiency—of IT A-team’s performance,” says Rajat Sharma, President-IT, Atul. Though not necessarily a coder, the usability wonk needs to work closely with the coding genius, whether it’s on a mobile app for your sales team’s smartphones or a new module for the ERP system, says Annette Priest, a user experience architect and principal of UI consulting firm Revel Insight. “You need someone who understands the pros and cons of different approaches to UIs and is good at negotiating with the design team,” says Priest. “If they recommend one approach the dev team rejects as too time-consuming or expensive, the usability engineer may have another approach that works for both the customers and the tech team.” “It is a part of a CIO’s ‘team-grooming agenda’ to create a team with effective user interface skills—in other words, a CIO needs to be an efficient ‘usability wonk’ team groomer,” says Sharma. When it comes to software UI, a lot of enterprises are still stuck in the 1990s, says Priest. They tend to be slower in adopting the kinds of industrial dashboards common to modern software in part because they’re afraid they might break something in the process. Yet for the newest generation of employees raised on iTunes and Facebook, these interfaces have become a working requirement. “People coming into the enterprise today have very different expectations for usability,” says Tata’s Ali. “You’ll want usability experts as part of your testing and assurance team. For a lot of IT users, the functionality of a system and what it delivers in terms of technology and business processes is a given. Whether they like or dislike it comes from how easy or tough it is to use.” CIO

IT A-team.

Rajat ShaRma,

President-IT, Atul

With inputs from Sneha Jha Send feedback on this feature to

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REAL CIO WORLD | N O V E M B E R 1 5 , 2 0 1 1



Anniversary Special

6 Life-changing Pieces of Advice “My first chief in the army taught me my first important life lesson: You never

stop learning. The day you do, there’s not much worth living for.”

Col. Shankar Gurkha, CIO, GIPCL

“The book Fools Work Hard for Others really influenced me. It suggests that people should do

what they want to do, rather than trying to be successful.

Don’t join the rat race, seize your freedom and follow your dreams.” Ashok R.V., VP-IS, Sundaram Clayton

“The work culture at my first job at Microsoft made me realize that my degree was just a piece of paper. It’s

attitude that makes you the man you are. It was then when I realized

that my real strength was a positive attitude and passion.” Raj Khemani, Head-IT, Clariant Chemicals India

“My dad and mentor used to say that there is no problem that can’t be solved. He said that if

you couldn’t find a solution, you were just not looking in the right place.” Muralidhar Nambiar, Head-IT, Blue Cross Labs

“Back in 1994, when I first became CIO, my CFO told me: Don’t put

system constraints on business needs. Understand what the

business requires and do whatever is necessary to meet them. This is the mantra for a successful CIO.” Subramanian C.S., Head-IT & IM, Metro Cash & Carry India

“Deepak Chopra’s book, Ageless Body, Timeless Mind suggests that we challenge all assumptions. This has encouraged me to learn—and unlearn —and strive for perfection.” Rajeev Agarwal, Head-IT, HAL Corporate


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6 Quick & easy IT Productivity Wins Here are six ways to help speed progress on critical IT projects and make your department look good.

B By Dan Tynan

Big tech projects can provide huge payoffs in IT efficiency, but sometimes it’s the little things that have the biggest productivity impact. After all, it’s often those details—meetings, e-mail, menial tasks—that keep you from tackling the important issues right away. We talked to several tech pros and came up with six quick ways to boost IT productivity without investing too much time or money.

IT Productivity Win No. 1: Break the Meeting Habit

IT staffs spend nearly six hours a week in meetings that over 70 percent of them say is time wasted. Little wonder then that for many organizations “meeting” is a four-letter word. Of course, face-toface sit-downs can’t always be avoided, but you can minimize their productivity drain by changing your meeting habits. Meetings are about making decisions, not about sitting around waiting for everyone to say their piece. The quicker you reach consensus, the faster you can get back to doing real work. Step No. 1: Remove all chairs from meeting rooms, suggests Patrick Srail, director of product management at News Corp. Being forced to think on your feet will bring meetings to a head faster.


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Reader ROI: How quick fixes can increase the value of IT How social media can improve business-IT alignment Why training your staff could save your time

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It t Strategy

rooms eliminates the need to have meetings unless they’re justified by the situation.”

IT Productivity Win No. 2 Kill Your E-mail Srail’s other secrets? “Cancel all meetings that don’t have an agenda, and repeat all action items at the end of each meeting,” he says. “Meetings without action items are basically status updates.” Instead of convening in a conference room, get status updates via e-mail or chat, run slide presentations and product demos remotely using services like GoToMeeting or WebEx so people can view them without leaving their desks, and replace some in-person face time with video chat. That will save the time you waste schlepping to the conference room and waiting for laggards to roll in. “Visual information communicates so much more than voiceonly, your meetings will move more fluidly,” adds Aaron Charles Sylvan, president of Sylvan Social Technology, which helps small businesses develop viral websites. “Also, since it compels both parties to pay attention, calls are brief and to the point—instead of one person rambling while the other starts checking their e-mail.” Another, seemingly paradoxical, way to reduce the number of pointless meetings is to increase the availability of places to meet, advises Rick Brenner, principal of Chaco Canyon Consulting. “One of the drivers of periodic team meetings is the need to reserve conference rooms well in advance,” he says. “Some teams meet even when there is little real need to meet, just because ‘Tuesday at 10 is our regular meeting.’ Having plenty of conference

“Cut out ad-hoc meetings. Meetings should have a clear agenda with expected results.

Remember when e-mail and IM were a productivity godsend? Fire off a question and get back to work while somebody else fetched the information you needed. Those days are over, thanks to the deluge. According to the Radicati Group, the volume of e-mail, IM, and spam is increasing by 20 to 25 percent per year. Managing that is getting in the way of real work. Rule No. 1: Turn off alerts for new messages so they don’t distract you, says Stever Robbins, productivity expert and author of 9 Steps to Work Less and Do More. In other words, check your messages when you want them, not when they want you. Second, close your e-mail and IM clients periodically throughout the day, and let everyone know you’re off the electronic leash during those hours. “You’ll give yourself interruption-free brain cycles while still keeping in touch with colleagues as needed,” Robbins says. “People can still call you if something’s an emergency. And tell people in your e-mail signature, ‘I only check e-mail 3 times a day, at 10 AM, 1 PM, and 4 PM. Call if you need something more urgently.’” And when you finally check messages, actually deal with them, adds Alexander Pasik, CIO of the IEEE. He suggests having no more than 30 messages in your inbox at any time, and keeping only those requiring action items. Instead of laboriously filing each message in the proper folder, keep them in one place and use search tools to find messages as you need them.

“By organizing folders as

‘high priority’ and ‘low priority’, it

Identify owners of agenda items, and invite only people who are needed

in the decision-making process.”

becomes easier to deal with mails that require immediate attention, and shift low priority mails so that they can be dealt with at the end of the day.”

RamKUmaR balIna,

laKShmI PRaSad mahanKalI,

CIO, Anthelio Business Technologies

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“Many professionals have adopted bad habits such as allowing their inboxes to contain hundreds if not thousands of e-mails, many of which are unread,” he says. “Simple e-mail management can greatly increase productivity.”

IT Productivity Win No. 3 Free Up Your Help Desk Help desk techs spend a lot of time fixing the same obvious problems. The more no-brainer stuff you take off their plates (like password resets or printer maintenance), the more time they can spend on real productivity killers. For example, every two weeks, Richard Casselberry, director of IT operations for networking vendor Enterasys, meets with his internal help desk department to review the questions they get and brainstorm solutions. One quick fix: Increase the number of incorrect passwords users are allowed before they’re prevented from logging onto the network. Gartner Research estimates that password resets alone are responsible for 20 to 50 percent of all help desk calls. By boosting failed attempts from 3 to 12, Enterasys was able to slash support calls without adversely affecting security. Don’t sweat small stuff like printer repair, suggests Pamela Morin, customer communications specialist for managed print services provider Reliable Technologies. If a printer fails, have a replacement ready to go on a rolling cart you can plug in immediately, then send the broken one out for maintenance. That will keep the business customers happy and free up IT pros from time-consuming mechanical problems below their pay grade. And while remote access utilities like GoToMyPC or LogMeIn can allow your techs to ferret out problems on end-user machines without time-sucking phone calls or e-mail, sometimes it’s actually more productive to make a “house call” to the user’s desk, says Matthew Podowitz, consultant at The IT Value Challenge.

“Yellow chits and diaries have become unviable. Now new technology

helps my staff note down reminders on their mobile phones with preconfigured alerts while others tend

to insert notes in their Outlook calendars.”


Group CIO, Allcargo Logistics


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“With BYOD becoming a huge trend in organizations today, CIOs can

use desktop virtualization to help IT teams centrally manage customer support and cut the clutter around

hardware issues.”

VEnKatESwaRan KRIShnan,

Head-IT, L&T Financial Services

Many end-user problems are more about business processes than technical issues, he says—things you can’t see by rooting around someone’s hard drive. A quick in-person discussion can often streamline the support process. This is especially true when it comes to supporting C-level executives. Offering top management concierge-level support will raise the perception of IT’s value, which can result in productivity gains down the road, thanks to increased funding.

IT Productivity Win No. 4 Write It Down, Get It Done It may sound too simple for words, but writing down the little things can not only make you more productive, it can also free brain cycles for bigger-picture thinking. Mark A. Gilmore, president of strategic consulting firm Wired Integrations, says he keeps a notebook listing all of his daily tasks and reminders so that he can quickly whip through to see where he’s at. “I have found that with the hectic schedule most IT shops keep, they often forget what they were doing two hours ago, let alone two days or two weeks ago,” he says. “Keeping a simple notebook will resolve that issue and improve both communication and productivity within their department and company as a whole. It may seem simple, but you would be amazed at how few people actually do it.” It doesn’t have to be an actual notebook. Online task managers like Remember the Milk and Microsoft Exchange Tasks make it easy to create to-do lists you can access from any Web-connected device, while software like Evernote and Microsoft’s OneNote allow you to organize disparate but related files like Word docs, Web pages, photos, e-mail messages, scanned business cards, and other materials in one place. “I offload the job of remembering tasks to software,” says Bogobowicz. “It’s better at remembering than I will ever be, and it exists on phones, tablets, and computers, so I always have the lists available whenever a task comes up or gets completed. Categorization allows the same software to run different aspects of my work and life at the same time, so I don’t have to mix them or learn different systems.”

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IT Productivity Win No. 5 Stop Micro-managing If you can’t get your work done each day, there’s a good chance it’s because you’re busy doing someone else’s job, says Chaco Consulting’s Rick Brenner. Inexperienced managers in particular are often guilty of taking their old jobs along with them to their new assignments, which leads to micro-managing and a host of other problems. There’s no quick fix for micro-managing, but there is a fast way to figure out if this is your problem. Start by making a list of things you’re doing that you shouldn’t be doing, then list the parts of your job you don’t get to each day. As you winnow the first list, the second one will also shrink, when you realize all of the other things you should be doing but aren’t. “You’ve got to ask yourself, ‘What is my job?’” Brenner says. “With most of my clients, part of their job is to develop the people who are working for them. When I ask them, ‘What did you do today to develop someone else’s skills?’ the answer is usually, ‘Nothing.’ They’re not doing their jobs.” Stepping in and doing the job for your reports only makes the problem worse, Brenner adds. The key is teaching your staff the skills they need to stand on their own. That may require outside training, allocating more resources, or finding ways to reward productive workers without necessarily promoting them into management.

IT Productivity Win No. 6 Get Social Giving employees free reign to spend all day on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube is not the path to productivity. But encouraging them to use Web 2.0-style enterprise collaboration tools can be. For example, the IT staff at direct marketing firm InfoCision uses SharePoint blogs to distribute information, says Doug Backus, senior manager for enterprise architecture.

“We have a knowledge sharing platform on our intranet where both

IT and business users discuss issues every Friday.

This helps us improve collaboration, and provides a better insight into each other’s work profiles.”

Kamal KaRnataK,

SVP & Group CIO, RJ Corp

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“We have an IT group of 100-plus individuals with vast amounts of knowledge on multiple topics,” he says. “In an effort to share that knowledge more effectively, we’ve begun to push the use of team and personal blogs. We have SharePoint, so this is a very easy site to create. Even without SharePoint, though, there are free tools available via the Web Platform Installer that make it easy for any organization to disseminate its knowledge.” Enterprise social networks like Yammer, Spigit, and Clearvale allow employees to collaborate on projects and create a common corporate culture, no matter where they may be physically located. For example, employees at gaming network IGN Entertainment’s US, UK, Australian, and Canadian offices use Yammer internally to critique each others ideas, says Greg Silva, vice president of people and places for IGN. “Yammer gives our leadership team the opportunity to see which employees are consistently contributing ideas and adding to the conversation,” he says. “And because we operate in multiple locations worldwide, it gives our employees the opportunity to engage in any discussion, no matter where it started.” Bienvenido David III, CEO at Java development company TeamEXtension, uses Harvest Co-op, a Twitter-like tool that allows his team to track in real time what anyone is doing at any time. “We use it more for keeping track of resources instead of keeping track of projects or tasks,” he says. “If someone is working on something that’s not planned and might affect a project—like side requests from bosses or mis-communicated tasks—we catch that immediately. We all think about our day before we start, then enter our agenda into CoOp for that day. This extra communication channel helps get everyone in sync and improves our productivity.” CIO With inputs from Debarati Roy Send feedback on this feature to

“Communicate ground rules: What you

expect from your staff as individuals, as well as what you expect from them as a team. We do this by setting KRAs which indicate ‘how to’ and ‘what to’ do.”

KhUShRU d. SIganPoRIa,

Director-IT, The Indian Hotels Company

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6 Ways You Blow Off Steam “Sort the chaff from the grain at the first indication of stress.

It helps prioritize and gets one more focused on the problem at hand.” Bala V. Meshram, VP-IT, Shipping Corporation of India

“In times of intense pressure, I love to indulge in some light moments with my team. Humor helps lift the pressure off everyone’s shoulder and creates a great work environment.” Boman Nakra, CIO & Head-Admin, Credit Agricole Corporate & Investment Bank

“I have initiated regular yoga sessions for my team and this

helps us build collective focus and keeps us calm

during the most critical phases of every project.” Yashpal Soni, CIO, Everest Industries

“I dial up someone I have not spoken with in a long time. It’s a wonderful

“It’s a vicious cycle of great inputs and complimentary outputs.

So my stress buster is the love I develop for the work I do.”

feeling to revive old memories.”

Sudhir P. Arya, Senior VP-Corporate IT, Amtek Group

Saradindu Paul, Senior GM-Corporate IT, Electrosteel Casting

“A quick conversation with my family members and my daughter energizes me and motivates me to tackle the stressful hours at work.” Ajit Manocha, CIO, Syngene


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Anniversary Special

6 Tricks When Divorcing Vendors Follow these six tips to protect your IT assets—and essential company data—from a service provider breakup gone bad.

S By Dan Tynan

Sure, hooking up with a new IT service provider is all cigars and handshakes at first. Promises are made and stars glimmer in your eyes as you sign the contract. The future looks bright. Then things start to go south. “Getting engaged with a vendor is like a wedding party: Everyone is excited and in the mood for fun—and will ignore the small things,” says Nandkishor Dhomne, CIO, Manipal Health Enterprises, a hospital chain with 4,400 beds and stronghold in South India. But before you make a clean break and start fresh with someone new, consider this cautionary tale of a small biotech firm in the Rocky Mountains that decided to dump its IT consultant. When the consultant got wind he was about to be canned, he installed a script that automatically blind-copied him on all e-mails to and from the company’s top executives. He quickly discovered that the firm’s lead scientist was having an affair. On the day the consultant was to be fired, he zipped up 500 racy e-mails and, using another executive’s account, forwarded them to the scientist’s wife. “It was worse than a soap opera and very tragic for the client,” says Patty Laushman, CEO of the Uptime Group, an IT shop asked to perform computer forensics to prove that the firm’s IT vendor was behind the scheme. “Had we known how unhappy they were with their current vendor, we would have coached them on how to safely make the switch.” Then there are vendors who feel wronged and just sue you. That happened to Nandu Bhat, GM-IT at Wilson Sandhu Logistics, during a previous stint as the head of IT at a multinational advertising


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Reader ROI: The importance of a ‘prenup’ How to outmaneuver an angry vendor Why preparing for the worst makes sense

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“Keeping a cool head: That’s the most critical factor in making a decision to disengage. firm. Bhat says he canceled an order for Apple desktops because the distributor delayed delivery and got landed with a law suit. Bhat found a way out. But for CIOs breaking up with their service providers—who have access to confidential data and core business systems—the risks grow exponentially. Fortunately, you don’t have to suffer through an ugly divorce— provided you go about it the right way. Here’s some sage advice from people who’ve been there.

Divorce Tip 1 Cooler Heads Prevail If you decide to separate from a vendor, avoid doing it in the heat of anger, says Jeff Huckaby, CEO of RackAid, a provider of server management services. If your service provider has made a major mistake, wait to see how they respond before you get medieval on them. Whether the provider sincerely tries to fix the problem or merely placates you plays a major part in deciding whether to pull the plug. Even then, the decision should be well planned and deliberate. “Keeping a cool head: That’s the most critical factor in making a decision to disengage. Even early thoughts on a possible disengagement should start in a cool, collected, mature, and unbiased way,” says Manipal Hospital’s Dhomne. “As a CIO, I weigh the ‘switchover cost’, before I decide to divorce a vendor. I believe that CIOs should avoid knee-jerk reactions and should handle adverse support using proper escalation, before taking the extreme step,” says Sabyasachi Thakur, CIO, AIOCD. “I always give vendors a second chance and an opportunity to correct their mistakes,’ says Dhomne. If possible, Huckaby advises giving the vendor plenty of notice, as well as detailed feedback on why you chose to go in another direction. But beware of scorned vendors looking to salve their hurt feelings by holding your data hostage or making unreasonable demands, says Norman Harber, CEO of Leverage Corporation, an IT strategy firm for SMBs. “Reminding the vendor being replaced that the company can still be a good reference or referral source for them—or quite the opposite if provoked—can go a long way to keeping the peace,” says Harber. “So can finding ways to withhold exit payments until the transition is complete, or even offering up a small bonus upon successful (and tantrum-free) completion of the transition.”

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Even early thoughts on a possible disengagement should start in a cool, collected, mature, and unbiased way.” nandKIShoR dhomnE,

CIO, Manipal Health Enterprises

“As a CIO, I weigh the ‘switchover cost’, before I decide to divorce a vendor. I

strongly believe that CIOs should avoid knee-jerk reactions and

handle adverse support with proper escalation methods, before taking the extreme step.” SabyaSachI thaKUR,


Divorce Tip 2 Play the Field Before Severing Ties In the world of flesh-and-blood relationships, it’s generally a bad idea to take up with a new flame without fully disentangling yourself from your old one. Not so in the IT world, says Huckaby. That’s a strategy Bhat used when his distributor dilly-dallied on an order for Apple desktops. He says he started scouting for alternatives and soon found someone who could deliver the goods cheaper—and in quarter the time. He says that playing the field also allows CIOs to show their vendors that they can’t be taken for a ride. “I’m always on the hunt for updated news on products, prices, and trends in the market. I convey this to my vendors and let them know I’m clued in on market trends,” says Bhat. Jagdish Shetty, GM-IT Infotech Raheja Universal agrees. “For a successful transition, I follow a four-step method. First, understand the transition plan and budget. Then find proper alternative vendors. REAL CIO WORLD | N O V E M B E R 1 5 , 2 0 1 1


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Then communicate the transition to your internal team and finally plan for the worst and expect the best from a transition.” But once you’ve decided to break ties with a vendor start protecting yourself. “Be careful not to schedule transitions in a way that leaves your IT operations unsupported or unfulfilled as you change vendors,” says Huckaby. “In general, we advise not to fire a vendor until a suitable alternative is ready to go,” notes Eric Leland, a partner at tech strategy and Web development firm FivePaths. “While this can be costly on the vendor services side, it can save a ton of cost in system downtime, workarounds, switching systems, and change management.” In fact, your transition will go much smoother if your old and new vendors can speak directly to each other, says Leverage Corporation’s Harber. “Your new flame and your soon-to-be-ex should definitely meet,” says Harber, “primarily so that the new vendor can get a complete snapshot of the environment and services being replaced.” And then cut the cord. “Trying to maintain a residual relationship (the business equivalent of ‘just friends’) can lead to complications down the road,” Harber adds. “When it is time for the relationship to end, end it completely.”

Divorce Tip 3 Don’t Get Lost in the Cloud Just because a vendor is providing service in the cloud doesn’t make it any easier to break it off and take up with someone new. In some ways, it’s more complicated, notes FivePaths’ Leland. “With cloud-based applications, the strategy for firing vendors has changed,” says Leland. “The risk of losing everything—the service plus all data—is increased, as many of these service providers manage both. Companies should investigate what critical services the vendor offers and how much of the data is critical for daily operations and customer satisfaction?” “Data security in the cloud is the trickiest and the most difficult to manage,” says says Girish Ramakrishnan, head of applications and infrastructure, Muthoot Fincorp. “While switching over from your cloud vendor, make sure your data is clean and that all cloud security practices are being adhered to.” Leverage Corporation’s Harber says you need to treat virtual breakups even more carefully than real-world ones to avoid losing access to critical functionality or important data. “Companies often develop a blind spot when it comes to the transition of vendors of online, virtual, or cloud services and assume that the transition occurs merely by flipping a switch,” says Harber. “The massive configurability, unique data architectures, and specialized security and access requirements of a virtual datacenter, for example, actually can make the transition process even more more complicated.”

Divorce Tip 4 Avoid Custody Battles Another big mistake is becoming too dependent on a single provider. Small firms in particular often fail to obtain full-time 52

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“I’m always on the hunt for updated news

on products, prices and trends in the market. I

convey that to my vendors to let them know I’m clued in on market trends.”

nandU bhat

GM-IT at Wilson Sandhu Logistics

“For a successful transition, I follow four steps. First, understand the transition plan and budget. Then find alternative vendors. Then communicate the transition to your team and finally plan

for the worst and expect the best.” jagdISh ShEtty,

GM-IT Infotech, Raheja Universal

custody of the apps, content, or systems their now ex-vendor has created. They end up with apps that can’t be upgraded, systems no one else can use, or critical data residing on someone else’s servers and no way to access it. “In many cases, companies can get vendors to help them do critical work in preparation for firing them, through existing support agreements,” says FivePath’s Leland. “For example, vendors can help validate that backups are functional and complete. It’s important to review the terms of service and privacy policies to understand what rights you have to your data—this will help companies prepare for the switch before firing them.” As you review your policies keep an eye for breaches in SLAs. “The moment you believe you need to part ways with your vendor, start building a case for separation. It could be simple things such as monitoring of SLAs more strictly, or adhering to terms and conditions that you would have otherwise overlooked in view of a long-term relationship. Make your case over time so that the separation doesn’t look like a spur-of the-moment decision. This could also give your vendor a heads-up of your intention,” says Rahul Mahajan, AVP-IT, K. Raheja Corp. Besides code and content, organizations must own the knowledge

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of how their IT systems work, Uptime Group’s Laushman says. The last thing you want is a situation in which your now ex-consultant has total knowledge of a business-critical system, with no paper trail for anyone else to follow. “One guy had been our client’s sole custom developer for 10 years, with zero documentation,” Laushman says. “We met with the company and said we need to figure out how to get some documentation without arousing his suspicions. Otherwise it was going to cost them a lot of money while we figured out how everything worked. Most network and system admins hate doing doc work, but you have to insist they provide it along the way. Every piece of documentation will save you money down the line.” Mahajan has another piece of advice. “Before you announce the separation to your vendor, start gathering back data, especially IP data, lying with the vendor. Do this in phased manner by insourcing some activities and services. Also, inform your team members, your counterparts in other geographies, and SBUs of your intention and find out how your move will affect them.” .

Divorce Tip 5 Take a Long Look in the Mirror Before you file the divorce papers, it’s a good idea to pull back from the brink and ask whether your own actions have contributed to the problem. “Usually both parties to a conflict contribute something,” says Rick Brenner, principal at Chaco Canyon Consulting. “Before taking any action, check that you’ve done everything you can to straighten things out on your side of the fence.” For Bhat from Wilson Sandhu Logistics, the best way to avoid being in the wrong is not playing games, he says. “It pays to be straight and candid with vendors. I have always propagated a zero-tolerance for nonsense. I make my strict attitude clear as well as the consequences of non-performance on terms and conditions,” he says. In some cases, both parties are at fault. Accept it: You may have done a poor job communicating what you want or have had unrealistic expectations about what the vendor can really deliver. Small vendors or solo practitioners may possess valuable expertise but might just be

“The moment you believe you need to part ways with your vendor, start building a case for separation. Make your case over time so that the

separation doesn’t look like a spur-of themoment decision.

RahUl mahajan,

AVP-IT, K. Raheja Corp

It t Strategy

“Data security in the cloud is the trickiest and the most difficult to manage. While

switching cloud vendors, ensure your data is clean and

that all cloud security practices are being adhered to.” gIRISh RamaKRIShnan,

Head Applications and Infrastructure, Muthoot Fincorp

overloaded from time to time and fail respond in a timely manner. Brenner says many organizations fail to pay enough attention to “vendor relationship management” (VRM), which can affect all of their relationships with outside firms. “If you’re doing proper VRM, conflict between your staff and vendor staff should not be news,” he says. “It will never turn toxic enough to threaten the relationship, because you’ll have the situational awareness necessary to intervene constructively long before the conflict reaches that point. For clients, it takes real effort to maintain the kind of relationship you have with your IT vendors— especially those who do custom development. Yet few recognize the full scope of this requirement in their budgets, and even fewer take it into account when making the vendor selection decision, or the outsourcing decision.”

Divorce Tip 6 Consider Counseling A better alternative to a sudden split (and the resulting lawsuits) is building a dispute resolution mechanism such as mediation or arbitration into the service agreement, says Ethan Katsh, director of the National Center for Technology and Dispute Resolution at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. With mediation, a neutral third party works with the parties to find a mutually satisfactory outcome. In arbitration, a third party decides who’s right, and the disputants are legally bound to honor the decision. “Mediation has a significant advantage because if any outcome is reached it’s because both parties wanted it,” Katsh says. “At the end of a successful mediation, both parties walk away happy.” The advantage of arbitration is that you know you’ll end up with a resolution, although you may not like the results. Managed well, the dissolution could enable you and your vendor to work together again in the future. But don’t count on it. CIO Send feedback on this feature to

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6 Paths You Would Never Go Down “I will never take the private cloud route. When the scalability, security and affordability of public clouds are top notch, I will

“I would avoid a vendor who lacks commitment, lacks professional conduct, or is unable to demonstrate an understanding of my industry.”

not make the mistake of building a private cloud instead of moving to a public one.”

Dipesh Thakar, Group-CTO, HDIL Financial Services

Vivek Khanna, CIO, Videocon Mobile Services

“I wouldn’t build

technology solutions that we don’t have in-house expertise for. The solution might be technically sound but it’ll be hard if we don’t find the apt skill-set.”

Viswanath Ramachandran , CTO, SMS Gupshup

“I wish to continue implementing SAP since I am convinced of its robustness and reliability. And thus,

I don’t think of implementing Oracle.” Srikanth V. S., Senior GM-IT & Systems, Brigade Group

“I wouldn’t go for large modules from big players like Oracle and SAP. We might adopt a smaller module that would change dynamically, according to our needs.” Vinay Agrrawal, MD, Unicel Technologies

“I would think twice before taking on license

agreements. With so many hosting solutions around e-mail, and office on the Web, one should be very sure

before committing to enterprise licensing.”

Karandeep Singh, Head-IT Infrastructure, Fullerton Securities & Wealth Advisors


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6 of IT’s Biggest Money Wasters Learn how to rescue precious resources from tech’s six most notorious money pits. By Dan Tynan

E Reader ROI:

Why you should closely monitor usage levels of cloud apps Why re-looking your SLAs makes sense

How a paper-less office could save you billions


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Even in these lean times, where tech budgets are trimmed to the bone, money gets wasted. Companies routinely overspend on software licenses and service-level agreements. It’s possible to have too much bandwidth at your disposal and to store too much e-mail on company servers, not to mention the billions of dollars still wasted on paper and ink. Then there’s the inevitable project from hell that ends up swirling down the toilet, dragging your precious IT resources behind it. It doesn’t have to be this way. Though there’s no one-click solution to any of these money wasters, there are ways you can stanch the flow of dollars and use it on the items that will make your IT organization shine. Here are the secrets.

IT’s Biggest Money Waster No. 1 Dusty Software Licenses A 2010 IDC survey of midsize and large businesses found that well over half of enterprise applications are underutilized, with anywhere from 25 percent to more than 75 percent of licenses paid for but unused, notes IDC analyst Amy Konar. “Organizations typically use less than 50 percent of an installed ERP system and are paying significant licensing and maintenance fees for modules and functionality that are not providing value

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to the business,” says Kathryn Douglass, managing partner of IT consultants WillowTree Advisors. “They need to review their named-user licenses and renegotiate agreements to remove unused or duplicate users from licenses. The difference between a 2,000named-user license and a 1,500-named-user license can easily be $500,000 (about Rs 235 lakh).” Small and mid-sized businesses may be able to get away with using an Excel spreadsheet and their accounts payable records to true-up their software needs. But larger, more complex operations need enterprise-level software that can track software assets, gauge their use, and optimize the licenses accordingly, says Steve Schmidt, VP-product management, Flexera Software, maker of application usage management solutions. Every company should start by collecting information on the software they are paying for and what they actually use, says Schmidt. For many companies, that tends to be a one-time event instead of a continual process. Asset tracking and license optimization need to account for such details as downgrade rights and second-machine use rights. Global companies may have concurrent agreements that allow them to use one license

“A number of licenses (that cost over Rs 10 lakh per license) lay unused in our company. So,

we posted details of available licenses on our intranet to help procurement teams trace their availability, thus saving us 20-22 percent on license costs.” ValERIo FERnandES,

Head-IT, Continental Automotive Components

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24/7, shifting from one physical location to another as the day progresses. Even users of cloud apps need to closely monitor their usage levels—which can be hard to do manually. “You want to be able to combine that information in an intelligent and automated way so that you can make good decisions about optimizing,” Schmidt says. The IT head of Continental Automotive Components, Valerio Fernandes, did just that. “A number of licenses (that cost over Rs 10 lakh per license) lay unused in our company. So, we posted details of available licenses on the Internet to help procurement teams trace their availability, saving 20-22 percent license costs.” Likewise, for other large enterprises too, the amount of money left on the table is far from trivial. Procter & Gamble used Flexera’s FlexNet Manager Suite to eliminate unnecessary licenses for its Oracle and SAP products, trimming more than $30 million (about Rs 141 crore) from its annual software budget.

IT’s Biggest Money Waster No. 2 The Paper Chase Remember the “paperless office”? Turns out it was just another fantasy, kind of like “clean” coal or change we can believe in. Despite the influx of digital technology over the past 30 years, office workers still consume an average of 10,000 pages per person every year—about $80 (about Rs 3,760) worth—according to the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. Nearly half of that

“At Sapient, every user has a print limit of 60 pages.

We have also started circulating monthly reports featuring the biggest consumer of paper, like a ‘hall of shame’, with a phenomenal impact.”

mohammad waSIm,

Director, Sapient

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paper ends up as trash before the day is out. US corporations spend $120 billion (about Rs 5, 64, 000 crore) per year on paper forms alone, notes a Xerox study. But the costs don’t end at paper. Ounce for ounce, the ink inside a typical printer cartridge is 15 times more expensive than Dom Perignon champagne, according to Chronicle Research. Filing that paper, copying it, mailing it, storing it, and finding it again can add up to more than 30 times the original cost of printing, as per a 2005 study by the Minnesota Office of Environmental Assistance. A paperless office is still not very likely. But a less-paper office is entirely doable. Step one: Get rid of forms that need to be processed by hand, says Paula Selvidge, VP of user experience at PerfectForms, a business process automation company “Companies often use paper forms to complete daily tasks or electronic forms that are then printed out (vacation requests, time sheets, bill-back spreadsheets),” says Selvidge. “Copies of these are sent to another group of people, like HR, after that—the next step in a long, overly complicated approval cycle—and finally handed off to the department head. You multiply this by the hundreds of admin tasks that require approval every day, and you can practically see the trees frowning.” Simply converting required forms from paper to digital instantly saved $10,000 (about Rs 4.7 lakh) for one school in California, Selvidge says. Step two: Get employees to stop needlessly printing all or parts of e-mails, Web pages, or other electronic documents that don’t really need to be on paper, says Kent Dunn, VP of sales and business development for GreenPrint, which makes software that helps users conserve paper and ink/toner by avoiding unnecessary print jobs. GreenPrint claims an enterprise with 5,000 PCs will avoid printing some 6.3 million pages, saving

“Initially, while deploying a new technology, most people chose the SLA route as internal skillsets required to monitor performance aren’t available. But we believe

in developing skills internally to

monitor latency and downtime on our own.” nItIn PaREKh,

GM-IT, Gharda Chemicals


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nearly $400,000 (about Rs 188 lakh) annually. “There are no magic buttons that an organization can press to solve the print waste problem,” says Dunn. But that’s not entirely true. Ask Mohammad Wasim, director, Sapient who enforced a print limit rule in his organization that worked like a charm. “At Sapient, every user has a print limit of 60 pages. We have also started circulating monthly reports featuring the biggest consumer of paper, like a ‘hall of shame’, with a phenomenal impact.” It is evident that the power to create a paperless office lies with the people. “In the end, individuals are responsible for creating print waste, and they have to be involved to make it go away. Once people are engaged, they have to be empowered with the right tools to solve the problem, and then the organization must enforce the print reduction targets it established.”

IT’s Biggest Money Waster No. 3 Gold-Plated SLAs Whether it’s for help desk services, Web hosting, or server uptime guarantees, too many IT organizations are paying for Lexus-level service when a Toyota Camry SLA is more than adequate. “Most sourcing agreements for IT services include amazingly high service levels,” says Matthew H. Podowitz, independent IT consultant and author of The IT Value Challenge blog. “But how many businesses really require 99.999 uptime 24 hours a day, 7 days a week?” That five-nines uptime agreement may mean your site or servers will only be unavailable for perhaps 15 minutes per year, he adds. “But if you paid for only 98.5 percent uptime, and your systems went down for maybe a dozen hours a year, so what?” Unless that downtime puts you at a competitive disadvantage or causes revenue to slip through the cracks, it probably won’t make a difference, he says. There are exceptions, of course. If you’re a county government, you don’t want to reduce the uptime for your emergency service, but your accounting data probably doesn’t need to be accessible all the time. Even IT departments where labor and outsourcing budgets have been trimmed to the bone can still save money by taking a hard look at their SLAs, especially in the area of help desk support, says John Baschab, senior vice president for technology solutions and staffing firm Technisource. “Over-serving particular areas is a big source of overspending in the operating budget,” he says. “A hard look at benchmarks and numbers will help here. One specific area that should be evaluated is the help desk or incident management area. Companies would often like to move to a prevention model (like end-user selfservice) instead of a cure model, but it can be difficult if you don’t already have effective SLA measures in place because as you change models it is hard to tell if you have actually reduced the incidents. The worst case is investing in a preventative model but not cutting down on the total incidents.”

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“The most important resource that the e-mail monster sucks up is time. Did you know

that 80 percent of your mail is spam?

Just implementing anti-spam tools can save your staffers about 30 percent of their time.” R.d. malaV,

VP-IT, Jindal Polyfilms

The hardest part, says Baschab is deciding what services are essential and which are merely optional. “ “The most difficult part is separating the needed services vs. the ‘fat’ that can creep in over time,” he adds. “This requires careful analysis and considerable experience in benchmarking, IT demand management, service-level setting, and governance.” And checking if your department has the required skill sets to manage SLAs. While deploying a new technology, the rule of the game is: Pay up or go out of business! Hence, initially, one goes for an SLA out of necessity. But, the skill sets required to manage it aren’t available,” says Nitin Parekh, GM-IT, Gharda Chemicals.

IT’s Biggest Money Waster No. 4 The E-mail Monster You already knew e-mail was a productivity suck, but it also sucks money out of your organization in terms of storage, maintenance, software licenses, server upkeep, and the constant battle against spam, malware, and data leaks. And a world of time. “The most important resource the e-mail monster sucks is time. Did you know that 80 percent of your mail is spam? Just implementing anti-spam tools can cost the administrative team about 30 percent of its time,” says R.D. Malav, VP-IT, Jindal Polyfilms. And it’s a problem that will only get worse. Netizens sent 247 billion e-mails a day in 2009, per the Radicati Group, with enterprise e-mail accounting for roughly a quarter of that total. By 2013, e-mail volume will double—creating a massive storage headache for enterprises. “Resources consumed by e-mail messages and their attachments are a major concern for many companies,” says WillowTree’s Douglass. “A 10,000-user organization without mailbox policies consumes an average of 30GB of storage per day from e-mail messages alone.” Using software configurations or an enterprise e-mail management tool in conjunction with an e-mail archive policy

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“I don’t see bandwidth as a liability but a necessity. After taking into account increases in traffic during peak hours, I know that having a lot of

bandwidth is a second-tonone idea.”

ajay mISRa,

CIO, Punjab National Bank

can cut storage costs by managing retention, enforcing limits on the size of file attachments, and redirecting users to third-party collaboration tools like SharePoint, where large files can be shared more efficiently, says Douglass. “Monitoring and understanding the habits of e-mail users and helping them find alternate ways to send, store, and retrieve information can result in significant storage cost reductions and, as an added bonus, increased e-mail performance,” Douglass adds. But others argue that the proper place for e-mail is the cloud, where the rising storage, maintenance, and security concerns are somebody else’s problem. “For companies with up to 1,000 people, having an in-house Exchange architecture is a huge waste,” says Gary Bahadur, CEO of KRAA Security. “E-mail is definitely one of those things that should be outsourced to the cloud. You no longer have to worry about the costs associated with hardware and software licenses, downtime, combating viruses, or emergency calls to IT admins at 3 AM. A hosted e-mail platform is backed up automatically, has a 24/7 staff, is more up to date on security patches, and is staffed by e-mail experts instead of tech generalists. If you want to save some money, host your e-mail.”

IT’s Biggest Money Waster No. 5: Excess Bandwidth You can’t be too rich or too thin, nor can you have too much bandwidth at your disposal—at least, that’s the common belief. But many companies are wasting their money on bandwidth they don’t really need instead of doing a better job managing the bandwidth they already have, says Andrew Rubin, CEO of network optimization provider Cymtec. If a problem arises anywhere on the network, IT’s first response is almost always to throw more bandwidth at it, he says. “If you’ve got a T1 line, then it’s time for a T3. Still too slow? Then go for a 100MB pipe. But when they look at their actual REAL CIO WORLD | N O V E M B E R 1 5 , 2 0 1 1


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bandwidth usage they find out they’ve got a 100MB pipe but are only using 1 percent of it.” Companies that have overbuilt their networks shrug and say they’ll eventually grow into it, says Rubin. “A better approach is to build a little ahead of the 8-ball, but manage it as tightly as humanly possible,” he says. “Understanding what’s happening and having great visibility and control is how you can get the most out of your investment.” At a certain point, bandwidth becomes a status symbol; if a company buys Tier 1 bandwidth, they think it makes them a Tier 1 player, says Jun Group’s Woods. That’s not necessarily the case. “Deep down, ambitious executives believe they will be the next eBay, and that’s a good thing,” Woods says. “So when it comes time to build, small companies buy expensive servers or managed hosting (‘to grow into’) when Amazon’s cloud will serve them surpassingly well. Medium-sized companies buy elaborate blade infrastructure and Tier 1 bandwidth in major markets like New York or San Francisco, when they only need down-market hardware and more affordable hosting solutions. And they will never meet a salesperson who doesn’t agree.”

IT’s Biggest Money Waster No. 6: IT Projects Gone Wild Ambitious, big-budget IT projects often seem to have failure built in from the start. In survey after survey, IT organizations have reported project failure rates of 30 to 70 percent. The tech industry is rife with stories of multi-million-dollar projects that are late, over-budget, or simply abandoned. According to the Standish Group’s 2009 CHAOS report, one out of four IT projects is never completed, collectively costing companies billions of dollars. “The most common root causes of IT waste I see follows a theme of poor IT project management,” says Chris Stephenson, partner

“A SAP project was abandoned midway at our UK office recently. Globally,

many companies pour millions down the drain due to badly handled change

management and a lack of ownership and accountability.” PRataP joShI,

GM-IT, JCB India


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and co-founder of Arryve, a strategy and management consulting firm. Pratap Joshi, GM-IT, JCB India agrees. “An SAP project was abandoned mid-way at our UK office recently. Globally, many companies pour millions of pounds down the drain owing to badly handled change management issues and a lack of ownership and accountability.” And other reasons like failure to adopt a standard way to measure a project’s success (or lack thereof) and a hands-off approach from management. “Too often, IT-related projects are a series of hand-offs from the business to the developers to the testers to operations,” he says. “Without involving all parties throughout the entire project, alignment is quickly lost and duplicative work efforts occur. I’d estimate the time to complete projects that do not follow [sound IT project management] rules double the cost and time of IT projects. They also increase the risk of low business adoption or outright project abandonment.” The biggest single money suck in most failed projects isn’t software or hardware—it’s the cost of employees whose time has gone into them, says Curt Finch, CEO of Journyx, a maker of Webbased time-tracking and project management tools. “IT projects fail because they are out of control, over-budget, or broken,” says Finch. “Companies must figure out which of their IT projects are high-risk and which ones are low-risk. The best way to measure that risk is to track employee time spent on projects, while simultaneously estimating how much of the project is complete. If the project budget is 1,000 person-hours and 50 percent (that is 500 hours) is used up but the project is only 15 percent complete, then you know you have a high-risk project—and a big problem.” You can avoid an endless money pit by following a few commonsense rules, says Finch. For example: Don’t start projects you know you can’t finish or take up three projects when you have the resources to complete only one. Take the pulse of your project on a regular basis. If it’s only 10 percent done but you’ve spent 15 percent of the money, odds are the numbers will only get worse. Give accurate status updates; if a project is behind schedule and/or over budget, hiding that fact will only hurt you later. “This is all very basic—not easy, but basic—yet almost no one does it well,” Finch says. “If a project is in trouble and management really wants it to succeed, they’ll find a way to help. Otherwise, they’ll start looking for someone to blame. In that case, you’d better start looking for a new job.” CIO

With inputs from Shweta Rao Dan Tynan is contributing editor at InfoWorld. Send feedback on this feature to

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6 Traits You Look for in Your Team “Team players who are open to solutions given by others are the basis of a healthy work environment. When egos are

thrown out of the door, work of a very high quality gets done.” Narendra Kumar Verma, DGM-IT, Rashtriya Chemicals & Fertilizers

“If IT doesn’t want business to view it as an isolated quadrant, it needs someone who is cost-conscious. The

“Integrity is a trait that separates an indispensable team member from the rest. Many of

ability to deliver with cost implications in

mind will take us closer to our goals.”

new recruits sound interesting in their interviews but are not able to work towards organization goals because they jump jobs.”

Rajesh Nair, Vice President, Credit Suisse

Vishwas Pitre, AVP, Head IT & CISO, Zensar Technologies

“Having a good technical mind around gives me immense mental satisfaction. Nothing equals the peace of

mind that comes from having a team member who knows the nuts and bolts of a system better than I!”

Virendra Bansal, Group CIO, Luminous Technologies

“A never-say-no approach helps take a team forward. The IT team often receives fresh requirements from customers postdeployment, which is often beyond its scope of work. A naysayer

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“I treat meeting timelines at work above all traits in an individual. And

at this juncture will only squash potential business.”

by that I mean customer-focused timelines which may or may not coincide with project deadlines.”

K.T. Rajan, Director-Operations, Allergan India

B.R. Reddy, DirectorOperations, Natco Pharma

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AGILE IT FUNCTION Anuj Bahl, Head – IT, OnMobile Global Limited, talks about some important things CIOs need to keep in mind when taking steps to bring in agility into IT function.


is an Electronics and Telecommunication Engineer and is currently working as Director – IT at OnMobile Global Ltd. He also has a degree in Management from Management Development Institute, Gurgaon. He has immense experience in managing Information Technology function across diverse industry verticals.


s the old adage goes, you cannot improve what you cannot measure; therefore before an IT leader starts making any change in IT function, it is imperative to benchmark the current performance level for various vital elements that form an IT function, and this becomes a tipping point towards the journey of forming an agile IT function. Be it people, technology, processes or partners, their current performance level study will act as a stepping stone from where the journey of imbibing agility as the DNA of IT function starts. It is all the more important to start benchmarking where you are rather than benchmarking where you want to be. To make IT a strategic weapon that provides agility and competitive advantage to the business, an IT leader needs to create a roadmap to align all the above mentioned vital elements with the organizational strategy. The following approach can be extremely helpful in achieving this target:

People People are the biggest assets that an organization can have and a CIO must value this asset the most in this journey

towards achieving flexibility in the IT function. Many leaders stumble when it comes to building a winning team and this can result in a significant delay in achieving the agility target. CIOs need to ensure that team is structured in such a way that it synchronizes with the organizational strategy. Having complementary skill sets within team members is as important as having a stable and pepped-up team. IT leaders need to clearly benchmark their team’s performance on attributes such as: business understanding, industry knowledge, innovation and can-do attitude, apart from their competence, energy, analytical skills, interpersonal relationship, focus and eye for detail among others. At the same time, the CIO should clearly articulate the measurement criteria for each of these parameters to the team right at the beginning of the agility journey. Doing so will not only increase transparency in the system but will also act as a guiding light for the team members. Based on performance, IT Leaders also need to appreciate and motivate the team from time to time, so that the teammates themselves strive towards achieving the much required flexibility in IT function.


Technology Technology selection is another vital element that will make the function scalable and agile in the long term. In recent years, a lot of emerging technologies like cloud computing, Software as a Service (SaaS), Virtualization, Collaboration Technologies, Social Networks and Agile methodologies like Scrum and Dynamic systems development method (DSDM) have emerged and have shown the potential for empowering businesses to achieve better ability to provide not only customer delight, but also the agility to the business teams to align the business strategy with the ever-changing external environment. Selection of these technology vectors should be made after doing a proper due diligence and with a proper understanding of factors like: reduced Total Cost of Ownership (TCO), Information Security & Data Integrity, quicker Turnaround Time (TAT) and so on. Selection of a correct mix of these technologies is one of the most important responsibilities that an IT leader needs to undertake in this journey. Selecting inappropriate or partially fruitful technology can push back the entire effort and the results could be detrimental to business goals. There is no cookie cutter approach that is available in the market today using which an IT leader can select any of these technologies and aim for readily achieving agility. In many cases, service providers or other technology partners can be helpful in rapidly achieving agility, but the CIOs must assess factors such as: the service levels being offered by the service providers, interoperability between different service providers/platforms, built-in flexibility of the entire solution etc. so that this selection does not restrict the future maneuverability and, thus, a CIO can overcome agility traps that promise shorter turnaround time but are difficult to sustain.

Lean Processes Agility of IT function depends not only upon the underlying technology and the people

who are administering it, but also upon the processes that are being followed within the IT function. Lean and flexible processes can, in turn, create business value that can help the organization achieve newer heights. Therefore, a CIO must tap every opportunity that exists when a process can be improved to either advance the organizational strategy or the improved process results into an improvement in business performance in observable and measurable terms. Systematically linking the processes to the performance metrics, and analyzing the available options in detail to push the performance to a higher level will form the backbone of an agile IT function and this will eventually strengthen the whole organization.

“A performance-level study acts as the stepping stone from where the journey of imbibing agility as the DNA of IT function starts.�

imperative to have a plan for multi-sourcing. The partner selection in a multi-sourcing environment can be based on various factors like: core competence, economies of scale, efficiency, enhancement, transformation, onsite/offsite demographics, organizational values, competing nature of business etc. Selecting a partner is also a function of sourcing one’s needed capabilities and competencies from the best possible mix of internal and external resources. It is important to measure the quality of relationship with the partners as it is to measure price, value, service levels and operational excellence. For any CIO to offer the best return to the stakeholders he must source the best value services, products and talent on a global basis, since there is tremendous value to be harnessed by embracing multi-sourcing. After doing the benchmarking of current performance levels and creating a roadmap as discussed above, it is time for the IT leaders to accelerate the execution of this roadmap. On a periodic basis, IT leaders should ascertain that the execution is as per the predetermined plan and milestones are being achieved in rapid succession. Once this agility approach becomes a standard, it needs to be inculcated as one of the core values in IT function. A timely and periodic alignment of this agility approach with the organizational strategy is a sure shot way of ensuring that IT function acts as a value creator and enhancer for the organization in future.

Partner Sourcing Strategy Another critical make or break element in forming the agile IT function is to have a clear and well thought-out partner sourcing strategy. Partner sourcing is an element that is correlated to the fulfillment of business strategy. A CIO needs to ensure that the nature of sourcing relationships formed has to be tightly coupled with the business strategy and only then can the expected results be achieved. Considering the various requirements of disparate functions in the organization, it becomes

This Interview is brought to you by IDG Custom Solutions Group in association with


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Stock your organization with these six IT miracle workers, but beware the dark side of their superpowers run amok.

IT superheroes can’t fly—at least, not without an airplane. They don’t possess X-ray vision or super strength. They won’t be found wearing capes or spandex (at work). But the geeks who save the day time and time again for enterprises around the globe exhibit some extraordinary powers. Some tech heroes have an instinctive ability to iron out problems and conjure up solutions. Some are quick-fix artists who do their best work under pressure or when all seems lost. Others are tireless workers who will not quit until the battle has been

won, or insist on doing things the right way every day, no matter the cost. Most organizations can’t function without at least one kind of IT superhero—and usually more. But beware: All heroes have fatal flaws, and sometimes a hero is not what he or she seems. Relying too much on geek heroics can backfire badly. Here are six geek superheroes, one of whom could be a supervillain in disguise. No need to put out the bat signal to find them—just look inside your IT department.

CapTaIn InSTInCT Technical degrees from top schools and high-level certifications are all well and good, but to be an IT superhero sometimes you just gotta go with your gut. “What’s important is your ability to feel your way through things,” says Anthony R. Howard, a best-selling author and independent technology consultant for Fortune 50 companies and the US military. “Old-school geeks like me who have been living and breathing this stuff for 20 years can just sense what’s wrong and how to fix it.” For example, in 2007 Howard was called in by a major bank that had suffered a catastrophic failure of its primary storage array. “For four days, they called anyone they could think of to figure out why their storage array was down,” he says. “Finally they called me. Before I even touched the array, I had figured out the problem.” It turned out the bank’s tech team had installed a new disc tray into an older array. The new tray was incompatible, bringing the system to a screeching halt. “After doing IT for so long, I had a kind of sixth sense about what it could be,” he says. “There were only a few things that could cause a fully redundant array to go down without a power outage. I went with my gut.” The failed array cost the bank untold millions of dollars in downtime. Afterward, all but one of the bank’s tech team was fired, says Howard. The guy who told the truth about what went wrong, instead of trying to cover his assets, was spared. But there’s a downside to relying only on instinct: Guess wrong, and your intuition can come back to bite you. Howard says you need to back up your gut feelings with facts before you go public with your theory. Superpower: “You want to follow your hunch, but back it up with the facts before you Otherworldly broadcast it,” he says. “Even if you end up being wrong, no one can fault you IT Intuition because you’ve substantiated it.” Vol/7 | ISSUE/01

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FanTaSTIC plaSTIC TeCH Man The tireless IT admin who’s never offline. The network engineer who pulls 24-hour shifts when disaster strikes. The coder who never seems to sleep. These are IT heroes by necessity, not choice. Due to downsizing, many tech pros have been forced to do the work of two or three people, notes Mike Meikle, CEO of the Hawkthorne Group, a boutique management and technology consulting firm. Even when basic admin or support duties have been outsourced, once the outside contractor or managed service provider hits their contractual limits, the spillover falls to this hero. “They’re like the guy in Fantastic Four who can stretch his body and cover anything,” Meikle says. “They fill the gap when your outsourcers hit their allotted support time or contractual bureaucracy stalls progress.” Often geeks have no alternative but to push hard until the job is done. After Chile’s Puyehue volcano erupted last June, Iron Mountain network engineer Chris Preister flew to Buenos Aires and worked around the clock for four days migrating his company’s network, getting out moments before the airport was shut down. “There’s no magic or voodoo to it,” he says. “It’s just hard work and commitment.” This dependence on heroes bleeds over to development, when teams are often pushed too hard to make unrealistic deadlines, says Steven A. Lowe, CEO of Innovator, a consulting and custom software development firm. “Some IT heroes push through and code for 70 straight hours and sleep under their desks to meet deadlines,” he says. “The problem is that their mental acuity starts to degrade after so many hours in front of a keyboard, and they start to make mistakes.” Their fatal flaw? Burnout. Even the most powerful IT hero can get stretched too thin and will snap—usually into another job, says Meikle. “The danger to the business is if they say they need it in three months and you get it done in three months, they’ll want the next project done in three months too,” adds Lowe. “They forget that IT got it done because everyone was working 90 hours a week. That’s not sustainable. Relying on heroes can be dangerous.”


Superpower: Extreme Stamina and Flexibility


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Superpower: Quick and Dirty Fixes


Dr. KluDge

“The dirty little secret of many acts of IT heroism is that the hero hacked the solution,” says Innovator’s Lowe. Instead of doing it by the book, this hero plugs a patch into the code to get it working right now. Lowe recently consulted with a company whose dev team inherited a 100-line script to control document display. The script was a hack from day one, but fixing it was never a priority. “Every time a new machine came online, its IP address got hard-coded into the script,” he says, “so the script gradually grew to over 800 lines. It’s unmaintainable and will have to be redone eventually.” Production systems are particularly susceptible to this sort of hacking, Lowe says, because when the software fails, productivity stops, which costs the company money by the minute. The danger with this kind of hero is that the technical debt you build up via shortterm fixes eventually catches up to you, Lowe says. “In some environments you spend every day putting out fires,” he says. “You try to reach a point of stability but it never comes, because the fire you put out last month is causing a new fire this month.”

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THe ICeMan It doesn’t always take extraordinary intuition or superhuman dedication to make an IT hero. Sometimes the circumstances demand you rise to the occasion. In 2006, independent IT consultant Jason Wisdom took a consulting gig with the insurance division of a large bank that needed to update its legacy mainframe accounting package to generate new types of reports. Naturally, the bank’s CFO wanted the solution done as cheaply and quickly as possible. Prior to hiring Wisdom, the bank’s tech team dove in and started coding. After a couple of months, they hit an impasse. Meeting after meeting passed and nothing got done. Even after they brought Wisdom on board to help come up with a strategy, the team argued for weeks about whether to scrap everything and start over. “Sitting in those meetings was starting to give me a headache,” Wisdom says. “So

THe IMprovISer er Some supergeeks have the ability to improvise solutions at a moment’s notice using nothing but plastic bags, duct tape, and their own creativity. “Kind of like MacGyver, only without the mullet and the bad sunglasses,” says Meikle. Meikle was working for a state agency, when Hurricane Fran came bearing down upon his city in 1996. His CIO located the big three-ring binder with the agency’s disaster recovery plan inside, blew off the dust, and cracked it open. “The plan called for the agency head to take off in a helicopter and ‘monitor’ the situation from the air—in the middle of a hurricane,” Meikle says. “The contact phone numbers in the binder where from years ago and many of the individuals had retired or moved to different roles. Essentially the plan was useless.” They improvised. Meikle and his team covered all the critical hardware and filing cabinets with plastic trash bags and

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I finally said, ‘Give me a day, let me see what I can do,’ and I left to work on the problem. That afternoon they were still talking, but I had the solution.” Donning his “calculus hat,” Wisdom reverse-engineered several formulas from the mainframe system then tested them with sample data to make sure they gave the correct results. “It was the perfect combination of pressure to get things done quickly, the freedom to do what I wanted to do, and four or five people really hoping I would come through because it was more than just my job on the line,” he adds. The problem? The company wanted the solution to be cheap and fast, but still expected it to be good. Eventually it was good, says Wisdom, but at that point it was neither cheap nor fast. Here is where an IT department rife with Icemen can turn overconfidence into projects all too often over budget.

Superpower: Performance Under Pressure


“The amount of rework required drove the total cost of the project far higher than it would have been had they done things properly from the start,” he says. “What they should have done is hire a business analyst, technical lead, another developer, and a database administrator. Instead they wanted one person who could do all that. They were being cheap.”

created a communications plan on the fly. Then they hunkered down and waited out the storm. “Fortunately the building roof leaked but held and the agency was saved from disaster,” he says. “The disaster recovery plan was put back on the shelf where it probably remains today.” But relying on improvisation is a bad long-term strategy. At least hurricanes give you a time to prepare; with other disasters, not so much. As with Captain Instinct, the Improviser’s Achilles’ heel is a tendency to simply wing it. “A lot of times when disaster strikes and you have no plan, you’re struck trying to rebuild without any idea how to do it,” he adds. “You can improv, but it’s no substitute for Superpower: planning ahead.” Thinking on

Your Feet

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Anniversary Special

THe lone geeK

THe DISTorTer Call it the Scotty technique. As in the original “Star Trek,” when Commander Scott told Captain Kirk the warp coil array was damaged beyond repair (yet still managed to fix it before the next commercial break), some IT pros look like heroes through the time-honored techniques of under-promising and over-delivering. That’s partly because, in many organizations, IT departments have to exaggerate how bad the circumstances are in order to get the resources they need, says Wisdom. “In some organizations IT will not get any type of support until it cries wolf,” he says. “It’s like in the movie ‘Full Metal Jacket.’ When the troops needed more soldiers they’d ask for a tank, because if they knew if they just asked for soldiers they wouldn’t get them. The culture forces them to scream bloody murder in order to get attention.” But while the Distorter can prove to be an asset to your department, navigating interdepartmental politics and championing IT’s value and needs with relative ease, this IT superhero can turn supervillain quickly, given the Distorter’s tendency to take credit for your successful projects—even if they did everything in their power to keep them from being successful. Lowe says he was working for a public energy agency in the early 2000s that needed to adopt Microsoft’s .Net framework for office automation. The agency was largely a Java shop, but for this scenario .Net did things Java couldn’t do, he says.


Superpower: Bending Reality— for Good or ill

Superpower: Willingness to Tell the Truth The least-sung heroes are perhaps the most important of all. They may not possess outstanding technical chops or great instincts. They might not be able to reverse-engineer mainframe code or get handy with plastic bags and duct tape. They simply do it right, every time—and they speak up when something is wrong, no matter whose feathers get ruffled. “They’re the guy or gal who always does things the right way, no matter what corners their bosses ask them to cut,” says Lowe. “They’re usually also the people who stand up and say, ‘We shouldn’t be doing it this way; it’s going to cause problems down the line. We should take the extra time to do it right.’ They may not always be recognized or appreciated for that.” As in the example with the bank’s failed storage array, only one person had the guts to say what his own department did to cause the problem and how it got fixed, says Howard. In that instance, that hero got rewarded by being allowed to keep his job. not all organizations work like that. “If you’re the lone geek, you’ve entered a thankless realm,” Howard says. “You can’t walk into the arena expecting a lot of glory—it’s not there. You need to be part of this world because you’re passionate about technology and helping people find solutions.”

“Our department manager backed us to the hilt, but the vice president of IT opposed it every step of the way,” says Lowe. “She made us do three pilot programs. They all passed with flying colors. In the end, the VP had to admit that .Net was the tool we needed. Then she transferred the department manager who’d pushed for the initiative and took all the credit.” Distorters gone supervillain not only breed discontent, they also hide the sources of real value in your IT department, says Meikle. “When someone else is getting credit for your hard work— especially when you’re pulling double or triple work loads— you tend to jump ship. Or the company won’t understand the benefit you’re providing so they’ll outsource your function. Then when customer service or production support go south, they’ll have no idea why.” CIO Send feedback on this feature to


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Anniversary Special

6 Questions You Always Ask in an Interview “How many years do you think you’ll take to get to where I am?” Harish Parekh, Sr. Manager IT & CISO, Kansai Nerolac Paints

“How important is it for you to be the best? Give me some

examples of scenarios when you have demonstrated being the best.” Thomson Thomas, VP-Business Systems and Technology, HDFC Standard Life Insurance

“Why do you want to join this organization? To me it is very

important for someone to fit into the culture of an

organization in addition to having the skills needed for the job.” Sachin Gupta, CIO, Microsoft India

“What was your first job in school, what did you think of it, and what did you learn from it?” Rajesh Dev Saini, CIO, DSC

“Tell me about a

professional failure in your life which you were completely responsible for.”

Bhavin Purohit, Head-IT, CLP Power India

“Tell me all the things that I should know about you. I ask

this as a substitute to the standard question: Tell me something about yourself. This puts the candidate slightly off-guard allowing you to sit back and judge their strengths and weaknesses.”

Arup Choudhury, Sr. GM-IT, Eveready Industries

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Subhodeep Bhattacharya, director, HP Networking, HP India, talks about new offerings which speed application delivery across data center, campus and branch, that help enterprises keep pace with the demands of globalization and IT consumerization.



VIRTUALIZATION, MULTIMEDIA & MOBILE DEVICES What is new with HP networking? HP recently announced new networking products and services based on the HP FlexNetwork architecture that deliver the increased flexibility clients need to keep pace with the demands of globalization and IT consumerization. Legacy network infrastructures typically lack the flexibility

required to support virtualized infrastructures, the bandwidth for intensive multimedia applications and the scalability required for the growing number of connected mobile devices. The new HP Networking solutions for virtualization, multimedia applications and enterprise mobility simplify migration to

newer Internet Protocols, the 10 Gigabit Ethernet (GbE) networking standard and virtualized branch services. HP FlexFabric solutions for the data center include the new 10 GbE HP 5900 top-of-rack switch and the updated HP 12500 switch series, which enables clients to improve the performance of server-to-server traffic by up to 80 percent.


How does a unified approach to networking across the data center, campus and branch help enterprises lower their data center costs? Enterprises need a simpler networking infrastructure that’s scalable and flexible to keep pace with the dynamic needs of business applications. HP is the only company with a unified approach to networking across the data center, campus and branch that enable clients to embrace the adoption of video, cloud and rich multimedia applications. HP FlexCampus offerings include the new HP 3800 stackable switches, which provide up to 450 percent higher performance, and new reference architecture for campus environments that unifies wired and wireless networks to support mobility and high-bandwidth multimedia applications. An expanded HP FlexBranch portfolio of new virtualized service modules with technology from HP partners VMware and Citrix helps to speed the service delivery of applications to branch offices, while saving 21 percent in cost. Additionally, HP FlexManagement with integrated mobile network access control (NAC) in HP Intelligent Management Center 5.1 streamlines enterprise access to mobile devices and protects IT infrastructure from mobile threats. Also, new specialized services facilitate the migration to IPv6 while simplifying the customer transition, ensuring business continuity and minimizing business risk. How can enterprises simplify their data center to provide dynamic application delivery through data center networks? HP FlexFabric solutions deliver a simplified data center network fabric that eliminates unnecessary layers of equipment, reduces bottlenecks, and leads to increased performance and greater simplicity in implementing and managing applications on the network. HP has expanded the HP FlexFabric portfolio with solutions that offer clients up to 300 percent greater network scalability with the new HP 5900 top-of-rack series of 10-GbE switches. The switch reduces the number of logical devices in the server access layer by 50 percent, lowering total cost of ownership by 50 percent. The switch is powered by the HP Intelligent Resilient Framework (IRF), an HP innovation that allows four HP 5900

switches to be virtualized and operate as a single switch. We have also improved network resiliency and performance of the HP 12500 switch series through the addition of the updated HP IRF technology. The switch provides full IPv6 support, doubles the throughput and reduces network recovery time by more than 500 times. HP IRF is an innovative technology that lets you ‘flatten’ data center and campus networks, eliminating the need for a dedicated aggregation layer and providing more direct, higher capacity connections between users and network resources. And IRF helps customers achieve these goals in a cost-effective, easy-to-manage way.

Legacy network infrastructures typically lack the flexibility required to support virtualized infrastructures and mobile devices.

Managing multimedia and mobility demands in the campus are extremely crucial. How can enterprises achieve this effectively? The new HP FlexCampus solutions deliver increased network performance, ease deployment and simplify management of campus environments. It offers up to 76 percent lower latency and 122 percent higher 10 GbE port density with HP 3800 stackable switches. With support for Energy Efficient Ethernet, the HP 3800 reduces power usage by 14 percent versus competing products. Other benefits include improved performance and resiliency while reducing costs by up to 35 percent with the HP FlexCampus Reference Architecture, which provides best-practice design for implementing campus networks optimized for video and unified communications.

The introduction of mobile devices into the enterprise presents several challenges to IT. How can enterprises orchestrate and secure smart mobile device access? A balance of security and usability must be reached to address the limited processing power and battery life of mobile devices. While some of these challenges can be overcome using identical countermeasures to those found on PC’s, there are additional considerations that must be contemplated. In addition, special attention must be given to certain threats that are more prevalent for mobile devices with their ultra-small form factor. HP now offers unified management of both virtual and physical environments across heterogeneous networks with HP FlexManagement, the updated HP Intelligent Management Center (IMC) 5.1 that now supports 5,786 devices from more than 150 manufacturers and helps protect IT infrastructures from possible threats from mobile devices and mobile-centric applications. IT organizations require a high degree of flexibility to quickly deploy extended application monitoring to virtually any branch office location. How can they achieve this? To ease the deployment of network-based services, HP also unveiled virtualized services modules for the HP 5400zl and 8200zl switches, the first in the industry to converge blade servers at the branch into a network infrastructure capable of hosting multiple applications and services. The HP Advanced Services zl Module with Citrix XenServer or VMware vSphere is an industry-standard open architecture platform that provides the capability to host one or multiple applications within the networking infrastructure. These deliver 57 percent lower power consumption and 43 percent reduction in space versus competing products. New HP Network Consulting services assist enterprises and governments migrating from Internet Protocol version 4 (IPv4) to IPv6. These services enable clients to capitalize on IPv6, maximize the effectiveness of an organization’s infrastructure and minimize the risks of failing to connect to customers and partners.



Amol Mitra from HP talks about how enhancements to the HP FlexNetwork architecture help increase the performance of virtualized and cloud environments while simplifying network complexity and management.



VIRTUALIZATION & CLOUD COMPUTING Can you tell us about the new enhancements to the HP FlexNetwork architecture? Organizations with a proprietary multi-tier network infrastructure create lock in that drives up cost and management complexity. As a result, implementing new applications and services is difficult and slow, reducing overall productivity. To increase delivery of applications and services through virtualization, HP has enhanced server connectivity, switching, management, security and services under the HP

FlexNetwork architecture, its unified networking approach across the data center, campus and branch. How can these enhamcements improve performance yet reduce networking costs? HP FlexNetwork, also part of HP VirtualSystem, delivers better performance by fl attening the network architecture from 3-tiers to 2 or 1-tier. As a result, HP FlexNetwork solutions increase throughput and lower network latency while eliminat-

ing up to 50 percent of the cost and 85 percent of the complexity than legacy 3-tier architectures. Virtualization drives significant changes in data center traffic patterns. According to Gartner research, by 2014, network planners should expect more than 80 percent of traffic in the data center’s local-area network (LAN) to be between servers. However, to improve business agility, enterprises rely on virtual machine mobility, which can burst data rates up to 9


gigabits per second and significantly slow data transfer between servers. Based on the HP FlexNetwork architecture, HP FlexFabric solutions for data centers include HP Virtual Connect, as well as HP 5800 and 12500 series switches. These solutions eliminate unnecessary network layers and costly bottlenecks with a 1-tier network fabric that provides wireonce direct connections to thousands of virtual, physical and storage components, providing clients with improved virtual machine (VM) performance. In fact, a new report by Network Test demonstrates HP FlexFabric solutions accelerate VM mobility, such as VMware vMotion, by up to 40 percent while doubling throughput and reducing network recovery time by more than 500 times. Also, the new HP 5830 topof-rack switch series provides increased application performance which delivers high-density server access connectivity, as well as flexible application and storage deployment, powered by the HP Intelligent Resilient Framework (IRF). How does HP Networking provide Industry-leading virtualized server networking connectivity? HP Virtual Connect, the world’s first wire-once technology has revolutionized the way servers and VMs are connected to networks, eliminating 95 percent of network cables and reducing cost by up to 65 percent. Demonstrating rapid adoption

Legacy network infrastructures typically lack the flexibility required to support virtualized infrastructures and mobile devices.

since its introduction in 2007, Virtual Connect recently passed the 5-million-port milestone and accounts for 16.2 percent of all 10Gb ports shipped worldwide. The new Virtual Connect v3.3 firmware upgrade provides clients with enhanced flexibility and capacity through extended virtual local area network (VLAN) support of more than a thousand VLANs per server, eight times more than the previous version. It also results in improved performance with six times greater network capacity per server network interface card (NIC). Apart from this, it is the industry’s first and only simultaneous tunneled/mapped VLAN support that gives clients the flexibility to separate network traffic based on best practices for running virtual server environments. It provides simplified management with visibility and transparency into system and networking information that is vital for troubleshooting virtualized environments. How can the physical and virtual network be unified and managed? HP Intelligent Management Center (IMC 5.1) is the industry’s first single paneof-glass network management platform that manages both virtual and physical environments across heterogeneous networks. It automatically discovers VMs and switches, and identifies their relationship to the physical network, enabling clients to simplify administration and gain control of their assets. The IMC delivers an extensive set of capabilities for managing large networks. How can HP help ease the cloud transition through services? New consulting services from HP help clients understand how their networking environment can support and extend cloud services today and in the future. HP Assessment and HP Architecture and Design Services for Cloud Ready Networking enable clients to increase efficiency and cost savings by assessing the readiness of people, processes and networking technology to transition to a cloud-based model.

HP VirtualSystem In today’s world the number one priority for 76% of IT decision makers is to reduce virtualization complexity there are too many management tools there are unaddressed security issues it is complicated to scale or extend to the cloud HP has introduced VirtualSystem, a portfolio of precision tuned converged systems which deliver the fastest path to agile and efficient virtualized application solutions. HP VirtualSystem eliminate performance bottlenecks with a balanced architecture optimized for virtualized application environments HP VirtualSystem simplify management, deployment and security across physical and virtual environments HP VirtualSystem provide the essential foundation for the private cloud with simplified upgrade to HP CloudSystem

More information about HP Networking solutions is available at networking. More information about HP Virtual Connect is available at

This feature is brought to you by IDG Custom Solutions Group in association with

Al Kuebler


The All-rounder CIO If you're working in IT today, technical proficiency will never be enough.


Illustration by P HOTOS.COM

lot of technology professionals are frustrated with the IT profession. They can't find a job or move into the position that they want. They're always hearing that demand exists, but that's not what their personal experience has shown them. They feel they have the skills for the job, and have even put in the time it takes to be qualified or certified in the technologies in demand. But the requirements for IT career development remain elusive. For some IT professionals, the frustration has mounted to the point that they are at a loss as to what they need to do to fit into the future of a profession they have devoted themselves to. Abandon it? I don't think so. Business requires people who can effectively apply IT to business needs and strategic goals. The IT professionals that employers consider to be valuable to their business have not only the right technical skills, but also the capabilities needed for productive business contributions over the long term. But what about those seemingly mysterious criteria for the jobs you want? It's straightforward really. You need to demonstrate that you are aware of business needs and can find new and innovative ways to achieve them. And just as you have always fortified yourself with training in the latest technologies, you need to consistently apply yourself to the acquisition of the softer skills needed to: Communicate in business terms, be a better leader in the enterprise, negotiate the client ecosystem efficiently, inspire your team, and become invaluable to the success of your clients. Is it daunting to have so much more to learn? Well, the good news about the soft skills is that, unlike technology skills, they do not change. In fact they continue to build on


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Al Kuebler


themselves. And if you've been ignoring them in favor of more and more hard-skill certifications, then you have been limiting yourself in the marketplace, because these careerbuilding skills are increasingly considered more valuable to employers than technical proficiency. In other words, you need both, and if all you have is technical proficiency— even extraordinary technical proficiency—you are going nowhere. But if you pair that technical proficiency with extraordinary business awareness and responsiveness, then the sky is the limit.

Know What You Want Early on in my career, I relied on what I call the "lucky shotgun" approach to career choices. I would pursue various training opportunities that appealed to me or seemed promising, and I pursued every opportunity for advancement that came along. For a time, it worked very well, and I felt that I was being carried along by forward momentum despite any real plan. Eventually, though, my progress slowed and I started second-guessing my career decisions. That's when someone told me that I should know what I was looking for before I started looking. I've since heard this expressed memorably as "If you don't know your destination, any road will do." Taking that advice to heart, I started to develop conscious intent, which allowed me to make steady small steps with the potential to make me a more attractive option when an opportunity arose that fit with my goals. I developed a series of short-term, highly specific goals that I could prepare myself for, and the achievement of each one made me feel once again that I was on the move. But it is important to define your goals. So, be specific, and be realistic. You have to set achievable objectives, so that you establish a pattern of success. Consider everything, and when you decide on an objective, write it down. Don't limit your goals to new positions. Yes, you might set your sights on a managerial position, but other legitimate goals are to receive more recognition, to improve relationship building, to move into a more challenging situation, to learn new techniques or technologies, etcetera. The possibilities are limited only by your imagination. A key factor in establishing realistic goals is to evaluate your aptitudes and how well they line up with the objective you are considering. This will help you channel your ambition in directions that are best suited to your natural abilities and strengths, and alternatively will help you set up intermediate goals aimed at developing the aptitudes you need to achieve any particular goal. What happens when you are consciously selecting goals is that you become more active in finding out what qualifications are needed at being truly prepared when

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the right opportunity arises. And opportunity does seem to arise, at least for those who are prepared for them. The opportunities that present themselves might not always line up perfectly with your stated intent, but the beauty of preparing for one thing is that it almost always seems to prepare you for many things. When I say be prepared to take advantage of opportunities and go for every new chance that comes along, I am not advocating the do-whatever-it-takes approach to career advancement. Not at all. To have real long-term success that is deeply satisfying, you must never embrace the notions that something is your due and that it's OK to compromise your integrity in the interest of advancing your own cause. That is not career building. It's careerism. It inhibits personal development and is self-defeating in the long run.

What it Takes to Get Ahead Now, let's get back to the question of what hiring managers are looking for beyond technical know-how. It's many things, actually, and even though no one on the planet will

You must never embrace the notions that something is your due and that it's OK to compromise your integrity in the interest of advancing your own cause. That is not career building. It's careerism. fully meet all of the requirements I list below, that doesn't stop us CIO types from seeking them. In part, that is because we are looking beyond what a candidate is to the candidate's potential to grow in terms of business value. This is what you need: Business perspective. Interviewers want to know whether you are oriented toward the business or toward cool technologies. They will lean toward the candidate who has both an interest in and an understanding of how the business acquires its customers and keeps them, an awareness of critical success factors and what role IT plays in them, and a disposition to continuously avoid cost, improve service and increase revenue with the ever more effective use of IT. Without that perspective, your interest in cool technology is out of step with the business's needs. Ability to be comfortable at all business levels. Are you candid and friendly? Do you show a willingness to share and exchange knowledge at all levels? Can you convey that you thoroughly understand business management REAL CIO WORLD | n o v e m b e r 1 5 , 2 0 1 1


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Al Kuebler


You need both soft skills and technical proficiency. If all you have is technical proficiency—even extraordinary technical proficiency—you are going nowhere. challenges? Can you provide examples of business goals or tasks you've had, the activities you undertook and the results you've achieved? Strategic orientation. For some positions, interviewers will want to know whether you can look beyond business value (as important as that is) to such matters as positioning the enterprise for industry leadership, achieving operational excellence and improving business intelligence and customer intimacy, and whether you have the disposition to initiate exploratory strategic discussions around emerging technologies. An awareness of technological trends. More than technical competence, what is being sought here is someone who knows enough about current technologies to estimate their lifecycles, who can identify which emerging technologies should be watched and explain why, and who can outline some of the likely next new things in business terms. Success in challenging situations. Can you describe difficult events from your past career with objectivity? Interviewers aren't necessarily interested in hearing about an unending string of successes; be open about failures, while emphasizing the lessons learned. Also of interest will be how you went about recognizing any special contributions from team members who helped you through a tough time. Proven leadership capability: This is characterized by vision, exemplary standards of behavior, the ability to inspire others, experience in introducing change, a track record of being entrusted with complex tasks of wide scope, the facility of being at ease handling broad responsibility areas, the knack for achieving stellar team performance (despite that the unplanned always happens) and a willingness to share credit, among other things. Are you someone to trust with significant enterprise resources? Proven ability to introduce beneficial change. Here, employment decision-makers will want to know how collaboration, persuasion and communication were used to gain buy-in for change, what conditions or circumstances were improved and how the results were quantified (especially when dealing with time-sensitive or critical situations). Long-standing professional relationships. Do you show interest in your colleagues, the people More Kuebler on your team and the If you would like to read more people you report to? career-related columns by Al Do you demonstrate Kuebler visit that you care about



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their well-being, even taking the time to help improve it? Do you stay in contact with people you once worked closely with? Do you have a pattern of exchanging help and guidance with such people? Are your relationships—in the IT profession, in the broader business world and in the vendor community—constructive and positive? Hiring managers will want to know these things so they can weed out those who are poor at relationship building. Excellent three-way and client references. Employers increasingly want to see how candidates are perceived by those who have worked for them or alongside them and by those who have supervised them. Work-life balance. Believe it or not, the person who is consumed by career will be passed over in favor of the one who is more balanced. That is because it is now generally recognized that steadily productive and innovative contributors take care of themselves, their family and their professional needs in proper proportion. They demonstrate personal development. They also establish exemplary standards of behavior as a kind of team value proposition. Willingness to relocate: This is a question that wasn't asked in days of yore, when the assumption was that all the candidates were heads of household whose careers came above all else. So today, the question becomes, "If it were right for you, your family and your work-life balance, would you consider relocating?" If it can work for you and your family situation, you might want to welcome this idea. What else could you possibly need? Just this: Believe in yourself. If you have well-grounded faith in your qualifications and ability to meet the challenge before you, chances are you will be unanimously chosen over an otherwise identically qualified candidate. Employers know this quality when they encounter it, and they value it highly enough that it can make up for otherwise less-than-perfect qualifications. Why? Because nothing turns out exactly as planned. When surprises crop up, employers know, the best results are going to come about when they have put someone with self-belief in charge of the challenge. You have it. Let it come through. CIO

Al Kuebler was CIO for AT&T Universal Card, Los Angeles County, Alcatel and McGraw-Hill. He also directed the consulting activity for CSC Europe. He is now a consultant on general management and IT issues. Send feedback on this column to

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Anniversary Special

John D. Halamka

Strategic ciO

IT’s Sports Illustrated Effect


ou may have heard about the Sports education. I achieved local fame when the County Fame for individual Illustrated cover jinx, the notion that of Los Angeles voted me the County Employee of accomplishments is people who appear on the front of the the Month, the first time for a physician. fleeting, but the benefits of magazine are likely to experience bad I left residency and began practice at Beth Israel team efforts build and last. luck, failure or a career spiral. Hospital while doing postdoctoral work at MIT, In over 30 years, I've seen something like the writing a thesis about using the Web to securely Sports Illustrated effect in IT. I've watched many colleagues become exchange medical records. In 1997, using the Web was considered famous, receive significant publicity, then fail to live up to the risky and insecure, but the recent merger of Beth Israel and Deaconess impossible expectations implied by their fame. They regress to the needed a quick win, so "CareWeb" was born. I became CIO. mean. Nature seems to favor symmetry. Things that rise slowly tend In 1999, Dr. Tom Delbanco and others had the idea that patients to decline slowly. Things that rise rapidly tend to drop rapidly. should be able to access their own records electronically. My team Fame is usually a consequence of invention, innovation and created Patientsite. We were credited with inventing one of the first accomplishment. Fame itself is generally not what motivates a personal health records. person to accomplish their feats. But fame can affect future behavior. The list goes on—plaudits for developing an early regional It can become an intoxicant and motivate someone to strive for healthcare information exchange, harmonizing standards, creating accomplishments that keep the fame coming. a private cloud for healthcare records, and achieving hospital I've thought about my own brushes with fame. certification in the meaningful use process. When I was 18 and starting at Stanford, I realized that my The interesting conclusion of all of this is that fame was temporary, scholarships would cover only the first year of tuition. So I visited the and very soon followed by regression to the mean. Stanford Law library, read the US tax code and then wrote software It's nearly impossible to remain at the front of the race forever— for the Kaypro, Osborne 1 and CP/M computers that calculated taxes. eventually, someone stronger, faster or more nimble will displace you. That generated enough income to start a small company. When In my case, I stopped thinking about my own reputation and fame the PC was introduced, we were the first to provide such software about 1998, recognizing that every episode of fame is followed by a to small businesses. By the time I was 19, I moved into the home of decline into anonymity—the Sports Illustrated effect. What's lasting Frederick Terman, former provost of Stanford and the professor are great organizations and teams that are constantly reinventing who first encouraged William Hewlett and David Packard to build themselves—changing the race they are running. audio oscillators and form Hewlett-Packard. The story of a 19-yearIf you focus on creating great organizations, which consistently old running a software company and living in the basement of a achieve discrete episodes of fame but continuously innovate so that founder of HP was newsworthy at the time. I did interviews with those episodes of rise and fall actually look like a continuous series Dan Rather, Larry King and NHK TV Japan. The company grew but of peaks, then you can beat regression to the mean. as technology evolved it did not innovate to take advantage of new The organizations in which I work will last for generations. Their platforms, graphical user interfaces or emerging networks. I sold the reputations transcend anything I will ever do personally. My role is company when I began my residency. It eventually closed. to champion, support and publicize a few key innovations every year By then, I was learning to build clinical systems, and I worked that will keep the organizations highly visible. That visibility will during my residency to attract smart people and retain the best employees. If I can transform develop a hospital-wide the rise of fame and regression to the mean into a trend that feels like More Halamka knowledge base for policies, one organizational strength after another, I'll declare victory. CIO To read more radical ideas, procedures and protocols, features and columns from John an online medical record, a John Halamka is CIO at CareGroup Healthcare System, CIO and associate dean for Halamka visit quality control system, and educational technology at Harvard Medical School, chairman of the national Healthcare IT c several systems for medical Standards Panel and a practicing emergency physician. Send feedback to

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An IDG Custom soLutIons InItIAtIve In AssoCIAtIon WItH

Transforming Business Through Judicious applicaTion of iT

PLUS Instant money transfers have helped UBI win many a customer. The bank’s move to implement Enterprise Application Integration has made this possible while improving operational efficiencies.

INTERVIEW Venkatesh Natarajan, special director – iT, ashok leyland shares how the company got its employees to rally behind its sap migration process.


Money AT THe

Speed Of Light Company Union Bank of India Industry Banking Offering Various banking products such as bank accounts, deposits, loans, etc.

Instant money transfers have helped UBI win many a customer. The bank’s move to implement Enterprise Application Integration has made this possible while improving operational efficiencies.



ime and tide, it is said, wait for no man. Union Bank of India (UBI) discovered that the popular saying ought to be amended to accommodate money transfer transactions too. Its customers were seeking instantaneous transfer of funds — irrespective of any channel or type of processing involved. For instance, the application handling foreign inward remittances was not integrated with the bank’s core banking application, hence the e-remit transactions had to be manually processed in CBS. The difference in time zones also resulted in delays. This was impeding the speed and efficiency of the operations. All that changed when the bank implemented Enterprise Application Integration (EAI). The EAI approach has met with considerable success in recent times and that was one of the factors that prompted the bank to move to an EAI implementation. With TCS as a consultant, the bank opted for an EAI implementation based on Service Oriented Architecture (SOA), promoting high re-usability of the components. The loosely coupled characteristic of the framework makes it very easy to create new services or customize existing services and expose them to subscribing clients independent of the platform they are hosted on. SOA makes it possible to expose services without the clients having to deal with the internal details. The decision to implement EAI was taken in June 2010 and, over the next few months, the application was piloted on a test server. The bank procured the necessary hardware in June 2011 and the application went live soon thereafter. EAI processes the data instantly in a more secure manner and ensures prompt service. Besides the instant remittance facility, EAI brought in a slew of operational efficiencies. “EAI is allowing legacy applications to continue without major replacements /customizations. This is bringing about a lot of cost savings to the bank,” said Ajit Rath, General Manager - IT for UBI.

Processing ECS transactions used to keep staff members busy. Now they have more time to devote for their core responsibilities.” AjIT RATh General manager - iT, uBi.

The genesis The Union Bank of India (UBI) is one of the first large public sector banks in the country to have all their branches on a single core-banking platform. UBI has always looked at technology as a key facilitator to provide better customer service, and has a well-defined ‘IT strategy’ that can meet its business goals. UBI has taken rapid strides in this direction with 100% computerization of all its branches. The bank has many disparate systems catering to various business needs of the bank’s customers. UBI has also rolled out several systems and is also constantly in the process of implementing new systems. Some of the key systems include CBS implemented across all UBI Branches, Lending Automation System, Cash Management System, Document Management System, Channel Finance, HRMS, SFMS (Structured Financial Messaging System) and an integrated treasury. The bank also has multiple external interfaces with various payment channels. With a view to integrate its disparate systems on a single platform, UBI sought to have a robust middleware

It was a primary design goal that the services in the EAI gracefully handle all error conditions and that manual reconciliation be eliminated.


so that IT would be able to meet business needs related to quick turnaround seamlessly. Middleware implementation was to bring IT standardization (in terms of processes, interface, integration standards, messaging standards and guidelines), automation and build a robust integration framework for both internal and external systems.

failoVer safeguards Among the changes that the bank was seeking was a framework that provided its systems the ability to handle large workloads with a small amount of processor time by utilizing standard hardware scaling techniques. Besides, it wanted to eliminate manual intervention in as many processes as possible in order to reduce the tampering of the data and increase accuracy and speed. These considerations were to be given high priority in the EAI architecture. The bank also wanted to ensure that the new architecture permitted easy extension to support future requirements. Such requirements could include new business functionality such as new product offerings from the bank, new product features, changes in existing services to customers and changes in operation processes within UBI. It was also essential that the component design facilitate easy introduction of new components as well as easy modification of the existing components and their inter-relations with the architecture. The architecture was to support guaranteed highest possible availability, and the design was required to provide for failover at all levels of the system —including software, operational and hardware failures. Facilitating easy maintenance and ongoing support of the runtime components was also an important consideration. The architecture was required to adhere to industry standard protocols for exporting management and statistics information. Another important design goal was for the architecture to adhere to industry standards and best practices in order to promote inter-

operability with heterogeneous carrier host system environments. This, too, was achieved in the EAI design that was implemented. Finally, it was very important that the architecture be robust, and that it caters to all possible error conditions, reporting these to clients/carrier host systems in a controlled manner. It was a primary design goal that the services gracefully handle all error conditions.

poWering efficiencY With the EAI in place, the bank raised its customer service levels by several notches. It was able to provide credits like pension payment on a timely basis. Though most of the bank’s operations are handled by its core-banking application, Finacle, the bank had a legacy application for pension funds. In the earlier system, there would be some delay before the pension could be disbursed to pensioners. But with the integration, the delay was completely eliminated. Besides, many repeated and time-consuming jobs for processing large volumes of transactions received for Electronic Clearing System (ECS) are now processed through EAI in a seamless manner. For instance, the bank receives more than 40,000 ECS transactions everyday which are processed by 40 service branches all over India. Previously, bank employees used to manually download and upload the data for processing, verify customer details and charge customers as per the provisions. After implementing complete roll out of EAI, the ECS transactions are processed automatically within minutes with no manual intervention and, hence, save a lot of time of nearly 100 staff members across the country. This also leaves no scope for any manipulation of data files. Non-repudiation concerns relating to electronic transactions are now addressed. The erroneous records/rejected transactions from the Core Banking Application will be available in human task work flow of respective user with maker-checker facility for rectification/rejection, developed as a part of EAI.

Number of ECS transactions which are processed every day by 40 service branches all over India.


“Staff members now have more time to devote for their core responsibilities,” says Rath. The EAI implementation has also helped the bank increase its accuracy in processing bulk transactions. “While entering bulk data manually, there is a possibility of inaccuracies due to human errors which has now been eliminated,” says Rath. As a result of the EAI implementation, the bank is able to easily integrate disparate systems to merge the financial data. “Transactions flow from the source application to the target application instantly, hence eliminating delays,” says Rath. The next phase of implementation will see a performance evaluation of staff and integration with customer ERP. The bank is also integrating HRMS (PeopleSoft) with other applications for doing performance evaluation. The integration has sped up the reimbursement process for its own employees too. Once an employee’s supervisor approves the reimbursement request, the amount is directly credited to the employee’s account. Union Bank of India and TCS have won the Best Middleware (for Enterprise Application Integration Project) in The Asian Banker’s 2011 Technology Implementation Awards.

ON ThE FAST TRACk The eai implementation has helped uBi quicken many processes, some of which are customer-facing while others are internal: speedy ecs processing: in the previous scenario, there used to be many repeated and time-consuming jobs for processing large volumes of transactions received for electronic clearing system (ecs), pension and salary. The eai now processes the same in a seamless manner. pension funds: in the earlier system, there used to be some delay between the time the pension was received from the government and the time it could be disbursed to customers. But with the integration, the delay was eliminated. salary remittance: The integration has sped up the salary remittance process for its own employees too. once the hr department approves the salary, it is directly credited to the employees’ account. Balance sheet assistance: as a result of the eai implementation, the bank is able to easily integrate disparate systems for generating a unified balance sheet.

The nuTs and BolTs The procured software for EAI is IBM’s WebSphere Message Broker, which extends the messaging capabilities of WebSphere MQ by adding message routing, transformation and publish/subscribe features. WMB provides a runtime environment that executes message flows, which consist of a graph of nodes that represent the processing that is needed for integrating applications. WebSphere MQ forms the underlying transport layer, ensuring guaranteed message delivery, and has built-in security and message storage. WebSphere Transformation Extender (WTX) WebSphere Transformation Extender enables the integration of customers and partners with rapid deployment of industry transformation solutions by extending enterprise service bus functionality, integrated with WebSphere Message Broker (WMB) for industry solutions. The solution also includes WebSphere Process Server WebSphere Process Server which is a high-performance business process automation engine to help form business processes and workflow for an organization. Another component of the solution is the WebSphere Business

Monitor(WBM). This component provides aggregation, analysis, and presentation of real time information about activities involving internal activities and transactions. IBM ITCAM enables a common data model for a consistent view of information across all components and agents. This information is then consolidated in one easy-to-use, role-based interface — the IBM Tivoli Enterprise Portal. IBM Tivoli Storage manager (TSM) is a backup solution management for scheduling the online/ offline backup of production database onto media such as tape/CD and can also be used to restore the backup of database, whenever required.

aiming high The bank earned recognition for its corporate governance practices when it was awarded the “Certificate of Recognition” for Excellence in Corporate Governance at the 10th ICSI National Award for Excellence in Corporate Governance, 2010. “After the successful EAI implementation, the bank is focusing on striving for excellence in customer service,” Rath said.



LOOKING BACK A new ERP may not fit perfectly. But quitting was not an option, says

Venkatesh Natarajan,

Special Director – IT, Ashok Leyland. By moving on to the new system, the company’s processes were closely aligned with the global best practices.

VENKATESH NATARAJAN, Special Director – IT, Ashok Leyland


The manufacturing industry has seen turbulent days in recent years. In what way has IT helped Ashok Leyland navigate this turbulence? Being in a very competitive landscape, we have looked at various ways to increase productivity and also boost employee morale. Some time ago, we introduced an initiative called GEMBA to look for improvements and cut waste. (Gemba in Japanese means the place where all activities are actually taking place — in other words, the place where value is added) It was also our intent to have employees’ efforts aligned with the objectives of the organization and we sought suggestions from all employees. To support the GEMBA initiative, a lot of IT modules were required to be designed. One such is GEMBA Mpower, where employees’ suggestions are rewarded with points which are entered in a GEMBA passport. When employees accumulate sufficient points, they can redeem them for gifts such as a trip to Singapore and so on.

Can IT really be of any consequence to the people on the shop floor? Yes, and we have shown how that can be. One of our projects conserves workers’ energy by redesigning the shop floor to reduce workers’ movement. IT tools helped us create an “employee effort” and ergonomic index to check employee fatigue. We have an IT application to offer rebates on spare parts for mechanics and retailers, helping us strengthen our ties with this community. For a specific category of components, identified as MITR components, an attached bar code provides mechanics with a serial number which must be sent over an SMS to earn the rebate. A service provider validates the SMSes and credits the amount to the MITR cards held by the mechanics. The mechanics can, alternatively, communicate the code number orally over the phone, as the application has a voice-recognition interface as well. A share of the rebate goes to the retailers too.

More than two years ago, your company took a decision to move from your homegrown solution to an ERP. What precipitated the move away from your legacy system? For almost a decade, our homegrown solutions had served us well. But, by 2008, other considerations came into fore. Our joint ventures with companies such as Nissan, Alteams and John BM made it desirable that we have a standardized IT platform on a shared services model. Moreover, the Oracle database which supported our ERP was reaching its end-of-life point with support from the vendor scheduled to be discontinued after 2013.

At the time that you switched your ERP, the industry was reeling from a recession and decision-makers were pulling the plug off investments. What made you go ahead? Our management is very progressive and believes that even when the going is slow, one should not stop investing in IT if the investment is critical for the company. We paused during the depths of recession in 2008, but just long enough for the economy to show the smallest signs of recovery. By June 2009, the management had given the nod for the ERP switch.

An ERP transition can be a major nightmare. How did it go down with your company? The IT team adopted a policy of continuous engagement with business users. There was regular communication about various aspects of the new ERP, detailing, for instance, how the terminologies would change. Nonetheless, it was not easy for many of the workers. Some processes required workers to spend more time on documentation while, in other places, the flexibility that the earlier home-grown application afforded was no longer available. In many ways, an ERP transition is like shifting from an old house to a new one. At first, you feel al little lost trying to find where you keep your essentials. Once you start getting used to it, you start appreciating it. Similarly, it took our employees a while to realize the benefits of a packaged application like SAP. A CIO has to deal with this very adroitly, wearing the HR hat and sharing his longterm thinking with business users. We also had the support from the management who sent a very clear and firm communication to employees stating that everyone had to rally behind the new ERP. The management had communicated that we should look at the migration as an opportunity to effect a business transformation and ready the company for its next stage of growth.

Was it a good thing or a bad thing that some of the flexibility went out of the window along with the old application? It’s true that the new system doesn’t match our processes as closely as our homegrown solution did and we had to make adjustments. However, there was another angle to it: the flexibility that our old system provided had its benefits but not it was not without faults — some of the practices did not concur with the global best practices. By moving on to the new system, we did away with the bad flexibility that had crept in.

Analytics has been quite a buzz lately. Do you think BI / analytics has matured? Yes, decision support systems have indeed matured. There is some data that can’t be captured as part of the ERP data. Analytics helps capture such market data. Then again, some of the data may be unstructured, but if that is so, the CIO has to structure it and make it relevant to his organization. For me, it is important to have the right data to measure not just my progress but also compare my performance with that of my competitors. And I need to do it while the data is still relevant and the company can use it.

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Anniversary Special

Undercover Officer


Lessons from the Trenches Company politics, stonewalling, layoffs—sometimes it’s part and parcel of the security job. Here are one CISO’s takeaways.


itting on the plane coming back home to the Us from our head office in Europe, I had a good deal of time to reflect upon my current employment situation and, consequently, what will most likely be my sixth employer change in the past 10 years. As tough as this has been, there is a great deal that I’ve learned from each path traveled. And while some of these paths were voluntarily taken, the majority weren’t. Considering the average stay at a company in our field is approximately 18 months, there are a lot of us that have been forced in another career direction. If I had a dollar for every time a recruiter or human resource person asked about my ‘sketchy’ job history, I’d be a very rich man. By the same token, I know of very few people who have been fortunate enough to have lasted five or more years in a strictly information security-related function at one company. There are many times I’ve thought about getting out of security altogether, but opening a dollar store and raising alpacas seemed like more trouble than it’s worth. Having said this, each career change has brought about a unique learning opportunity. These are 86

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experiences that you won’t find in any book nor learn at any business school. Sometimes the school of hard knocks can be the best teacher. Look BeforeYou Leap The grass isn’t always greener on the other side. This is a common phrase that we hear from time to time and one that definitely had more than a ring of truth to it in the late 1990s. I had left the relatively safe pastures of Microsoft to pursue an opportunity as CISO at a startup company for twice the salary, stock options and other associated dotcom perks of VO l/7 | ISSUE/01

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Undercover Officer


the era. While I managed to ask all the typical geek questions in interviews, such as about the technology, personnel and relevant strategies, it didn’t occur to me at the time to ask the tougher questions such as capital run and burn rate, attrition, company finances, etcetera. Had I known the incredible burn rate on capital before and predicted the dry-up in venture capital funds that year, I never would have left Microsoft. And, as I found out much later in an interview, once you leave Microsoft you can never go back. Learn to ask the hard questions and know what you don’t know. Lesson: Do the math. Consult a mentor, financial consultant or career coach if you are unsure of how to ask about a company’s long-term viability. You’re Not as Smart asYou Think Security is something that many businesses don’t realize they need until it’s gone. And when your e-commerce platform gets hacked and placed in the media spotlight, you’ll often realize it sooner rather than later. When you view security in the same light as having a fire extinguisher on hand, you’re begging for trouble. As the newly minted manager of platform security at a large online bookseller, Web security was naturally an integral part of the job. Finding flaws in the platform and online systems was incredibly challenging and rewarding, and probably the most fun that anyone should be allowed to have while still calling what they do work. What was not as fun was making recommendations that would not be acted upon until a customer (and consequently

Watch Yourself To read more on the Six Mistakes Security Professionals Still Make visit

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No matter who tells you or how loudly they say you’ve got nothing to worry about, worry anyway. Don’t ever fall into the mind-set of: “They can’t get rid of us. They need security.” the media) found out for themselves, like how you could change anyone else’s profile or even change an order without ever logging into the system? In a “shoot the messenger” approach, nearly everyone was “right-sized.” Another gentleman and I survived the purge only to be told by the new CTO that we would no longer be doing security, but networking instead. The CTO’s voice is vividly etched into my memory: “We don’t need that much security. We’re not a bank, we just sell books.” The company was subsequently fined by the Attorney General and forced to reinstate a security program that was even more comprehensive in nature than before the incident. Lesson: Security is not something you can put off, sweep under the rug or buy in a box. Take what we do very seriously. You’re as Expendable as Anyone Else After learning from lesson one, I was appointed CSO of a moderately sized startup company. I was the first (and only) CSO the company had ever had. There were press releases and interviews touting my appointment, and the company and I managed to turn what we were doing with security into a significant competitive advantage. I was assured by the founders that the company was not looking to be bought or otherwise change course in any way. There is another lesson here: Believe none of what you hear and half of what you see. After about a year on the job, I was taken aside into a conference room by one of the founders. “Today we are going to announce that we are being

acquired,” I was told. “You don’t need to worry about anything. Nothing will change, and we still need you as CSO,” he said. “Fine,” I thought to myself. “We’ll just switch gears from operational to integration mode. They’ll need due diligence and documented assurances in order to complete the acquisition and leverage a better purchase price.” After almost a year and many hours working to integrate our company into our newfound parent, I was called yet again into a conference room. “There’s no easy way to tell you this, so I’m just going to come right out and say it. We’re letting you go. We’ve decided we don’t need a thought leader anymore.” Lesson: No matter who tells you or how loudly they say you’ve got nothing to worry about, worry anyway. Don’t ever fall into the mind-set of, “They can’t get rid of us. They need security.” Don’t lose hair or sleep over it, but be proactive instead of reactive. Smaller Fish Can Swallow Larger Fish Working for a biometric authentication company seemed like the wave of the future. This just had to be a long-term job. I was wearing many different hats and really enjoying my work there. The company was a public company, financially viable and a leader in the market. But I had assumed after a merger with another biometric company was announced that because we were the majority and the larger partner, we would be holding all of the right cards. Evidently the board didn’t think of it in this same light. Shortly after the merger was announced I spoke with our REAL CIO WORLD | n o v e m b e r 1 5 , 2 0 1 1


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Undercover Officer


CEO and he told me, “Just between you and me: If you have another job lined up, take it. There are going to be some major changes very soon.” The smaller partner of this merger had a large presence in the area where I lived. And since the new president and CEO of the resulting merged company was from the other company, I was out of luck. Relocation was never even offered as an option. Lesson: Similar to the previous lesson. Politics will often override sensibility and financial factors. Always consider the political side of things when evaluating a potentially career-changing event. KeepYour Bags Packed My current employment situation is very tricky. While I enjoy working here immensely, I can clearly see the writing on the wall. The winds are changing. We are being forced by the EU to make drastic changes, and much of this has

Anonimous_colunm.indd 4

been well-publicized. We’ve eliminated many jobs in the past year and with more cuts on the way. We’ve gotten very lean, very quickly. We’ve gone from burning fat to burning muscle. In my humble opinion, there are very few ways this will end: Merger with another institution, or breakup and sell our institution. While we position ourselves for option one, I’m not content to sit back and wait for the political winds to shift a given way. Having learned and applied lessons one through four, I’ve come to the conclusion that the right thing to do at this point is to position information security as a vital service, and not merely an offshoot or task of IT. By providing core services for security that are vital to the operation of any resulting merged organization, we can accommodate nearly any governance framework or management structure. And if we do perform services better

than anyone else at a lower operating cost, we’ll be successful. And to the recently unemployed, don’t fret. Things will turn around; they always do. There are things that even a caveman can do to make himself more marketable. Take the opportunity to consult, speak at industry events, and write about your experiences. One final piece of advice: Build a short list of recruiters and friends in the industry that know their way around the block. A useless recruiter will hamper your search more than help it. If they can’t articulate exactly what qualities they are looking for in a candidate or can’t tell you exactly what the role entails, you should cut your losses and remove them from the Rolodex. Good luck. CIO

This column is written anonymously by a real CSO. Send feedback on this column to

11/14/2011 1:10:36 PM


Anniversary Special

Paul Glen

Think Tank

Lost in Translation


very IT professional has been here: A question. As I introduced each item, she became How business and IT business person asks you a question, view the truth is different, increasingly agitated. I had seen this reaction and your thorough, well thought-out many times before, but it had never made any and often that's what answer just isn't good enough. So sense to me. After all, I was doing a great job of creates a disconnect. you try to give more specific information in an explaining things; my list was quite complete. attempt to break through the communication Because, for me, a technical person, details barrier. But the more you try, the worse things seem to get. In reveal truth. Broad, sweeping statements are vague and the end, the business person is seething with impatience, so untrustworthy, nothing more than assertions. They need to be you start to get confused and angry. deconstructed, clarified, qualified or proved before I believe Which of us hasn't been here at least once? that they embody any form of truth. Analysis is my chosen Both parties walk away from such encounters convinced that method for discovering truth. Big things are broken down into it's hopeless to communicate with 'those types' of people. They manageable components that are then examined individually. If both say of the other, "They don't get it." And as a result, the the parts cohere, then the whole makes sense. Or so I thought. business people stop asking questions, and we, the IT people, Because for her, a non-technical person, details cloud truth. are relieved. Broad statements give her a handle on what's at stake, so she I'd grown so accustomed to this type of disconnect that I had can test the truth of an idea against her internal sense of what's come to see it as a natural part of working in organizations. But what. Essentially, she wants to "feel" the truth. Too many a recent interaction made me realize that it is one facet of a deep details interfere with her ability to process the explanation, divide between business and IT, and that understanding the thus preventing her from "getting it." root of the disconnect is crucial to resolving it. Through the Looking Glass A Wake Up Call In my answer, I focused on completeness. That's my form of I was talking to a smart and articulate business person. Our truth. To her, it felt like I was being evasive, and that I was conversation was following the seemingly inevitable course overly concerned about trivial matters and unaware of what toward disconnect until we took a step back and examined was important. For business and IT ‘trivial matters’ aren’t what was at the heart of our conflict. The conclusion we the same and that’s why this disconnect gets amplified. For came to was fascinating: Surprisingly, it wasn't the language example, if I had offered a high-level answer that focused on that was dividing us; it was the fact that technical and nonone or two key ideas, she would have been much more receptive. technical people have completely different perceptions of what She explained that she would have eventually been interested constitutes a good answer. in the details, but only after she had gotten the gist. The frustration that these conversations normally produce So, my advice to CIOs who struggle with this disconnect arises from our completely different understandings of what is every so often is to think twice before you assume that a more true in the world—as well as our incompatible ways of thinking detailed explanation is a more credible one. You might be about truth, identifying it, defining it and feeling it. talking to someone with a very different experience of what it The business person means to "get it." CIO had asked me a simple Banging Heads question about a project To read more about businesswe were working on, and IT alignment read What I had responded with an Does Business Want You to Improve? visit itemized list of the six key Paul Glen is the CEO of Leading Geeks, an education and consulting firm devoted to c elements that related to the unlocking the value of technical people. Send feedback on this feature to 90

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VoL /7 | ISSUE/01

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Anniversary Special

Todd Weiss


Never Back Down The secret behind many innovations is trying until you succeed—a concept Iridium Communications knows a lot about. Here's what you can learn from them and why your company should consider this important mantra.


IllusT raTIon by P HoTos.CoM

reat ideas in IT, from ERP to CRM to cloud computing, virtualization and more, happen all the time, but they don't always rise to the surface. Often they crash and burn and have to start all over again. But I bet that those are the ones that we truly remember—the ideas that continue to bounce back until somehow, in some way, through persistence, drive and refusal to accept defeat that they're finally able to succeed and thrive. That's why I smiled when I read a news story recently about Iridium Communications in The Wall Street Journal Journal, describing the company's latest tech idea—using satellite communications to help guide airliners as they fly over the Earth's expansive oceans and polar regions. Back in 2001, I first wrote about Iridium, when it was called Iridium Satellite. In those heady days of the modern-day tech sector, the original Iridium got its start in 1998 and was crazy enough to try to attract everyday consumers to use its space age satellite-based phone communications system. That idea failed because the service was too expensive and the phones were too bulky back then. But the idea still lingered. Even the bankruptcy of the original Iridium in 2000 didn't bury the concept. In 2001, the 66-satellite system, which was built originally for $5 billion (about Rs 22,500 crore), was sold for a mere $25 million (about Rs 112 crore) to new owners by a bankruptcy court. That's when the company changed names and decided to target a wider group of potential customers with their satellite communications ideas. This time they aimed more toward business users, especially those in remote locations, such as construction workers, where other communications methods were often literally impossible.

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Todd Weiss


One key early user in 2000 was the US Department of Defense which signed a two-year contract to obtain secure wireless communications for about 20,000 government employees. Five years later, Iridium began targeting emergency response workers around the world who needed immediate and reliable communications in natural disasters. The system was interoperable with VHF and UHF radio communications systems, making it even more flexible for users. That idea got more traction, but Iridium still wasn't taking over the communications world. Still they weren't giving up, even though by then the mass marketing of cell phones had arrived and flooded the global communications marketplace with relatively cheap and easy to acquire cell phones. Now let's fast-forward to today. Iridium is still here and kicking and now they have another new idea, which just won regulatory approval from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). The new market Iridium is targeting will use the satellite network to help guide airliners over the world's oceans and North and South Poles with better communications and accuracy, while helping airlines to save fuel, reduce emissions and increase passenger safety. The FAA approval represents "an important interim step toward international cooperation on satellite-based air-trafficcontrol networks" that will revolutionize the existing air traffic control system," according to The Wall Street Journal story. "Instead of pilots using sometimes-unreliable radio transmissions to communicate with controllers on the ground, now jetliners will be able to use the data link to report their en route positions and maintain safe distances from other aircraft as they cross national boundaries and oceans," the story says. "For planes crossing the North Atlantic on busy flyways, Iridium's services also will allow them to save fuel and time by cruising as close as 30 miles from each other. The current mandatory separation is 50 miles in all directions." "Ninety percent of the earth is not covered by a cell tower. With Iridium, you can connect with anyone from anywhere in the world," said Don Thoma, marketing VP for the new Iridium. "People don't realize it, but when you fly over oceans there are large periods of time when nobody knows where you are." For many years, in addition to radio communications, commercial airplanes flying over oceans have been able to use another satellite-based service called Inmarsat. But that system doesn't cover the earth's poles, which limits airspace that can be used, Thoma says. So Iridium kept working on its idea and technology and dreamed up the system that was just approved by the FAA. "The approach the FAA is taking is that this will enable the creation of 'fast lanes' for airplanes using this service, with faster routes," he says. "It will provide greater coverage for flights as polar routes open up more. 92

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All along, Iridium has targeted its ideas and innovations toward its top five markets—government, commercial aviation, maritime, tracking and telemetry for trucking fleets and other businesses, and the satellite handset market for users who need reliable communications wherever they work and live. They stuck with their plans, even when things didn't work the way they were planned. Even when a bankruptcy took the place down to its knees, someone came in to prop things back up and try, try again. Try, try and try again. That's what real innovators do. And they don't panic about how much time it takes or what lies in their path. "The FAA ruling was the culmination of a six-year process that began with the support of the FAA and the airlines," Thoma said. "It can be sold right now. Airlines are equipping aircraft with this right now."

Try, try and try again. That's what real innovators do. They don't panic about how much time it takes or what lies in their path. Continental Airlines has been testing the services on some planes, as well as Hawaiian Airlines and Cargolux, a freight carrier, according to Iridium. In the future, plans call for service to be available for in-flight communications for passengers using Iridium so they can make calls and send and receive e-mail. So what does this all mean? I think it's a fabulous reminder about how sometimes in IT and business, it's so important to keep going despite the odds when you know your idea is too good to drop. Yes, there are roadblocks and there can be huge adversity along the way. Such is life. But that's when you pick yourself up, dust yourself off and try to find another way of doing things. In my eyes, that's what Iridium has been about so far. They're thinking about new ideas all the time. They didn't let a little thing like a bankruptcy halt the overall mission of a good idea started by someone else who couldn't make it fly at the time. It's a tribute to how success in IT and business and the enterprise comes to those who keep trying, despite the odds. Let this be a reminder to everyone in IT to never give up on your great tech ideas. Someday, just maybe, they will actually be embraced and soar. That is what true business success and inspiration are all about. So what's your great tech idea that's waiting to happen? CIO Send feedback on this column to

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Anniversary Special

Thornton A. May

IT sTrATegy

IT Suffers from Mid-life Crisis


o be sustainably successful, exemplified by the Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde CIOs plans for now and enterprises have to manage the technology transformation that users later. But the middle time technologies of now, the technologies experience every Monday morning. On period, the meso-future, is of next, and the technologies of later. Sunday evening, they had been engaged, too often ignored. Of those, "now" and "later" get a lot of attention. empowered and delighted by their personal Every organization understands the current technology, but on Monday morning they are period budget (though perhaps they aren't delighted with it). And frustrated, enraged and distracted by enterprise systems that most organizations have a vision of how they want the enterprise they think of as clunky and dilapidated. This is giving rise to to look in the distant future, 60 months out or more. the consumerization of IT, and inevitably, enterprise IT is going But very few enterprises are masters of the technologies needed to have to match the user experience of best-in-breed consumer for the critically important middle period, the meso-future. The electronics. This morphing of legacy systems of record into meso-future occupies a no-man's land that's outside both the systems of engagement will dominate the IT agenda in the current period budget and the imagined future end state. This time meso-future. horizon, lying three to five years out from now, is where IT heroes Finally, legacy provisioning is giving way to cloud are created and competitive advantage is born, which means it provisioning. Cloud computing is not a matter of if--it is a shouldn't be so frequently ignored by management teams. matter of when. And that "when" will fall within the mesoGeoffrey A. Moore, author of Escape Velocity: Free Your Company's future time frame of the next three to five years. At a CIO Future From the Pull of the Past, likens IT's three-pronged management innovation workshop in Dallas, I was a presenter along with task to agriculture. Farmers must "simultaneously harvest the Timothy Chou, a true cloud computing pioneer. For the past six current crop, till the ground for next season, and investigate new years, Tim has taught a class at Stanford on cloud computing. crops for the future." But not enough organizations invest in tilling His book Cloud: Seven Clear Business Models is a must read for all the ground for the next crop of high-value technologies. IT leaders. The IT meso-future will be dominated by three tectonic Tim is not a cloud crazy or bigot and readily admits that there collisions. Let's call the first of these the collision of the digital are some applications that are not appropriate for the cloud. But dark side with demographics. The sad reality is that criminals there are four application scenarios that make eminent sense: have kept pace with the digital revolution. The forces of digital Early stage/high growth (all startups use cloud computing) on/ darkness are on the move, and every week headlines detail new off (big in medical diagnostics, for example, where you analyze breaches. The median estimate for the size of the cybercrime massive clinical data for two months and then stop), aperiodic economy is $700 billion (about Rs 32,90, 000 crore). Ninety bursting (events like Valentine's Day etecetera), and periodic percent of breaches involve organized crime targeting specific bursting (nightly analysis of financial information). enterprises. Demographics enter the picture because the Smart IT leaders are preparing for these meso-quakes. They rising generations, reared on computers, is nearly genetically are building trust-rich relationships with the millennials in their encoded to share information. Balancing the needs to share organizations. They are re-branding information security as a information with the necessity of keeping information safe problem-solving—not productivity-reducing—utility. And they will fundamentally shape are conducting a series of risk-adjusted cloud experiments. CIO the meso-future. Plan B Next, we have systems To learn more about creating IT of engagement smashing strategies read Two Ways to into systems of record. Thornton A. May is the author of The New Know: Innovation Powered by Analytics Build a Better IT Strategy. The chasm between these and executive director of the IT Leadership Academy at Florida State College. Visit c two types of system is Send feedback on this column to

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from the TOP

Chander Agarwal, Executive Director, Transport Corporation of India, shares how IT is helping the company—and the industry— set new benchmarks.

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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Setting it

Right By Debarati Roy

It’s rather strange. Though the transport and logistics industry in India makes up for 13 percent of the country’s GDP, it’s among India's most immature and inefficient sectors. And while the industry grows at twice the GDP rate, it’s plagued with poor infrastructure, differential taxes, and unregulated competition from unorganized players. There's another indicator of the sector's immaturity: Losses from operational inefficiencies. Among Indian logistics companies these losses—from not being able to fill up a truck on its return journey, for example—add up to 31 percent of total costs—compared to 10 percent in the US. As a market leader, the Rs 2,250-crore Transport Corporation of India (TCI) has taken upon itself to create more order from this chaos. And the man behind that project, Chander Agarwal, executive director, TCI, is leaning on IT to help him. From creating an industry-first like the Road Freight Index—which tracks freight rates in the unorganized sector

to provide organizations with averages across various routes—to adopting technologies like telematics, GPS, RFID, and warehouse automation, Chander is leading the industry and providing TCI with competitive edge.

CIO: Can you describe some of the challenges the Indian logistics industry faces?

Chander Agarwal: A healthy transport and logistics framework is considered a barometer for growth in a country’s economy. As more goods are consumed, the transportation sector must also grow proportionately to support them.

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Chander Agarwal expects I.T. to:

Streamline operations to cut costs and maximize benefits

Help the company set new benchmarks

Photos by fotoco rp

However, supply chain challenges make life hard for the industry. These barriers come in the form of forecasting, optimizing manufacturing location and product mixes, managing inventory and their logistics, etcetera. Also, these complex operations need to be delivered at a speed that makes execution cost efficient. Other challenges relate to the poor quality of infrastructure, unrealistic taxes at different levels, and issues related with the adoption of technology. On top of that, the organized players have to compete

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with unorganized operators who flout rules and regulations, and avoid taxes.

What challenges does TCI face? How is IT helping? The challenges faced by us are similar to those ailing the industry. In a sector where many small-time players provide a cost advantage, we are trying to focus on a customer-centric delivery model which encourages the adoption of new services and technology to ensure customer satisfaction and loyalty.

Make TCI a global organization

Our wide network of dealers, partners, and the vast expanse of our operations motivated us to integrate our ERP systems with that of our customers and partners to enable better service delivery and the tracking of SLAs. This process has helped us integrate several processes in the supply chain and share information including demand signals, forecasts, and inventory with all our stakeholders. Also, by implementing bar codes on our SKUs we have changed the way we manage our distribution centers.

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View from the Top

In a set up like ours, integration, automation, and communication are key words. Our company has over 5,000 interdependent employees, hence, we have tried to ensure that all our data—including truck departures, material availability, scheduling, route planning, and clients—is available in real time on the intranet so that the flow of information between various departments is seamless and error-free.

You created an industry first with the Road Freight Index. Tell us about it. One of the major challenges faced by the industry' organized players is the lack of a reference point for freight rates and route density. That’s why TCI started the Road Freight Index (RFI) to bring in benchmarks, best practices, and standardization to the industry. The RFI is an index (like the sensex) of weighted average freight rates compiled across various routes. This helps companies make a comprehensive analysis of freight trends—route and data wise—to help them forecast freight trends. The RFI is computed weekly across all high volume routes across the country. The RFI is beneficial as it provides the latest information on freight trends, which allows for better operational planning. It can indicate the immediate impact of seasonal and regulatory changes based on a model that's partly dependent on previous trends.

What do you think are some new technologies that are re-shaping the industry? The widespread adoption of warehouse management systems and GPS-enabled fleets are forcing more customers to look away from their ‘store-and-transport’ mindsets to real supply chain management. The latest GPS freight tracking technology allows us to monitor freight location, condition, and security all from a central location. This radically changes the way fleets are managed. 96

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"IT is the lifeline of all our functions. It provides visibility and control in a highly scattered environment." —Chander Agarwal

RFID is another technology that can revolutionize the industry. The RFID supply chain is an effective solution that can extensively control and track businesses processes, and reduce error rates and warehouse labor costs. I feel warehouse automation is one technology that will soon become a rising trend. IT is the lifeline of all our functions. It provides us with visibility and control in a highly-scattered operational environment.

How is TCI benefiting from these technologies? The use of GPS freight tracking has helped us immensely in improving on-time delivery with real-time information on estimated arrival times, load locations, and the status of a delivery. It also helps us minimize risk and losses with the help of onboard sensors that immediately notify us when assets are compromised. We are also exploring telematics which is a combination of an advanced vehicle tracking

system through GPS, mobility, dashboards and decision support systems, etcetera. At TCI, we believe in developing an intelligent supply chain, which can help our customers achieve just-in-time management of supplies. A proper mix of RFI, telematics, and inventory management through warehouse automation can help us reduce miscellaneous overheads significantly.

What changes would you like to see in your industry? A joint study by TCI and IIMC conducted to assess operational efficiencies shows that one of the biggest impediments to the industry has been delays at check posts and in-transit. These delays relate to filling in forms required by various government departments, etecetera. Logistics companies and the government should work toward adopting an approach like the TIR Convention (Transports Internationaux Routiers Convention) prevailing in the European countries. This allows seamless and borderless truck-based trade across all International Road Transport Unions (IRUs) member-nations. For example, it was noticed that on simulating the movement of a truck load from a factory near Delhi to a factory near Dhaka under the TIR system, direct savings were as much as Rs 15,000 per truck. The savings include the elimination of three days of waiting, a reduction in customs transaction charges and lower man-hours. If the industry automates the processes of checking and filling government documents, it will help service providers integrate their operations with partners and customers for better visibility and control. CIO

Debarati Roy is correspondent. Send feedback on this interview to

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30 Nov- 3 Dec, 2011

3 Days|3 Nights

Cloud & big data 2012 Cloud & Big Data 2012

IDEAL SETTING TO PLAN YOUR IT STRATEGY The Year Ahead is the most anticipated IT event of the year where leading CIOs and IT heads come together to explore the latest trends in technology and chart out their IT roadmap for the next year.

CIO is proud to bring you the fifth edition of the Year Ahead at Dubai*. With a blend of eclectic sessions such as Analyst views, Workshops, Panel Discussions and Roundtable Discussions, you have that ideal setting to chart your IT course for 2012.

Platinum Partner

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Also introducing the ‘Cloud and Big Data 2012’ that will showcase how these two technologies are combining to change business dynamics. Partner * The Year Ahead programme, earlier scheduled to be held in Bangkok and Pattaya, is now to be held in Dubai-owing to the floods in Thailand. Our thoughts and prayers are with the people of Thailand.

To Participate, Email: or Visit:

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casefiles real people

* real problems * real solutions

Kiranas Go

High tech AaramShop, an online retail platform, is combining mobility, the cloud, and analytics to bridge the gap between kiranas and their tech-savvy customers— giving kiranas a real chance to take on large retailers. By Debarati Roy

Early 2005, the emergence of large format retail stores—the Indian equivalent of Walmart—marked the beginning of a two-month blitz of pink paper articles forecasting the demise of local kiranas or neighborhood stores. Then, a contrarian view, backed by research, denied that kiranas would go out of business. And the media went to town again. More recently, however, the pendulum has swung back. The urban middle class with its disposable income and lack of time has begun to break age-old ties with its local kiranas, preferring the convenience that large deeppocketed retailers can afford. “Kiranawalas are marred by a lack of capital and physical space constraints for expansion. And most of us are not highly-educated or tech-savvy. From where do we gather the resources to match these large business houses?” asks Sreekanth, a grocery store owner in Bangalore’s posh Indiranagar neighborhood. One company wants to give kiranawalas that muscle. It insists that the strength of kiranas—their deeply-entrenched distribution channels—only needs to be tweaked with IT for them to take on large retailers.

David Vs. Goliath In 2008, the Indian Council for Research on International Economic Relations (ICRIER) ran a study which forecast that large retail formats would grow at 40-45 percent a


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p hoto by DR Lohia

year—and would leave their unorganized cousins far behind. Despite the rapid expansion (and contraction) of large retailers, some believe that kiranawalas have a distinct advantage. “Independent retailers have a detailed understanding of consumers’ shopping preference and habits. Given a fair chance, the independent retail sector is the best bet for investment and innovation as they possess a comparative advantage of knowing our ecosystem,” says Dharmendra Kumar, director, India FDI Watch, an organization that’s fighting against FDI in India's retail sector. Vijay Singh, CEO and founder of AaramShop, agrees with that assessment of a kirana's strength. He says the company realized that local neighborhood retailers didn’t have an online storefront—and that’s where today’s consumers are. "That’s why we are leveraging technology and the kiranawala’s existing inventory and distribution channels to connect them to a set of consumers who are low on time and high on stress.” That’s exactly the business model AaramShop has introduced, to great effect. It uses SMS and the cloud to bridge the gap between kiranawalas and tech-savvy consumers. Kiranawalas can register on the AaramShop website for free and after a vetting process, are listed on the AaramShop website as retailers, giving them an online store front for the first time. The AaramShop website allows customers to choose grocery products from 141 categories and hundreds of brands. Customers add to a shopping basket, after which they can choose from a list of AaramShop kiranas for the one closest to their residence. They can also indicate a preferred time for delivery. “The retailer is informed about the order via an SMS, and is then sent an e-mail with the details of the order. The retailer delivers goods and collects cash from the customer,” says Ritesh Raj Gupta, VP-technology, AaramShop.

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Ritesh Raj Gupta, VP-Technology, AaramShop, is using the cloud to grow the company fast, and analytics to sell intelligence to FMCG companies.

It’s a business model that fits well with the mental make-up of the Indian online consumer. According to the Internet and Mobile Association of India, e-tailing constitutes only 8 percent of the Indian e-commerce market. That low number can be explained by their distrust of e-commerce, especially where it concerns goods that need shipping, or whose quality can be questioned.

By ensuring that customers can pay kiranawalas directly—and after they have checked their purchase—AaramShop gets around that online hesitancy. Importantly, it’s a payment model that works primarily because of the proximity of kiranawalas to their customers, making it fairly easy to get an item replaced or exchanged. That’s an advantage that few large retailers can match.

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Case File | AaramShop

AaramShop started in April 2011 with 162 kiranas in Delhi and NCR. It has since added 31 kiranas in Bangalore and has plans to move into Mumbai by September. By the end of 2011, it wants to expand it’s presence to the top 15 cities with 2,000 kiranas. That’s the sort of growth that technology typically finds hard to keep pace with. Which is why Gupta turned to the cloud. “We are extensively using the scalability and flexibility of the cloud to achieve such a tremendous growth rate,” says Gupta. The cloud meets another requirement of the experimental new business model: Constant tweaking. “A cloud-based environment and incessant in-house app development based on stakeholder feedback constantly modifies AaramShop systems to be capable and scalable,” says Gupta.

"We are leveraging IT and the kiranawala’s inventory and distribution channels to connect them to a set of consumers who are low on time and high on stress.”

everyone has a mobile phone. But AaramShop’s original ‘mobile-only’ plan, didn’t pan out the way they wanted. Gupta says their first idea was to design a mobile app that would help kiranawalas receive orders from AaramShop and update AaramShop once the order was delivered. “The plan was ‘wow’ but we realized that kiranawalas were uneasy handling a complex application. Many kiranawalas are conventional in their approach towards business and they might take time to adopt an application-based transaction system, no Tripping on Technology matter how simple it is,” says Gupta. One of the beauties of Singh’s new model Their next best alternative was to use is that it avoids some of the conventional SMS. But Gupta quickly realized that would challenges that his other online brethren be a problem too. “A long order would have to face. Take for example, what Mukesh Bansal, be sent in two or three SMSes which was not CEO of online retail store, says: very feasible,” says Gupta, referring to the “Inventory needs to be carefully ordered and *some text missing* error that occurs when managed. Delivery time plays an important texts get too long. That forced Gupta and his role to ensure that the consumer comes back team to take a hybrid approach: An SMS that to your website to shop.” alerts kiranawalas of an order, followed by an Most e-tailers start as small e-mail with a complete order. entrepreneurial initiatives with tight The fact that not every kiranawala has budgets. So, over-provisioning inventory, access to e-mail has not escaped Gupta. stock-outs, or unmanaged deliveries can “Even the cheapest of phones nowadays be body blows to the business. “However, allows one to access e-mail if one has a the brilliance of the AaramShop business GPRS connection,” he says. model lies in the fact that it leverages But though IT forms the backbone of the smart technology and the already existing entire business model and registration is free, inventory and delivery mechanism of the kiranawalas have to be trained to use the system. kiranawalas,” says Gupta. “This helps us In fact, the website ensures that kiranawalas extend our services at absolutely zero cost pass a ‘dummy test order’ before they can to the consumers and to the kiranawalas.” be listed. “We have to constantly ensure that Not having to worry about warehousing every retailer who enters or distribution means that Get In the Zone the system is vetted for AaramShop can focus the minimal technical solely on expansion. To read more stories on acumen required to And using a mobile technologies like cloud and BI check keep the show going,” to ramp up its business the Cloud and BI zone. quickly is a no-brainer in Visit c says Gupta. “Providing training and support for a country where almost


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—Vijay Singh, CEO & Founder, AaramShop

each and every retailer across the country is extremely challenging.” Another challenge is payments. Although they wanted to offer an online-payment mechanism, it has problems. “If a customer orders for 20 items and the retailer has only 19 of them, refunds for so many transactions can become troublesome with an online payment model,” explains Singh. “However, we are planning to add online payment options soon, in view of customer convenience.”

The FMCG Angle After using the cloud and mobility, Gupta quickly turned to analytics and forecasting. AaramShop’s revenue model is designed to ensure that neither consumers nor kiranawalas have to pay. Instead, AaramShop makes its revenues from ads, special offers, programs—and information. “Since we generate a lot of data around what products are selling, in which part of the country, we wanted to share the intelligence with FMCG companies,” says Gupta. FMCG companies can bank on AaramShop PRO and its brand engagement center for consumer analytics, and real-time data on their brand's performance, and customer feedback, collected by AaramShop based on the website monitoring and social media feedback. (Yes, AaramShop's on Facebook). Today, Gupta is working on a solution that can elevate analytics to a level where the AaramShop systems can warn an FMCG company—in real-time—when a retailer is stocked out of a certain item. “Companies can then immediately alert their distributors in the area to replenish stock at a given store,” he says. CIO

Send feedback on this feature to

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How do you convince management to invest in a technology project that's already failed? Hikal's IT leader has the answer.

Falgun Shukla, Sr. GM-IT, Hikal, convinced his management to spend Rs 75 lakh on a technology that had failed in 2008.

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* By Sneha Jha

The Organization: Established in 1988, Hikal manufactures and markets fine chemicals for the pharmaceutical sector. The company has production units in six locations. Over the last three years Hikal has grown 15 percent yearon-year. The Business Case: Growing at that rate, it was natural for Hikal to embark on several simultaneous business projects. This meant that senior management had to travel a lot—which was both expensive and time consuming.

Falgun Shukla, senior GM-IT, Hikal, knew that the time was ripe to go back to a technology that had failed him in 2008: Videoconferencing (VC). Though the technology held the promise of lowering travel costs, it hadn't really worked for Hikal. Back then, Shukla says, VC had linked only three sites and used a data line (wireless channel used solely for high speed data communications) that didn't efficiently play videos. “The system never took off,” Shukla admits. That experience made him wiser. He knew that if he could fix data quality issues— like using a separate video line—he would get buy-in for a technology he knew his company needed. But after having burnt its fingers with VC, would senior management feel the same? The First Steps: Quick calculations showed Shukla that the project would pay for itself over period of three years. But Hikal would have to invest Rs 75 lakh for the initiative. His first move was to get his Deputy MD Sameer Hiremath on his side. And fortunately for Shukla, an opportunity to impress Hiremath fell into his lap. Hikal was conducting interviews for a new plant it had set up near Bangalore and Shukla suggested they do the interviews over VC. He started by conducting interviews using Reliance Web World and asked Hiremath to be a part of

the session. Hiremath was thrilled with the results, says Shukla. But that was just half the battle. Shukla knew he now had to conquer a more treacherous terrain: Skeptical business heads. “They were averse to VC because it lacked a personal touch. They thought they would lose their persuasive edge,” he says. But Shukla wasn’t going to give up. He made Hiremath the project champion. It's a strategy that worked. And that’s a lesson for CIOs planning a VC project : Rope in an influential project champion. The Solution: Shukla had put his neck on the line a for the second time and there was no room for error. He quickly deployed VC units (dedicated rooms for VC) and created a separate line for video packets. “As a first and immediate phase, we have provided all eight sites with Polycom Video Conference HD units and plasma screens. We’ve used Reliance’s video network for commuting video packets,” he says. Benefits: The initiative, which went live in July 2011 has brought in a bunch of benefits. It has optimized costs, shrunk the corporate travel budget significantly and resulted in a savings of Rs 8 lakh in three months. It has also increased productivity by 25 percent. “It's savings all the way,” says Shukla. CIO Send feedback on this feature to

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11/14/2011 12:51:40 PM

When one of the world's most-coveted ad agencies, Ogilvy and Mather, wanted to take customer satisfaction to a new level, it turned to BI. The Organization: For over 60 years, Ogilvy and Mather has been in the business of building brands. The advertising agency has turned brands like American Express, Ford, Shell, Pond's, Cadbury, and Vodafone into household names, cementing relationships between its clients and their consumers. Today, thanks to those strong bonds, O&M, as it is popularly known, is one of the eight largest ad agencies in the world. The Business Case: But O&M wasn’t going to rest on its laurels. It wanted to take its business to a new level by leveraging its strength: Understanding consumer trends (like buying patterns) and combining that with a client’s data (like age, gender and other demographics). This way O&M could help its clients position their products to the right people. For example, if a candy manufacturer wanted to know where its products weren’t doing well, it could create targeted marketing campaigns for that location.


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Ogilvy and Mather

And to deliver that intelligence, the company turned to Rohan Deshpande, CTO, O&M Worldwide. Deshpande was tasked to develop a BI tool that could extract value from hordes of unstructured data (collected from surveys and market research) produced by O&M’s clients. And just like that his plush office in northern Mumbai was going to transform into an intelligence hub for O&M’s clients world over. The First Steps: Deshpande decided to dive into the deepest point of the company’s client base: North America and Europe. These clients stream in data that they wanted O&M’s consultants to analyze. “One of the most important aspects of analytics is building a skillset with an in-depth understanding of numbers and the hidden business value behind them,” he says. Deshpande built a team of about 15 people including database engineers, business consultants, and statisticians for number crunching. The desired format in which clients have to send data is predetermined. Once data is received, statisticians and consultants work on it to come up with insights. The Challenges: But to accommodate that sort of number crunching, Deshpande would need servers. And ss chunks of data moved from North

n o v e m b e r 1 5 , 2 0 1 1 | REAL CIO WORLD

* By Debarati Roy

Rohan Deshpande, CTO, O&M Worldwide, has transformed his office into a BI hub for O&M’s clients world over.

America to India, it was obvious that O&M’s bandwidth requirements were going to shoot up. “Our bandwidth requirement increased from 25 mbps to about 75 mbps,” says Deshpande. Scaling up both in terms of hardware and storage meant preparing systems for unknown needs. So, Deshpande turned to server virtualization which provided the much needed flexibility. The Benefits: Today, BI project has helped the company's clients develop better strategies for profiling customer segments, gain better insights and track a

campaign’s effectiveness. For example, Deshpande says, a North American retail chain got insights into what segment of customers tend to spend on what commodities the most, and how they can improve the marketing on commodities that weren't doing well. "BI has helped our clients make the most of existing sales patterns and enhance the potential of other brands by better product positioning, and opening more channels of communication." CIO Send feedback on this feature to

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30 Nov- 3 Dec, 2011

3 Days|3 Nights

Cloud & big data 2012 Cloud & Big Data 2012

A TECH SHOWCASE LIKE NONE OTHER The Year Ahead is the most anticipated IT gathering of the year where leading CIOs explore the latest trends in technology and chart out their IT plans for the year ahead.

CIO proudly brings you the fifth edition of The Year Ahead, at Dubai*, where we have lined up a wide array of technologies to be showcased. Get a ring side and evaluate what aligns with your business requirements. Also, on-location will be experts who can help you plan your IT roadmap for the year ahead.

Platinum Partner

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The Year Ahead Presenting Partners

Associate Partners

Also introducing the ‘Cloud and Big Data 2012’that will showcase how these two technologies are combining to change business dynamics. Partner * The Year Ahead programme, earlier scheduled to be held in Bangkok and Pattaya, is now to be held in Dubai-owing to the floods in Thailand. Our thoughts and prayers are with the people of Thailand.

To Participate, Email: OR Visit:

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CIO goes to five cities to share the findings of India’s largest CIO survey—and celebrate its sixth anniversary!

Picture Perfect CIOs from Hyderabad presented CIO with a trophy as a token of their appreciation.

(Far Right)

Spellbound CIOs in five cities listened intently to some of the survey’s more counterintuitive findings.

Lending a Hand CIOs in Chennai help CIO celebrate turning six!

Talk IT Out The panel discussions got a lot of heads nodding.

State of the CIO New Delhi | The Oberoi 4th November

Hot Button Issue: The extension of the role of the CIO and how that applies to P&L responsibilities.


State of the CIO Chennai | Vivanta by Taj Connemara 8th November

Hot Button Issue: The growing maturity of outsourcing, where it’s headed, and why it’s growing as a trend among Indian companies.

no v e m b e r 1 5 , 2 0 1 1 | REAL CIO WORLD

Tell Me Why Tanay Kediyal from Wells Fargo Bank throws a question at the panel. Sharing Notes CIOs took the opportunity to catch up with old friends and make new ones. Sweet Six This is just one of the five cakes that were cut to celebrate CIO’s birthday.

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Signature Campaign CIOs across five cities wish CIO a happy birthday.

By the Numbers Editor-in-chief Vijay Ramachandran reads between the numbers. (Far Left) Now All Together IT leaders in Bangalore doing the honors at CIO’s birthday party. (Middle) Many

Happy Returns Venkatesh Mahadevan from Motorola Mobility signs CIOs’ birthday card. A Piece of CIO Veteran CIO, B.L.V. Rao cut’s CIO’s birthday cake in Hyderabad.

CIO Role Valerio Fernandes from Continental Automotive Components shares his plans to become CFO.

Words of Wisdom Distinguished IT leaders from Bangalore help break down the survey findings.

State of the CIO Hyderabad | Taj Krishna

State of the CIO Bangalore | Vivanta by Taj

State of the CIO Mumbai | JW Marriot

9th November

10th November

11th November

Hot Button Issue: The shrinking tenures of CIOs and the consequence that has on the roles they have within organizations.

Hot Button Issue: Where outsourcing is going, and the importance of setting aside a portion of the IT budget for experimentation.

Hot Button Issue: Return on investment and the different ways CIOs see it and ought to look at it.

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Soeren B. Jensen, VP, Enterprise Management and Software at APC by Schneider Electric, shares global best practices, emerging standards and information on smart management tools that aid in improving data center efficiency and take it a notch higher.


onsidering the steep levels of attrition prevailing at present and the need to retain intellectual property pertaining to the data center, automating key portions of the data center is becoming increasingly critical to maintain productivity. This can be a grave concern if the IT management does not take adequate steps to secure this side of the data centre. Also, it is becoming evident that utilizing KPI-based dashboards is vital core to bridging knowledge gaps and fostering collaboration between key stakeholders. To shed more light on this subject and to help Indian CIOs become aware of global best practices exercised in data center management, APC by Schneider Electric and CIO magazine conducted an interaction with Soeren B. Jensen, VP, Enterprise Management and Software at APC by Schneider Electric.

CUSTOM SOLUTIONS GROUP APC Although IT practices may be different, the data center challenges are the same throughout the world. Jensen highlighted that fact using statistics presented by leading analyst firms. According to these findings, data center space and power and/or cooling continue to be on top of the table, followed by adoption of cloud computing, modernization of legacy applications, finding and/or retaining IT talent and virtualization. With the continuous evolution of the CIO’s role in an organization, the unwritten norm now is that IT leaders must get into the management’s shoes before making any decision or implementation, and gauge how their strategy would benefit or affect business. Doing so will help CIOs find answers to the management’s questions regarding effective measurement of power utilization in data centers, overall efficiency rating and comparison with industry standards, gains achieved and ways to minimize energy consumption and costs. IT leaders can be sure they are on the right track if they know these answers and strategize accordingly. Smart Data Center Infrastructure Management (DCIM) tools deliver full insights into such data that can help in planning and optimizing utilization of actual infrastructure capacities. In one way, IT-facility management acts as the foundation for comprehensive DCIM. With smart software tools, organizations can now easily optimize energy consumption, lower TCO, reduce human errors, streamline workflow and enable virtualization by bridging IT’s demand and facility’s supply. On the other hand, emerging technology trends are creating complex and dynamic data center environments that need to be managed efficiently. Besides this rapid evolution, other

StruxureWare DCIM Suite helps IT administrators: Plan proactively for needed capacity Blueprint data center expansions and consolidations Streamline workflow management of IT physical infrastructure to improve business agility and availability Make changes knowing how they will affect the business Visualize change/capacity scenarios to improve bottom line View current and historic PUE/DCiE and energy costs of subsystems to make intelligent energy management decisions

Rohit Ambosta, VP and Head, ESG, Financial Technologies Ltd, gives a testimonial on APC’s DCIM software

factors - such as high availability, resilience, need for green solutions, cloud computing, and virtualization, are driving the need for proper DCIM. Jensen later explained how Schneider Electric can help in this process. He said, “One of Schneider Electric’s important goals is to dramatically simplify the

If you want success stories, you need data centers that support business requirements and data integrity.” process of designing, deploying and operating the world’s most predictable, dense and efficient data centers.” He added that organizations must lay more emphasis on making incremental changes rather than on a long-term strategy when it comes to DCIM. StruxureWare Operations Platform from APC by Schneider Electric allows C-level executives, data center managers and facility managers to have complete visibility and control over their data center’s daily operation and efficiencies. Its fully integrated workflow management allows for easy tracking and executing moves, add ons and changes of equipment in the data center. StruxureWare is a new level of DCIM business intelligence that is vendor-neutral and provides a unified view and analysis of complex IT physical infrastructure and communicates with building, enterprise and network management systems to ensure quaity, energy and cost savings. It also aids in short and long term planning and provisioning of data center resources. Cost-analysis of energy use on a kW/h basis is available right down to the rack level for calculating energy consumption, costs and empowering charge back and efficient budgeting.

Jensen’s presentation was followed by another by Rohit Ambosta, VP and Head, ESG, Financial Technologies Ltd (FT). FT, a financial services company, caters to three different verticals: exchange, ecosystem and technology. High availability is critical to its entities such as MCX, MCX SX and Atom, and their data centers cannot afford to have downtimes during operation. They have a global presence - with servers in various locations including Mumbai, Singapore, Mauritius and Bahrain. The organization deployed Schneider Electric’s integrated DCIM suite, StruxureWare, which ensured them high availability and comprehensive data center management. The company achieved a DCIE (Data Center Infrastructure Efficiency) of 83% and also won the DSCI Excellence Award. StruxureWare comes in different variants that cater to power grids, industries, data centers and buildings. Ambosta then shared some best practices with CIOs. He said that organizations should constantly get real-time PUE (power usage of effectiveness) data for data centers, gather historical PUE info, and identify discrepancies between planned energy usage and actual usage to improve the efficiency of data centers. The interaction concluded with a demo of StruxureWare and explanation of its various DCIM features which helped the assembled CIOs see the suite live in action.

This event report is brought to you by IDG Custom Solutions Group in association with


technology image by


Social CRM can help your company talk to your customers, but more importantly, it can help you listen to your customers in ways you've never imagined. And that can help your business grow.


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WhatYour CustomerWants By Todd Weiss

Social CRM | Companies of every kind are beginning to focus more on consumers and engaging with them on Facebook, Twitter and other social media platforms. But the successful businesses, the ones that want to really make their social media efforts sing, are going beyond just gaining that simple visibility. What those smart companies are doing, says Denis Pombriant, a social CRM analyst with Beagle Research Group, is turning their social media efforts into two-way, real-time communications with their customers. "We usually think of social media as an outbound-only tool," where companies only send their messages to consumers, he says. But that's a huge mistake to make today. "Instead, what you need to do is listen" to customers via social media and hear their messages loudly and clearly, he says. "What's hard about direct mail and other older technologies out there is that there were no good, inexpensive ways to capture the voice of the customer in the past. But with social media tools, if you listen, you can learn a lot about customer demand, biases and more." To do that, enterprises that are building and growing their social media efforts need to also bring in great analytics tools to collect customer social media data, parse it and use it to grow their businesses even more, Pombriant says.

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essential technology

"Analytics, in my opinion, is the killer app for social media," he says. A Harvard Business School study last year found that by a two to one ratio, more organizations were using social media tools without incorporating analytics tools that could teach them what it all meant, he says. "What it points to is that there are a lot of people out there who are telling things to their customers rather than listening to their customers," Pombriant says. "I think that the important thing to do is to make this a closed loop and listen as well as tell, to collaborate." The bottom line is that simply embarking on a social CRM strategy is not a panacea, according to Pombriant. You have to really do the work to make it a valuable addition for your company. One thing to look at is "sentiment analysis," which allows companies to find out what customers think about them in the marketplace. "According to the Harvard study, most companies don't know what their

"You can't simply ignore it," he says. "The approach in the past has been to ignore it because it's just too expensive to fight all those brush fires. But if you don't find out, those brush fires are going to turn into forest fires." At the very least, your company can set up simple Google Alerts for instances of your company name when it comes up in Google searches. Customers, both happy and unhappy, are most likely posting things online on blogs, Facebook, Twitter, websites and other destinations about companies and products that they use and buy. "You can find out what your customers think about you, you can discover what is on their minds and about their unmet needs and their biases," Pombriant says. There's a name for all of this new online marketing potential, he says. Forget about "e-commerce." That's so year 2000. Instead, try F-Commerce, as in Facebook Commerce. But before you schedule a staff meeting tomorrow to get your whole company on

Historically, companies prototyped and threw spaghetti against the wall to see if it stuck. With social media's help you don't need to do that as much. customers are saying about them and where they are saying it," Pombriant says. But why is this important? "Because when you start doing that, you begin to get a much clearer picture of your customers and you become more intimate," Pombriant says. "And when you become more intimate, you're more likely to make that second or third sale over time." Try a little experiment, Pombriant says. Do a Google search of any company name, followed by the word "sucks." Now hit the Enter key and check out the fascinating results. No matter what company name you type in, just look at all that attention those businesses are getting! Of course, this is not the kind of attention you might want, but there it is, in living color on the Internet. 112

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board the Facebook Express, take a breath, Pombriant advises. It's not just being on Facebook and Twitter and then communicating with your customers, he says. It's also knowing the markets and audiences on those platforms and knowing what you need to do to communicate with your targeted audience. Again, that's where those pesky analytics come in. "Some people see half a billion users on Facebook and they say that means it's a great market. But there's more to it than that. Yes, it's a big market but it's skewed towards women, with about 62 percent of the users being female." That makes a difference in how you approach it, he says. Last year, Pombriant wrote a book on Social CRM called, Hello Ladies! Dispatches

Rs 4,700 crore The amount the worldwide social CRM market is forecast to reach in revenue by 2012.

Source: university of melbourne

from the Social CRM Frontier. In the book, he described an article he read about a fellow who brought his custom dress shirt business onto Facebook, where the fellow thought he'd make a killing selling gorgeous dress shirts. In fact, the only way you could buy the guy's shirts was through his Facebook page. You could pick your fabrics, collars, cuffs and the rest. But the fellow forgot one step. "He never really paid any attention to the demographics on Facebook," Pombriant says. "He figured that there were so many people there that he'd find some to sell to. He didn't really know that the audience was mostly women. And they didn't buy his shirts. In the article, he was complaining that Facebook was a poor medium for sales." The lesson in this tale, says Pombriant, is that listening to your customers is key, not just talking at them. "When you think outbound messaging only, you are thinking like the shirt maker." To get a better handle on what your company can be doing to improve your social CRM strategy, there are lots of IT tools and vendors in the marketplace who can help your company listen better. Sentiment analysis vendors include SAS and Radian6, which was acquired by (CRM). Analytics vendors include Marketo, Cloud9 Analytics and major vendors such as Oracle, SAP and Microsoft.

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essential technology

Top 4 CRM Slip-ups | Here’s a look at common setup and configuration errors that mess up your CRM over time. Don't Bother with Frequent Backups While it's true that the leading SaaS applications do continuous backup for DR and data replication for business continuity, there are two critical truths about these backups. First, the SaaS vendors backups are there to allow them to restore if they make a mistake and goof your data but those restorals are anything but free if you make the mistake. Second, the SaaS vendors' backups are at best weekly. You probably have key data that evolves in critical ways every day—particularly in week 13 of the quarter. "We Don't Have Time to De-dupe..." De-duping is painful. De-duping is time-consuming. But that doesn't mean you can get away without it. Duplicate records destroy data quality because users spread correct data entries across two or more incomplete records. But the data quality problem doesn't hold a candle to what dupes do to system credibility. Don't Bother With the Semantic Details Semantics are not just a matter of semantics. Get this wrong, and the credibility of your system data will be wiped out with every new data entry. Why? Because the data will be misinterpreted, put in the wrong categories, and cause false conclusions. Two reports that are supposed to show the same thing will contradict each other. Getting the basic meanings under control is job one in CRM. Set Up Lots and Lots of Data Validation Rules This one is counter-intuitive, as the whole point of validation rules is to make sure that junk data never gets entered. Here's the problem: Those pesky users. If you have too many data validation rules, the users will game the system with junk values that pass the rules, but lower data quality. This is a slippery slope you must watch out for. — By David Taber CRM

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A good place to start is with the basics, he says."If you're an executive, you can investigate various vendors or do some of these experiments," Pombriant says. "Take your company name and Google it and ask yourself, 'what's it costing me to do nothing about it?'" You can even take a look at your product sales figures and correlate them to the customer sentiments you find online. "I suspect you will find out that there's a direct connection between your products and the sentiments people are leaving," he says. "Happy customers buy more products." And don't forget to also take a look at competitors, too, and benchmark yourself against them to find out how your company is doing in comparison in the world of online comments from customers. "That can help you discover some metrics," Pombriant says. "If the CEO discovers that his competitor's customers are happier than his, he can declare war" and drive new improved metrics based on social media research. "It can be the root for a new charm offensive." And there's still more to come in this evolution, he says. "What we're looking at is a transition state, not a final solution," Pombriant says. "We are in a customer intimacy age. If we want to sell more we need to be listening." Soon, the new information companies that are gaining through social media will be brought into product development to give instant feedback from customers on what they want to buy, he says. That will lead to new products that arrive faster than ever. "In the product development world historically, companies have prototyped and thrown spaghetti against the wall to see if it stuck. You can't do that anymore." With social media development, you'll know more about customer desires before you spend product production money. So will this all be worth the time and expense for your enterprise? "It's sort of like the old days when companies would ask, 'what's the ROI for putting a telephone on everybody's desk? The people who said that they wanted to wait missed the boat." CIO Send feedback on this feature to

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essential technology

Re-looking Your CRM Your customer needs have been changing but is your CRM system keeping pace? If you deployed your system 10 years ago, chances are that it's probably not. By Todd Weiss

CRM Upgrade | In the past, CRM served a simple purpose inside your enterprise: It kept track of your customers, their addresses and their orders. Now, though, there's far more that comes under the CRM umbrella, from connecting with your customers through social media to being able to instantly transmit customer data to a call center

you think you are doing an OK job, read The Trouble With CRM) But while your CRM applications and all of your data is critical, the real analysis has to start with the customer relationship strategy inside your enterprise, says Mary Wardley, an analyst with IDC. Without knowing what you want, where you've been and where you are

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One key to remember is that your go-to-market strategy evolves frequently depending on your business and the competitive landscape. agent when customers call in for help. That's why it's a good idea to regularly take a close look at your CRM infrastructure: With all the new functionality available in CRM tools today, you need to determine if your existing system is still meeting the needs of your business and customers. (If 114

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going, it will to be hard to reach your goals, she says. "One of my main tenets regarding CRM as a discipline is that you have to have a CRM strategy inside your organization, regardless of whether you even have CRM applications " Wardley says. "No

matter what kind of company you are you, you must have a customer relationship management strategy because that is your customer service strategy." With a CRM strategy in place, you can then bring CRM applications into the discussion to ensure that they support your strategy and help you meet corporate goals, from sales to revenue to market share. One key to remember, according to Wardley, is that your go-to-market strategy changes and evolves frequently, sometimes daily, depending on your business and the competitive landscape. This alwayschanging data can help your enterprise ultimately make the right decisions about how your CRM systems are working and what needs to be updated, reworked or replaced. Among the questions to ask: Are there features or capabilities that users are clamoring for? Is an upgrade enough to add those needed features or you need a new system? Can you add modules to your existing CRM systems to expand your capabilities? What's the correct CRM strategy that could benefit your business? Are there any must-have features today that weren't available when you originally deployed your system? How can you decide if you should now integrate some of those new features? The answers, Wardley says, will depend on your customers' and your business's needs as well as your long-term customer service strategy. Remember that the changes you are contemplating don't mean that your CRM system has failed your enterprise, only that new features may raise your CRM strategy

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to the next level. "It stands to reason that when you deployed a specific CRM application you chose the application that best supported your go-to-market strategy at that time," she says. "Today, in this business environment, CRM is different." For instance, today's CRM systems address social media, which Wardley notes didn't exist 10 years ago, when most companies began implementing CRM systems for their businesses. So how do you know when your system needs a facelift and how do you determine if it's going to be a small or large operation? That's where your analysis of how your existing CRM system stacks up to business and customer needs comes in. Wardley also

particularly with cloud technologies," she says. If you have an antiquated system and you want to have a multi-channel strategy, with call center capabilities, online customer service chat, mobile capabilities and social media input, you need to watch out as it will likely make things a lot tougher. What's more, you might not be able to add available modules for mobile and social media features because they are reliant on IP-based technologies that are likely not in your older CRM applications, says Wardley. If that's the case, then you certainly won't be able to move forward with what you have, she adds. One of Wardley's recent clients found another related conundrum: They learned

One huge factor in your decision to replace your CRM is its age. Obviously, the older the system, the less likely it's going to accept deep integration with new systems, like the cloud. recommends asking whether your CRM upgrade is something you can accomplish through simple add-ons or whether it will require a major overhaul. For example, does your CRM system need what Wardley calls a "lunchtime facelift"? That is, do you have antiquated systems with capabilities that you like, but that may need to be updated through some add-ons, such as social media analytics or the ability to add in data such as a customer's Twitter handle? If so, perhaps those may be changes you can make without major rebuilding efforts. "Or are you finding more fundamental requirements that your system doesn't have that means it needs a complete replacement?" Wardley asks. One huge factor in your decisionmaking will be the age of your CRM infrastructure. "Obviously, the older the system, the less likely that it will be able to accept deep integration with new systems,

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that their CRM customizations done long ago wouldn't work with other data gleaned from customer loyalty card data. That meant that the combined data couldn't all be brought up on a call center agent's screen when a customer called. The problem was again that new CRM applications don't always like to work well with older customized apps. "There's so much that's contingent on integration," she says. "If you bought a software package in 1999 and you're trying to deploy a new application today, are they going to work together? Over time it gets more arduous and less likely that you can maintain that application or find the skilled workers who can do it. And even if you do, it keeps costing you money." CIO

The Trouble with CRM Two-thirds (66 percent) of UK firms are not enthused about the value of their CRM systems, according to a snapshot survey. Most rate the performance of their CRM platforms as "average" due to being "slow" and "complex". SAP consultancy De Villiers Walton surveyed 252 UK firms about the performance of their CRM systems. When evaluating the current level of return on investment that CRM brings to their organizations, two-thirds of firms rated their system as "average". De Villiers Walton said: "While many systems may be partially fulfilling their remit, most are not succeeding in achieving optimal results for their users and businesses as a whole." Almost a quarter (24 percent) of firms polled reported that their CRM systems either actually slowed them down or did not support their business processes. Over two-thirds (69 percent) said their CRM systems did not help them focus on daily targets, and almost four out of five (79 percent) indicated they did not see their CRM systems as an essential part of their everyday work. Nearly half (48 percent) also disliked the way the system was configured, with 29 percent saying the system was too complex, and a further 19 percent feeling their CRM systems were not user-friendly enough and that its fields were not specific enough to their job role. When asked which aspects of their systems they disliked the most, speed emerged as a challenge for 21 percent of respondents. Other issues included the system not matching business processes (14 percent), and users experiencing difficulty understanding the language and terminology of the system (11 percent). — Antony Savvas

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bookclub club whAt we’Re ReAdINg

by Vijay RamachandRan


Questions of Leadership Great leadership is not about having all the answers. It’s more to do with asking oneself the right questions. IN SUMMARY: Is leadership about

focus? Are great leaders born or can they be made? What changes as we go up the corporate ladder? How do you deal with setbacks? Co-creator of the balanced scorecard and former vice-chairman of Goldman Sachs, Robert S. Kaplan, sets out to answer such questions in What To Ask The Person In The Mirror. At present a professor of management practice at Harvard, Kaplan addresses a whole bunch of leadership issues in his book. “I have found that almost without exception, successful leaders go through significant periods of time in which they feel confused, discouraged, and unsure of themselves and their decisions. Even as they project an air of confidence, they harbor deep feelings of uncertainty and apprehension,” he states. So, if all of us go through these ups and downs, what’s the difference between successful executives and those that are less so? Kaplan feels that the distinction lies in how such periods of confusion are dealt with. He brings his prodigious experience to bear as he proposes that to live up to our leadership potential we must follow a process that involves taking a step back, regrouping and then moving forward. And this involves asking ourselves a whole bunch of questions. Read on for excerpts from reviews of this book from two of your peers who recommend it as heartily as me:


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Robert Kaplan provides practical insights on leadership in his latest book. Structured across 8 guiding principles—vision and priorities, managing your time, giving and getting feedback, succession planning and delegation, evaluation and alignment, the leader as a role model, reaching your potential and bringing it all together— each principle is well articulated and presented with examples and questions for introspection. The latter, I believe, is something that most people in a leadership position don’t do too much of. Introspection; reflection; self-realization; leadership—that’s what Kaplan’s enriching guidance is about. As the author puts it: “There comes a point in your career when the best way to figure out how you’re doing is to step back and ask yourself a few questions. Having all the answers is less important than knowing what to ask.” This is a brilliant book, which has already had a huge impact on me. I recommend for anyone aspiring to become a great leader, including those already in positions of leadership. V. SUBRAMANIAN, DIRECTOR-IT & CIO (INDIA & GULF), OTIS In this book, the author has provided a very practical explanation of how and why framing the right questions can help aspiring leaders to take greater ownership of what is most important


by Robert Kaplan Publisher: Harvard Business School Press Price: Rs. 700

to them. Kaplan’s way is to complete a process that consists of a series of questions: What do I need to know?; Where and how can I obtain the information I need?; How and when will I take action on what I have learned?; To what extent (if any) will I need assistance?; How can I best measure the progress and impact of my efforts? Kaplan has carefully organized this within “areas of focus” that are most relevant to fulfilling the career ambitions and personal fulfillment of aspiring leaders. One could literally learn to grow into a leader’s role. Reading this book reminded me of the many situations I have been in and I am sure everyone will relate to many of the real-world examples cited by Kaplan. ROHAN DESHPANDE, CTO, OGILVY & MATHER Sounds interesting? We invite you to join the CIO Book Club. CIO Send feedback to

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CIO November 2011 Issue  

Business, Technology,Leadership

CIO November 2011 Issue  

Business, Technology,Leadership