Insight of My Company and its IT Policies
We are an 18 yrs old automobile company with the JV of Maruti Udyog. We contribute approx 30% of the car components in various models of Maruti. The major product line is Car Seats, Roof Liners, Door Trims, Side Mirrors, Suspension, Fuel Tanks etc. We are currently having 70+ servers and we manage our own data center.
The main application runs on SAP platform with 300+ concurrent users on 24x7 basis. To run the smooth dispatches we maintain redundancies of various IT assets incl. Servers, UPS, MPLS and DR site. Recently we have conducted gap analysis and are introducing best practices in SAP space which can surely benefit to various user groups and help in faster computing.
Opinion on new technologies
Cloud is the amazing world and companies are slowly moving through cloud via virtualization. There are many benefits of cloud for cost saving and availability of data. Since IT budgets are shrinking every year and as CIO we have been asked to do more in a lesser budget, so cloud gives us this liberty to save money and give ROI. Although the security and retaining of data is a big question mark in case of dispute with service provider. We also need better cyber laws to deal with cloud crime and data leakage.
Getting accustomed with new Technology
I do surf white papers of various product companies and have also subscribed CIO magazine to update myself with the latest industry trends. I also attend in person events and webcasts to update my knowledge. Apart from this I regularly meet our vendors for the new innovation in technology and also enroll for few education seminars.
I am handling 70+ resources to help me in SAP roll out, SAP support, Infra Management, FMS, MPLS services. These resources serve 20+ plants at PAN India location on 24x7 services.
Biggest Pain Point
We generally keep 4hrs product inventory, so my dispatches are very crucial. We are always on our toes to up and running IT services across 20 plants. We have back to back SLA with other vendors to support the IT space including 4 hrs respond and replacement warranty of gold support.
Technology to Heal Pain Points
Definitely technology is the backbone of entire operations. No one can imagine a single paper movement in absence of IT support. So we constantly evaluate the new technology and upgrade the hardware and support agreement with 3rd party to enjoy trouble free operations. We also put lot of emphasis on training. This will help us to rely on each team member in case of emergency.
Impact on IT Innovation during Slowdown
Absolutely right, now Indian companies are shifting from service provider tag to innovation of new products. They are now investing millions of dollars in R&D as the market demands new product with more power in lesser TCO.
Biggest Challenge Faced concerning Security
Security of important business data is the biggest challenge. Sometimes the risk is more when your own former employee do some damage. Companies are now facing every day challenge to keep their data safe from their own employees. You can handle outside risk but inside damage is the biggest loss.
Adoption of Cloud Policy
We have plans to go in stages, first step is virtualization and we are planning to take up in the beginning of next Financial Year.
Role of Cloud
Still there are lots of misconception regarding cloud security. Though companies are now moving from public to private cloud but still the technology is in the very initial stage and we must wait and watch to see the maturity level.
Expenses on IT Systems
Majorly we spend on renewal of IT services and licenses. But budgets are shrinking and very difficult to retain the same previous budget with high expectation of management to do more in a less amount.
Expanding IT Budget
Until new investment with proper ROI calculations Vs increase in revenue justified.
IT Leader-Manager First or Technologist First
I believe IT leader must be a good manager with some knowledge of technology. In fact we all came from technology hands on for multiple decades experience and once we reach on top we do less hands on. The leader role is most important as to keep the team intact in terms of attrition and act as a bridge between the end users and support team.
ROI on the Technology
Now our operations are on central database. We now have a clear visibility of our day to day purchases and control of cash liquidity. We can also closely monitor daily production and book the rejections and make on time deliveries to our valued customers. The biggest benefit is on time close of month and quarterly audit. Now we are able to publish our balance sheet within 1 month after closing the quarter/year.
Eye on Latest Technology
We are planning to adopt cloud and virtualization as latest technologies.
Relationship Between CIOs and CEOs
The most important relationship now because the new generation CEOs have some IT background and they understand the technical language and importance of IT. They set targets of different SBUs keeping in mind the IT support for achieving the goals. Also the time has come when CEO invites CIO in important management meetings to be the part of strong winning team. This gives us a confidence to know each other set expectations and serve better as single winning team.
Now companies expect from CIOs to understand their business and people first and then put yourself into customers shoes to be fully aware of his pain areas. Become friendly with smiling face and never say NO attitude to peers and seniors. Spend equal time with own team and always motivate and respect your juniors and help and praise them.