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Vijay Sethi

"It is not necessary to put a technology solution to every pain point– there could be management solutions also like process re-engineering/ redesign"

Vijay Sethi
VP and CIO
Hero MotoCorp

Rated as one of India’s Top 5 Most Respected CIOs, Vijay has won several prestigious recognitions including India’s Best CIO, CIO of the year, CIO Hall of Fame, Super League CIO and many more. He has also featured in the list of World's top 50 CIOs, in the list of India's Greatest Corporate Leaders and in the compendium "The Magnificent Heroes" - a Coffee Table book featuring India's 20 CIOs.

Challenges in technology to meet enterprise needs in 2013 and expectations

Challenges over the last couple of years have moved away from technical challenges to more of management challenges like ensuring IT tools leveraging, ensuring ROI on IT investments, management of ever increasing user expectations, increasing usage of technology tools deployed etc.

In addition, each CIO today needs to play a major role in building a highly effective IT organization and the amount of focus one needs to give to internal IT organization is increasing by the day.

CIOs need to ensure:
1. IT teams have good business knowledge, project management and communication skills
2. IT team’s approach, behavior and IT processes/ policies etc. does not become bureaucratic.

The areas in business environment where solutions do not yet exist or not up to the mark, and which if existed, would've made job easier

Not many such situations– most of such cases are where either one doesn’t understand the root cause of pain points fully or one doesn’t understand the technology fully. Solutions are available today, but it may be that some solutions may not be cost effective, or some of them are on exploratory stage. I generally believe that it is not necessary to put a technology solution to every pain point– there could be management solutions also like process re-engineering/ redesign etc.

Technology trends impacting enterprise business environment

Social Media, Cloud, Mobility and Analytics are today having a major impact on IT landscape of organizations globally.

Few other areas that are picking up are M2M (Machine to Machine) communication; it will be one area to watch out for in automotive sector in FY 13-14. Other 2 areas for one to exploit
the power of mobility are: MDM (Mobile Data Management) and MAM (Mobile Application Management).

Heart of any IT setup is data centre– the way it is designed, operated, managed will have significant impact not just on cost but also overall efficiency and effectiveness of organization. Cloud computing would play a key role. Another area that would pick up is SDDC (Software-Defined Data Center).

My roles and responsibilities as a CIO

The role of CIO today is very different today compared to what it was few years back as the boundaries between business functions and IT function are blurring and organizations expect
CIO to be a business leader than just a technology geek. At the same time pace of technology change is very high and the user expectations are also increasing by the day. I feel, CIO today is more of a business leader who has to ensure a nimble footed, business savvy, proactive IT organization that leverages technology to enable business.

Lessons learned and advice for fellow CIOs

• Never think that you‘ve had enough of learning, especially for a CIO, he/she can’t think that learning has ended.
• A CIO must always realize that his success comes from a great team and great partners that he works with.
• One unique lesson is to ensure that you should not have ego. If you tend to be an egoist, the chances are that you will never succeed in life.