CIO City

Achin Sharma
Achin Sharma
Senior
Program
Manager -
Global IT
Deployment,Nokia
India
Views on new technologies
Most of us are aware that Cloud Computing and Virtualization were amongst Gartners top 10 strategic technology trends published in the report in 2009. I think both Cloud and Virtualization are closely linked to each other as without Virtualization there is no Cloud. Indeed, there are lots of cost and operational benefits that organizations can accrue by adopting these technologies. With constant increase in operational costs and squeezing of IT budgets, it is critical for every CIO to be flexible and able to adopt accordingly. However, one has to be prudent in making the final selection and needs to closely evaluate the business requirements. For e.g. Setting up and maintaining a Private cloud may not be as cost effective as Public or Community cloud.

Resources to Keep Updated with Latest Technologies
Reading, participating in seminars, forums etc.

Slowdown Impact on IT Innovation
Yes, as they say necessity is the mother of invention. In one of my previous roles, we were under tremendous pressure to reduce IT operational costs. Hence, we adopted a lot of innovate methods to reduce the cost. For e.g. pay-per-ticket model for IT services tickets.

Challenges Faced
Apart from securing Information Systems and database from various threats such as SQL injection, HTML scripting etc. One of the most difficult challenge for any IT person is to prevent data leakage, especially when the data transfer is happening over mails, to 3rd party agencies etc.

Adoption of Cloud Policy
We successfully implemented Virtualization using HP VMware for nearly 14 servers in one of my previous roles. We formed a dedicated team who mainly tested the application on virtual servers and went ahead with final rollout only after successful UAT.

Role of Cloud
Since most services are cheaper when implemented on a big scale. Hence, cloud will definitely provide better security protection in terms of latest security software, patch management, hypervisor maintenance, robust authentication, redundancy, better response time etc.

IT Leader Manager First or Technologist First

According to me, an IT leader has to wear many hats. But he should be a good manager then only he will be able to successfully execute technology driven initiatives. Even the best of technology initiatives will fail, due to improper management.

Latest Technology
Mobile application development and Cloud computing to grow.

Relationship Between CIOs and CEOs
I think both CIO and CEO need to be aligned and work very closely for the success of any organization. Since CEO has responsibility of running the entire business, it is the duty of CIO to keep him abreast on all major technology initiatives. Similarly, it is equally crucial for the CEO to keep CIO aligned with latest business strategy and susequent changes. Any major communication gap between them will result in a disaster.

Advice/ Suggestion
I think CIOs need to be more proactive and constantly look out for new technologies to improve business productivity and reduce overall costs. Gone are the days, when CIO used to only think about technology. In current scenario, CIOs need to be more business focused and should be able to evaluate pros and cons of any major technology decision.

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