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praShanta ghoShal, Director-ItES, Geometric Global, says telecommuting’s choices go beyond the technology domain.



A pioneer’s guide to: The private cloud Virtual desktops Telecommuting Bring your own technology

OctObER 15, 2011 | `100.00 ww w.CIO.IN

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View from the top Madhukar Kamath on It’s role in rebuilding Mudra.

Dial-aStock Geojit bNP Paribas crreates a mobile channel for its traders

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The data that drives our world is evolving. Innovations in virtualisation, cloud computing, automation and sustainable IT aren’t just transforming your data centre — they’re opening up a new universe of possibilities for your business. Because when there’s no centre, everything is within reach.

DATA HAS NO CENTRE As a trusted Cloud Ecosystem Integrator for its world-class clients, Infosys leads the way by adopting cloud internally. From boosting performance by seamlessly migrating to a cloud infrastructure, to reducing its environmental footprint by adopting innovations in green IT, Infosys is transforming its data centre in partnership with Hitachi Data Systems. Learn how at:

© Hitachi Data Systems Corporation 2011. All Rights Reserved.

HDS-16451 CIO Magazine India • Infosys • FP • 22.23cm x 27.6cm • Material due: September 5 • Posting Date: September 15

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

Make it Rain

If you want a greater voice in shaping business strategy you need to set a roadmap to greater efficiency and flexibility. Cloud computing. Over the past many months and years it’s not been possible to escape the deluge of technical treatises, media articles, and marketing messages on this subject, has it? But, it’s also true that now is the time that organizations are beginning to leverage the power of the cloud within—six organizations were honored at the recent CIO100 Awards for building private clouds. I believe that the cloud is more than a framework; I believe that it can fundamentally change the way that your organization conducts its business; and I believe that it makes your organization more agile and responsive to changes in the current economic landscape. This I believe. Yet, I also know from my interactions with you that not all of you believe similarly. You would observe that virtualization is still not mainstream when it comes to mission critical applications like ERP or core banking or transaction processing; that the big issues with virtualizing core apps are performance degradation and software licensing. And, if so, where does that leave the cloud? I could point to the many organizations that I know are successfully running core applications on virtual infrastructure, and who have re-negotiated licensing terms. I could mention the myriad shared services projects that have trained their energies to make the leap to the cloud. But, that’s neither here nor there. For without IT leaders and their IT teams being ‘confident’ of virtualizing the app layer nothing is going to change in a hurry. Because apps are where the rubber hits the road. Because without them virtualization and the private cloud only impact the infrastructure layer. Because until all of this is only an app play the business impact will be muted and limited. Because, while most managements prefer to remain opaque about what is ticking in their datacenters, apps get their attention loud and strong. Because though the causal links between changes made in a datacenter and its impact on business, is tough to prove, it’s a different story with apps. Because if you want your department to have a greater voice in shaping business strategy, you need to set a roadmap to greater efficiency and flexibility. Are you game? 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

o c t o b er 1 5 , 2 0 1 1 | REAL CIO WORLD

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Scale up from 10 kW to 2 MW as fast as your business needs it Now, align your back-up power to your business strategy through scalable, modular back-up power and power distribution The Symmetra PX 100 fits anywhere, with no rear access required. It is scalable up to 2 MW, giving you more power in a smaller footprint.

Right-sized, modular power – the key to virtualizing with true efficiency! If you haven’t already virtualized your servers, you’re probably seriously considering it. What you may not know about virtualization is this: modular power is critical to maximizing the gains made through virtualization. Otherwise, overabundant power simply negates the efficiency advances you’ve made. Now, combined with our new three-phase modular power distribution unit (PDU), the modular power you know from the APC by Schneider Electric™ acclaimed line of three-phase Symmetra™ PX UPS units is more flexible than ever. The new modular PDU lets you go up to 2 MW quickly in a modular, scalable fashion. Only APC by Schneider Electric gives you this means to scale up or down at the speed of business itself. What’s more, our modular power configures in parallel up to 2 MW, for enterprises with consolidated servers that are growing on a larger scale. In addition, the parallel-capable PX now can support system-level redundancy if you need it.

The PDU – modular power’s newest frontier Our truly modular PDU technology holds the key to enabling you to quickly align IT capabilities to your business needs — literally in a snap! With the plug-in modular PDU, you don’t need to schedule outages as the modules can be added easily without system interruption at any time of the day. And you no longer have to predict your future power circuit needs. In fact, you can add circuits as fast as you add the power modules themselves. That’s right-sized scalability and flexibility!

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Scale up or down as your business demands Scaling up or down no longer means powering down or attempting to forecast future use. So now you ensure that your IT is truly in line with your ever-changing business strategy. A Scalable, Reconfigurable, and Efficient Data Centre Power Distribution Architecture White Paper 129

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Use of UPS types in the industry Conclusion Resources

7 9 10

Download a FREE copy of APC White Paper #129, ‘A Scalable, Reconfigurable, and Efficient Data Centre Power Distribution Architecture’!

Visit Key Code 96675t Toll Free 1800 4254 877/272 ©2011 Schneider Electric. All Rights Reserved. Schneider Electric, APC, Symmetra, and InfraStruxure are trademarks owned by Schneider Electric Industries SAS or its affiliated companies. Schneider Electric India Pvt. Ltd., 9th Floor, DLF Building No. 10, Tower C, DLF Cyber City, Phase 2, Gurgaon - 122 002 Toll free 1800 180 1707 or 1800 103 0011 • 998-1762_D_IN

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2011-9-19 0:04:53

From The governing board

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

Creating Future Leaders As CIOs, it is our responsibility to groom tomorrow’s leaders and arm them with weapons to combat business challenges. Enabling growth in today's complex environment is a challenge for many organizations. To grow and compete in a global environment, we need leaders who can think globally, appreciate cultural diversity, and also create a participative environment besides being technology savvy. We need leaders who can understand the dynamic nature of business and have the knowledge and the skills to lead in the face of complexity and ambiguity. Also, inducting young talent and grooming them as future leaders provides strategic advantage to organizations. This helps to create a pool of trained resources, ready to embrace new technologies and step into leadership roles. That’s why, besides being a business enabler and technology champion, a CIO’s role is increasingly being viewed as a mentor who helps build future leaders for the organization. CIOs must lead by example because they play a very important role in influencing and shaping young minds by sharing their vision and creating a business-technology focus. Initial interaction with a senior leadership team gives them the required confidence, motivation, focus and the knowledge foundation to jumpstart their careers. While working on the job, CIOs can facilitate the culture of learning and sharing among employees by providing platforms to enable innovation, ideation, and enterprisewide collaboration to maximize business value creation. This also helps them corroborate learning to solve reallife challenges and build required competencies. However, enabling this to a large and distributed workforce is a challenge. Once again, CIOs can be instrumental in creating e-learning platforms or learning portals having rolebased learning modules, specific to the function, technology, or management streams that are efficient and cost effective. Today, CIOs act as executive coaches for next generation leaders, and while interacting with them, young leaders can learn from real life experiences that help to further sharpen their skills. CIOs also bring to the table thought leadership ideas, best practices derived from external forums like workshops and conferences, and strategic inputs from various management interactions. CIOs can share their experiences and prepare the next generation to develop strong leadership skills and take their organizations to the next level.

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 Technologies Navin Chadha IT Director, Vodafone Essar Pravir Vohra Group Chief Technology Officer, ICICI Bank Rajeev Batra CIO, Sistema Shyam Teleservices (MTS India) Rajesh Uppal Executive Officer IT & CIO, Maruti Suzuki India S. Anantha Sayana Head-Corporate IT, L&T Sanjay Jain CIO & Head Global Transformation Practice, WNS Global Services Sunil Mehta Sr. VP & Area Systems Director (Central Asia), JWT V.V.R. Babu Group CIO, ITC

Bangalore: Geetha Building, 49, 3rd Cross, Mission Road, Bangalore 560 027, Phone: 080-3053 0300, Fax: 3058 6065

Alok Kumar, VP & Global Head-Internal IT & Shared Services, TCS

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


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contents october 15, 2011 | Vol/6 | issue/12

Case Files 68 | emC Cloud CompuTing The story, complete with its twists and turns, its multiple phases, its success and challenges, of EMC's journey to a private cloud. Feature by Varsha Chidambaram

71 | mahindra

Shubhlabh Services

mobiliTy When a lack of timely communication cost corporate farming firm Mahindra Shubhlabh Services Rs 8 crore in business, it vowed to itself: Never again. Feature by shubhra rishi


72 | geojit bnp paribas

3 8

mobiliTy By being among the first— if not the first—to provide its traders with a mobile platform, Geojit BNP Paribas' IT team has created a new channel of revenue for the company. Feature by anup Varier

more »

38 | IT Strategy

5 6

Cover STory | the Master CheCklist Pioneering IT leaders share the little tricks they’ve learnt in getting four new technology and technology approaches right. They also answer questions you haven’t even asked. Feature by sneha Jha, shweta rao and kim nash

82 | Cloud Computing’s Real Costs FeaTure | Cloud CoMputing Don’t let the hidden costs of moving to the cloud blindside your organization. Feature by bob Violino

vieW From The Top:

more » VOL/6 | ISSUE/12

“it has not only spurred innovation, it has also helped us and our clients gain a competitive edge,” says madhukar kamath, group CeO & md, mudra group.

REAL CIO WORLD | o C t o b E R 1 5 , 2 0 1 1



(cont.) departments 2 | From the editor-in-Chief Make It Rain By Vijay Ramachandran

4 | From the Governing Board CIO Role | Creating Future Leaders By Alok Kumar, TCS

9 | trendlines

5 6 4 2

18 | alert

62 | Dealing With Rogue IT


FeaTure iT managemenT 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

Columns 24

| Why your iT Sucks

Healthcare |Smartphones Can't Heal Acne, Duh Quick Take |The Menace of Mobile Malware Voices |Windows 8: Indian CIOs Take 1 Popular Science |Invisibility Cloak for Tanks Internet |Unliking the Like' Button Retail |Window Shopping With a Wave CIO Role |Key to Innovation Technology |Ford’s Dream Car Uses the Cloud Art & Science |Tech's Place in the 9/11 Museum History |The Real Story Behind “Bugs” Career |CEOs Prefer Old-Fashioned Networking By the Numbers |Enterprise Mobility Bulks Up

Situational Awareness | Inside the New WTC Embedded Systems | Hacking Into Your Car

87 | essential technology Social Collaboration | Building a Social Chain Web 2.0 | Joining the Dots

94 | What We’re reading


Book Review | The Innovator's DNA By Vijay Ramachandran

Think Tank The unspoken truth about why many IT organizations and their CIOs stumble through life: A lack of a definition of IT’s role. Column by Jeff Ello


| Sign of the Times: burglary

underCover oFFiCer Our internal investigations have come a long way since the nervous nights of skulking around offices. Column by Anonymous


| let go of your denial

Cloud CompuTing Three good reasons why CIOs will have to go cloud at some point. It's time CIOs woke up to the fact and started strategizing their cloud approach. Column by Bernard Golden

6 o C t o b E R 1 5 , 2 0 1 1 | REAL CIO WORLD

3 4

alTernaTive vieWS: is there an age bias in it? As new technologies emerge in quick succession, are organizations beginning to prefer the young to the experienced?

VOL /6 | ISSUE/12

Cio online

.in CIO adverTiSer index

Alcatel Lucent - EMG


Ctrl S Datacenters

learn from the best

Gartner India Research &

Dell India Pvt. Ltd

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. t take advice from CIo's 's governing board. Read on the mentor tab on

advisory Services

36& 37 13 7+ bellyband


Hitachi Data Systems India IbM India Juniper Networks India Lenovo India Riverbed t technology India SAS Institute (India)

1 IFC 11 btwn 32&33 IbC 23

Schneider Electric India tata Consultancy Services t trend Micro t

3 73 to 80 19

t tulip t telecom


Wipro infotech




is there an age bias in it? We invited two CIos to kick-start a debate on a bias against older CIos. Read all about it in Alternate Views (page 34). Which side are you on? We also have more debates for you on Is Jugaad a Good Thing? Ayes Vs Nays Business-IT Alignment: Are Templates a Solution? Ayes Vs Nays >>

Conversation starter books ooks have been known to spark conversations and on page 94 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 ] Journey into a Private Cloud

the story, complete with its twists and turns, its multiple phases, its success and challenges, of EMC's ride into a private cloud.


must read @

>> Alert: Security Inside the New World ttrade Center >> Column: the Real Reason Why Your Itt Sucks >> Feature: the Real Costs of Cloud Computing

8 o C t o b E R 1 5 , 2 0 1 1 | REAL CIO WORLD

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

VOL /6 | ISSUE/12

10/12/2011 12:15:27 PM

EDITED BY sunIl shah






Smartphones Can't Heal Acne, Duh


About 3,300 people paid US$0.99 (about Rs 45) for Acne Pwner on Google's Android Marketplace and about 11,600 people paid $1.99 (about Rs 90) for AcneApp through Apple's iTunes store, according to the FTC. "A study published by the British Journal of Dermatology showed blue and red light treatments eliminated p-acne bacteria (a major cause of acne) and reduces skin blemishes by 76 percent," the marketers of Acne App said. Dermatologist Dr. Gregory Pearson worked with developer Koby Brown on AcneApp, according to FTC documents. According to the FTC, Brown and Pearson misrepresented the British Journal of Dermatology study on light therapy. Light therapy can help treat acne, but not at the low levels of light iPhone devices emit, some dermatologists have said. The proposed settlements require Brown and Pearson to pay $14,294 (about Rs 6.4 lakh), and Acne Pwner developer Andrew Finkle to pay $1,700 (about Rs 76,000) to resolve the FTC complaints. —By Grant Gross

the Menace of Mobile Malware

S e c u r i t y Mobile malware is increasingly beginning to dominate the security landscape. And as mobile commerce gains popularity, the platform is bound to be even more vulnerable. Will this thwart the m-commerce initiatives of the BFSI sector? Sneha Jha spoke to Faraz Ahmed, head-IS and regional IT, Reliance Life Insurance, about the mobile malware threat plaguing the financial sector.

What's the state of mobile malware in the BFSI sector? Malware for mobile technology has seen an increase of 273 percent in the first half of 2011 compared to the same period last year. If there are gaping security holes, the financial services industry can become a soft target for potential malware attacks. What’s alarming about mobile banking is the speed of transactions. These transactions happen on a real-time basis and if you are not savvy you might click on an application that is spoofed and can bring a Trojan down to your device.

So, how do we fix this? The industry should come up with standards and controls that will assure a reasonable amount of security on mobile devices. One platform that does this reasonably well is the Apple app store, where every application needs to be submitted for a review before it gets published on the app store. This is one good way of keeping the bad guys out and provide end users the assurance that an application is safe.

Faraz Ahmed Vol/6 | ISSUE/12

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IllUStratIon by pradEEp gUlU r

H e a l t H c a r e Smartphones can help you record video clips, compose music and find the nearest Ethiopian restaurant, but they can't cure acne, says the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC). The makers of two mobile apps claiming to treat acne have settled FTC complaints that the developers sold the apps without proof that they work as advertise. Under a proposed settlement, the sellers Acne Pwner and AcneApp—including a dermatologist involved with AcneApp—are prohibited from making acne treatment claims without scientific evidence. Both apps promised treatment for acne through colored lights emitted from mobile device screens. The app marketers instructed users to hold the screen next to the area of affected skin for a few minutes each day.

How should organizations protect themselves from malware threats? The same controls that are usually implemented on an e-commerce platform are deployed on the mobile platform as well. Some technologies provide a sandbox environment on the mobile to facilitate business, and this is an interesting but expensive approach. An organization intending to go the m-commerce way needs to carefully evaluate its risk appetite. REAL CIO WORLD | O C T O B E R 1 5 , 2 0 1 1


Take 1: Indian CIOs On Windows 8 vOICES:

All the talk around Microsoft’s new operating system has got users and the enterprise taking notice of the changes Windows 8 promises to make. To find out more about what Indian CIOs think, Shweta Rao spoke to your peers. Here's what they said.

S o f t wa r e


Though Windows is always at its best where userfriendliness is concerned what we expect from Windows 8 is how it will address vulnerability and virus issues effectively when compared to its earlier versions.”

HARISH BHAvAnASI, Director-IS, UST Global “We have deployed the Windows OS in our company consistently and are awaiting Windows 8’s release. We have a small percentage of users on Windows 7 but a relatively large Windows XP user base. Hence, our move towards Windows 8 will be driven primarily by end of Windows XP support in 2014.”

RAgHU KUmAR PARUCHURI, Head-ERP & IT, Tata Power Strategic Electronics Division “I was pretty impressed with one Windows 8 feature called ‘Windows to Go’, making it possible to carry and boot Windows from a USB drive. The Windows 8’s GUI also seems to be more userfriendly. Although, I’d still want to wait. We don’t want to get into a ‘Vista-kinda’ situation, where one faced issues post-deployment.


O C T O B E R 1 5 , 2 0 1 1 | REAL CIO WORLD

If you thought that invisibility cloaks were just for wizards, think again. BAE Systems is working together with the Swedish Defence Materiel Administration (FMV) on an invisibility cloak system that can hide a BAE Systems CV90 tank within its surroundings. The Adaptiv design works by using sheets of hexagonal pixels that acclimatize very quickly to changes in temperature. On-board cameras pick up the background scenery and broadcast the image onto the pixels in infra-red, which enables even a moving tank to match its surroundings. BAE Systems also claim that their new patented technology will be able to mimic other vehicles and display identification tags, therefore reducing the possibility of friendly fire. While research is primarily focused on the infra-red spectrum, BAE Systems' engineers are combining the pixels with other technologies to provide all-round stealth, which continue to be developed. Recent trials showed that one side of a CV90 could be made effectively invisible or appear to be another object, including a 4x4 vehicle, when viewed in the infra-red spectrum. "Earlier attempts at similar cloaking devices have hit problems because of cost, excessive power requirements or because they were insufficiently robust," says Adaptiv project manager Peder Sjlund. "Our panels can be made so strong that they provide useful armor protection and consume relatively low levels of electricity, especially when the vehicle is at rest in 'stealth recce' mode and generator output is low." Sjlund believes that it would be possible in the future to hide even objects as big as a ship or a building. In parallel, scientists at the University of Tokyo have developed optical camouflage technology which films your surroundings and turns your body into a green screen that projects images, while the University of California has developed a cloaking device made out of sophisticated artificial materials called metamaterials that work with the full spectrum of light visible to the human eye. The metamaterials alter the behavior of the light that hits it, which is different to previous invisibility cloaks, which could only work by limiting the reflection of electromagnetic waves. —By Mary-Ann Russon

PoPular Science

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S. RAmAKRISHnAn, Chief Information & Technology Officer, TAFE

BAE Designs Invisibility Cloak for Tanks

Juniper’s revolutionary approach to network architecture is setting the stage for the next wave of innovation.

Game changing ideas are happening everyday. But in the connected world, those ideas often struggle to see the light of day, due to the enormous computational demand needed to make them real. Of course, this level of compute power is often held up by one thing: the network itself. Until now. The Juniper approach delivers unprecedented network performance. The type of performance that’s ready for new ideas and new development everywhere the network works. It’s time for a new network. To learn more, visit


JN_IN_IDG_FP_V1.0.indd 3

Þ Inbound Response Management Priya Sharma, 1800 209 3062, 022 - 67083830,

7/27/2011 1:16:34 PM

german govt. Doesn't Like the 'Like' Button the german State of Schleswig-Holstein has ordered all state sites to remove Facebook's 'like' button. Sites that fail to comply could face fines of up to 50,000 euros (about rs 32 lakh). Schleswig-Holstein's data protection commissioner, thilo Weicher, ordered the shutdown after an analysis by his office showed that Facebook builds profiles of users and nonusers alike with the ‘like’ button's data. because such data collection violates germany's data protection laws, Weicher gave websites operated in Schleswig-Holstein until the end of September to remove all ‘like’ buttons. Facebook has issued its own statement in response to Weicher's claims. the company has denied Weicher's claims and insists that the ‘like’ button is compliant with European Union data protection standards. according to Facebook, the ‘like’ button only collects the Ip addresses of non-users, and even that information is deleted after 90 days. the European Union—and germany in particular—has very strict online privacy laws. In fact, this isn't the first time Facebook has clashed with germany's strict privacy laws. In august, german authorities in Hamburg asked the social networking giant to shut down its facial recognition feature. the EU advisory board also announced it would be looking into Facebook's facial recognition feature, and any EU privacy laws such a feature might violate. —by david daw

Key to Innovation According to a survey of 2,500 CIOs by global recruitment consultancy Harvey Nash, you’re more likely to be an innovative CIO if you:

cio role

Report to the CEO 25 % more likely than the overall CIO population Are a member of the operational board/ executive management team 22% more likely

Invest ‘to a great extent’ in training for your team 36% more likely

Use innovation as a source of competitive advantage rather than focus on cost saving 29% more likely

Find your job ‘very fulfilling’ 24% more likely

Source: CIo-Harvey nash Survey, 2011


O C T O B E R 1 5 , 2 0 1 1 | REAL CIO WORLD

Window Shopping With a Wave r e t a i l German researchers have given a new meaning to window shopping. At the recent IFA consumer electronics show in Berlin, the Fraunhofer Heinrich Hertz Institute showed a prototype that lets shoppers learn more about what's in a store display window when the store is closed. Called the Interactive Shop Window the system consists of a flat screen monitor and a motion tracker positioned behind the glass of a store's front window. When window-shoppers stand in front of the window, they can point at a product they want. Then the display box holding the product will light up and information for the object will be shown on the screen. Window-shoppers can then view it in different colors or sizes, or learn more about it. The system is controlled by the window-shopper's gestures, which are captured using motion tracking technology that the Fraunhofer team has been working on for a decade. The institute is looking for partners to further the technology and one day change the look of department store windows. "We're searching for partners in the industry to bring it as a new product," says Paul Chojacki, in charge of interactive media for the institute. "We have some bigger companies in Germany who are interested in this." Before the system is ready for its commercial debut there are still some bugs that need to be worked out. For example, the pointer will sometimes jump around the screen, or something will be selected that wasn't intended. Chojacki says one of the biggest challenges was making sure the motion tracking system filtered out reflections on the store front glass. "The window is a problem for us because it's reflecting light and pictures," he says. "We found a solution that is working very well right now." Another problem for the team will be teaching passers by how to use the system because it isn't all that intuitive. Chojacki says that the Fraunhofer motion tracker could be replaced by a Microsoft Kinect sensor, but that theirs is specially tailored for the project. —By Nick Barber

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Imag E by pHotoS.Com



Ford’s Dream Car Uses the Cloud


t e c h n o l o g y Ford recently revealed its Evos concept car and it’s wowing audiences globally. "We want to make the user experience such that customers can't imagine driving anything other than a Ford," says CTO Paul Mascarenas. He is also enthusiastic about the hybrid car's contact-less charging and wireless access to services in the cloud that could make driving safer, simpler and more exciting. Ford's Sync connectivity system— linking drivers' mobile phones or media players to in-car entertainment, climate control and navigation systems—is already shipping in some models, but Evos will show how those functions can be enhanced by connecting them to the cloud, Mascarenas says. In this dream car, streaming music playing in the home will follow a driver as they get into the car, which

will already be at a comfortable temperature and ready to go. And for drivers living in gridlocked urban areas, the navigation system will suggest traffic-free alternatives to a driver's regular commute. If the driver accepts the suggestion, Evos will adapt its handling and performance. Evos will also respond to drivers' past behavior and preferences, he says. For example, if a driver likes listening to fast rock on mountain roads, then

Evos will shuffle the music collection, he says. If things get too exciting or stressful—as determined by a contactless heart rate monitor built into the driving seat—then Evos will remove distractions by blocking phone calls and messages and limiting the display to essential functions such as the speedometer and rev counter. In Mascarenas' dream, as the Evos driver enters the city through the inevitable layer of smog, the car will access weather and pollution data to pick the cleanest route in, taking control of the throttle and brake in stop-go traffic to allow the driver to catch up on some e-mail. And as the car approaches its destination, it will access cloud services to reserve a parking space with a contact-less charger and navigate to it before parking in just the right spot. —By Peter Sayer

Tech's Place in the 9/11 Museum

floor of the South tower. Goumatie was one of 87 Fiduciary Trust employees killed in the attacks. The American History Museum is unlike typical art museums. It often draws families and is usually filled with the sound of excited school age children. But not at the 9/11 exhibit, where the atmosphere is solemn and hushed, says Melinda Machado, the museum's director of public affairs. And visitors are spending a lot of time there, she adds. "We are seeing a lot of parents with children, so they will quietly explain to them what happened and what they are seeing." The power of the exhibit is helped by the context the Smithsonian has given some of the objects. For instance, there's


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the story surrounding the then-new Ericsson flip cell phone owned by Bob Boyle. Boyle credited his difficulty finding a cell phone signal near the twin towers with saving his life. "It was a little after 9:30 a.m. I still couldn't get a signal on my phone, so I started walking away from the area . That stupid new cell phone of mine saved me a load of grief—without my hunt for a network connection, I probably would have been standing at Fulton and Broadway, snapping pictures, when the WTC collapsed," said Boyle, according to the Smithsonian's account. The US Department of Justice telephone used by Ted Olson, the US solicitor general at the time, is also there. He received two calls on that phone from his wife, Barbara Olson, who was a passenger on the hijacked American Airlines Flight 77. There is also the Blackberry used by New York lawyer Matthew Farley, and selected transmissions saved from that day. According to the Smithsonian's account, Farley's office was on the 89th floor of the North Tower. He used his Blackberry "to track down all sixteen of his co-workers and make sure they were safe. All of them survived." There is a chain of text messages available for view. Excerpt: "Subject: Crash are you all right? Phone lines are jammed." —By Patrick Thibodeau

image by

It's not easy to look at the National Museum of American History's 9/11 display. Whether viewed in person or online, its contents invoke painful memories. There's a severely damaged laptop from the Pentagon, a Blackberry, a twisted pocket calculator, as well as the flip style cell phone used by New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani. A history of some of the items in the exhibit, along with stories about their owners, have been posted online. The items include the beeper that belonged to Goumatie Thackurdeen, an employee at Fiduciary Trust, which was housed in the 97th art & Science

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The Real Story Behind “Bugs”


but that's not how this meaning of the word bug appeared in the dictionary. Inventors and engineers had been talking about bugs for more than a century before the moth in the relay incident. Even Thomas Edison used the word. Here's an extract of a letter he wrote in 1878 to Theodore Puskas: “'Bugs'—as such little faults and difficulties are called—show themselves and months of intense watching, study and labor are requisite before commercial success or failure is certainly reached.” Word nerds trace the word bug to an old term for a monster—it's a word that has survived in obscure terms like bugaboo and bugbear and in a mangled form in the word boogeyman. Like gremlins in machinery, system bugs are malicious. Anyone who spends time trying to get all the faults out of a system knows how it feels: After a few hours of debugging, any problems that remain are hellspawn, mocking attempts to get rid of them with a devilish glee. And that's the real origin of the term "bug."

illustration by

It's an oft-repeated tale that the grand dame of military computing, computer scientist and US Navy Rear Admiral Grace Hopper, coined the terms 'bug' and 'debug' after an incident involving Harvard University's Mark II calculator. The story goes like this: On September 9, 1945, a Harvard technical team looked at Panel F and found something unusual between points in Relay 70. It was a moth, which they promptly removed and taped in the log book. Hopper added the caption: "First actual case of bug being found," and that's the first time anyone used the word bug to describe a computer glitch. Naturally, the term debugging followed. This tale's got more bugs in it than Relay 70 probably ever had. For one thing, Harvard's Mark II came online two years after the date attributed to this story. For another, you don't use a line like "First actual case of bug being found" if the term bug isn't already in common use. And although Hopper often talked about the moth in the relay, she did not make the discovery or the log entry. The core facts of the story are true—including the date of September 9 and time of 15:45 hours— history

—By Computerworld staff

Hiring: CEOs Prefer Old-Fashioned Networking Want top-notch hiring advice? According to several C-level executives, their peer network is their first stop when seeking top talent. And overwhelmingly, those networks are tapped the oldfashioned way—not via LinkedIn. "My preferred route is network first, because of speed, cost, and confidence in the decision," says Mark Turner, CEO of WSFS Bank, one of the oldest continuously operating financial institutions in the US. "I personally don't use social media, primarily because traditional networking is so much stronger, and the costs of social media in terms of increased time burden have outweighed any benefits." But when it comes to hiring very high-level executives, Turner will consider running a tandem search with help from an executive search firm to Career


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ensure he's getting a diverse talent pool and seeing the best candidates. For Robert Zecca, cultural fit is critical. The interim president of Cable Technologies, a distributor of cable equipment for the telecommunications industry, he says that to find a good cultural match, hiring through his network—and the networks of everyone he works with—yields the best results. "I have three criteria which I use in hiring: They must be able to perform the job, their goals must align with the company's goals, and they must fit into our culture," he says. "By utilizing our networks, we find that the latter two requirements align and my job becomes a little easier." "We would simultaneously work with our HR director while I—and truly, all the employees—would reach

out to our networks," Zecca says. "Never underestimate the power of other people's networks, or your own." While he's a fan of social media, Zecca says only about 50 percent of his network is on LinkedIn and, he stresses, "There is no substitute for face time." CIOs looking for key candidates appear to be spending more time on LinkedIn than their C-level counterparts. "When identifying candidates for key hires, I definitely start with my own professional network first and foremost," says Greg Saltzman, CIO at InVentiv Health. "The majority of my professional network is on LinkedIn, and with my premium account I can extend my connectivity within the LinkedIn network." —By Kristen Lamoreaux

To find the hottest jobs in the Indian market visit

REAL CIO WORLD | O C T O B E R 1 5 , 2 0 1 1


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c o m p i l ed by A n u p Va r i e r

Best Practices

Enterprise Mobility Bulks Up



The impressive growth of enterprise mobility will come even as its operating costs will fall, say 40 percent of Indian CIOs. Zinnov Management Consulting recently launched a report on the enterprise mobility market in India. The study talks about how this rapidly growing market is likely to change the country’s innovation landscape over the next five years. The Indian enterprise mobility market (excluding devices) currently stands at $244 million (about Rs 1,100 crore) and the nation is expected to have over 100 million active mobile Internet users in the next five years—larger than any of the other BRIC nations. According to the study, mobile data traffic is expected to grow four times faster than fixed IP traffic from 2010 to 2015 and 28 percent of India’s total IP traffic will be routed through mobiles in 2015, up from 2.2 percent today. “Enterprise mobility in India has a billion dollar potential in the next five years. We will see over 40 percent YOY growth for the segment,” says Praveen Bhadada, director, Global Consulting, Zinnov Management Consulting. The study also found that 61 percent of enterprises spend upto Rs 2,500 per person, per year on mobiles (opex) and 34 percent spend between Rs 2,500 to Rs 5,000. Zinnov interviewed 150 key IT decision-makers in India to understand which mobile platforms they were most likely to support in the next two years. They were: Android (26 percent), Windows Mobile (21 percent), iOS (8 percent), Symbian (4 percent); 98 percent already supported the Blackberry platform.


Look long-term. CIOs need to take a holistic view. An application available in the office should be available on a mobile device. CIOs also need to have hardware refresh plans for mobile devices.


Focus on benefits. The prices of hardware and software shouldn’t govern enterprise mobility decisions. Take functionalities and benefits into consideration.


Manage security. Figure out gaps in policy regulating those who access data via their mobiles. Policies must also comply with software licensing practices, and other data policies.

The State of Indian Mobility Key Business Drivers

Mobile Operating Costs in the Next 2 Years 50%

Better customer service

46% Productivity advantage


Employee satisfaction

32% Staying competitive Reducing operating cost



Increase by 0-5%




Increase by 5-10%

Not sure

18% 18%

New business opportunity


Supply chain management

2% Increase by 10-15%

4% Increase by more than 15%

Source: Source: Zinnov Management Consulting


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Enterprise Risk management

Security Inside the New WTC T


here is perhaps no image of security more striking than the site of the World Trade Center in New York City. The events of September 11, 2001, marked the end of security as the world knows it, and the beginning of an era that now includes intense checks at airports, and more emphasis within organizations on evaluating how well they are protected. Difficult lessons were learnt at the WTC on September 11, 2001. And now, from an office 19 floors above the site, Louis Barani, who oversees the construction and design of a security system, heeds those lessons and will take the new World Trade Center into the future. Barani, a naval veteran with 25 years of government and privatesector experience in security-risk management and critical-infrastructure protection, was brought in to be World Trade Center Security Director. He is charged with bringing together a disparate set of security and building-

management systems, as well as the many stakeholders involved in the process of developing security for what is possibly one of the most talkedabout re-developments in the world. When the re-designed and re-constructed site is finally opened, it will comprise five new skyscrapers, the National September 11 Memorial and Museum, a transportation hub, a retail complex and a performing arts center. “The five towers, the memorial and museum, the transportation hub, underground roadway, network, vehicle security center—they all have different security and building-management systems,” says Barani. “And all are controlled by their own operations and security command centers. What we needed to accomplish was


Room For Improvement Indian security leaders were asked how aligned they thought their security policies were to their organizations. Their answers are less-than-heartening, although IS leaders in other parts of the world aren’t doing much better.

Poorly aligned

situational awareness for the entire site to coordinate responses to events that could have a negative impact.” And that’s what Barani is developing. An event- and identitymanagement system he refers to as a Situational Awareness Platform. The system will overlay security and building-management systems—including access control; CCTV; alarm; fire; chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear defense; HVAC; elevator control; and visitor management—and fuse information from them to create that situational awareness. It will give Barani and his team information about events, conditions and even identities that can be used by law enforcement and fire and life safety crews as needed. “We had to find a way to generate as much information as possible,

Global respondents who said they were completely aligned


Not aligned

Somewhat aligned



Completely aligned


38% 33%

Asia South America

30% 29% 23%

North America Europe Middle East and South Africa

Source: Global information security survey


Alert_oct2011.indd 18

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10/7/2011 2:05:01 PM

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EntErprisE risk managEmEnt

correlate it and bring it to one location,” says Barani. “We took two products—event management and identity management products—and integrated them with a single rules-development driver. This way we can correlate information from the event and the identity and have a better situational awareness.” Here’s how that might be useful in real life: If someone steals a card and is trying to get into a critical area, it will generate a single alarm. But if there are multiple attempts made using that card, it will be flagged by the system because it does not clear a threshold of acceptability. “We will know someone is trying to access critical areas at different locations,” says Barani. “Then we bring in the identity management portion and see if the person we observe through the CCTV is actually the one using the card. If it’s not, we have a law enforcement situation.” The access card example is a simple scenario, but the situational awareness system would also be critical in the event of a large-scale or, as Barani refers to it, a Mumbai-style attack: a scenario involving several attackers trying to harm people and buildings. “In a dynamic situation with multiple attackers and responding agencies,

we need to know where the good guys are, where the bad guys are, and what they are doing. With this system, we have immediate access to information like where attackers are located through multiple access control and CCTV systems. We’ll have access to information from the BMS system and HVAC system to tell firemen the status of a fire, the points of alarm, the areas where the fire suppression system has deployed, the floor plans of where the fire is, the status of stair pressurization, what the elevator system is doing, the evacuation status in the lobby.” The system also provides information in the event of a chemical, biological or radiological threat or attack. “We worked with NYPD to determine which agents they were most concerned about and developed a systems design based on that. Based on the makeup of the agent and the prevailing winds, we can determine strategies like sheltering in place, evacuating buildings, and informing our neighbors in the area.” Despite the convergence of information, each property will still operate its own distinct security and building management operation. Each

[OnE :: LinEr]

“more OE OEms and vendors are acquiring security companies and rolling security into basic coding and design. While this is good, the gamut of security concerns covered needs to be more comprehensive.” Parag Deo DeoDhar, ChIef rISk offICer & VP ProCeSS exC exCelleNCe x elle xC aND Program maNagemeNT, BharTI axa geN geNeral INSuraNCe


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will act autonomously, with a security command and operations center that includes guards and monitoring. Stakeholders will be provided access to the situational awareness platform information. Police and fire officials will, too. Bringing together the various entities involved—agencies, fire and police, private stakeholders—has been no small feat, says Barani. “The biggest challenge is education,” he says. “As far as I know, this has never been done before, never attempted on a scale this big. There are the city agencies, NYPD and FDNY. There are stakeholders outside the site that have just as much at stake if we get attacked. The toughest part is educating these stakeholders and getting this information out to the point where they see this will benefit everyone, as a group with common security needs for lower Manhattan.” But the cooperation is there, he says. And he is pleased with the progress he has made. The situational awareness platform, he notes proudly, is being talked about elsewhere. “We are developing actionable information so that first responders can respond with as much information of the situation as can be generated from diverse systems at multiple locations through the development of scenario-based rules, and that’s the key. For example, we have over 4,000 cameras here. To actively monitor that would be impossible. The basis of the [Situational Awareness Platform], why it’s so powerful, is that we can reach out through the API and retrieve the information we need based on rules that we develop for that specific situation. We don’t have to monitor every single camera on the site, every alarm. “We have to get the information in, correlate and fuse it and disseminate it in a coordinated fashion. With this system, we are able to do that.” CiO Joan Goodchild is senior editor for cSoonline. Send feedback on this feature to

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EntErprisE risk managEmEnt

Hacking Into Your Car


f you think that texting while driving is your biggest vehicle-related tech concern, a recent report from McAfee may make you think twice. It seems that with each passing year, cars get more and more high tech. Unfortunately, the benefits of the technology come with increased risk that hackers can find and exploit security holes and wreak havoc with your car. The car used to be a purely mechanical contraption. Now there are onboard computers and embedded systems that constantly monitor and adjust various aspects to optimize power and fuel efficiency. Power seats, anti-lock braking systems, electronic stability controls, GPS navigation, communication systems and more all rely on software. There are even vehicles now that will automatically stop even if you don’t react fast enough, or that can parallel park to squeeze your car into tight spots without the driver’s help. The thing with software, though, is that it is imperfect. Hopefully the developers do everything within their power to write secure code and ensure there aren’t any obvious holes, but software is complex and it is virtually impossible to validate every possible use case and scenario. Eventually, a hacker will stumble upon a vulnerability in the software systems of your car, and that is when the danger begins. “The auto industry is experiencing a convergence of consumer and automotive electronics. Consumers are increasingly expecting the same experiences in-vehicle as they do with the latest connected consumer and mobile devices. However, as the trend for ubiquitous connectivity grows, so does the potential for security vulnerabilities,” says Georg 22

o c t o b e r 1 5 , 2 0 1 1 | REAL CiO WORLd

Doll, senior director for automotive solutions at Wind River. McAfee teamed up with Wind River and ESCRYPT (system provider of embedded security) to examine the issue in-depth. The resulting report, Caution: Malware Ahead, provides a sobering analysis of the risks posed by software systems in vehicles. A hacker with could exploit software vulnerabilities in your car to perform a variety of activities ranging in impact from mischievous to deadly, such as: Remotely unlock and start car via cell phone Disable the car remotely Track a driver’s location, activities and routines Steal personal data from a Bluetooth system Disrupt navigation systems Disable emergency assistance

militant action


“As more and more functions get embedded in the digital technology of automobiles, the threat of attack and malicious manipulation increases,” says Stuart McClure, senior vice president and general manager, McAfee. “Many examples of research-based hacks show the potential threats and depth of compromise that expose the consumer. It’s one thing to have your e-mail or laptop compromised but having your car hacked could translate to dire risks to your personal safety.” Network and computer security, and anti-malware are still very necessary, but the world is quickly evolving. The next time you intend to embed more whizbang technology into you car, remember the dangers. CiO t tony bradley is a writer for PcWorld uS. Send feedback on this feature to

Pakistan’s telecom authority has reportedly asked the country’s ISPs to block commercial VPn connections to stop militants from communicating in secret. According to a memo sent by the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) to an ISP that leaked it to journalists, the PTA said that a previous directive to block “Encrypted Virtual Private networks” was not being enforced. “In line with regulations 2010 and national security, Authority prohibited usage of all such mechanisms including encrypted virtual private networks (EVPns) which conceal communication to the extent that prohibits monitoring,” said the communication. “It is observed that the aforementioned directive has not been followed in true letter and spirit as EVPns are heavily being used on the licensees network,” it continued. Some commentators have taken this as a blanket ban on VPns, but it is more likely aimed at proxy services that allow encrypted connections to be set up in a way that hides the IP address of the two ends of a link. These can fairly straightforwardly be blocked using domain filtering at ISP level although such an action is indiscriminate. The PTA has an established history of trying to block websites that infringe its sometimes opaque rules on content. youTube, y facebook and rolling Stone magazine have all fallen foul of this regime. — by John E Dunn

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Jeff Ello

Think Tank

Why Your IT Sucks The unspoken truth about why many IT organizations and their CIOs stumble through life: A lack of a definition of IT’s role.


Illustration by PH OTOS.COM

ack in the fifth grade, I was in a school musical, (The GIGO Effect), in which the evil Glitches attempted to corrupt a computer named Mabel with ‘dirty power’. The point of the show was that technology is unable to produce intelligent results without intelligent direction, a truism encapsulated in the formerly popular computer acronym GIGO: Garbage in, garbage out. I don't think business leaders are inclined to get their insights on running IT from a bunch of singing fifth-graders, but they could do worse. Intelligent direction is a product of competence, which IT professionals view as a mix of technical knowledge, creativity and judgment. Everyone prefers competence. Everyone wants to do the right thing. But just as IT pros act and react logically according to their perceptions, so do the executives who employ them. Both approach IT with the same intention, but the outcome—for lack of a better term—sucks. And it sucks more as time goes on. Don't take my word for it; ask IT pros. Read any IT or CIO survey over the past couple of decades and you'll find that the same problems reported this year have been reported every year. Do a little more research and you'll find that IT morale is disturbingly low, stress is ridiculously high, and the best people are lost to burnout while the worst are rewarded. Project success rates are as comically low as the average term of a CIO is conveniently short. IT is assaulted by snake oil salesmen and extremists from the churches of IT outsourcing, insourcing or whatever-sourcing who promise that their latest buzzword will save everyone in tidy, graphable ways. But there is a bright side. Organizations that do IT very well are no different than those lost in the sucking vacuum of


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Jeff Ello

Think Tank

Any MBA can tell me what the unit of production is for a CFO. Can anyone tell me what the unit of production for a CIO is? the GIGOsphere. But they have a tool that allows business leaders and IT professionals to speak, at least in part, the same language. Be it subconscious or by epiphany, they have stumbled upon a definition.

Definition "Engineering" is a term that is thrown around in "advoun" form—not quite adjective, verb or noun, and meaningless out of context. We differentiate mechanical vs. electrical, civil vs. nuclear, even train vs. sanitation. The all-encompassing IT industry, however, can't even decide what to call itself decade to decade, much less what to call many of its unique disciplines. So, you can't really blame business executives for wielding the term "IT" with the same level of precision as "dude." But I have observed that where IT is done well, it is referred to in very narrow organizational terms. I have done my best to reduce these to a definition: Information technology is the art of managing an organization's processes by establishing and maintaining computing frameworks. This definition has an advantage, by clearly distinguishing IT's ultimate role in an organization from all of the highly computer-dependent tasks that organizations may undertake. And that helps executives and IT professionals come together on many perplexing topics, such as: Counting. Imagine a CPA firm with five staff accountants handling the finances, and 100 CPAs who work with customers. They are all accountants, all doing "accounting work," but with respect to the organization, only the five staff accountants are the company's accountants, because that's the role they fill. Pretty obvious, right? Yet few think twice about counting everyone whose work primarily involves a computer as an IT person, no matter what role they fill. Hiring a person to design a public website for your company, for example, is an advertising job. Having a group of people develop an iPhone app is production work. Having your DBA pull financial reports because he's a whiz at writing SQL queries simply means a portion of his FTE now belongs to the business office rather than IT. Lumping clearly divergent roles into IT is a real problem, whether done naively or intentionally. Executives know the importance of such distinctions, but without a definition, they just don't recognize them. Thousands of companies make the same type of mistake, so the error artificially deflates the job numbers of other industries, artificially inflates the ranks of IT, and logically causes executives to make truly costly IT decisions on bad information. Measuring. Any MBA can tell me what the unit of production is for a CFO. They can tell me the difference between FA, AR,

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etcetera, with pretty certain terminology. Not because they are accountants, nor because accounting is easy, but because there are definitions to guide them. Can anyone tell me what the unit of production for a CIO is? In the absence of fact, we find the simplest analog. IT looks like a customer service organization, so that is how it is treated. Call with a problem, get a solution. We measure satisfaction, number of incidents, time of completion, etcetera, and over time this defines IT. When an executive comes under fire, it's not because the IT group has failed to make a tweak that would save the organization a million bucks in wasted time; it's because someone complains that "the Internet is down." It gets worse: The more efficient, effective and pure of purpose IT is, the more invisible it becomes. The more invisible it is, the more people question why it exists. If the executives are uncertain about what IT is supposed to do, then anyone with an opinion, something to sell or an ax to grind is taken seriously. To quiet the critics, IT is compelled to divert its resources to non-IT work and ill-conceived projects. Over time, those are the things by which IT is measured, and all of the proactive, strategic endeavors that could create capabilities or save massive amounts of time, money and work are all but forgotten. From a business sense, is it more sad that IT pros often understand this, or that executives often don't? Alignment. Alignment is a really dumb concept that works like this: Your organization has goals, and IT has goals. Alignment is the act of making those goals align. CIOs consistently report this as a No. 1 priority, year after year. That's a lot of aligning. IT pros look at the explosion of technology options with giddy optimism, but they don't always recognize the cost of innovation. Executives, on the other hand, perceive steady innovation as an expensive, confusing diversion from their business and don't always recognize the cost of standing still. They've got tight budgets that don't flex with the ebb and flow of IT, and innovation doesn't lend itself to simple calculation. Executives have an anxiety about IT that is instinctively soothed by favoring more agreeable IT management, not realizing there is a price paid in technical competence that makes it even more difficult to bring IT ingenuity to real business problems. Secretly, IT shares an adversarial relationship with the organization, forced to do the visible things it shouldn't and having to ‘trick’ the organization into doing the strategic things it must. Without a definition, IT is always out of alignment, because it will never be rewarded for doing the things that only IT can do. That causes friction in ways that are universally REAL CIO WORLD | o c t o b e r 1 5 , 2 0 1 1


10/7/2011 2:09:22 PM

Jeff Ello

Think Tank

counter-productive, making a dumb activity like "alignment" a No. 1 priority.

re-insourced it, the review always makes perfect sense. In the absence of a definition, anything makes sense.



Without a definition for IT, business executives are targets for all manner of coercive argument. They are made to feel as if the rest of the world has conquered the IT beast, and if they don't get on board with the latest trend, they will look stupid. Should IT re-organize? Centralize? Decentralize? Outsource? Insource? Is it too big? Too small? Do we need ITIL? Should we provide service X? Why are we doing Y? These are business questions whose answers often break down along what can seem like religious lines, in that everyone has an opinion and selects only the data that appears to validate it. The bigger the organization, the more militant the debates become, and the more false simplification takes over. For example, ITIL is a self-described set of "best practices for IT Service Management." Many companies have spent many millions implementing ITIL-based processes, despite the lack of any science confirming its efficacy. The logic of ITIL is hard to argue with. But while each new faithful implementation shows short-term promise, I have yet to see a mature ITIL-based organization that isn't oversized, misshapen and grossly inefficient. It's not that ITIL doesn't work—in fact, it works exactly as one should expect. ITIL groups are acutely aware of their costs and processes, which is a primary goal of following the ITIL program. On paper, it's very convincing. But ITIL organizations develop a resistance to pragmatic, incremental innovations that others quickly, if sometimes recklessly, adopt. This not only frustrates existing innovators; it makes hiring innovators a contrary act. Over time, that leads to an overall shift in staffing, with deficiencies in key roles that further deteriorate the group's ability to keep up, much less lead. While others race by on an uncertain diet of cheaper, faster, better, stumbling every so often, ITIL groups are typically forced by the weight of their own bureaucracies to stagnate, then belch changes in massive, expensive eruptions. Who would willingly do that to their organization? Well, I would, for one. That is, if no one could tell me what IT was supposed to do, if I viewed IT like a dry cleaning service, and if the world was telling me I could just pay a set fee and have no more worries, that would be hard to resist. These things don't happen without strife, but it's tough to compete with faith. In 20 years, I have yet to see the results of an IT review contradict the What's IT's Worth? opinion that spurred To learn more about measuring it. Whether it was the IT's value read Marketing the review that outsourced Value of IT on IT or the review that

This is the collision of two different realities. Executives see savings in budget line items and value in a bill of services. IT sees savings in the things no one has to do anymore and value in the things no one could do before. Reconciling the two is a big challenge. If I were in the CEO's shoes, I would be begging for someone to just tell me everything's OK in IT-land. I would be seeking out a smooth talker who could take the heat. That this is something that many CEOs want was made all too clear to me when I saw a survey of CIOs, CTOs and directors. Asked to check all the skills pivotal to their success, 70 percent checked "ability to



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To quiet the critics, IT is compelled to divert its resources to non-IT work and ill-conceived projects. Over time, those are the things by which IT is measured. communicate effectively" and 58 percent marked "strategic planning," while only 22 percent ticked "thorough knowledge of technology options." You have to wonder, what could a CIO possibly be communicating or planning without a thorough knowledge of technology options? Those numbers should horrify CEOs, who make big-money decisions based on the CIO's authority in only one area—technology.

Enlightenment It comes down to this: Even if you don't know how to turn on a computer, having a useful definition will help you count IT. It will help you measure IT. It will help you avoid the prophets who say they can solve your IT woes with numeric simplicity. It can even change the qualities you look for when hiring, and how you cope with ever-present uncertainty. Having a definition brings a little discipline to the thoughts of all who use it, so that even the most opposite-minded people can approach a problem together, with competence. Competence produces intelligent direction, and as any fifthgrader can tell you, intelligent direction prevents the evil glitches from corrupting the system with dirty power. CIO

Jeff Ello is currently at the Krannert School of Management at Purdue University. Send feedback on this column to

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10/7/2011 2:09:23 PM

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Undercover Officer


Sign of the Times: Burglary Our internal investigations have come a long way since the nervous nights of skulking around offices.


omeyearsback,theplaceIworkedwentthroughsignificant changes that caused great upheaval and stress throughout the workforce. Most people accepted the changes and dealt with them professionally. A few people didn’t have the necessary coping skills, and they acted out. One way of acting out came in the form of anonymous letters sent to the board of directors, executive management and a few senior people in some of our sales offices. The letters were not complimentary of the corporate leadership, and a disruptive buzz began around the company. Management wanted to locate the source and choke it off, and that was where I came in. I was asked to do some sleuthing and figure out who was behind the letters. Because the letters were apparently typed on a computer and then laser printed, it seemed logical to look for trace evidence on people’s PCs. With hundreds of PCs as potential crime scenes, we tried to narrow the field by assembling a list of possibly disgruntled employees. The list included about two dozen people who all worked on the top floor of the building. I did some initial reconnaissance and figured out where all the offices were.


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To avoid tipping my hand and generating a lot of commotion in the work area, I planned to come into work at night after people had left for the day. Armed with a floor plan marked with the suspect device locations and my programmatic burglary tools, I rode the elevator to the top floor and began my search. With so many devices to search, I had to move quickly and methodically. I found a workstation, booted it up, write-locked it and started running my tools. I had four tool diskettes so that I could simultaneously search four devices. The work areas were vacant. The cleaning people had come and gone, and the lights were off. I felt every bit the Watergate burglar as I quietly went from desk Vol/6 | ISSUE/12

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Undercover Officer


to desk, office to office in my search. I was surprised that my padding about the workplace at night invited not one visit from the building’s security guards. (Those were the days, too, before 9/11 and increased physical security.) I felt sneaky and creepy as I violated the sanctity of each personal work space. Although the offices were company property and nobody had a legal expectation of privacy, it still felt wrong to be poking around other people’s stuff. As I moved aside knickknacks, family pictures and other personal items, I used as much care and respect as I could. After hours of scanning for certain keywords that appeared in the anonymous hate mail and more hours analyzing the logs my programs had generated, I ultimately came up empty. If the letters were typed on a computer and printed on a laser printer, it wasn’t on one of the machines I searched. In the end, it wasn’t my high-tech snooping that solved the case. The case was solved through handwriting comparisons done on the envelopes. Sure enough, the culprit was one of the two dozen “persons of interest” on the list. That was then. Since that time, our computer forensics activities have grown much more sophisticated. We work in teams of two now. One person serves as the scribe and keeper of the checklist that helps ensure all important steps are taken. The other person disassembles the PCs, pulls the hard drives and restores the workstation to the previously unaltered state. We alert the building security people, partly as a professional courtesy

Behind the Crime Scene To learn more about investigations, read The Company That Did Everything Wrong on c

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The work areas were vacant. The cleaning people had come and gone, and the lights were off. I felt every bit the Watergate burglar going desk to desk. and mostly to minimize the risk of being confronted by the targets of our investigations. During one nocturnal investigation, I was at the workstation of an employee when she suddenly appeared! Like the Grinch nimbly providing an excuse to little Cindy Lou Who, I came up with a reason for having her PC apart. “This PC appears to be infected by a virus that’s attempting to propagate across our network,” I said. “I need to take it over to our lab to remove the virus. I should have it back in a few hours.” And off I went. Today, the building security people disallow access for the “people of interest” that we’re investigating by disabling their ID badges. We also take along radios that operate on the channel that the building security folks use. The radios allow the two areas to share information about the movement of people, the location of offices and anything else that might come up. Our burglar tools also have grown in sophistication. Computer forensics software available today automatically searches, sorts and analyzes files. We also know enough to bring hand tools, Mylar anti-static bags, a digital camera and selfadhesive labels for tagging evidence. In the interest of speeding evidence acquisition, our investigators practice disassembling PCs in the lab. Different PC cases are screwed and latched together in different ways. When the clock is ticking, there’s no time to fumble around looking for unlatching mechanisms. It’s better to rehearse so that, come show time, they don’t lose precious minutes. When investigators are seeking evidence from the devices of people

who are still employed by the company, they use guile and stealth to keep the investigation secret. Innocent people must be shielded from unwarranted suspicions, and of course the investigators don’t want to tip their hands to those who may actually be guilty. Investigators usually perform searches after-hours when people aren’t around. If the device involved is a laptop that the user takes home at night, they may use deception to obtain the device during regular work hours. On one occasion the investigators caused a message to appear on an employee’s PC indicating that a virus had been detected. The message instructed the employee to call and report the problem, which he dutifully did. The investigator answered the call and offered to send someone right away to collect and repair the PC. The caller was pleased with the excellent service, and the investigators got the evidence they were seeking. The best investigators I’ve worked with are not only careful and methodical but also creative. During one investigation many years ago, we needed to figure out who was inappropriately using a particular PC. There weren’t any surveillance cameras in the work area back then, so the investigators had to improvise. They removed some of the guts of an older PC and installed a Web camera in the void that was created. The camera peered out through the diskette drive slot, and the ‘floppy cam’ was born. The investigators captured the nefarious activity in irrefutable detail. The Paper Trail Since the nervous early days of using simple hexadecimal editors as computer REAL CIO WORLD | o c t o b e R 1 5 , 2 0 1 1


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Undercover Officer


forensics tools, skulking around in offices at night and figuring things out for ourselves, our investigations have settled into a careful, deliberate rhythm. Today, we assume that every investigation might lead to litigation. It’s one thing to capture evidence for your own purposes, and another when the courts get involved. We expect attorneys to challenge our evidence-gathering procedures, so we take extra care to ensure those procedures are sound. We use the same software as most law enforcement agencies and follow industry-accepted procedures. We use digital cameras to photograph the work areas we target and use checklists to document every step. Our goal is to provide solid evidence to our lawyers so that their cases hold up in court. Documenting your work is the least exciting part of most investigations, but it may be the most important part. When it comes time to go to court, an

investigator’s best friend may be her case log book and associated documentation. Without carefully gathered evidence, most cases will fall apart under attack by knowledgeable attorneys. Furthermore, a poorly run investigation may not even serve the purposes of the internal organization. Management should err on the side of ensuring that the reputations of innocent people aren’t tarnished by bungling investigators. There should be checks and balances in place to ensure that rogue investigators aren’t poking into people’s business without proper cause. Requests for investigatory activities should be made in writing. Not only does this level of formality help guard against inappropriate snooping but it also helps protect the investigators from accusations of the same. Similar to law enforcement investigators who must apply for a warrant before

conducting searches, corporate security personnel should loop in legal or HR representatives to corroborate the need for the investigation. Companies have few restrictions placed on them when it comes to searching the systems they own. Although employees may not have a reasonable expectation of privacy, they should be treated with respect. Investigative work can be intriguing, but it’s also serious business. People’s lives can be significantly affected by the outcome of investigations. I always keep that thought in mind as we plan and conduct our investigations, and try above all else to treat others the way I too would want to be treated. CIO

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


For Details Turn To Page - 33

Bernard Golden

Cloud Computing

Let Go of Your Denial Three good reasons why CIOs will have to go cloud at some point. It's time CIOs woke up to the fact and started strategizing their cloud approach.


Illust ration by P HOTOS.COM

n discussions about cloud computing and in comments readers leave on my columns, I commonly get statements along these lines: "Yeah, this cloud computing stuff sounds great, but at the end of the day, you have to have an IT guy solving problems like they've always done." In personal interactions, I often hear this sentiment portrayed as, "Public cloud computing is fine for the SMB and startup market, but enterprises aren't ready to move to that model." The tone of much of this feedback is that anyone who advocates cloud computing is at best naive or at worst incapable of understanding the real details of IT. So it was bracing, to say the least, to read two blog posts by executives at EMC—surely the most "enterprisey" of technology vendors. Their posts present a stark perspective that cloud computing is a watershed dividing the old from the new in the way IT operates. One post is by Jon Peirce, vice president of Global Infrastructure for EMC IT, in which he presents his thoughts on what cloud computing means for the future of IT. I was not familiar with Jon prior to reading his post, but feel it is incumbent upon any senior IT executive to read and assimilate his message. Essentially, Jon makes the following points: IT has traditionally been given a fixed budget and decides which of the many business unit demands it will satisfy with that budget. Because it plays a rationing role, IT seeks to reduce demand for IT resources. Said another way, unlike businesses, which see demand as an opportunity to expand market share, IT has traditionally seen demand as exacerbating its rationing challenge and therefore something to be resisted. Thus, IT's reputation as "The Department of No" emerges. Rationing also means that business units are dissatisfied with IT service levels and have a strong motivation to find other ways to satisfy their

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Bernard Golden

Cloud Computing

IT requirements. In the past, it was extremely difficult to find those other ways, but with the rise of public cloud service providers, there is now a convenient way to bypass IT. IT needs to change its self-image from a project manager mindset to a service provider mindset. It needs to welcome business unit demand and view itself as a service provider, ready to deliver resources to any and all that desire computing power. For sure, it needs to step away from the role of arbiter among resource demands, because that's a losing game now that IT is no longer a monopoly supplier. IT needs to adopt chargeback based on granular services. Business units need to have accurate signals about how to evaluate their use of services versus the benefits derived by deploying those services. Cost is the signaling mechanism used in businesses, so IT has to be prepared to offer chargeback. Jon put it this way: "Business leadership needs to be held accountable for IT service consumption." In some very mature organizations, this may be achievable with "show-back" of costs to the consuming business units, but in most enterprises, "chargeback" will be a necessity." Jon's larger point is that IT needs to transform its culture from an insular, technology-focused monopoly provider to that of a market-serving, demand-generating, business enabler based on delivering IT service capabilities. There are a couple of assumptions in Jon's recommendations that I believe are quite challenging for the typical enterprise IT organization. First, as Jon points out, for this transformation to occur, "CFOs will need to embrace a new funding model which places the financial responsibility for consumption on the shoulders of the business consumers." A different way to say this is that service provisioning requires building capability prior to demand arrival, and CFOs must be ready to fund capacity to enable service provisioning. Once the capacity is in place, IT can get on the task of selling services to business units. This model is, of course, wellestablished in manufacturing—you have to have a factory in place to build the widgets before you can sell them—but one may expect that the average enterprise IT shop is going to have a lot of work ahead of it to sell a CFO on financing an information factory.

Work toYour Strength Jon also feels that internal IT can deliver cloud computing at a lower price point than a public provider. He writes, "IT shops can introduce multi-tenant, automated, highly secure, tiered, self-provisioned capabilities that can deliver More Cloud Ideas lower unit costs and better SLAs To see how else the cloud is than what's available in the changing IT read The CIO of the public cloud for IaaS and PaaS." Future. Visit I'm not sure I understand how c internal IT groups can achieve


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lower costs than public providers. I can't think of a single cloud computing cost input that, in practice, is less expensive for internal IT organizations than for external providers, and I'm not convinced that the profit margin that public providers seek will tip the scales toward internal IT, except in rare cases. When I discuss this cost advantage topic with private cloud advocates, ordinarily the conversation starts with putative internal cost advantages, and, when I pose the question of relative cost advantages, the discussion quickly shifts toward compliance, security, privacy and (as in Jon's statement) SLAs. Frankly, in my view, this is where the battle of private versus public clouds should be fought: On what non-cost requirements certain applications have, and where the best place to address those requirements is. Trying to assert that one's internal IT can deliver computing less expensively than, say, Amazon Web Services, is likely to lead to business unit

IT needs to view itself as a service provider and it must step away from the role of arbiter among resource demands, because that's a losing game now that IT is no longer a monopoly supplier. disillusionment with the internal offering, once the actual costs are sorted out. Far better will be for IT to outline services in which it can offer undeniable advantage, like certainty of compliance, privacy or business domain knowledge. The corollary to that is, IT should recognize application profiles that do not require those elements and seek to place those workloads in the most cost-effective location. Absolutely crucial to this application placement decision process will be an automated deployment and governance system that can in real-time assess application characteristics and dynamically choose where to host it. If you are a senior IT executive—or a senior finance executive—you owe it to yourself to see what your peers say is the future of how computing will be delivered. CIO

Bernard Golden is CEO of consulting firm HyperStratus, which specializes in virtualization, cloud computing and related issues. He is also the author of

Virtualization for Dummies. Send feedback on this column to

Vol/6 | ISSUE/12

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Alternative Views

CIO Role

Is There an Age Bias in IT? As new technologies emerge in quick succession, organizations move over the experienced to the enthusiastic. But does that create an age bias? Two CIOs debate.


xperience is a product of opportunities and performance that raises intellectual energy level. The ability to adapt to changing business environments is a combination of latent, intrinsic capabilities. If this is understood, age is not a deterrent. The IT industry, like any other industry, certainly needs to induct and nurture youngsters. In many organizations, there is no conscious effort in skill augmentation beyond 10 years of experience. As one moves up, proactive widening of skills needs to assume importance and this is not addressed adequately. As a result age is perceived as the barrier. When delivering solutions, just technology expertise is inadequate; the people and process factors are critical. Many projects fail due to inadequate focus in these spheres. This is what ‘value-added age’ brings.

Look at outsourcing. Most outsourcing offshore deals need lot of programming level competency and a rather small percentage of high-level expertise. Thus, it is the revenue opportunities that drive the recruitment and retention pattern. This drives IT companies to hire fresh talent and limit focus on skill enhancement of their more experienced professionals, thereby converting value into waste. The IT solution needs of large enterprises in India and value addition expected in the global marketplace demand experienced professionals who have different domain strengths. And this is in short supply. The reason: A lack of focus on developing the experienced. And this kind of expertise cannot be manufactured. Blending the potential of the younger generation with the experience of the older is essential.

“The IT solution needs of large enterprises demand experienced people who have different domain strengths.” —N. Chandrasekaran, ITAdvisor, Ashok Leyland 3 4 o c t o b e r 1 5 , 2 0 1 1 | REAL CIO WORLD

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Alternative Views



e need to clearly understand the difference between the role of a CTO and a CIO. A CTO is a technology expert whose job is to keep the IT environment available. Traditionally, there is an age bias for the technologist, and I can understand that. When I joined IT back in the ‘70s, technologies would run for years before becoming obsolete. Now, new technologies are emerging every three months. In this case, it helps to have a younger person heading the role of a CTO. Back in the ‘90s, a CIO was doing the job of a CTO as well. But as the CIO role refined and when they started sitting on the board, age was no longer a barrier. If you’re a CIO in the cement industry, you need to know how to buy limestone or coal. This is a relationship job and you need soft skills for that. Hence, people prefer older CIOs in the age bracket of 55-60 years because they know that an older person would have the necessary experience. You need a CIO not to keep the lights on, but to bring in business transformation. I feel that the CIO’s job requires letting go of your ego. And that’s something you learn with age. Technology is moving

“New technologies are emerging every three months. Hence, it helps to have a younger person heading the role of a CTO.” —Prince Azariah, Head-IT Services,ACC at a fast pace and it’s the CIO’s job to bridge the gap between technology and the traditionalists. If your CFO is on the wrong side of his 50s and you tell him you’re going to bring in an automated system that gets rid of all physical checks, he’s not going to approve the project. That’s where you need a CIO who has the maturity to talk to him at his level and explain why such a step will not lead to any loss of governance and control. This kind of tact comes with age. When you’re on the other side of 50, you’re not looking to climb anymore. The only thing that drives you to work everyday is your passion. And that gets noticed and valued. CIO

As told to Varsha Chidambaram Varsha chidambaram is senior correspondent. Send feedback to


G<ECH;<>H8=7=CHF 5DD@=75G=CBC:=G



Alternative_Views_oct2011.indd 35

74 | ELECTRIFYING PERFORMANCE GUVNL embarks on mechanization and computerization of core services

78 | SENSE AND SENSIBILITY Mukul Jain, Sr. VP and Head IT, DLF Pramerica shares key learnings

An IDG Custom Solutions Initiative

11/2/2011 12:07:34 PM




WHAT MANAGEMENT SHOULD FOCUS ON CIOs from different verticals share their respective approaches and strategies for implementing cloud technology.


espite cloud computing still being in the same perspective. He says, “The mana nascent stage, and many organizaagement is very keen on implementing cloud tions contemplating whether or not to computing, but is concerned whether the take the huge leap forward, there are some implementation would aid multiple business pioneers who are leading the path. The most operations. Since cloud computing has not interesting thing is that most of these pioyet attained the expected level of maturity, neers are not from the IT sector, but from the we have decided to take forward our plans manufacturing sector. This surprising emslowly and steadily.” brace of cloud technology by a non-IT sector As of now, implementing cloud computing must be a wakeup call for organizations. for major business operations is more of a gamble and that is the reason many organiCIO Magazine, in collaboration with Alcatelzations are hesitant to take that risk. HowevLucent, initiated a discussion among CIOs er, one venture that is commonly seen among across different verticals to know how they companies is hosting nonare approaching the cloud core applications on the and what strategies they cloud. Prashant Veer Singh, are following for the same. CIO, Bharti Infratel Ltd, is Sanjay Pai, VP-Sales, Alcatelwilling to take this route. He Lucent India, delivered the insaid that his organization is troductory speech, while Vijay not yet ready to move core Ramachandran, Editor-indata and applications to the Chief of CIO Magazine, modcloud, whereas they are erated the discussion. willing to experiment with In most quarters, there the non-core counterparts. is an increasing impetus It is a well-known fact from the top management “CIOs have to that virtualization is the to adopt cloud computing leverage the power first step in the long jourfor business operations. of PaaS as the first ney towards cloud. Hence, But CIOs are weighing the step towards an talks of virtualization are pros and cons associated all-on-the-cloud inevitable when it comes to with adopting the technolinfrastructure.” cloud computing strategies. ogy and are formulating Amarendra Singh, VP-IT & their own strategies ac-FABRICE LIEUVIN, CISO, Comviva Technologies cordingly. Vinod Sivarama Director Business Development – Data & Krishnan, CIO-Global, Ju- Security Division, Alcatel-Lucent Enterprise Ltd, emphasized this integral nature of virtualization bilant Food World, shares

and how service providers can be more customer-friendly when he said, “Virtualization is the way to go, and when it comes to cloud, service providers have to be more flexible and come up with cost-effective offerings to attract more customers.” Often, late implementers of cloud technology either follow the path taken by the pioneers or decide to do the implementation their way. Fabrice Lieuvin from AlcatelLucent suggested a strategy that can be of great help to those who choose the latter way. He advised CIOs to leverage the power of PaaS as the first step towards an all-on-thecloud infrastructure. He cited an example of how a gaming company in Europe was able to achieve the required benefits by hosting

“Not all applications are ready to go on a public cloud because performance issues and security threats still exist. Organizations can better start off with a private cloud implementation.” AMRITA GANGOTRA, DIRECTOR - IT, BHARTI AIRTEL LTD its applications on an external platform. He added that PaaS gives organizations the flexibility of having their in-house applications on a different infrastructure, yet retain access and security to critical data. Though cloud computing is still developing and is yet to attain the level of maturity required, the technology is here to stay and is, for sure, bound to revolutionize the way business is done. It would certainly be very interesting to see how the pioneers and the late implementers eventually fare.

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

ting u m ecom l e T 40 to Do t o N What tops k s e D t For tual r u i O V h 44 Watc o t t a Wh r Own u o Y ring B 8 4 logy o n h c Te Dos t s u 9M louds C e t iva Cost r s P t i r 52 owe L o t How

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MASTER By Sneha Jha, Shweta Rao and Kim Nash

Pioneering IT leaders share the little tricks they’ve learnt in getting four new technology and technology approaches right. They also answer questions you haven’t even asked. “What does not kill me, makes me stronger.” — Friedrich Nietzsche

Choosing a course of action that set you off into the unknown is never easy. Apprehensions abound and uncertainties befog the mind, making the path ahead appear strewn with insurmountable challenges. That’s why, since we lived in caves, human experience has taught us that before undertaking a new endeavor, in any walk of life, we must seek guidance from others who have already traversed the course. They look for references, draw to-do lists, and consult their peers. IT is no different. Navigating the treacherous realm of new technologies and technology approaches like telecommuting, bring-your-own-technology (BYOT) initiatives, the private cloud and Reader ROI: virtual desktops, is the modern-day equivalent of setting off on an Myths surrounding expedition to find a new continent. There’s plenty at stake and as captain new technologies of the ship, staffers expect CIOs to show the way. and approaches Fortunately for CIOs, others have already been to these unknown Answers to un-raised lands and have left buoys, marking where the dangers lie, for the people questions coming behind them. What IT leaders need to Anchors aweigh? Read on. prepare for

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Cover Story

IT Strategy

Telecommuting By Sneha Jha Building a telecommuting program calls for meticulous planning and deliberation. And, that master plan needs to include getting senior management on board. It’s a rain-soaked Monday morning in Chennai. As the Because a concept like telecommuting— clock chimes 8 AM, it’s time for K.S. Krishnan to get ready which is capable of dramatically altering to go to work. He strolls from his bedroom to his study and turns on his the way an organization runs—requires laptop. As it boots, he heads to the front door to fetch the morning newspaper. senior management to recognize its value Fifteen minutes later, dressed in a tee shirt and pyjamas, Krishnan is seated in for it to succeed. To do that, CIOs need to front of his laptop in his study—his new office. articulate the benefits of telecommuting. Krishnan, VP sales-APAC, Consilium Software, has joined the growing Saksena, for example, put forth legion of telecommuters who are connected to their office through a laptop case studies from AT&T, IBM, and and are thrilled with the opportunities that telecommuting has unfolded. other companies that have taken the “Telecommuting has provided me with the ability to make decisions faster, telecommuting route. “The idea is to and has increased both my energy and motivation levels. My productivity has feed the concept into their minds in small risen by 60 percent,” says Krishnan. digestible doses. Arouse the interest of Krishnan is so hooked to the work-from-home concept that he wouldn’t management by showing trade it even for a compensation hike. He isn’t them the financial matrix on alone. According to a Cisco commissioned global savings,” he says. telecommuting survey of 2,600 workers, over 65 But sometimes that isn’t percent of respondents were willing to work for enough. Often, managements less pay if telecommuting was an option. aren’t fully aware of what If it weren’t for Col. Arvind Saksena, group they are getting into with CIO, Consilium Software, Krishnan would have Know that not everyone telecommuting. That’s why never enjoyed the luxury of working from home. can telecommute. one of the biggest stumbling For a start up, operating in a world of shrinking blocks in their minds is the fear margins, Saksena knew that saving opex was Fix the ‘out-of-theof losing control. “Managers an imperative. Today, with telecommuting, the loop’ syndrome. are apprehensive about organization has saved over 50 percent on real letting go. Telecommuting estate and travel reimbursement costs. Tweak your requires most managers to But despite its benefits, Saksena admits that appraisal process for change the way they manage,” building a telecommuting program isn’t a walk telecommuters says Saksena. in the park. And that’s something any IT leader To be able to do that, Sakembarking on a telecommuting initiative should Remember office or sena says, it’s a good idea to bear in mind. home, IT is still your job. do trial runs to show management how telecommutGet the Big Guys on Board Include risk analysis ing a program really works. Packing your employees home might sound easy, in your telecommuting And that’s something, says but it isn’t just shifting locations, it’s shifting work program. Jeff Davidson—president of cultures, and demographics of an organization. 40

o c T o B e R 1 5 , 2 0 1 1 | REAL CIO WORLD

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P hoTo by FoTo corP

The Checklist

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P hoto by FOTOCOR P

Prashanta Ghoshal, Director-ITES, Geometric Global, who was a pioneer of telecommuting way back in 1998, believes CIOs should select telecommuters based on a dual selection policy: Their job function and personality.

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IT Strategy

the Breathing Space Institute, a time management consulting firm—that should be treated like any other POC. “Unless the manager hasn’t already managed a number of telecommuters, he obviously would not embrace the suggestion right away.” And even if they do embrace it, CIOs need to sensitize their managements to the fact that they need to change their management style to suit the telecommuting model. In her book, Telecommuting the Ride of the Future, Pamela Bell Martin says, “For managing telecommuters, managers may need to shift their style of management to ‘managing by objective.’ Management by objective means there are clear objectives and goals, usually with guideposts along the way. This could actually lead to less

Col. Arvind Saksena, Group CIO, Consilium Software, insists on quarterly appraisals for telecommuters, unlike the annual process for regular employees, so that they are monitored frequently. 42

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direct but more efficient communication with a supervisor.” But getting senior executives on board is just the first step.

Not Everyone Can Telecommute Who wouldn’t want to lounge in a lazy-boy, while on a conference call? As tempting as it sounds to employees, CIOs need to realize that they can’t send everybody home. That’s why the most critical issue associated with the telecommuting program is selection of job roles that can telecommute. Prashanta Ghoshal, directorITES, Geometric Global, who pioneered the telecommuting model way back in 1998, suggests a dual selection policy. An old hand at drafting telecommuting programs, Ghoshal believes that the selection should be based on two parameters: The nature of work and the nature of the worker. “Jobs that fare well in the telecommute realm include tasks that are information-based, portable and predictable, or require a high degree of privacy and concentration,” says Ghoshal. Ghoshal feels that organizations must evaluate their prime candidates while identifying them. “When we rolled out the initiative, we selected employees from sales, marketing and members of senior management for telecommuting as the nature of their work fits the model,” he says. Another aspect that Ghoshal kept in mind—as he extended the program to other employees—was the nature of the worker: An individual’s personality and work ethic. “It is advisable to roll out the program to employees who are top performers, are reliable, and can resolve problems themselves. They should also be able to think on their feet and make quick decisions,” says Ghoshal. That’s something that author Martin agrees with. “A telecommuter should be a self-starter who is disciplined and responsible regarding the punctuality, and accuracy of work. These are the qualifying characteristics that allow them to perform well outside office.”

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It’s obvious then that as a strategy telecommuting cannot be an enterprisewide roll out. And it’s the CIO’s prerogative to ensure that he works with HR and LOB heads to select the right candidates for the program.

Home Alone It’s the classic empty-nest syndrome, but with a twist. Most telecommuters are apprehensive of working from home because they feel they’ll miss being part of a team. “Telecommuting separates an employee from his group. Telecommuters may miss out on the everyday activities and banter that make employees feel that they are part of a team,” says Saksena. This “outside-the-loop” syndrome can result in a sense of isolation and alienation. Piggy-backing on this syndrome is the fear of not being physically present around the boss. When Saksena first pitched the idea, some employees were concerned about not being around their bosses, they feared this would affect their appraisals and increments. “They were concerned that if they removed themselves from the formal environment, they might be passed over when it was time for raises and promotions,” he says. This fear, says Ghoshal, can be allayed if telecommuters keep the lines of communication open with their supervisors. “Telecommuters should make themselves regularly available for inputs and feedback to keep their career tracks greased. Communication is critical to maintain contact and avoid discrimination,” he says. Authors Becker F. and Steele F. in their book, Workplace by Design: Mapping the High Performance Workplace, suggest involving telecommuters in informal team building activities outside work. This makes them feel part of the team. “Telecommuters should also visit their workplace frequently to mingle with their teams,” write the authors.

Tweak Their Scorecard Telecommuting demands a fresh look a company’s appraisal and employee monitoring process. “CIOs just need to clearly quantify work into measurable work packages and there should be pre-defined timelines for delivery. This means that a telecommuter should have daily defined targets, unlike regular workers that have weekly or monthly targets,” says Ghoshal. Also, Saksena feels that organizations need to tweak—if not change completely—the appraisal parameters for telecommuters. For example, you might not score a telecommuter on, say, a trait like ‘team player’. But that’s what makes great telecommuters stand apart: Because if despite working from home they have gone out of their way to collaborate and have found enough motivation to rally the troops then that effort shouldn’t go unnoticed. “Organizations should remember that telecommuters are working with limited resources,” he says. Consilium also insists on quarterly appraisals for telecommuters, unlike the annual process for regular employees so that their performance is monitored frequently.

IT Strategy

Ghoshal says that the onus lies on the CIO to extend technology support and services to the telecommuter. A CIO must devise a comprehensiveandefficienttelecommuting technology strategy, he says. “Seamless telephone transfers to the home office, desktop support, network connectivity, and security support are just a few of the services IT departments will have to provide,” says Ghoshal.

The selection of telecommuters should be based on two parameters: The nature of work and the nature of the worker.

Insider Threat from Outside There’s no doubt that with telecommuting, security risks pertaining to customer data and intellectual property are magnified. That’s why, Ghoshal turned to VDI . “We have implemented VDI to allow people to do their work in a secured fashion. It takes care of security risks,” says Ghoshal. At Consilium, Saxena has made good use of tried-and-tested methods to combat risk. The company’s telecommuters FTP heavy files and do not have the provision of saving files on their laptops. Organizations are still warming up to the concept of telecommuting, but if you keep these tips in mind, it wouldn’t take much to make your employees’ homes their ‘second office.’ CIO

IT is Still the CIO’s Job Whether people work within the four walls of the office or from their backyards, IT is still IT’s responsibility.

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

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Virtual Desktop Infrastructure By Sneha Jha

When Sterlite Technologies wanted to set up an optical fibre plant in Shendra (near Aurangabad), its Head-IT, Md. Jawed Ahmed, was ecstatic. This was a blessing in disguise and his chance to play with a relatively new technology like virtual desktop infrastructure or VDI.

easy a project to implement. Here are some lessons they have learnt.

Cost Isn’t Its Selling Point

Cost cutting is everybody’s favorite reason to virtualize. But when it comes The company had been contemplating taking the VDI route for quite some to getting buy-in for VDI, saving costs time but it was difficult to do it in a piecemeal manner. Ahmed was just should be the last benefit on your list. waiting for an opportunity to get his hands on a consolidated requirement Ahmed, for example, realized that for a large number of desktops. And the Shendra plant had a one-time the best way of selling the idea to manrequirement of 200 computers—just what he needed. agement was not pushing it as a costBut apart from the appeal of using new technology, Ahmed knew that a optimization strategy. “Cost savings is virtual desktop solution would resolve some of the most critical business actually a misnomer. Instead, look at concerns lingering in the mind of Sanjit Singh Bhatia, plant head-Shendra, improving reliability, customer or user Sterlite Technologies. “Procurement of new desktops was an immediate need and service, manageability, and adding capacity meant that the ugly challenges the overall working environof operational manageability would crop up,” ment. Only then business will he says. Also, manufacturing optical fibre is a buy the idea. I sold it to busiguarded technology so there were issues relating ness on those considerations to intellectual property and data security. and it worked like a charm,” It was clear that VDI was an idea whose time he says. had come. Don’t sell VDI as a Analysts agree. “Our reAnd today, six months after launching the cost-saving technology. search shows that cost is not initiative, the organization is reaping VDI’s the prime driver for VDI. benefits. Unlike normal desktops that consume Do a reccee before Business isn’t turning a blind almost 200 watts of power, Ahmed says his picking a VDI product. eye to the savings from virvirtual desktops consume only 7-8 watts. tualization, but they like to “Unlike a conventional solution we are using Remember that one see it in the context of ‘bigonly 1/20th or 1/30th power consumption.” size doesn’t fit all. ger-picture’ requirements: The project has also reduced the company’s Reduce manageability woes, carbon footprint. Enthused by these benefits, Develop in-house improve BCP and data seSterlite is expanding the project to its largest VDI experts. curity, and provide workers optical fibre manufacturing plant in Waluj, also anytime/anywhere access to in Aurangabad. Keep hardware sizing their desktops.” Although, server virtualization has in mind when planning And cost wasn’t the foreconsistently got good press, it’s cousin VDI isn’t for VDI. most concern when Prashanth as popular. That’s probably because those who M.J., CTO, Firstsource Solugot their hands dirty know that VDI isn’t as 44

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Prashanth M.J., CTO, Firstsource Solutions, says that if he had to do his VDI project all over again he would definitely focus more on managing end-user expectations.

tions, latched on to VDI in 2008 when the technology was far from being widespread. The company bet big on VDI to accommodate growth and achieve agility. “Over a weekend, our company decided to buy a floor (department in BPO parlance) in Argentina. And we had to reconfigure all the

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desktops. The ability to ramp up quickly was a challenge. I thought there must be a better way of being agile and flexible,” says Prashanth. Although agility was the leading driver Prashanth was guided by other objectives of flexibility, and anytime, anywhere access. “In a BPO environment, there’s a need to variablize this cost, if I don’t do that there is a misalignment with business demands. The other was the need to build BCP and also support mobile users and home users so that they get the same level of security that we REAL CIO WORLD | o c T o B e R 1 5 , 2 0 1 1


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have in the office premises. These were the other imperatives we had in mind,” he says. And that pointed to VDI. Prashanth, like Ahmed, also advocates putting cost on the back burner. Pegging VDI as a solution that’s driven by business needs is more potent than pinning it as a cost saver.

A Leap of Faith is a Bad Idea Once you do a quick review of the business imperatives of your VDI project

you might be tempted to plunge headlong into the deployment. But hold your horses. As the old adage goes, the devil is in the details, and VDI is no exception. “Before you take a deep dive with both feet, you must first dip your toes and test the waters. Investigate all the options, wade through the various choices, look for use-case scenarios and only then map out your strategy,” says Ahmed. From his experience, Ahmed says, CIOs should not trust VDI vendors blindly. Instead, he says, they should look for user reference case studies of companies in their respective industries. Ahmed surveyed the entire industry landscape to understand the spectrum of products available. “We also looked at the market share of competing solutions and did a small dipstick to see which are the top 100 companies using VDI. We tried to investigate large manufacturing companies using the solution. Based on that, we short-listed the providers,” he says. Ahmed suggests that CIOs should not choose a newly launched product and that they should look at the lifecycle of the product. For example, if the product has been introduced only in the last year then you don’t know how it will fare two years down the line, says Ahmed. “You should choose a product that is very stable, rugged and has the heritage of being supported by a large vendor,” he says.

Md. Jawed Ahmed, Head-IT, Sterlite Technologies, says cost saving is a misnomer when it comes to VDI, instead CIOs should focus on reliability and user satisfaction.


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More than any new technology, VDI perhaps is one that threatens user freedom the most. That’s why for the success of the project, CIOs should keep the end user in mind, more than they ever have. “If the plan includes thousands of desktops, ensuring the first hundred users’ happiness is critical to satisfying the next hundred,” says Vishal Tripathi, principal research analyst, Gartner India. According to Gartner, end user satisfaction has been identified as the topmost factor in determining success of any VDI pilot.

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The User Rules

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That’s something that has been Firstsource’s Prashanth’s biggest learning from his VDI project. “Managing end user expectation is pivotal. In hindsight, we could have done a better job of it. If I were to do the project all over again, I would focus on that,” says Prashanth. When Prashanth first suggested VDI, his end users had many reservations and apprehensions. “They said ‘you are taking away my space.’ They didn’t trust us in the beginning,” says Prashanth. That’s why end user profiling is important to analyze and segment users and make sure that CIOs fully understand their needs, expectations and constraints. This helps avoid change management issues and performance bottlenecks. Apprehensions were aplenty when Firstsource’s IT team initiated the initial round of discussions with end users. To allay their fears there were intensive sessions to handhold them and take them through the learning curve. “We did a very detailed POC a cross-section of users. Then we went about creating an optimal design, taking care of information security and surveying the threat landscape in a virtualized environment,” says Prashanth. Prashanth says training and education for every functional group should be tailor-made to their requirements. CIOs should keep in mind that the marketing group needs a totally different set of applications compared to an HR or service quality team. Sterlite’s Ahmed also lays emphasis on end-user training. He says he had a week long, extremely comprehensive training programs for them. It was focused on the similarities with the conventional system and the advantages. “Don’t show them the challenges of VDI, CIOs should only bring the advantages to their notice. For example, we did not dwell on the security and control part at all,” he says. But even if all these issues are surmounted and the rollout is smooth, CIOs will still have to deal with company politics, says Lionel Lamy, IDC’s research director for software and services. “Never underestimate the resistance to organizational change,” he cautions.

The Tech Part is Tricky VDI could be a game changer if you understand what it really takes to implement the technology. There are some kinks in the VDI armor that could prove challenging. Take, hardware sizing, for instance. Sterlite Technologies found some surprises in this area. Today, says Ahmed, if he were to implement the VDI project in other plants he would do a better job of hardware sizing. When vendors suggest a number for hardware sizing, they are talking in terms of an ideal condition but CIOs should add 20 percent to that number, according to Ahmed. “Initially, we wanted to go ahead with 100 users but since we were planning to scale it up to 250 users we purchased hardware for 250 users. But then we realized that for 100 users we were actually using up the hardware of 150 VDIs. So, for the next project at Waluj we have to suitably add hardware. As suggested by the vendor we have upscaled it by 30-40 percent and purchased,” says Ahmed. Apart from hardware sizing, Prashanth forewarns that VDI has the ability to choke network infrastructure. If you have limited bandwidth and high-latency connections, performance bottlenecks will crop up. Due

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IT Strategy

Cost cutting is everybody’s favorite reason to virtualize. But when it comes to getting buy-in for VDI, saving costs should be the last benefit on your list. to which, bandwidth design, traffic engineering and capacity management can be a challenge. “Whenever our users handled rich graphics, like Powerpoint presentations, it took time to refresh. That is one of the things we learnt. CIOs should look at the network design more closely. They have to understand the usage scenario thoroughly,” he says. Also, because VDI is a relatively new technology, finding reliable inhouse skill sets or competence is hard. So it is important to scout for a good implementation partner. “Skill-sets are difficult to recruit and maintain. We have a three-year contract with the vendor. And we do plan to develop in-house competence,” says Ahmed. Prashanth also advises that it’s good to have one or two skilled in-house resources. Whether you like it or not, VDI is the next wave. Not only as a technology in itself, but even for supporting strategies like BYOD and telecommuting that are gradually becoming inevitable. Keeping these tips in mind might just result in a smooth rollout. CIO

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

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BYOT By Kim Nash

BYOT, or bring your own technology, is more than code for “my CEO bought an iPad.” BYOT refers to a strategy for letting employees choose and purchase the devices they want to use to do their jobs—everything from PCs and laptops to smartphones and tablets. The machines belong to the employees, who take them along with them if they leave the company.

about why you can’t do something rather than why you can do something,” he says. Caddell has users protect their iPads with passwords, which he sets to time out after so many idle minutes. Generally, attorneys working with sensitive material are required to store documents on company servers, not personal devices, through Citrix or VMware. “Security is not insurmountable,” he says. As personal devices get smarter and better able to store and do more with corporate data, they also become a bigger target for hackers, says Joe Oleksak, a security assurance and consulting manager at consultancy Plante and Moran. “Smartphones and tablets haven’t had antivirus and anti-malware programs installed to protect them. You’re seeing a big rush in malware writing to take advantage of that.” The corporate network, however, can become a key means of enforcing security policy. For example, the network can detect which devices are running what antivirus and anti-malware tools and deny access to those that don’t comply with the company’s standards, Oleksak says.

CIOs who enact BYOT policies are plowing new ground in the consumerization of IT. They seek to cut costs, perhaps—though whether the policy creates hard savings is debatable—and change the way IT and non-IT staff interact. They also expect to improve the productivity of both the IT staff and colleagues who should require less technical training if they use the same machines at home and at work. Yet in an exclusive survey of 476 IT leaders, we found that 69 percent don’t allow employees to buy their own equipment for work. Of the 131 companies that allow BYOT, most only suggest which products employees should use and 22 percent require employees to choose devices from a specific list. Another 38 percent let employees pick any devices they want. Don’t make security Those intrepid CIOs face complex decisions the reason to kill a about technology and policy, as well as BYOT initiative. challenges measuring the true value of BYOT. Mike Cunningham, CTO of Kraft Foods, says Realize that cost careful planning and methodical testing are savings might necessary to draw conclusions about what not accrue needs to be controlled and what can be set free. Here are other lessons CIOs on the BYOT Don’t automate security route have learned training for BYOT.

Tell-tale Signs

t the

Don’t Balk for Security’s Sake Squashing the BYOT idea because of security concerns is a knee-jerk reaction, says Doug Caddell, CIO at Foley and Lardner, a law firm where 400 iPads are in use as part of a BYOT program that started in February. “You hear a lot 48

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Be willing to impose what users can and can’t do on personal machines

Webify, Virtualize and Mobilize First Security concerns do mean that employees using their own laptops, tablets or smartphones for business should not store data locally. In-house counsel would hyperventilate should intellectual property be exposed when someone’s kid grabs mom’s laptop to Skype his pals about homework. This sort of threat may be equally possible with a work device that is allowed outside the office. But if a laptop is now viewed as personal property under a BYOT program, users may be tempted to forget company policies designed for security. Companies should be sure to re-emphasize that certain rules Vol/6 | ISSUE/12

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still apply, such as those pertaining to sharing a device. The most secure solution is to permit access to data only through virtual, mobile or Webbased applications on central servers, on a secure network. Users should then also agree not to store data on their devices. The laptop—or tablet or smartphone or netbook—acts merely as an interface allowing a user to work with corporate information. That architecture has to be in place before a CIO can consider implementing BYOT, says Whirlpool’s Fairfield. Whirlpool is testing BYOT with 200 employees and aims to get at least half the company’s users working in a virtual environment, regardless of whether they use their own device or not. Many companies are virtualizing applications anyway, to save on server and device costs, among other reasons. Virtualization makes all the more sense in a BYOT situation, Fairfield says. There is no sense in allowing BYOT without first having set up enterprise apps so they can be easily accessed by mobile devices, he adds. That means creating either Web versions—or at least Web interfaces to back-end systems—or purely mobile apps.

Get Infrastructure in Top Shape

Doug Caddell, CIO, Foley and Lardner, expects to save 22 percent on procurement and provisioning costs when his BYOT program is fully operational in 2013.

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Whirlpool’s pilot quickly showed Fairfield that data storage capacity needed to be upgraded to handle more data now that information that had been stored locally was being moved to central servers, he says. Connectivity interruptions have also occasionally cropped up. That’s a critical concern: If people aren’t connected to central applications and data, they can’t work. To cope, Whirlpool has asked local telecommunications carriers to prioritize their tower upgrades to improve access. “They’re cooperating, but can’t go as fast as we’d like them to,” he says. “Still, they are doing what they can to make heavy-traffic areas better.” As the IT infrastructure is tweaked, Fairfield plans to roll out BYOT to the rest of the company in waves over the next 18 months. At $49.2 billion (Rs 220,500 crore) Kraft Foods, on the other hand, CTO Cunningham has noticed an improvement in network throughput. Because people in the program log in to the network and use their devices to access virtual apps and data stored centrally, there is far less data flowing out from servers than there is in a client-server setup, he says, making the network faster. REAL CIO WORLD | o c t o b e r 1 5 , 2 0 1 1


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Decide Who Does What


on his smartphone, the policy will advise that it be stored in From the start, IT leaders must convey to BYOT folders separate from personal participants that they, not IT, are responsible for information. That way, if the learning about and caring for their smartphone, phone is lost or stolen or the tablet or laptop, says Jared Mittleman, CTO at AG Say that they see no employee leaves Whirlpool, it Semiconductor, a privately held company that cost savings emerging can be cleanly wiped of corporate resells machines for building computer chips. from a bring-your-owndata remotely, leaving personal And some devices may be harder for IT to hook technology initiative. data in place. Motorola’s policy up to a corporate network than others. 31 percent claim includes similar provisions. For example, BlackBerrys are among the most Another good practice: State commonly used devices at AG and are therefore savings on hardware that although the device is some of the easiest to support. But Mittleman’s boss and support. 9 percent personal, the employee agrees purchased an iPhone last year. Mittleman OK’d lowered hardware not to visit sites known for the purchase—wouldn’t you?—but explained that spends and 5 percent spreading malware, such as accessing corporate applications may be bumpy reduced support costs. pornography and gambling because IT was inexperienced with iOS. He also sites, Oleksak says. And iPhone stipulated that his boss had to help work through Source: cIo US research and iPad users must agree not to any technical issues. “I’m a BlackBerry guy. I do jail break their devices to install my best. But you, as the BYOT owner, have to be software that hasn’t been vetted willing to contribute. That’s the deal.” by Apple, he advises. “That’s how intruders At Foley and Lardner, employees are advised to purchase an extended warranty for gain access.” Likewise, users of Android their devices. The company also keeps loaners on hand for when personal machines and other devices should understand are being repaired. “Attorneys can’t be without a computer,” Caddell says. that Flash is a common way for hackers to deliver malware, so avoid Flash-heavy sites, Say No Sometimes he suggests. While 800 employees participate in the BYOT program at the $49.2 billion Kraft After those sessions, though, CIOs expect Foods, not everyone can partake. At factories, for example, workers have to use to do less training than they did historically specific computers to control the making of cereal or macaroni, Cunningham says. when introducing new technology. Fairfield “We’re not going to have someone showing up at a plant and plugging [a personal expects a more rapid adoption thanks to device] into our production line.” people working with a smaller number Legal and HR staff who work with sensitive, confidential information will likely of interfaces. The company now supports need to use fully loaded, company-issued machines to protect and store that data. 48,000 different desktop computing Working with a thin client, such as a tablet or netbook, over a network may not be configurations. The huge variety is caused feasible. Generally, it’s your remote and mobile staff—the ones more likely to be by employees frequently downloading using mobile devices and laptops now, such as field managers, salespeople and software from the Internet. “To get that marketing staff—that are the first and best candidates for BYOT programs. number down to a standard set of virtual applications administered centrally will Indoctrinate, Politely, Of Course be a huge performance and productivity Careful training is a must, either one-on-one or in small groups, before anyone improvement,” Fairfield says. connects a personal device to the corporate network. Users eager to fire up their snazzy new machines must first understand the dos and don’ts of the BYOT policy, says AG Semiconductor’s Mittleman. Decide Who Pays, How Much Automated training makes it too easy to breeze through and miss critical security Whirlpool is contemplating offering a considerations. IT staff should look people in the eyes and know that they get it, he reimbursement of a few hundred dollars says. Oleksak, the security consultant, agrees a passive approach to training puts for a personally purchased device; the your company at risk. “Your users are your weakest link,” he says. “They have company hasn’t finalized the total amount physical control of the device and logical access to corporate data. They are the per employee yet. Also being debated front lines against attack.” is whether it would be a one-time Whirlpool is finalizing its policy as it continues its pilot. The document payment or on a refresh cycle will stipulate that users keep data on servers and not stored on their of every few years, similar to a devices, Fairfield says. However, in cases where a user may leave data traditional PC upgrade cycle. 50

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One of Fairfield’s concerns is fairness. “Executives can afford it, but for people in our plants who need laptops, to spend a few thousand dollars is a major purchase for them.” Fairfield and his team are also considering offering company-issued netbooks that cost just a few hundred dollars but would remain corporate assets. Foley and Lardner offers reimbursement of up to $3,800 every three years, rather than a stipend, which is considered taxable income for the individual. CIOs should confer with the accounting department about how best to administer the funds for BYOT programs, he says. There is no set allowance at AG Semiconductor. Mittleman or a system administrator reviews each request, checking that RAM, power and pricing are appropriate for the employee’s work. Many companies don’t offer any technology allowance at all, according to our survey. Of the 131 companies that said they have some form of BYOT program, a skimpy 4 percent cover the entire cost of a personal device and 36 percent said they provide some financial help. But 60 percent of those surveyed have employees pick up the whole tab. Kraft offers employees a stipend every four years, the amount of which Cunningham declines to specify. He does offer this advice: Have IT track who has gotten how much as part of the procedure for setting up a new employee and decommissioning people who leave Kraft. The goal is to “make it part of what you’re already doing, as opposed to spawning a whole new set of activities,” he says.

Know that You May or May Not Save Money When Whirlpool’s program is fully rolled out in the next 18 months, Fairfield expects to save money on procurement and support. The executive committee likes not being locked into a pricey PC upgrade cycle every three to five years, he adds. But he also expects better employee engagement, which is a metric Whirlpool measures in a companywide annual survey. Caddell began his BYOT program wanting to reduce costs and cope with IT staff cuts. Three hundred people are in the program now with about 700 more to join in the next two years as existing laptop leases expire. Even with paying the $3,800 reimbursements and installing a VPN client, Caddell expects to save 22 percent on procurement and provisioning costs when the program is fully operational in 2013. That includes savings from not buying equipment and from freeing IT staff from preparing, configuring, repairing and maintaining devices, he says. Yet among our survey takers, there is some question about cost savings. Thirtyone percent claimed savings on hardware and support, while 43 percent report no hard savings at all. The $19.3 billion Motorola Solutions hasn’t seen a net savings, says CIO Jones. “You’re doing it because you want to deliver choice and flexibility. Not to save you money,” she says. “It’s a wash, financially.” For Jones, the benefits of letting people choose their own smartphones for work are soft—employee satisfaction and productivity, and ease of communication with far-flung staff. “Those ideas have huge value.”

Company Culture Will Change More than a year into Kraft’s BYOT program, Cunningham says he’s seen hardware support costs drop, but it’s just as important that the arrangement makes people more productive and improves their work-life balance. Allowing employees to choose the technology they like may also attract new hires, he says. “They think, ‘I can work with this company, which has no draconian rules.’” Mittleman has found that people are more engaged with their colleagues in and out of IT. One by-product of letting employees buy their own technology is that

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they may discover productivity tools that IT would otherwise overlook. “Everyone’s an IT incubator,” Mittleman says. For example, the director of sales recently used a compact mobile router to access an Ethernet network and use it like a wireless network. It’s handy in oddly furnished hotel rooms where the desk sits in an inconvenient place. The sales director had to buy a second router after his boss adopted the first. It was a great idea that the IT group wouldn’t have had the time to investigate, Mittleman says. “We’re constantly working on pushing large initiatives. But if you can find a lot of things that make someone’s life 2 or 3 percent better, those add up,” he says.

BYOT is not just about changing the procurement process. It changes the relationship between IT and the rest of the company. The more cordial give-and-take between IT and non-IT staff at Mittleman’s office has resulted in improved software development, he says. Colleagues understand more about what it takes to make IT work well and are more willing to brainstorm ideas and identify functions they want, he says. BYOT is not just about changing the procurement process. It changes the relationship between IT and the rest of the company, he says, and spreads understanding of how IT works. Supporting a proliferation of devices may increase support costs, he adds, but “it’s more than made up for in the willingness of users to work with us.” CIO Kim S. Nash is senior editor. Send feedback on this feature to

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on my opex costs? How much buffer do I need to keep to ensure elasticity? Will management buy into it? These are some of the questions that CIOs ask themselves, questions that those who have already tested the private cloud waters answer from experience.

Private Cloud

The Power of Choice

If you’re wondering whether the private cloud is more hassle than it’s worth, let’s not By Shweta Rao forget this fact: You, like most of your peers, are probably not using your IT infrastructure optimally and sooner or later that’s not going to fly. This is not news. For years, “Following the light of the sun, we left the Old World,” research has pointed out how un-optimally famously said Christopher Columbus, before he set off IT infrastructure is run. According to recent to discover a new continent. For CIOs, there’s a lesson Gartner research, overall server utilization here: You have to risk losing sight of the shore to discover in enterprises stands at just 18 percent. Also just how far you can really go. for years, users have complained that IT Easier said than done, especially if you’re headed off in search of is slow too, so slow that they are working the cloud. around it to get what they need. Despite the pitch vendors of every tribe and tongue have made to At Vedanta Aluminium, Banerjee wasn’t demonstrate the public cloud’s benefits, few Indian CIOs are buying. ready to wait till IT suffered that fate. He According to CIO research, 50 percent of Indian CIOs say they are not knew he needed to improve IT’s agility interested in public cloud computing. There is, however, a small but growing and respond to business requirements band that has begun to make the move towards a private cloud. Our research faster. The fact was that there were times points out that 38 percent of Indian CIOs plan to implement a private cloud that IT ran slower than IT’s users, leaving within a year. them fuming. One such time As trail blazers these IT leaders are was on during book closing. introducing their peers to the potential “Our IT management team power and benefits of a private cloud. And received complaints from our surprisingly, they aren’t the usual suspects, customers or vendors that companies from the BFSI sector or telecom. customer sites didn’t have One of them, for instance, is the Rs 10,000Bear down on rising the right throughput speed crore Vedanta Aluminium. bandwidth costs by at month end or peak hours,” “With its ability to provide the agility using a multi-service says Banerjee. needed to introduce solutions and scalable provider strategy. Banerjee realized that the resources on the fly, plus the benefits of fast problem—and many others— deployments, the cloud has come a long Buffer up to 25 percent could be solved by consolidating way,” says Subrata Banerjee, VP-IT, Vedanta to ensure your private Vedanta Aluminium’s IT infraAluminium, whose private cloud project won cloud has true elasticity. structure and creating a private him a CIO 100 award this year. cloud. By April of 2010, he had Vedanta Aluminium is a diversified metal Tailor your private launched VPCCE (Vedanta Priand mining manufacturing company and cloud to a budget you vate Cloud Computing Environthat’s as hardcore manufacturing as they know will get passed ment), which hosts applications come. Here’s the point: If manufacturing, the —not the other and infrastructure and caters supposed laggards of IT adoption, are on the way around. to 25 of the company’s locations cloud steamboat, you better get on it. and even to a few non-group The big challenge, however, is that Indian Monitor testing closely, companies, like KPS, Siemens, CIOs treat the idea of a private cloud with you’ll learn a lot about and L&T. some apprehension. What effect will it have peak loads.

The Checklist


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P hoto by Srivatsa Shan dilya

But although the private cloud solved many problems, it hinged heavily on one piece that Banerjee has little control over: Networking. Developing a network for 9,000-odd employees operating out of remote locations was hard work and experience had shown Banerjee just how badly things could go. “Two years ago, when operating out of a remote refinery project site at Lanjigarh (in the Kalahandi district of Orissa), we suffered from one or two occasions of downtime of up to five hours. Lanjigarh was a 5MT capacity refinery project involving 700-1,000 desktop connections and we were operating with a single service provider. It was a rough time arranging for transport, resources, and managing multiple calls from customers while resolving the issue,” remembers Banerjee. To solve his problem, he turned to multi-sourcing; Banerjee knew he could de-risk his cloud strategy by using multiple service providers. The strategy had another benefit: It lowered costs. By pitting one service provider against another, he says he was able to bring more rational pricing to the table. “They (service providers) lowered bid prices by 30-35 percent during negotiation meetings,” he says. It’s an important lesson, says Banerjee, for CIOs who would like to start their own private clouds. In the pell-mell of putting together a private cloud, it’s possible for IT departments to choose to work with a single service provider, since it provides a single throat to choke and means less administrative hassles. While Banerjee was leveraging a private cloud to primarily service his internal customers, N. Nataraj, CIO, Hexaware Technologies, was using one to serve his external customers better. A private cloud, he says, gave him the flexibility to scale up to customers needs fast; that’s competitive advantage in his business. Take for example, how his team recently received a client request for 4.2TB of space. “Conventionally,

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By pitting telecom service providers against each other, Subrata Banerjee, VP-IT, Vedanta Aluminium, brought down his highest quote by 35 percent.

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Cover Story

IT Strategy

the lead time to procure this would have taken Hexaware not less than 6-8 weeks. But today, it took us only two hours,” says Nataraj. The question is: How much buffer should CIOs maintain to offer elasticity, one of the most touted benefits of a cloud? Nataraj says he maintains a 25 percent buffer, a figure Banerjee agrees to.

Testing the Waters Perhaps one of the most important lessons from CIOs who have gone down the private cloud route is the importance of testing—especially for peak load.

That’s a lesson that Neena Pahuja, CIO, Max HealthCare Institute, suggests more CIOs pay attention to. In March of 2010, Pahuja put together the base infrastructure required for a private cloud. She says an important driver for the project was to ensure higher IT availability and continuous access to patient data. Their private cloud, says Pahuja, has helped Max Healthcare decrease the time it takes to treat patients and increased IT’s uptime to 99.999 percent. During the testing phase, she learnt that Max HealthCare Institute’s IT infrastructure faced two peak times a day. The first is between 8:30AM-1PM while patients check in, and the other is between 3:30-4 PM, when the group’s laboratories upload the day’s test records to the private cloud. The sudden surges in data transfers, especially between 3:30-4 PM, she says, put an incredible strain on the 33Mbps bandwidth she had placed at the lab’s disposal. While Pahuja’s hosted cloud environment underwent thorough performance testing before it went functional, figuring out how to deal with the strain placed by the peak loads took three days, she says. “Healthcare can’t afford downtime for more than a minute,” says Pahuja, saying she quickly learnt to reserve dedicated bandwidth for peak hours.

Dr. Selvam K., Group CIO, Siva Industries & Holding, customized his private cloud project to fit a budget he knew would be cleared.


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At the Rs 3,000 crore Siva Industries & Holding, Group CIO Dr. Selvam K. was facing a similar problem to the one Banerjee fixed. For years, the company had seen little synergy between the group company’s IT organizations. “Cost constraints would drive every new start-up to go ahead and deploy a cheaper platform, like Tally to manage its accounts. Co-ordination among business units which use other platforms like SAP was a continuous hassle over the long term,” says Selvam. That got in the way of one of the group’s core business strategies: Acquiring businesses and

Ph oto by Srivatsa Sh an dilya

Suit Up to Cloud

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Cover Story

selling them for a profit, much like it sold Dishnet DSL to VSNL and Barista Coffee to Lavazza. Selvam figured that a private cloud would not only help supply IT infrastructure to a new business faster, it would also lower the cost of providing them with IT. There was one hitch to his plan: The upfront cost of the project turned management off. So he tried to convince individual business to share the cost but got the cold shoulder, since most start-ups didn’t have the necessary funds. “There will always be a difference of experience between travelling in a bus and in a car. Although the bus seems cheaper, the decision of buying a car exhibits its benefits only in the long-term,” says Selvam. What Selvam did next is best described in the Latin proverb, Aut viam inveniam aut faciam, or “I’ll either find a way or make one.” Six months later, when Selvam walked into management office with a second proposal—he came out beaming. The trick he says was to tailor the project to fit a budget he had figured would get passed. Selvam then got internal customers interested in the new private cloud on a pay-per-use basis. This went down well them and Selvam’s estimate of achieving ROI within three years also went down well with management. Selvam says that by going down the private cloud route, he saved the company Rs 15 crore—on every business unit. But, perhaps more important

IT Strategy

for Selvam and his team, was that they received high praise from management for giving it flexibility—and competitive advantage. “As you see, IT is slowly moving from being a business-supporter to a businessenabler. That’s the vision,” says Nataraj. Yes, that vision is important. The vision to lose sight of the shore and come out unscathed—just like Columbus did. CIO

Shweta Rao is trainee journalist. Send feedback on this feature to

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from the TOP

Madhukar Kamath, Group CEO & MD, Mudra Group, says IT has helped the company reinvent itself and has built a brand that’s making the competition irrelevant.

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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Recall By Sneha Jha

In the days of Doordarshan, newly-available color TVs religiously played a handful of tele-serials and entertainment programs that were intermittently interrupted by advertisements. Not many can forget ‘I love you Rasna’, Dhara, Dhara, Shudh Dhara and Only Vimal. These home-grown brands became household names, thanks to the Mudra Group. Based in Ahmedabad then, unlike other ad agencies that run out of Mumbai, Mudra also brought international brands like McDonalds and Samsung to India. In no time, Mudra rose to join the ranks of the top five companies in the advertising industry. Brand Mudra quickly became a force to reckon with. But by the late '90s, international ad agencies like O&M and Lowe Lintas began to dominate the Indian market, threatening Mudra’s position. That’s when Madhukar Kamath, group CEO and MD, Mudra Group, rejoined the company after a four-year stint with its competitor. Kamath knew that if he wanted

to bring back lost glory, the company needed to reinvent itself. And that it did. Today, Mudra is back among the awards. Recently, an ad conceptualized by the group featuring deaf and dumb children singing the national anthem in sign language won a silver and two bronze awards at the Cannes Film Festival. In this interview, Kamath shares Mudra’s turnaround story and how IT helped the company rebuild its brand.

CIO: Can you trace Mudra’s journey thus far?

Madhukar Kamath: Since its birth as an integrated full-service agency, Mudra

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Madhukar KamatH expects I.T. to: Provide competitive edge

Improve customer satisfaction

Create exit barriers

Photo by fotoco rp

Enable growth

has traversed a long, exciting, and sometimes arduous journey. There are essentially three decades in the history of Mudra, the '80s was the decade of birth, the '90s the decade of growth, and the first 10 years of this century witnessed the decade of transformation. Mudra began as a homegrown, sons of the soil agency which didnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t conform to the holy commandments of the advertising industry. Mudra was different and preferred to rewrite the rules. It was based in Ahmedabad,

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unlike most ad agencies that are based out of Mumbai. By the end of the first decade, we had catapulted to the ranks of the top five advertising agencies, a position we continuously occupied. The '90s were glorious for Mudra because we successfully built powerhouse brands like Vimal, Rasna and Dhara. We brought McDonalds and Samsung into the country. In this decade, we scripted our growth story and secured significant wins on the creative side of the business.

As we entered the third decade, other agencies began to dominate the market and the perception of our leadership position weakened. It was time for us to reinforce our leadership image and with this purpose in mind we began the process of transforming into a communications organization. We took several steps to metamorphose from a mere advertising agency into a marketing services group. The Mudra Group is now poised for explosive growth.

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View from the Top

How would you evaluate your two decade long stint with Mudra?

Are you satisfied with the way Mudra has turned around today?

I was fortunate to begin at a time when we were an integrated full-service agency. At that time, Mudra was still a fairly unknown entity nationally. We had built enduring brands like Vimal and Rasna and we were on the verge of launching Dhara. So, in my first stint with Mudra, the challenge was to help the organization grow. I was entrusted with the responsibility of helping Mudra grow the Delhi business. For four years, I spearheaded the Delhi operations and my efforts bore fruit. Delhi later went on to become a powerhouse that contributed 60 percent to Mudra’s bottom line. The second goal was to optimize our Mumbai operations. Although we were number three or four in the country, our Mumbai operations trailed behind Delhi and Ahmedabad. The advertising market here presented many opportunities that could be exploited but somehow Mudra did not have very many accounts and did not attract the best talent. So, in 1992-93, I came to Mumbai virtually as a non-entity. I did not know the market well. My job was to assemble a team from all around the country. To kick start our growth plans, we pulled the best performers from within the company. Mumbai is now our largest operation. During my second stint, I had to rejuvenate the business. I decided to diversify and transform the organization. So, essentially in the first stint, the challenge was to establish the organization and help it grow. And, in the second the challenge lay in helping it diversify into a communications conglomerate.

I don’t believe one can ever feel satisfied with the way one works because there is always a lot more to be done. Advertising is full of opportunities and one is only limited by one’s own thinking and capability. Had we continued to operate only as a full service advertising agency, we would have missed out on the growth in the media business, the activation business, the brand engagement business, and so on. We identified these areas of opportunity and then in each of these areas, we focused on two key constituents: The consumer and the client. From the consumer’s point of view we were able to identify the touch points and build businesses at all these touch points. Then we looked at it from the client's point of view, to understand where he is investing to reach the customer, and ensured that we were present at every single customer touch point with our specialist business solutions. This is how we built a true marketing services group. But I think I would have still done a few things differently. Perhaps, in hindsight, we could have taken one or two strategic decisions slightly faster. For example, we acquired Kidstuff (a promotional marketing company) but spent four to five years integrating it. Perhaps we could have done that faster and better. Nevertheless, Kidstuff is a very good experiential and engagement agency today.

You had joined Mudra’s competitor. How did that experience help you? I left Mudra briefly for a four-year stint with the Cordiant Group to bring Bates to India, after which I rejoined 58

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“IT has not only spurred innovation, it has also helped us and our clients gain a competitive edge.” —Madhukar Kamath

Mudra in 2003 as its CEO. Personally, I think I’m quite lucky to have seen Mudra as an agency both from the inside as well as outside. In fact, perhaps the greatest learning was achieved when I was working for Mudra's competitor. From the outside, I saw Mudra as a phenomenal organization which had possibly lost a little bit of its hunger, passion, and faith in itself. The organization had tremendous strengths, in terms of brand equity, domain knowledge, impeccable credentials, and a solid foundation. With the rise of Ogilvy & Mather, Lowe Lintas, and the McCanns in the late '90s, Mudra was perceived as second rung and we needed to address how to reclaim our rightful position. Here, my role was more of a catalyst than a turnaround expert. I realized that Mudra had been moving around in the same orbit for too long and had lost some of its fire. So, I leveraged our strengths to get us futureready to move into the next orbit.

What role has IT played in transforming the organization? We started using IT at Mudra in 1982. The first application that came into existence was financial accounting. Then, based on our needs, we started to build small applications particularly those concerning connectivity. In those days, no two systems could talk to each other and

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View from the Top

most processes were decentralized and hence not integrated. In 2001, Sebastian Joseph, our CIO, joined Mudra and took on the onus of revamping the entire IT landscape. The one directive that our erstwhile chairman gave him at that time was: ‘I don’t understand technology but I understand what I need. And I need you to create exit barriers which force a client to think several times before severing its relationship with the agency. We have to offer world class services.’ This is how our IT began to focus on building add-ons and applications intended to delight the clients and to give them a competitive advantage. While it spurred innovation, it simultaneously ensured operational efficiency, kept a keen eye on cost optimization and ensured that its efforts were both aligned with businesses and in tune with market dynamics.

How has IT helped Mudra streamline its processes internally? The first application that came out of our stable was mBoss which was an integrated accounting and operations system that caters to the entire group. It is a common business application used by the group. It ensures accuracy and ease in consolidation at the group level. We also have an application called mBusy which is a budgeting and monitoring system that caters to the entire group. It helps in carrying out the budgeting exercise scientifically. It also provides budget heads with archival data. Our eHRMS system is a unique employee self help portal. It brings in the required transparency with regards to HR policies, eligibilities, employee financial, etcetera. It is augmented with workflow systems for leave management and travel.

And how does IT help you improve customer satisfaction?

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SNAPSHOT At Mudra, IT exists for Mudra Group clients. The POC will be much business. It helps business better if we consume it before Established: in driving business. With our clients. 1980 this end in view, we have Employees:: launched several initiatives What is your vision 1,500 and niche applications which for the Mudra can help us create competitive Group? And how Branches: 26 differentiators for our clients. do you plan to Take our CRM for example. fructify it? It helps in understanding the history of the We want to be the leading marketing brand and its strategies. The entire guard communication group in the country by book of our clients is available online. In the 2020. In terms of solutions we want to be 80s, we had created an ad for Godrej Hair admired for the kind of businesses we are Dye which featured former cricket captain working with and for the processes and Sunil Gavaskar. About two years back, there talent that we have. We’ve always had a was a request from the client to pull it out strong roster of Indian and international and send it to them. So we went to the CRM brands which we are proud to have grown and we pulled the ad out within an hour with. We would constantly want to add to and gave it to the client. So, IT helps us this growing client roster. tremendously in meeting these and many By the end of this decade, we would more customer requirements. like to be eight-10 times larger than we Other than this, we have an application were at the end of 2010. Last year, our called the Light House which tracks new topline growth was about 25 percent and business developments. It is our internal we registered 30-40 percent bottom line knowledge management initiative. A growth. For 2011-12, we have an equally dedicated team captures consumer insights, ambitious target. media insights, brand happenings, etcetera Mudra has four businesses: Mudra and regularly updates the same. India (30 percent), Mudra Max (45 percent) Also, about a year back we launched DDB Mudra (20 percent) and Ignite Mudra SnapIT, a generic framework for integrating (5 percent). Our strategy is to strengthen with our back-end applications that captures all the four pillars of our business and images through mobile phones and makes to improve the standards of our creative them available through a dashboard. This work. We are currently ranked in the top helps us go-to-market faster. And also three, but would like to be right at the top improves customer satisfaction. in terms of brand building and providing creative business solutions that build the What new technologies are clients’ businesses. CIO

you toying with?

If you look at our application portfolio, all the applications have been developed in-house using Open Source. But we will be looking at the cloud. Also, social media is being driven from the client perspective. We cater to some clients in the area of direct marketing. We are closely working with a vendor from Norway who has developed a wonderful social networking engine which we would like to provide to our existing

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

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IT Management

Dealing With Rogue IT By Stephanie Overby


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IT Management

CIOs no longer control all of a company’s technology choices. But they still need to manage risk and save rogue users from themselves. risks posed by those choices, and developing guidelines—or The CEO has fallen head over heels for his iPad. The marketing conversation starters—to help business leaders make some of their team has set up shop on every social media site known to man. The own IT decisions. sales group has secretly purchased its own software-as-a-service In the future, corporate technology decision-making won’t be subscriptions. Meanwhile, the VP of operations is wondering paternalistic; it will be partnership-based. IT will not control all of whether there isn’t something better out in the cloud that the a company’s technology choices. But CIOs must retain control over company could use to run its supply chain. their companies’ technology narratives. Whenever possible, IT The whole world, it seems, is going rogue. shops will figure out how to meet business needs faster and more And why not? With the consumerization of IT, the rise of the flexibly. But when they can’t, IT leaders must ensure that shadow cloud, and unrelenting business demands for technology, who isn’t IT shops act as true shadows—making the kinds of choices and wondering if they can’t bypass IT for technology that’s better, faster trade-offs that IT would have made for them. or cheaper? Forrester Research has dubbed this the empowered era It’s a difficult transition for the traditional IT organization, but of corporate IT. “Business is playing a greater and greater role in IT it’s not optional. “If you don’t support some piece of technology, a decisions,” says Forrester vice president Matt Brown. “It’s a longuser will go out and do it on their own,” says Andy Mulholland, term trend.” global CTO of consultancy Capgemini. “We’ve crossed the Rubicon. Mark Schwartz, CIO for the US Citizenship and Immigration The thought, ‘If I deny it, I will drive it out of sight,’ is nonsense.” Services (USCIS) department, understands what’s behind the shift. When employees see a way to improve a process or require technology to enable a new business need, they want to take action right away, Schwartz says. “The IT organization—with its When Lisa Davis joined the US Marshals Service as CIO three constrained resources, backlog of projects, governance processes years ago, the federal law enforcement agency was thick with doand controls, and focus on security and maintainability—can’t it-yourself IT. “Customers had lost confidence in IT and went ahead always help or respond quickly enough.” and found solutions to meet their needs,” Davis says. In addition Experienced IT leaders will recognize the beginning of a story to consolidating and stabilizing the technology environment, that usually has an unhappy ending. Remember when low-cost Davis also had to tame the insurgency. Her campaign to do so was servers were introduced? Business units, frustrated by flatfooted IT grounded in one simple word: Yes. organizations, bought their own. And once they realized how costly Business users weren’t adopting their own IT because they and difficult it was to manage their impromptu server wanted to. “The answer from IT had always been Reader ROI: farms, they promptly plopped them back in IT’s lap. ‘no,’” says Davis. For example, when marshals The PC revolution? Same story, different decade. wanted to connect with state and local police using the adverse effects of saying no to users But this time, forward-thinking CIOs are being the agency’s network, IT refused the requests. So Why it’s important to proactive, in the hope that they can alter the ending each field office set up ad hoc connections—at educate users about of this oft-told tale. The challenge now is figuring great cost to the agency. Today, it’s a different internal It tools out how to get to yes. CIOs are thinking about story. “We find every way to say ‘yes’” while How to tame rogue It how to make better and faster technology choices, considering cost, security and the requirements educating business colleagues about the enterprise of federal law, says Davis.

The New IT Mantra: Yes, We Can

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IT Management

Jay Burgess, CIO of Muscogee Nation Casinos, says that sometimes the best way for business users to understand the risk of making a bad technology choices is to let them do it.

One way is to take the initiative. Davis surveyed users to learn about the IT capabilities they imagined having in the next several years. The prevailing vision was one of mobility. Davis quickly set up an iPad pilot program. “They all want the newer and slicker technology, and one way to scratch that itch is to have proof-ofconcepts to test them out,” she says. Together with 60 business users, IT developed several operational-use scenarios, such as language translation at the USMexico border and operation planning for fugitive apprehension. Now IT is developing the business case to justify a larger purchase of iPads, which would replace laptops or desktops for some users. The effort will satisfy that business yen for the latest and greatest, provide a more appropriate tool for some processes, and cut capital equipment-replacement costs. At National Geographic Global Media, employees’ unhappiness with workplace technology was apparent in the results of CEO John Fahey Jr.’s employee satisfaction survey. The business environment was changing rapidly, expanding from magazine, book and map publishing to include film and television production and distribution, Web properties, interactive tablet publishing, and gaming. Yet IT wasn’t keeping up with the need for new productivity tools. The employee satisfaction survey in 2009 found discontent with the antiquated e-mail system, the mobile device options, and 64

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the old computers. Corporate leaders created an IT council to tackle the complaints. Last year, Senior VP and CTO Stavros Hilaris put e-mail in the cloud, began offering users a choice of smartphones and tablets, and revamped the hardware refresh rate. The key, says Hilaris, “is to work in partnership with your business colleagues, understand and address their challenges and pain points, and understand the industries you’re a part of in order to anticipate and plan for changes that are on the horizon.” The larger the organization is, however, the harder it is to keep tabs on what the business wants. Capgemini’s Mulholland has a trick for figuring it out: Ask the CFO for data on technology spending by individual business units. “[IT leaders] always come back slightly shocked because it’s going on more than they thought.” Mulholland says. But they also come away with a list of people to focus on. “Ask them what you can give them, how you can support them better,” advises Mulholland. “Come in as a friend to help them, not an enemy to stop them.” Of course, saying “yes” isn’t always easy—or right. That puts Schwartz’s team in an uncomfortable position. They feel, he says, “a strong sense of responsibility” for maintaining security, complying with regulations and spending money wisely. “Saying ‘yes’ can easily feel risky,” Schwartz adds, so he’s found a middle ground. Now IT says, “We can if….” The idea is to ultimately say yes by Vol/6 | ISSUE/12

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IT Management first finding the conditions—whether they’re adding user support resources or hiring experts in a new technology—under which that ‘yes’ becomes possible. “Tell me what would need to change in order to be able to solve the business problem,” Schwartz says.

Help End Users Help Themselves Getting to yes is just a start. The demand for new technology and the speed at which business needs are changing mean that many IT organizations are no longer capable of managing it all on their own. “Where this leads us to is a place where the IT department is going to have to stop doing what it’s been doing for many, many years, which is, ‘Here’s our standard. Take it or leave it,’” says Ken Dulaney, vice president and distinguished analyst for Gartner. “IT is going to have to let the end user decide where they want to be in terms of service levels and risk.” The first step is to bring the basis for IT decisions into the open. Davis created a customer guide to IT’s solution-request process at the US Marshals Service. “It removes the mystery of why it seems to take so long for IT to get anything done,” she says. “It illustrates the entire process.” The guide covers every step, from the “Aha” moment when users think of a technology need through articulating requirements, evaluating products and choosing vendors. She’s also setting up what she calls a CIO Store on the intranet to list software the agency already owns. When someone is shopping for a specific tool, he can look in-house first. He might still go buy something different, but Davis’s hope is that users shop smarter. But it’s not enough for IT to reveal its secret rule book; CIOs should also rewrite some of the rules. Dulaney says CIOs will move toward providing users with a menu of IT options. He calls it “managed diversity”: Different user choices result in different responsibilities for IT. If users want a technology IT has approved, they get full IT support. If they want technology IT hasn’t blessed yet, the IT group may help out, but it won’t take full responsibility for installing or supporting it. Somewhere in the middle, if a business leader wants to choose her own device, IT makes sure data is delivered to it, but the user has to get her own hardware support. Few IT shops are there yet, says Dulaney, “but this is where we have to go.” In a perfect world, says Susan Cramm, founder of IT leadership consultancy Valuedance, IT would define technology investment policies rather than policing every IT business case from creation to approval. CIOs would provide a list of approved vendors instead of getting involved in all technology provisioning. Technologists would control access to data and applications rather than devices. “IT is at a crossroads. It needs to either figure out how to bring shadow IT out of the dark and into the light or risk being marginalized as increasingly tech-friendly business leaders take innovation into their own hands,” says Cramm, a former CIO and CFO. “It’s time for IT to control what matters.” To get there, the IT organization needs to offer master classes in IT decision making. “Business managers—god love ’em, and I do love ’em—can be naïve,” says Capgemini’s Mulholland. “Some of these guys might be individually bright, but don’t understand risk.” Capgemini’s internal IT organization now develops guidelines for

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Remember R emember when low-cost servers were introduced? introduced? Frustrated business units bought their own—and soon realized how costly and difficult it was to manage their impromptu server farms. They promptly plopped them back in IT’s lap. The PC revolution? Same story, different decade.

business users in how to mitigate risk when choosing and using IT by, for example, spelling out which services or providers are trustworthy and under what conditions. There’s no shortage of ghost stories in IT circles about such horrors as frustrated marketers setting up their own IT organizations. So Jay Burgess, CIO of Muscogee Nation Casinos, takes preventive measures. He offers business units, such as marketing, a managerlevel IT liaison who can commit IT resources to their projects. “The business brings him in as one of their own. He becomes the IT marketing guy, and it gives the marketing group the feeling that they have their own IT. His or her job is to become not just a liaison, but a translator of their business needs into IT strategy.” The goal is to direct, not to dictate. “We set forth a group of standards, but the business unit is free to make adjustments within them,” says Burgess. At some point, however, too much free reign makes IT unmanageable. Business processes may fail and people may get hurt. “Our business funds the tribal government,” says Burgess. “If we allow the business to fall on its face and we’re not there to pick them up, healthcare clinics shut down, people don’t get their food stamps.” It’s a constant balancing act. “Standards are guidelines, not a brick wall,” says Burgess. “They allow us to operate with some kind of discipline, but if the business is really trying to grow and really has a need, we need to adjust to meet that.” He wants to talk REAL CIO WORLD | o c t o b e r 1 5 , 2 0 1 1


IT Management about it first, though. For example, it’s the casino’s policy that operational systems should be integrated with company’s core strategic systems, such as ERP. However, the purchasing module offered by its ERP vendor wasn’t ideal for the casino’s food and beverage managers and purchasers, who wanted to break items down by ingredient to track food costs. IT bent the rule, allowing them to purchase a more effective tool and integrate that with the ERP system. It was a difficult project, but “this flexibility achieved the business goal while preserving the spirit of our policy for integration,” says Burgess. At the USCIS, Schwartz is working on several fronts to create a kinder, gentler IT image by making development processes more agile, streamlining controls, acquiring virtual server capacity and using lightweight development tools. “I don’t want a power struggle,” he says. The flexible infrastructure, which includes reusable services, also lets people use IT more freely. “We can help them craft their own solutions without time-consuming development work and without compromising the security and integrity of our IT systems environment.”

Technology Risk for Dummies

Lisa Davis, CIO, US Marshals Service, set up a CIO Store on the company intranet to list software the agency already owns, hoping that users will look in-house first before going out and buying.

Some industry watchers say today’s user-driven IT environment suggests users should share more technology risks, but Schwartz doesn’t see it that way. “One of IT’s contributions to the business should be its assessment of and position on risk management.” But a shared understanding of the risks to which technology exposes the enterprise is a must. “There still remains, in many organizations, a lack of understanding by the end user of what IT does,” says Gartner’s Dulaney. “It’s an educational process, but just teaching end users about what IT does doesn’t go far.” The business gets a better handle on risk management, Dulaney says, when IT involves it in evaluating risk profiles and value propositions. “It all comes down to explaining the consequences of each decision and having them choose, [because] telling them what to do just leads them to do the opposite.” At the National Geographic Society, joint risk-management decisions are now the rule. “By engaging the business owners and 66

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partners in the decision-making process, they understand the risk and share in the decisions regarding the amount of expenditures we will incur to mitigate risk,” says CTO Hilaris. Security and risk management are business decisions, says Schwartz. “I don’t want to talk to the business users abstractly about security best practices, or about man-in-the-middle attacks. I want to tell them instead about the potential consequences of a security breach on the agency and the people whose lives we affect.” For instance, what if a hostile organization could hack into USCIS systems and grant citizenship to a terrorist? Or a repressive government could find out which of its citizens wanted to emigrate to the United States? Those questions get people’s attention. “Risk management and security are business decisions,” says Schwartz, “and need to be framed that way.” Sometimes the best way for business users to understand the risk of making a bad technology choice is to let them do it, suggests Vol/6 | ISSUE/12

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Burgess with the Muscogee Nation Casinos. Last year, the casinos’ HR department wanted a new e-learning platform that wasn’t on its list of approved IT projects. After Burgess explained that IT staff were busy with HR’s other projects, the department decided to deploy the e-learning platform by itself. The technology seemed straightforward, and the vendor promised a two-month turnaround. Two months turned into six, and HR, feeling pressure from the board, called IT for help. It turned out that the vendor had no viable plan for registering employees for the new tool. IT wrote the queries to retrieve the necessary employee login data, but the vendor had changed the import process and failed to inform anyone. So although the system appeared to work, the passwords didn’t. Angry users overwhelmed HR with complaints, and the overwhelmed HR managers learned how complex IT project management really is. “They now understand some of the things we do,” Burgess says. “No real damage was incurred, only a few bruised egos.”

Never Say No

Taming Rogue IT If users understand what IT capabilities are already available, they’ll be less likely to want to buy technology themselves. Sure, some rogue It t is the result of unmet technology needs. other times, it’s just the product of misunderstanding or miscommunication. often, says Lisa Davis, cIo of the US Marshals Service, “the customer is not aware of what [the business] owns or does not own or how to apply it to their business.” t to deal with that, she’s set up an in-house app store on the agency intranet. If users are looking for a geographic information systems analytics tool, there’s one available via the cIo Store, which also provides links to training resources. “We have brought considerable change in additional tools and capabilities to the enterprise,” says Davis. “our focus is now on adoption strategies, on how we get those tools or apps integrated into day-to-day operations.” Jay burgess, cIo at Muscogee Nation casinos, observes that sometimes the new capability a customer is seeking is right in front of them. consider employees’ voice-over-IP phones, for example. the average user sees a handset on the desk and thinks it’s just an expensive telephone, says burgess. So his Itt tbusiness liaisons are educating users and rebranding the phones as productivity tools with integrated voice, video and data functions. Users are amazed, he says. “they can now see and find their co-workers, get voice mails from their e-mail, integrate their calendars—all at a faster pace.” Ideally, says National Geographic Society cto Stavros Hilaris, business users “articulate their needs in the near term so that we may develop proper solutions for their immediate needs as well as their long-term needs.” but in the real world, that doesn’t always happen. burgess’s biggest problem with rogue users is that they don’t give It t a chance to meet their needs. It’s not just that users feel empowered by consumer devices and software they can buy with a credit card. “business is struggling for survival. they’re not following a strategic plan the way it is typically created. they’re not looking five years out,” he says. “but often times, they don’t communicate [their needs], so It is unable to respond quickly or nimbly.” And that may be because users don’t know what they want, says Davis. “they know they need technology, but they do not know where to start.” cIos who want to head off rogue It t should get their staff—such as the account managers Davis has assigned to each agency division—out among those users to help them figure that out.

Being a better business partner, offering a more flexible menu of IT options, and educating users about risk must happen. But will it eliminate rogue IT? Probably not. Forrester’s Brown predicts that business users will continue to make potentially bad IT decisions in the near term. When rogue systems proliferate too wildly, “there will be some retrenchment,” he says, but the pendulum won’t swing as far back to IT control as it has in the past. Still, despite all the joint risk-assessment and the requirements gathering and the CIO’s striving to get to yes, not every user will be convinced to cooperate. Davis found that out last year after working for months with an agency executive to figure out the right collaboration software to deploy. They worked through requirements, integration issues, cost and ROI, then chose a system that could be used by the entire agency. “Then at the last minute, he changed his mind,” Davis says. She reminded him that the product they had selected met 90 percent of his requirements. “There’s the whole broader spectrum of issues we consider about a product, versus a customer saying, ‘This is the product I want because I like it.’” Additional discussions ensued. Eventually, the executive realized the initial software choice was the best option. But it was a costly lesson. “It held us back from providing capabilities desperately needed for every customer in the agency,” says Davis. Even in the face of poor decisions, however, Davis and her forward-thinking peers have a bias for yes.

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— S.o

“Before when we said, ‘This is our standard,’ the reply from users was, ‘I don’t care,’” says Dulaney. “Keep working to make sure the user understands the risk and the trade-offs they are willing to make. The modern CIO should never say ‘no.’”. CIO

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IT at Your


The story, complete with its twists and turns, its multiple phases, its successes and challenges, of EMC's journey to a private cloud. By Varsha Chidambaram Way back in 2004, when EMC embarked on its journey to the cloud, little did its executives know that they were toying with a technology that would define a new era in IT. At that time, they were just looking for a better way to deliver IT for their 24,000odd users across the globe. Starting in about 2003, EMC put itself on an aggressive growth path. In the last eight years, the company has invested $ 14 billion (about Rs 63,000 crore) in mergers and acquisitions and another $ 10.5 billion (about Rs 47,250 crore) in innovation. It was also around that time that EMC completed it’s acquisition of the virtualization superpower VMware and built its largest centre of excellence outside the United States, in Bangalore. Those were exciting times for the business, and challenging times for IT. EMC executives estimated that if IT were to scale up its datacenters in the traditional manner (read: buy hardware) to meet the demands of the growing business, it would require an additional investment of $ 26 million (about Rs 117 crore). And creating a new-age, green datacenter, the other option on the table, would cost nothing lower than $ 120 million (about Rs 540 crore). “Find a way to avoid the cost,” EMC’s management told IT, remembers Tarun Sareen, Sr. director, EMC IT Center of Excellence. And, without a clear idea of how exactly they would do that, IT agreed.


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Virtualization Overdrive “In the first phase, we attacked the IT-owned environment and virtualized the heck out of it,” says Sareen, who leads the Global Delivery Program of EMC’s IT organization and is responsible for building its’ IT globalization strategy and the processes required for global expansion. EMC's IT strategy was two-fold: First virtualize servers and then optimize the datacenter. “We started with baby steps and moved up the ladder with server virtualization,” he says. The first phase was also characterized by extensive redesigning of EMC’s datacenters. “When you virtualize your servers, you retire some of them and re-design or modify others,” says Sareen. All that redesigning paid off. The company estimates that it has saved $ 86 million (about Rs 387 crore) in opex and capex costs through these measures. By adopting virtual machines, they were able to reduce physical servers from 1,250 to 150, with a physical-to-virtual ratio of upto 1:40. By the end of the first phase, which ended in 2008, EMC had virtualized 35 percent of its IT environment.

Tarun Sareen, Sr. Director, EMC IT Center of Excellence, says a private cloud helps beat rogue IT and the practice of over-provisioning.

p hoto by Srivatsa s handilya

Time For Phase-II The motto for phase-II was to standardize on an x86 architecture. Continuing its hyper virtualization push, EMC began an initiative it called ‘sweep the floor’ which basically meant virtualizing all mission critical applications using VMware, vSsphere data center operating system. Any CIO who’s tried his hand at virtualization knows what a pain virtualizing critical applications can be. EMC addressed this by virtualizing the infrastructure itself. “We used VCE Vblock Reference Architecture to virtualize the infrastructure which hosts legacy applications,” Sareen says. That led to some wonderful results. Performance shot up multiple times over, and to IT’s glee it received glowing e-mails from business users citing 20x gains in performance. “For the IT team, nothing is

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more delightful than a positive response from your users,” says Sareen. This was the phase during which EMC accelerated its cloud journey. For instance, they moved from 35 percent to 75 percent virtualization. This was also the phase when Sareen and EMC's IT team decided to move some of EMC’s mission critical applications to a private cloud.

They started with MS Exchange and soon they had moved EMC’s sales application and even its Oracle E-Business Suite business suite to a private cloud. This second phase was also characterized by extensive storage re-organization and de-duplication. “After all, we are a storage company,” chuckles Sareen. They embarked on a serious storage crunching exercise

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Case File | EMC

deploying high-end storage arrays, increasing the number of tiers progressively to suit the application stack. At this point the company was able to accrue savings in the neighborhood of $ 17 million (about Rs 76 crore). “Thanks to virtualization, we’ve been able to reduce infrastructure spend despite growing IT demand. That was really a great achievement,” says Sareen.

"Today, everything IT does can be offered as a service. We aim to catalogue 90 percent of these services and offer them to our users.” —Tarun Sareen, Sr. Director, EMC IT Center of Excellence

Sareen also believes that this new revolution will help eliminate rogue users of IT. “I've heard instances of business users bypassing Home Stretch IT and running servers under the table. “Phase three has been the real game-changer Whenever IT has been bureaucratic, business for IT,” says Sareen. Today, EMC has users have gone outside. It’s time to make our virtualized 80 percent of its IT environment services competitive with others in the market. and opened its first fully-virtualized Our private cloud allows us to do that.” datacenter. The Cloud Data Center in Durham It’s not just the high degree of virtualization datacenter is a state-of-the-art, and completelythat sets EMC’s private cloud apart. It is the virtualized datacenter and it accelerated and extent of success they’ve had in cataloguing concretized EMC’s private cloud aspirations. their IT services and their ability to offer The company uses VPLEX data & these to users through a self-service portal. applications mobility technology to federate “The conversation with IT is changing. Today, between its datacenters across the globe, for everything IT does can be offered as a service. load balancing and ensuring the rapid and We aim to catalogue 90 percent of these elastic delivery of IT services. services and offer them to our users. Think of This phase, Sareen believes, was about it like a restaurant menu that lists out services fully transforming IT. “The goal of the along with the SLAS and prices.” cloud computing business model is to offer An example is ‘Cloud 9’, which is used everything as a service. Today, users want to provision infrastructure for testing and to get IT services and pay for what they development projects. “In a traditional IRT consume,” says Sareen. setup, it takes weeks, maybe even a month The basic goal behind EMC’s private to provision infrastructure for something as cloud was to be able to offer business users massive as an ERP. Through our private cloud a service that could be measured, consumed we’ve been able to achieve this in a matter of on demand, and be made available through minutes,” says Sareen. any device. “It’s like the electricity you have at However, EMC’s cloud strategy is not to home. You have a meter that measures your have just a private cloud; it is open to building consumption and you pay for what you use,” partnerships outside with public cloud says Sareen. vendors. One such initiative is its partnership Sareen believes offering IT-as-a-service with, says Sareen. brings a radical shift to the way EMC’s “Like our customers, we were grapIT organization operates. “In the past, IT pling with unrelenting information growth; was run like a monopoly. Business users increasingly complex application environwould come to IT with a requirement but ments; and congested, it was days before the More Cloud e n e r g y- e x h au s t i n g necessary approvals and datacenters. However, provisioning were done. Read more practical stories on the our early commitment Often, by the time a project cloud like How to Build a Turnkey to virtualization, stanwas approved, the user Private and Hybrid Cloud. Visit didn’t need the application c dardization and cloud computing and the use anymore!” says Sareen.


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of cutting-edge EMC, VMware and VCE solutions paved the way for pervasive virtualization and cloud computing,” says Sanjay Mirchandani, CIO and COO, Global Centers of Excellence, EMC.

Ready for Chargebacks Currently, EMC is not charging its users for IT services—but it plans to start soon, says Sareen. He says they have a price matrix in place and that users are aware of how much their services will cost them. “What we charge users per month depends on usage and what I pay at the back-end to deliver that service. Since everything is metered and measurable, the math is not difficult to do. However, we aim to keep our pricing competitive with the external market,” says Sareen. Sareen believes that introducing chargebacks depends on internal culture and the mindset of an organization. “We need to be cognizant of user expectations. Whether you choose to use chargebacks or not doesn’t depend on the size of the organization, rather internal culture.” But he agrees that chargebacks are a great strategy to counter super users, or overprovisioning. “We said you pay for what you use. So if people use more than they need, they're just going to have to pay for it. The advantage is that each BU head has a dashboard that helps them understand where their resources are being spent. Based on this they can better decide how to allocate their resources,” says Sareen. The company plans to achieve 86 percent virtualization by end of this year and 100 percent virtualization by the end of 2012. CIO Varsha Chidambaram is senior correspondent. Send feedback on this feature to

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Mahindra Shubhlabh Services

When a lack of timely communication cost corporate farming firm Mahindra Shubhlabh Services Rs 8 crore in business, it vowed to itself: Never again. Vijay Mahajan, VP-IT, MSLS, created a mobile app that allows the company to keep a closer watch on its farmers.

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The Organization: According to the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI), the Indian agrochemical industry, the world’s fourth largest, has grown significantly over the last 30 years from a mere Rs 400 crore to over Rs 8,000 crore in 2011. And it could continue to grow by up to 20 percent by creating stronger connects with farmers and the adoption of holistic farm management. Expanding its prospects from its already-booming tractor business, Mahindra

* By Shubhra Rishi

Group set up Mahindra Shubhlabh Services (MSLS) in 2000. The company works with about 250 farmers who grow fruit crops such as grapes, apples, and agri input products for MSLS. This produce is then packed and exported to European companies. Since, it’s in MSLS’ best interest to ensure that these farms get the best yield, it aims to be a farmer’s single point access to all the products, services, and knowledge they need to run productive farms. The Business Case: The company also employs field officers whose job is to visit farms and counsel farmers with the help of MSLS' in-house experts. During their visits, field officers collect data and create reports monitoring how well the farm is doing. These are then sent back to regional offices, where experts analyze them to advice farmers. The problem was these reports were created manually. That meant that it could take up to 10 days before an officer’s report crossed an expert’s desk. That’s the sort of delay that can cost, and in 2009, it did. That year, European legislation banned the use of over 22 pesticides. “Although we were aware of the restriction, the farmers didn’t get the information in time,” says Vijay Mahajan, VP-IT, MSLS. As a result, an entire consignment was treated with banned pesticides and

was rejected by customers in Europe. MSLS lost Rs 8 crore in the process. The Project: MSLS vowed that would never happen again. “So, we consulted with corporate IT to look for ways to use technology and simplify this process,” says Pritam Dutta, project manager, MSLS. Mahajan decided to go mobile. He created a mobile app route that’s compatible with any Java-enabled phone. Field officers can now send their reports quicker, ensuring that reports are seen within two hours of a farm visit. That faster turnaround ensures field officers can advise farmers without having to come back after days. “All 400 farms are now visited by field officers once in 10 days and we are now able to resolve a farmer problem on the field,” says Mahajan. The Benefits: The project, which cost about Rs 2.5 lakh, brings more accuracy to an officer’s report, increasing productivity by 40 percent. And it’s also bringing in new business. “This tool has given us an edge over our competitors since the app is also being used as a marketing tool to acquire more business,” says Mahajan. MSLS’ business has also reported a 20 percent increase. This has allowed the company to recoup its losses from the pesticide episode and even turn a profit. CIO Send feedback on this feature to

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By being among the first—if not the first— to provide its traders with a mobile platform, Geojit BNP Paribas' IT team has created a new channel of revenue for the company. The Organization: As a share-broking and retail financial services company, Geojit BNP Paribas has always been an innovator. It was, for example, the first to offer online trading services in India in 2000. In keeping with that reputation, A. Balakrishnan, CTO, Geojit BNP Paribas, also wanted to ensure that the company was the first to have a mobile platform. “At a time when 40 percent of the retail market’s volume comes from the Internet, a mobile application has become a must-have,” he says. But the regulators weren’t as open to the idea. “We kept an eye on global trends, realized the opportunity, and developed an app to enable our users. But on approaching the regulators we found that they weren’t yet ready with the necessary checks to allow its use,” he says.


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Geojit BNP Paribas

So, he kept it in his back pocket and on the very day in September last year that the government allowed a mobile trading platform, Balakrishnan released it, making Geojit BNP Paribas, among the first, if not the first, in the Indian industry to offer mobile trading. The Challenges: The FLIP-ME app (financial investment platform-mobile edition), allows customers to monitor the market in real-time, view technical charts, and trade scripts. But being a pioneer has its challenges. “We did not have an Indian template to replicate,” recalls Balakrishnan. So they started from scratch. “We took the behavior of Indian trading into account and the comparatively small size of the device,” he says. Balakrishnan says it was a challenge fitting in the large amount of information traders need on a mobile screen—and with bandwidth constraints. Balakrishnan says they also had to optimize traffic to stay true to the live nature of the market and customize the design of charts and presentations to provide maximum ease of use. At the same time, Balakrishnan cut the amount a user needed to navigate, minimize the number of keystrokes required to perform basic functions, and keep the footprint of the app as small as possible. After multiple iterations

* By Anup Varier

Almost 40 percent of traders who log in via the mobile app, also transact on it, says A. Balakrishnan, CTO, Geojit BNP Paribas.

and customer feedback, they finally came up with a Java-based app that runs on all GPRS-enabled mobiles, ensuring it’s usable on entrylevel handsets and smartphones. The Benefits: Today, Balakrishnan says over 50,000 customers—and over 4 percent of the company’s trading volume— come via the mobile app, and they are adding 4,000 users a month. It’s sturdy too: At any given point there are 800 people logged via the app. “And on days like when the market recently crashed by 700 points, the number of unique clients logged in to

the system was 7,600,” he says. Importantly, close to 38 percent of these log-ins lead to a customer punching an order. “Depending on the market’s performance, customers on the move can make a decision whether to buy or sell instead of calling their account managers or logging on to the Internet,” says Balakrishnan. By enabling traders to respond quickly to fluctuating market conditions, the app generates immediate revenue for the organization. CIO Send feedback on this feature to

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ELECTRIFYING PERFORMANCE GUVNL and its six subsidiaries embarked on mechanization and computerization of some of the core activities, resulting in the e-Urja project which helped the utility company innovate and effectively serve its customers.

PLUS INTERVIEW Mukul Jain, Sr. Vice President & Head - IT, DLF Pramerica talks about the merits and the downside of sticking to one industry vertical .


Company Gujarat Urja Vikas Nigam Ltd (GUVNL) Industry Public Power Utility Offering Power Generation, Transmission & Distribution in Gujarat.

ELECTRIFYING PERFORMANCE GUVNL and its six subsidiaries embarked on mechanization and computerization of some of the core activities, resulting in the e-Urja project which helped the utility company innovate and effectively serve its customers.



he Gujarat Electricity Board was a stateowned power utility of Gujarat state. It served 55 million people in a geographical spread of 196,024 In the wake of reforms in the power sector, the monolithic organization was unbundled into seven consumer-responsive and market-competitive entities in 2005 - across the power utility value chain. This included a power generation company, GSECL, with 9 power stations and an installed capacity of approximately 5000 MW (the total generation capacity grew from 200 MW in 2005-06 to 1185 MW in 2007-08), a transmission company, GETCO, with approximately 800 sub-stations and line length of about 33,279 km and four distribution companies (DISCOMs), with a consumer base of nearly one crore. Gujarat Urja Vikas Nigam Ltd (GUVNL) became the holding company and is responsible for bulk purchase and sale of electricity, supervision, co-ordination and facilitation of the activities of its six subsidiary companies. With the conclusion of the unbundling process, GUVNL and its six subsidiaries embarked on mechanization and computerization of some of the core activities, with the IT technologies available at that time. However, there was a need for an integrated, comprehensive, end-to-end IT solution to meet the changing business imperatives, and to make the new entities more responsive and proactive. With this objective in sight, the organization started its efforts to examine its existing processes, shortcomings and available technology options for a smooth migration path. Ms. Shahmeena Hussain, IAS, Director Administration at GUVNL informs, “The organization was looking to improve operational efficiency through standard processes, and to enhance transparency and accountability while efficiently managing and implementing governmentfunded schemes and projects. These were to help GUVNL achieve its ultimate goal – that of customer s a t i s fa c t i o n . ” R e v e n u e losses due to non-standard procedures could be avoided by standardizing the process and workflow and it would also result in better financial planning with predictable outflows and inflows. “It would also provide explicit

E-Urja had been continuously propelled through the steadfast commitment from the executive leadership of all the seven companies and the State Government.” MR. D. J. PANDIAN, IAS PRINCIPAL SECRETARY- ENERGY AND PETROCHEMICAL DEPARTMENT- GOVERNMENT OF GUJARAT AND CHAIRMAN, GUVNL

accountability, and make system maintenance and consolidation across the different companies easier,” she adds.

E-URJA Against this backdrop, GUVNL launched a massive enterprise-wide program, internally branded as ‘e-Urja’, an end-to-end enterprise resource planning (ERP) project. E-Urja was to be an integrated solution, sharing a centralized database with more than 50,000 users across 1500 widely dispersed offices from western border of India (Rann of Kutch) to southern part of Gujarat. According to Ms. Hussain, key departments such as Human Resources, Procurement, and Accounting were to be served by the same database with a single point of entry. Since data had to be entered or updated only once, this reduced not only the errors but also the time and labor required for reports and analysis, thus enabling better planning and program management. “Ultimately, we were able to shift time and resources to innovating, problem solving a n d s e r v i n g c u sto m e rs

60.3 million

people across

1,96,024 benefit from the electricity provided by GUVNL


rather than entering and processing, organizing, verifying and performing other time-consuming tasks. This resulted in reduction of aggregate technical and commercial (AT&C) losses, improved quality of power supply, increased revenue collection and improved consumer satisfaction among several other benefits,” she adds. Employee satisfaction was another key focus area and since the HR and payroll interface were being served from the same database, tracking irregularities and managing employee payments became easier. “This increased accuracy and speed and also enhanced employee satisfaction,” says Ms. Hussain.

changes. It was important for GUVNL to expose their workforce to the current best practices being adopted in the utility sector across the globe and align their existing business processes to those best processes. The employees also had a very limited exposure to and awareness of the ERP system and the project in particular. Since the entire exercise was about exploiting IT as the primary agent of change, the foremost problem was timely procurement and commissioning of necessary computing and communication infrastructure. According to Ms. Hussain, “A very large geographical spread across Gujarat made this extremely complex. Zeroing-in on the solution platform, finalizing the IT landscape, working out equipment specifications, handling the procurement process, and ensuring timely commissioning through flawless co-ordination among dozens of vendors was a demanding task. Another technology challenge that had to be overcome was the mapping of existing complex business processes and then standardization for each of the companies. Finally, GUVNL had to come up with a strategy to collect and move huge volumes of data relating to distribution network assets, consumers and so on, into the ERP system.”

Effective change management program involving more than 50,000 employees helped in the success of the e-Urja project across all the subsidiaries of GUVNL

CHALLENGES Unleashing an enterprise-wide transformation of this nature entailed many challenges. While some were anticipated at the conceptualization stage, a few were discovered in the course of the implementation. “This particular implementation involved tackling various IT challenges along with the task of taking care of the fears and concerns of a large and varied workforce,” says Ms. Hussain. The post-unbundling scenario posed a great challenge in the implementation of this project as there was a sense of uncertainty among the employees due to the various organizational

“GUVNL and its subsidiaries are the first to implement complete ERP, making it unique among state-owned power utilities in India.” MR. MUKESH PURI, IAS MANAGING DIRECTOR, GUVNL

THE IMPLEMENTATION GUVNL chose TATA Consultancy Services (TCS) as its e-Urja technology partner. “TCS, with its rich experience in the Energy and Utilities (E&U) space, contributed immensely towards conceptualization, implementation, training and management of the e-Urja program - making it the first of its kind among state-owned power utilities in India,” says Mr. Mukesh Puri, IAS, MD, GUVNL. The most important aspect was to involve the executive management to take ownership of the project. According to Mr. D.J. Pandian, IAS, Principal Secretary- Energy and PetroChemical Department - Government of Gujarat and Chairman, GUVNL, “E-Urja had been continuously propelled through the steadfast commitment from the executive leadership of all the seven companies and there were also periodical reviews by the State Government.” Studying the existing business processes and practices and blue-printing them to align with


global best processes of ERP along with localizations and customizations involved a large pool of close to 200 people. This comprised of business users and process champions from within the organization as well as IT professionals from TCS. The IT landscape consisted of more than 100 high-end servers and 60 TB of storage housed at Vadodara in a state-of-theart data centre. More than 12,000 desk-tops across the state were connected over a dedicated point-topoint optical fibre network ensuring enterprise-wide connectivity, with 99 percent availability covering all active locations. In order to ensure seamless network connectivity, a dedicated Wide Area Network (WAN) and LAN consisting of more than 900 leased line circuits and 600 dial-up connections were set up. The data centre adequately caters to the volume, security and redundancy imperatives for business continuity. TCS also had to ensure that all the legacy processes were retired, whether automated or otherwise, to ensure comprehensive adoption of the new system. As about the change management exercise at GUVNL, Mr. Puri says, “In order to address the concerns, fears and reservations of more than 50,000 employees, GUVNL had to come up with one of the largest HR programs involving a massive training program. To impart exhaustive training to all end-users, GUVNL introduced a ‘train-thetrainer’ concept where tech-savvy employees were identified, and developed as in-house faculty for end-user training.” Another initiative was to improve knowledge sharing by creating a chain of process champions. An awareness programme about the benefits of the e-Urja was initiated and employees were made aware of the benefits of the system. GUVNL also linked e-Urja with employee promotion and other rewards and recognition programmes. It kept the employees motivated by organizing e-Urja quizzes, newsletters and so on. “This ensured employees’ participation in the change process,” he adds.

BENEFITS Today, e-Urja enables core business transactions at operational level, the resultant quality and flow of data improves the governance at a tactical level, while the information analytics aids the intelligent decisionmaking at a strategic level. Says Mr. Puri,”e-Urja System usage dashboard with drill-down functionality provides senior management a complete overview of the process-wise and module-wise usage for each of the seven companies on a real time basis.” GUVNL has benefited with the real-time inventory position being made available for all items across the company. It has helped GUVNL to significantly

TCS contributed immensely towards conceptualization, implementation, training and management of the e-Urja program.” MS. SHAHMEENA HUSSAIN, IAS DIRECTOR ADMINISTRATION, GUVNL

reduce access procurement using an effective monitoring and controlling system. It now has the ability to generate various inventory reports on stock of key items. It can also get an analysis of insulated overhead cables like Aerial Bunched Cable (ABC) and FSN (Fast, Slow and Non-Moving Item) which helps the utility company make strategic decisions. GUVNL now receives revenue and cash-on-hand information for all business establishments across the company. This enables the utility company to monitor its financials. It has also benefited from increased availability, reliability and productivity of assets combined with reduced cost associated with maintenance, procurement, transmission, distribution and customer service. For the employees, automating the process of asset creation has helped reduce human workload to a great extent. A systematic workflow approval helps the company to drastically reduce turnaround time and increase employee satisfaction. HRMS functions such as online leave application, trainings, transfer, appraisal, recruitment and promotions, have helped the workforce to a great extent. A robust payroll system effectively supports GUVNL. This has ensured that the salaries, loans and claims are processed on time and adjusted quickly. The e-Urja project has propelled GUVNL and its subsidiaries into an era of e-Governance and this is clearly reflected by the number of awards that the company has won recently for innovative use of IT in the power sector. “There is no denying the fact that adopting IT as a key enabler to unleash the potential locked in GUVNL would go a long way in making it competitive in the global arena,” says Ms. Hussain.



Good sense, and not blind faith in hype, should prevail while making purchases strategic to the company’s growth. That’s just one of Mukul Jain’s learnings as he steers the IT ship through the choppy insurance industry at DLF Pramerica. MUKUL JAIN, Sr. Vice President & Head - Information Technology DLF Pramerica


How can IT contribute in the strategy plans of a new company like DLF Pramerica? For a new company like DLF Pramerica Life Insurance, technology plays a critical role in providing a credible differentiator. Even though we are new or have a smaller branch network compared to more established players, the expectations that our customers and distributors have from us are the same. Only technology can help us scale those service levels. Sometime back, DPLI took a strategic decision to extend its distribution reach to tier-3 and tier-4 towns and rural areas. Since we don’t have branches in most of these areas, the only way to achieve this was by using technology smartly. IT drew up a plan wherein we provided all our sales personnel with a laptop/netbook and high speed data card. Using a secure VPN, employees were allowed to work in a fully operational virtual office. Today, these sales personnel have access to all the tools/applications which are available to their colleagues in any branch. This has enabled the sales personnel in far-flung offices to effectively service all distributors and customers. Another problem was the availability of network in remote areas. To overcome connectivity problems, we deployed various sales enablement tools which could work in offline mode. These were secured with various automated controls to enforce financial and internal business process compliance.

You have plenty of experience in the insurance business. How has this helped you contribute to business development at DLF Pramerica? Yes, I do have close to nine years of experience working in the insurance industry. Over the years, I have realized that implementing cutting edge technology may not always be the best option for business. One has to select the appropriate technology with a very clear understanding of business imperatives and challenges. The insurance experience helps me think more like a business person and make the right choices when it come to technology purchases.

What’s better for a CIO: sticking to one vertical and understanding its business processes or hopping between verticals to gain cross-industry understanding? Actually, there is no right or wrong path here. Different circumstances provide one with different experiences. Depth in a certain domain certainly gives you the knowledge and confidence to succeed in critical assignments, whereas an exposure to multiple domains helps broaden your perspective. You never know when that broadened perspective could help you come up with out-of-the-box solutions. In fact, I believe in looking across the industry verticals while seeking solutions for a business problem. A CIO from another vertical could have tackled a problem similar to the one I face and found a better solution or devised a better process.

The insurance industry has seen frenzied competition since India opened its doors to private players. How important is it for IT leaders to understand these market dynamics? In the insurance industry, IT can play a significant role in enabling business. In order to deliver on those expectations,

the CIO needs to understand the business dynamics very well to be able to offer appropriate technology solutions. Furthermore, he needs to map the right technology — big or small, new or old, complex or simple — with the process to deliver benefits that impact business in a big way. It’s important to feel the pulse of the business to know what will really work.

With such intense competition in the insurance industry, is retaining talent in the IT department a big challenge for you? How do you manage it? Retaining good talent in any company is always a challenge. Good talent seeks engaged environment and challenging opportunities which helps them grow. We have an advantage over others in the current scenario because we are a growing organization and any employee in IT gets to work on a variety of applications/projects which they may not have been exposed to earlier. IT employees can also work on various cross-functional projects that may have nothing to do with technology. Also, we continuously train employees on acquiring skills — not only on the technical front — but also in soft-skills areas like managing conflicts, vendor management and holding effective meetings.

Does being in the insurance industry make your IT team more risk-averse? Any other aspect of insurance that rubs off on IT? I don’t think it’s true, even though insurance industry is all about mitigating your own risk by transferring it. We are a new and growing company, and taking calculated risks — like experimenting with new technology and aligning with new partners — is part of our IT strategy. We migrated close to 250 sales manager in a span of a two weeks from Lotus notes mail platform to a cloud email platform which was a risky venture considering the fact that we were to encounter thorny change management issues and that it was to be done pan-India. But the whole migration happened without a glitch. One aspect of insurance, though, which rubs off on IT is longterm thinking. Even though technology is changing rapidly, we look at a long-term horizon of at least 5-10 years whenever we evaluate new applications and technology. We look at factors such as technology scalability, the possibility of the technology become obsolete in a short span of time, and whether we would have enough partners to maintain it.

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30 nov- 4 Dec, 2011


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 Pattaya. 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. Also introducing the ‘Cloud and Big Data 2012’ – a dedicated symposium unveiling in Bangkok, that will showcase how these two technologies are combining to change business dynamics.

to Participate, contact Pooja Chhabra email:

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Real Costs By Bob Violino

Reader ROI: The hidden costs of cloud computing Why it’s vital to do a cost versus benefits analysis

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Why you need to change your budgeting practices


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Cloud Computing

At a recent cloud computing conference in New York, a number of speakers pointed out that the cloud is moving past the hype stage and is beginning to deliver tangible benefits. These improvements include increased flexibility and agility. But moving to the cloud can also mean added costs, some of which might be unexpected, according to IT executives whose organizations have implemented cloud services or are considering them. While these types of costs don’t necessarily prevent companies from getting real business value out of cloud computing initiatives, they will have an impact on the overall cost-benefit analysis of cloud services.

Moving and Storing Data It can cost tens of thousands of dollars a year to move large volumes of data onto public cloud services and to store that data over long periods of time. Many companies might not realize the expenses involved. “A one-time move can [cost] thousands of dollars,” says Hernan Alvarez, senior director of IT and operations at WhitePages, a Seattle-based company that provides online contact information for more than 200 million people and 15 million businesses. Much of the unexpected cost of moving data is for network bandwidth—cloud providers might charge upload and download fees—and other costs, including internal labor. “People think there are no labor costs [with the cloud], but as you scale up [to] handle workload, there’s a complexity with managing large numbers of cloud instances, just like managing a large number of servers,” Alvarez says. Another big cost is for long-term storage of data on the cloud. “When you consider the data growth rates, over the next three years the life-cycle cost of data can be really high,” Alvarez says. “You continue to pay

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for that every month” when data is stored in the cloud. But the cost of using the cloud “is only an unexpected cost if you don’t fully comprehend the cloud model,” he says. “If you think about CPUs, capacity and storage [needs] and chart that over time, you can get a pretty good handle on what the costs are and if you can do it more cost-effectively internally.” WhitePages explored using the cloud for data backup, but after extensively evaluating eight vendors, the company determined it would be much too expensive—as much as three to four times what it would cost to keep it internal, Alvarez says. So the company opted to handle long-term data storage internally, on its private cloud. In general, though, using public cloud services for purposes other than storage eliminates the need to deploy and maintain applications internally. The company has been using public cloud services for about two years and now uses 11 different cloudbased applications. This has led to cost savings that greatly outweigh any of the unexpected costs, Alvarez says.

Integrating Apps from Multiple Vendors Pacific Coast Building Products wants to start using cloud computing in a big way, and has evaluated cloud services from several providers. But the company has limited its cloud usage so far because the economics are not quite there yet, says Mike O’Dell, CIO. One of the reasons for this is the difficulty of integrating software applications from

It Isn’t About the Cost A survey reveals that cost isn’t the main driver for cloud adoption anymore. So what is? Just 16 percent of UK firms consider cost to be the main driver for initial cloud adoption, a new survey from the cloud Industry Forum has found. The majority of respondents (53 percent) said that the flexibility that cloud services enable is now more likely to encourage them to start using the cloud. This was true for businesses with fewer than 20 employees. However, cost became a more significant driver for organizations (69 percent) that were planning to expand their cloud service adoption. Heads of IT also tend to be the people who take the decision to move to the cloud (65 percent), compared to 25 percent who said it was still the responsibility of ceos or managing directors. organizations that have adopted the cloud are mostly very satisfied with them. The major cloud services being deployed are e-mail, back-up and Dr, storage and web-hosting services. Satisfaction was at 94 percent, which was encouraging existing users to expand their adoption to other areas of their IT operations. —Anh Nguyen

disparate vendors on the cloud, and the fact that providing this integration on its own would drive up the cost of cloud computing for Pacific Coast. For example, the company uses Microsoft Exchange for e-mail and Cisco’s Unity Unified Messaging for voice-mail, and is interested in using both of these applications as cloud services. “Integration REAL CIO WORLD | o c T o b e r 1 5 , 2 0 1 1


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Cloud Computing between [these applications] in the cloud, at least the last time we looked, wasn’t there,” O’Dell says. Without the integration, users wouldn’t be able to leverage some of the capabilities they have now, such as automatic deletion of voice-mail messages on their phones when they receive the messages via e-mail. The same sorts of integration challenges exist with other applications that are larger and more complex, such as ERP, O’Dell says. “On the SAP side, for us to put that in the cloud means we have to give up features or spend a lot of money on integration,” O’Dell says. “Maybe it’s just a matter of immature technology, but the integration side is where the hidden costs are. If you don’t look at this right out of the gate, you might not be as happy with the economics at the end as you thought you would be.”

Testing Software Not every application is ready for the cloud, and that can result in added costs for cloud users. “We bumped into some expense that we did not expect for testing and debugging a vendor app that had not been run in a cloud

configuration before,” says Bill Thirsk, VPIT and CIO at Marist College in New York. The college was moving a large-scale ERP system onto a private cloud, using servers that were not yet approved by the vendor. Marist uses its private cloud to provide online services such as registration and billing inquiries and payments to students, faculty and research organizations. All told, Thirsk says, “99 percent” of the college’s ERP migration activities “went very smoothly, and overall we saved hundreds of thousands of dollars by using a cloud configuration.” But, he explains, “stabilizing the system within a cloud that already supported 900 virtualized servers gave us quite a challenge.” The added expense was to “untangle the maze of what versions of the operating systems and databases would work,” Thirsk says. “It was a matter of changing some code. It took some time and effort to figure out exactly what lines needed to be changed.”

Performance Issues Some apps might not yet be primed to take full advantage of the capabilities of the cloud, and this can raise the price tag.

“In our case, we made the assumption that the ERP programming was sophisticated enough to take advantage of all the processors, memory, caches, storage devices and network connections that the cloud configuration offered,” Thirsk says. But it wasn’t, and the college invested a “considerable amount” of application developer and systems programmer time to revise the software code. “So far, we have seen a 30 percent increase in performance, but it wasn’t free,” Thirsk says.

Rent and Utilities The cloud can introduce IT executives to expenses that normally don’t come out of the technology budget. These costs might not be initially evident to IT organizations that are accustomed to having internally hosted systems. “There are, of course, many costs associated with hosting a system internally, but not all of them, like power and rent, are paid out of my IT budget,” says Jonathan Alboum, CIO at the US Department of Agriculture’s Food and Nutrition Service (FNS). “With cloud, these basic infrastructure charges are baked into the

Cloud Economics Favors the Small Taking into account multiple factors, researchers from Pennsylvania State University conclude that cloud computing may be most cost-effective when restricted to smaller jobs. Cloud computing can cut the cost of running small workloads though it may actually be more expensive for larger compute jobs, compared to the costs of running such work in-house, according to researchers from Pennsylvania State University. researchers byung chul, bhuvan Urgaonkar, and Anand Sivasubramaniam, analyzed the costs of cloud computing in their paper, To Move or Not to Move: The economics of cloud computing. “Many people expect cost savings compared to traditional hosting for the reasons of the pay-as-you go nature of the cloud, or its elasticity. but there is no consensus about whether the cloud really provides the economic benefits or not,” chul says. “The goal of our study was to systemically investigate what conditions or variables affect the costs in what ways,” chul says. cloud loyalists like to tout that moving workloads to the cloud can save organizations a lot of money. At the very least it eliminates the capital expenditures needed for equipment and software. And cloud services also, in theory, can run equipment more efficiently, and hence less expensively, than organizations themselves can.


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The benefits are not quite so obvious, the researchers argues. cloud loud savings depend on many factors, such as the workload intensity, how much the application will be used in the years to come, how much storage is needed and the software licensing costs. For the study, the researchers constructed two sample multitier workloads, based on the Transaction Processing Performance council’s TPc-W benchmark, which emulates the workload of an online book store, and TPc-e benchmark, which emulates online transaction processing in a brokerage firm. The researchers then calculated out the costs of running these workloads over a 10-year time period, either in-house, in an Amazon ec2 (elastic cloud compute) or Microsoft Azure hosted cloud service, or in a hybrid cloud. “overall, we find that in-house provisioning is cost-effective for medium to large workloads, whereas cloud-based options suit small workloads,” the paper says. Small workloads were defined as those with 20 transactions per second (TPc), with a growth rate of about 20 percent per year. Such workloads would cost about US$10,000 (about rs 4.5 lakh) a year

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Cloud Computing overall cost, so I’m now paying for some things that previously didn’t come out of my IT budget.” FNS has been using a cloud service from since the summer of 2010 for an application that supports the agency’s Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), which used to be known as Food Stamps. The program, called the SNAP Retailer Locator, provides an online map that helps people find retailers that accept SNAP debit cards. FNS opted for the cloud for this application because it allowed for a quick launch of the program and was highly scalable, among other reasons. Alboum says he needs to ensure that he has available funds to cover the new monthly costs. “Overall, [the cloud] is very manageable and likely results in overall lower costs for the government,” he says. “But it is different than what we’ve traditionally experienced.” It’s not a matter of the cloud service costing more than in-house hosting. “I think

of this as a cash-flow issue,” Alboum says. “If I’m going to pay monthly costs, I need to have available budget to cover those costs at the time I incur them. In the traditional model, I would purchase hardware and associated services in a lump sum when I had the budget. The new model is likely less expensive, but requires a change to budgeting practices.”

Pilots and Setup Costs Be aware that free pilot programs for cloud services can quickly turn into expenses. “Many providers offer free pilots, with various approaches about when these free pilots turn—automatically—into paid services,” says Frank Ridder, research VP at research firm Gartner. “Some pilot schemes are very short.” Before undertaking any pilot program, organizations should negotiate all contract terms and minimum discounts that are due if the pilot is successful, Ridder says. Setup costs are another area to look out for. “Clients often get attracted by cheap ongoing [service] prices, and do not see the sometimes high transition cost, integration cost, etcetera,” Ridder says. For a service like

to execute in-house, while costing only $1,000 (about rs s 45,000) a year in a cloud. over ver the period of 10 years, however, the costs of the two choices may even out, thanks to the 20 percent growth rate of the workload. The tests assumed that hardware and software would be refreshed every four years. Thanks to Moore’s Law, the new hardware would have improved performance, which could help keep costs down for inhouse implementations. cloud pricing may not reflect the lower costs enjoyed by the newer hardware, the researchers observed. For large workloads, the cost benefits of running in the cloud could run higher than keeping them in-house. Using the same benchmarks, though adjusted to 900 TPc, the researchers estimated that cloud services would quickly become more expensive. An in-house implementation would cost about $400,000 (about rs 1.8 crore) a year to operate, which would increase to $600,000 (about rs 2.7 crore) in 10 years. by contrast, a cloud deployment would start at about $400,000 (about rs 1.8 crore), but would climb to over $1 million (about rs 4.5 crore) a year by the end of the 10-year period.

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e-mail, these costs can be easily $10 (Rs 450) to $30 (Rs 1,350) per seat, he explains. Much about the cloud is still relatively new, and experts say organizations evaluating cloud services need to look at both the costs and potential benefits. In a report on cloud services in April 2011, Gartner noted that IT executives “should take steps to manage inherent risks and unexpected costs during the cloud services revolution.” The services and cloud sourcing are “immature and fraught with potential hazards,” Ridder notes. “Cloud computing is driving discontinuity that introduces costly challenges. Organizations need to understand these changes and develop realistic cloud sourcing strategies and contracts that can reduce risk.” He says the services sourcing lifecycle includes four main elements: sourcing strategy, vendor selection, contracting, and management and governance. “The life cycle is a critical area to plan and manage, regardless of whether organizations source their IT services through internal or external resources,” Ridder says. CIO Send feedback on this feature to

The researchers also found that certain types of hybrid clouds may be more expensive than keeping a system in-house. Hybrid clouds come in two types, chul says. “Vertically partitioned” hybrid clouds are systems in which some of the software (such as application servers) is run in-house, while other programs (such as databases) are run in the cloud. “Horizontally partitioned” clouds are those in which all the software is run in-house, though additional copies could be run in the cloud to meet peak demand. overall, vertically partitioned clouds can be expensive to run because of the high data-transfer costs incurred by moving data to and from the cloud, chul says. Data transfer can account for 30 percent to 70 percent of the costs of cloud hosting. However, a hybrid cloud that does not involve a lot of data transfer could be costeffective. And horizontally partitioned clouds can be a money saver as well, as they could be run only for short periods of time, during peak demand, and not require hardware purchases. chul cautions that the study does not take all costs of a cloud migration into account. Many costs can’t be quantified, such as the cost of rewriting applications for the cloud, or the cost of retraining IT help to manage the cloud. As a result, the researchers did not factor these costs into their analysis.

—by Joab Jackson REAL CIO WORLD | o c T o b e r 1 5 , 2 0 1 1



technology image by

A CLOSER LOOK AT collaboration

Social collaboration in the enterprise is serious business and thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s why using these tools judiciously is an imperative. Only then can it provide competitive advantage.


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Building a Social Chain By Sharon Gaudin

social Collaboration | A few years ago, a Canadian pharmaceutical company found that it was in constant crisis mode, and its way out of the chaos lay in getting everyone to communicate. The company, Ratiopharm Canada, was having a hard time being flexible enough to meet changes in demand. For example, the supply chain unit might not know for as long as four months that there had been a slowdown in production because of a manufacturing snafu. Ratiopharm found the answer was to get everyone to communicate. The generic drug manufacturer made that happen by using social collaboration tools. "When the entire operation is stressed, it reverts to crisis mode," says Antonio Martins, who was vice president of supply chain in 2005 when he first introduced social collaboration tools at Ratiopharm. "We were in constant crisis mode. When the stress is lifted, suddenly things can be more orderly. The entire operation becomes much more efficient." Martins, who today is VP of supply chain at Teva Canada, which bought Ratiopharm in 2010, says the problem stemmed from a lack of communication in the supply chain. So how do you bridge such a chasm of communication? Martins turned to Web 2.0 technology and social collaboration tools, starting with Microsoft's SharePoint, then switching to tools from Strategy-Nets and later Moxie Software, which is what the company uses today. Vol/6 | ISSUE/12

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30 nov- 4 Dec, 2011


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 Pattaya 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. Also introducing the ‘Cloud and Big Data 2012’ – a dedicated symposium, at Bangkok, that will showcase how these two technologies are combining to change business dynamics.

to Participate, contact Pooja Chhabra email:

the mega 2-in-1 event CiO i 2012 the YeaR aheaD 30 Nov- 2 Dec: Pattaya thematiC sessiOns m the

year ahead m Future technologies m Business transformation m evolving Datacenter m Smart enterprise m Innovation @ Work

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Martins says collaboration tools fixed the communication problems employees were having, and the improvement in communication fixed Ratiopharm's supply chain problem. Addressing those issues ultimately fixed the company's service problems and enabled the company to survive during rocky times in the pharmaceutical industry. Martins also notes that he worked on the backbone of the supply chain, tweaking processes and systems. However, the collaboration changes were the key that enabled the company to be flexible and handle ordering and market surprises. "If you look at a supply chain, you want it to go smoothly," says Martins. "No problems. No delays. No snags. But that never happens. Any time there was a problem to stop the supply chain, any time there was a surprise, it took a long time for that information to get out."

At that point, the company had started using SharePoint, so he got his employees to use the software's message board. "Individuals would post the problem and other individuals would solve the problem," he explains. "We went from it taking two to four months to find out there was a problem, to a few hours or a couple of days." Before Ratiopharm started using collaboration software, the company's service level, which refers to the percentage of orders that are fulfilled on time, was around 82 percent to 85 percent. Calling that level "terrible," Martins says the company shoots for a service level of 98 percent. "When you're talking about medication, it can be very serious," he added. "We raised service levels in the first six months to around 95 percent. It was extremely important." Dan Olds, an analyst at Gabriel Consulting Group, says Martins turned to enterprise 2.0 technology in a smart way.

Web 2.0 tools can be highly useful in the enterprise, but companies should have a specific goal or a specific problem to solve before they deploy them. Martins recalls that back around 2005, Ratiopharm was having trouble because it took so long to find out that there had been a snafu somewhere along the supply chain. For instance, if unsightly black specks from a foreign substance suddenly appeared in the ingredients used to make a batch of tablets, the manufacturing process would have to be stopped and the tainted tablets would have to be removed. "That batch that's sitting in barrelsâ&#x20AC;&#x201D; we're waiting for them and we don't know something is wrong," he says. "We have to detect what's going on as soon as possible. We didn't want the situation to go through a hierarchy because that takes too long for bosses to talk to bosses." 88

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"He used the right toolâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;collaborationâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;to get the right parties talking," Olds says. "He wasn't just using social technology to use something new and fun. The lesson is that collaboration in business is a tool that helps bring about solutions to big problems." He says Web 2.0 tools can be highly useful in the enterprise, but companies should have a specific goal or a specific problem to solve before they deploy them. "It's important to keep in mind that these are tools and that need to be implemented in a way that makes them useful and not just time-wasters," Olds says. "You have to have a good idea of what you want the end result to be before you just willy-nilly put something in place."


The amount by which social collaboration tools increase productivity due to the judicious use of social media at work.

Source: university of melbourne

Martins and Ratiopharm did have a specific goal in mind when it decided to start using collaboration software, and the technology continued to be useful when the pharmaceutical industry was hit with Canadian regulatory changes in 2006. The changes, which varied by province, adjusted prices and imposed limits on the discounts manufacturers could offer, leading to fluctuations in sales. Ratiopharm and other drug makers were hit hard by those changes. And to deal with the tougher times, Martins once again turned to social software. Sharepoint had worked well, but Ratiopharm wanted more social tools, so in 2007 Martins moved to Strategy-Nets software and extended the collaboration program beyond the supply chain to include customer service, sales and marketing. From Strategy-nets, Ratiopharm moved to Moxie Software, which includes tools for real-time conversations, blogs, wikis and document-sharing. "That's how we came out of the hole," says Martins. "In 2006, the market became less predictable because of regulations and price changes. We were in a position where we couldn't supply the right things because we couldn't predict it. We had to connect customer service, sales and marketing in the front with supply chain so the supply chain people would know what to expect."

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Connecting Worlds

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Entering a Virtual World | Every year, Merck Research Laboratories holds a three-day symposium for 500 of its researchers and vendors. Modeled on the traditional poster session, during which scientists exhibit their research results on 4-foot-by-5-foot boards, the event was ideal for knowledge sharing and collaboration. But it was costly to produce. And productivity took a hit as hundreds of scientists abandoned their research to go. In early 2009, Clark Golestani, VP-IT, Merck Research Laboratories, began to investigate alternatives to the physical meetings. The solution that held the most promise was ProtonMedia’s three-dimensional virtual meeting software ProtoSphere. Merck and ProtonMedia spent 12 weeks building a virtual environment for a scaleddown symposium. The design incorporated two large virtual conference halls where posters could be presented to 50 people. Attendees, through avatars, could approach and listen to a presenter speak while reviewing his or her research. In an effort to replicate the networking opportunities of the real-world event, the virtual meeting place contained areas where attendees could gather, chat without interrupting presenters, or engage in private discussions. This reduced travel costs, saved time and provided quick access to busy thought leaders who may not have otherwise been able to participate. Merck continues to experiment with the virtual meeting software to determine its potential for wider corporate use. Maintaining as much as possible the format of the real-life meetings—from simulating the posters to reproducing the lighting, furniture and floor plans of an actual symposium— was critical to driving user adoption, says Golestani. So was involving “all of the extended key support groups,” including internal business partners, the vendor and IT representatives. “It’s important for all of these groups to feel a sense of ownership of the new capability so it becomes their idea and they are empowered to drive it forward.” — By Sharon Gaudin Videoconferencing

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And it worked. Once people in different departments were connected, they could make better market predictions and "react before business flash-floods hit," says Martins. The expanded use of collaboration software, and the move to richer and more varied tools, helped the company achieve a service level of 98 percent for three years in a row. Moreover, Ratiopharm was able to manufacture its products three times faster, improving its ability to meet demand."I don't think we would have died, but we would have shrunk," says Martins, "We were able to grow and save our position in the market, despite the market." "If you have an operation where people can respond to changes very fast, it's an enormous weapon," he adds. While the pharmaceutical market continued to fluctuate, Ratiopharm and its supply chain stayed strong and flexible. "I had the fastest supply chain in the industry," Martins says. That more-agile supply chain and corporate stability helped to catch the eye of Teva Canada, a major supplier of generic pharmaceuticals in Canada. In 2010, Teva bought Ratiopharm and its supply chain, acquiring its expertise in collaboration as part of the package. Prior to that acquisition, Teva had struggled during the period of upheaval in the pharma industry. Teva's service level was below 90 percent and its manufacturing time was around 80 days, according to Martins. Now the company's service level is between 90-95 percent. Martins says he hopes it will be over 95 percent by the end of the summer. Moreover, Teva's manufacturing cycle time has improved from 80 days to 35-40 days, and the expectation is that it will drop to 25 days. "Collaboration allows us to see what's going on in-house. If you're talking about how your company produces, you have a core that makes everything faster." CIO


10/7/2011 4:41:59 PM

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Joining the Dots Enterprise collaboration tools can foster better communication and elicit transparency from business units. Here's how Random House implemented an enterprise collaboration suite, encouraged adoption and is measuring its success. By Kristin Burnham is involved in a project with another department, she can choose to follow their alertsâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;and unsubscribe to them when she no longer needs to be in the loop, Hart says. While Random House is in the early stages of its internal social deployment, Hart says the company has learned a lot about some of the common challenges and obstacles that businesses deploying social platforms face. Here's what Random House learned about changing employee pre-conceptions, shifting behaviors and generating best practices.

Reforming Employee Mindsets Web 2.0 | With more than 10,000 new book titles and products launching every year, publishing company Random House needed a real-time solution to help manage and share information, and improve employee communication. E-mail, says VP of IT Chris Hyams Hart, just wasn't cutting it. "If you have a really important message you need to get to people, e-mail is where

building an internal Facebook; rather they were more interested in the communications from systems. Their main criteria in the new platform: Integration with Twitter's API so they could migrate from toolset to toolset, and easy integration with other tools they may later need. Ultimately they decided on Socialcast, citing how easy the enterprise collaboration software is to use.

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Training people in a social tool may be futile because they are generally intuitive to use.Instead,train teams in communication. it goes to die," he says. "What if marketing needed to know what sales was doing, but not everyone in that e-mail list needed to know?" Hart and his team looked at a number of enterprise collaboration suites over a few months. They weren't so much interested in 90

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The suite, Hart says, puts users in control of the information they want to consume. For example, employees can "follow" the status of a person, system alert or project. When status changes, only those who are subscribing to it receive an alert, then they can take action if necessary. If an employee

Hart says that when the IT department introduced the new social platform to small groups of employees, they were nervous that it would be used for "wasteful things." They likened it to a "Facebook at work." To thwart this mindset and encourage adoption, Hart says IT purposely rolled it out to groups where improved communication around critical projects was a business priority. "Tools in the enterprise are only welladopted if the person using them gets value out of them," he says. "It may add value to the company to act as a data entry point, but real usage will be low if there is no personal value gained." Also important in getting the naysayers to see the benefits of a collaboration suite was education. Since one of IT's reservations about the platform was that employees would use it to "play around," Hart had to emphasize that everything they said or did inappropriately was visible to managers. Once these fears were assuaged, the benefitsâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;including greater visibility into day-to-day events within a business unitâ&#x20AC;&#x201D; became more apparent. "Imagine being able

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to view a work homepage like you do your Facebook homepage," Hart says.

Generating Desired Behaviors Hart says that when employees gained access to the platform, their first posts usually indicated "here is something I want you to know"—a good first instinct, Hart says, but not quite how he intended employees to use it. Guiding employees to these behaviors meant enlisting senior managers and directors to set the example, so others could learn from them. And it worked. "Social tools support and focus staff on the skills needed for the future. Just as technology is becoming consumer-based with software

Random House, which is purposely rolling out the platform slowly, uses a different metric for success. Instead of evaluating the deployment based on the number of posts, Hart is measuring its success on the basis of engagement. "Remember the 1/10/100 rule of posting: For every 100 people, one person will post, 10 may comment or 'like' it and 100 people will read it," he says. "[Assuming] that the 1 percent rule is true, don't expect a huge number of posters." Instead, he says, look for people joining groups, posting comments and "liking" things. And keep an eye on those who do post: Use them to drive others to use the tool and share projects so the rest of the

Keep an eye on those who post: Use them to drive others to use the tool so the rest of the company can get that information without e-mailing or scheduling meetings. and hardware from Apple and Google, communications is also seeing that impact with Facebook and Twitter," Hart says. "Having people learn how to appropriately participate in social media as an employee is crucial—knowing what to say and how to support our authors, titles and our strategy online is a big part of our future." Another observation: Hart says that training people in a social tool may be futile because they are generally intuitive to use. Instead, he recommends, train teams in communication. "There's a lot to share in a company—the act of sharing is very much exposing you to a lot of departments and there has to be a lot of trust and transparency," he says. "It takes a while to see that it isn't scary."

company can get that information without e-mailing or scheduling meetings, he says. Likewise, it was important for Hart to acknowledge that the deployment of a social platform was not a cost-savings initiative since the goal was not to rid the company of e-mail. "I don't think the ROI for a social platform makes sense. It's like the ROI for e-mail: We know the speed and impact of e-mail," says Hart. "The next step is moving to collaborative media to accelerate communications. I think the focus needs to be on making the company faster, more self-aware. The goal of it is speed—pulling together in one shared forum with no segregation.” CIO

Creating Metrics for Success Depending on workplace culture and environment, the adoption of enterpriseclass social tools can sometimes be slow.

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3 Tips to Collaborate Better According to Forrester's report on collaboration, here are three ways to collaborate better. Map how employees currently do their jobs. Before selecting and implementing collaboration tools, understand what challenges your employees are currently facing. Forrester recommends observing, interviewing or surveying workers. To ensure honest answers, encourage candid conversations by reassuring employees that nothing they say will be directly attributed to them, the report says. Clearly outline the issues that collaboration tools can solve. After interviewing and polling employees, categorize the issues you have uncovered into four categories: Those which technology solutions can address, those that require business process reengineering, ones that are cultural and those that are a combination of the above. Focus specifically on the ones that technology solutions can address, Forrester recommends. Consider workplace issues when selecting the tools. Forrester found that the number of respondents that reported reduced travel, faster decision-making, lower timeto-market and improved project management as benefits increased as they added more collaboration tools. The magic number you should aim for in order to see benefits is four or five, according to the report. If the need is for a simple, ad hoc conversation tool, for example, you may want to consider a stronger instant messaging implementation. Be sure to highlight your requirements to vendors during the RFP process, the report says. — K.B.

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BUSINESS INNOVATION Kevin Johnson, CEO of Juniper Networks explores some of the big trends that will define the next half decade in enterprise technology, and what the major opportunities and challenges are.

loud computing, explosion of mobile devices and social networking in the enterprise are some of the big trends that will define the next decade, with broad implications for the IT industry, and its networks in particular. The diversity and growth of users demanding secure wireless access to enterprise networks with smartphones, tablets and other devices, presents IT departments with a unique opportunity to migrate beyond legacy networks designed for wired employee PCs. This was the message from Kevin Johnson, CEO of Juniper Networks who discussed key trends and global best practices around mobility and cloud computing with CIOs from leading Indian companies.

Explosion of Mobile Devices There is a rapid shift to smart devices across the world, with mobile devices, smartphones and tablets surpassing

CUSTOM SOLUTIONS GROUP JUNIPER the shipment of PCs. A majority of the consumers now own and use multiple devices and across their personal and professional life, said Kevin. Addressing CIOs concerns on integrating a ‘Bring Your Own Device’ policy in the enterprise, and the associated challenges of running applications across multiple operating systems, Kevin said that it is becoming a reality that employees’ consumer devices are going to be able to access the corporate network, with or without permission. IT organizations are, thus, looking for solutions that let them say YES. With enterprises being flooded with employee requests to support new mobile devices, there is a demand for anywhereanytime access to corporate networks from their personal devices. As IT departments struggle to support everyone’s wireless device of choice, legacy networks are ill-suited to meet the demands of new applications, ranging from surveillance and video conferencing to cloud collaboration. Enterprises need an easy, secure, and reliable way to connect everyone’s device of choice. “Enterprises require an integrated solution that can provide a broad range of capabilities, including secure connections, security pro-

As IT struggles to support everyone’s wireless device of choice, legacy networks are ill-suited to meet the demands of new applications.


CEO, Juniper Networks.

tections and device management for a broad range of devices. The new mobile device configuration and management features in Junos Pulse are designed to enable enterprises and service providers to simply and cost-effectively manage mobile devices- unburdening their IT teams while also granting employees the secure mobile productivity and flexibility they need,” said Kevin.

Popularity of Enterprise Social Networking A large number of employees use social networks and social media for personal use and this is now becoming commonplace in the enterprise too. Many organizations are co-ordinating their strategies and initiatives around the social media platform to optimize their investments and competencies to provide a better business outcome. For instance, Starbucks mobilized its own loyalty program by launching a mobile payment-enabled application for multiple smartphone platforms that can be used across the United States. “The entire campaign was promoted widely across social media platforms,” confirmed Kevin.

Cloud Computing Coming of Age Another key trend was the emergence of cloud computing as a means to drive efficiency in the enterprise IT by delivering services on a dynamic and shared IT infrastructure. According to Kevin, “Cloud computing represents a new way of achieving greater IT efficiencies and agility to meet the requirements for an improved user experience and lower costs.” Previously, applications were linked to hardware that was specifically designated for computing and storage. With cloud computing, the functionality of these software and hardware products is delivered in a more scalable fashion as services over a network. Furthermore, CIOs are looking to apply the lessons of the cloud to their own IT departments to optimize results. However, they are limited, because, as application architectures, server virtualization, and storage technology have evolved over time, innovation in the network has not kept pace. The current datacentre architecture in most organizations is over fifteen years old, and what is required now is a fundamentally new architectural approach — one that not only solves the increasing problems of scale and economics in the data center, but also has the potential to enable dramatic new levels of computing for years to come.

“Because networks are the foundation of a cloud-ready data center, businesses need a new network to unleash the promise of the cloud,” said Kevin. Success in building a cloud-ready data center network requires CIOs to simplify, share, and secure their IT infrastructure. “It is also important to automate at each step, whether they are running internal IT infrastructure to be cloud-like or plan to connect with public cloud services,” he added. The key takeaway from the interaction was that as these trends continue to accelerate, a legacy approach to networking is proving unsustainable as they are too costly, too complex, and simply cannot scale. This event report is brought to you by IDG Custom Solutions Group in association with

bookclub club whAt we’Re ReAdINg

by Vijay RamachandRan


Creativity Class Innovative entrepreneurs are actually made rather than born. Here’s how you can hone your innovative skills. IN SUMMARY: “Stay hungry; stay foolish”. That quote from Steve Jobs’ commencement address at Stanford has often been used in situations where a selfreliant, entrepreneurial streak is called for. To that the authors of The Innovator’s DNA would probably add ‘stay childlike’ and believe in possibilities. Take the phenomenon that was Jobs. The typical understanding of the former Apple supremo and what he represented was that he was the embodiment of innovation. So, wasn’t all of that creativity genetic (after all his younger sister is a novelist of repute)? Dyer, Gregersen and Christensen would point to their six-year study of disruptive innovation and beg to differ. Having interviewed some 3,500 executives, they believe that “within the realm of business innovation, almost everyone has the capacity for creativity and innovative thinking.” The authors believe that about 75 to 80 percent of creativity stems from indulging in creative actions. Their research pointed to five ‘discovery’ skills that make one more creative and innovative. These skills are really a way of life for innovators, even though, they need not be ‘great in everything.’ The authors’ research shows them that innovative entrepreneurs are actually made, rather than born, and in this book they set out to tell us how. I heartily recommend it.


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While reading this book, I was reminded of a session on innovation by author John Naisbitt that I attended a few years back. He spoke about a gentleman from rural India who was into agricultural exports. He had travelled the world and having met various people had a huge collection of business cards. One day he spread all of them out on a table, shuffled them, and observed them with an open mind. Thus he was able to make the connection between a farmer from Punjab, a UN Food program coordinator in New York, and an east African government official and began a new and very different line of business. The crux of the innovation process is to question the status quo, however dumb it might sound at first. The authors have simplified the innovation process to an effective development of various skill sets. If we are able to tackle our number one enemy—‘I don’t have the time’—and hone these skills the results are definitely a no-brainer. This is an innovator’s foundation course. SEBASTIAN JOSEPH, PRESIDENT (TECHNOLOGY & FM), MUDRA GROUP This book is all about demonstrating that the ability to generate innovative ideas is not merely a function of the mind, but more so a function of the behaviors demonstrated by people in an organization. The authors

the INNOv NNOvA NNOv vAt AtOR’S dNA:

How Great Companies Get On Top And Stay There By Jeff Dyer, Hal Gregersen, Clayton M. Christensen Publisher: Harvard Business School Press Price: Rs. 800 conclude that individuals, teams and organizations that act differently, start by thinking differently leading to sustained innovation. These are skills that are difficult but can be nurtured in an organization by leaders. The authors have very delicately brought out the key discovery skills of associating, questioning, observing, networking and experimenting needed for innovation through an extremely extensive and insightful study of innovators. This is aptly followed by a practical guide of using the 3P framework that leaders can follow to create an environment that fosters ideas, collaboration with teams, and builds innovation skills in an organization to create a competitive edge. MURALIDHARAN RAMACHANDRAN, CIO, SYNTEL

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