CIO City

Sudhir Mittal
Sudhir Mittal
CIO,Samtel
Insight of My Company and its IT Strategies
Samtel is India’s largest integrated manufacturer of a wide range of displays for television, avionics, industrial, medical and professional applications, TV glass components for displays, machinery and engineering services. Its products are known for ruggedness and reliability and conform to the latest relevant quality standards.

The uniqueness of IT strategy of Samtel Group is implementation of Free and Open Source Software (FOSS) for Competitive Advantages. To Begin with, Open Office for office automation and Linux were used for Network, Inter Net, Domain Administration, High Availability, Mail Server etc. In addition, Navies (Enterprise Management Solution) Integrated with SAP, Kennel,the SMS Gateway to query and flash the deviations , periodic reports and statements extracted from  SAP Enterprise Solution. The SAP Security and Un-authorized access of SAP transactions by business users also reported on Blackberry through Kennel combined with Navies. The Jasper Forge–an Open Source tools has been used for Dash Board Presentation Layer and Relend as ETL tool over SAP BI Info cube. Our Experience with FOSS proves that it is much Agile, secured, Scalable, easy to Implement and free from viruses.

Continuous Process Improvements, The Knowledge Management, Project collaboration Integrated with SAP and to Achieve High level of security are on card for 2012. To start with the adoption of cloud technology for engineering development environment on Peas (Platform as a Services) thru suitable solution provider.
 
Views on new technologies
Virtualization is fundamentally changing the IT Landscape for optimum utilization of utility, computational power with higher degree of resource availability.

Provisions of computational resources, Green IT, Higher level of systems availability with cost effectiveness are the keys to adopt Virtualization for which we have used XEN (FOSS) on Linux. Cloud Technology still in the infancy stage to adopt for business critical applications due to various challenges like
security, higher cost and a major gap in the customer expectation and the solutions provided by IT companies.  

Keeping up with Technology
I keep visiting Asia CIO Forum, Networking with Fellow CIO at various forums or through Social Sites and daily reading habits.

Team Size- 30

Biggest Pain Point  
Despite the advantages, Migration and deployment to FOSS is not an easy task. One of the main challenges was to develop the team, to keep them updated and retain. The other challenges experienced initially to evaluate the suitable Free Open Source Software (FOSS) compatible to existing IT architecture.

Additionally, to deal with IPR issues, Regulation and Compliance, Regular training to business team and to retain the quality resources is few of them.
 
Technology Addresses pain points. Agree?
Technology alone cannot respond to all the challenges rather there should be a combined effort of other business functions. There is a strong need for regular updating and awareness campaign of the business and IT functions. In today business scenario - Any business event is a trigger to IT.  

Slowdown Impact on IT Innovation
Obvious when there is a pressure on cost; the CIO’s are expected to act differently. The adoption of FOSS more aggressively was the impact of slowdown.

We have to find out cost effective solutions without compromising the business effectiveness and quality.

Challenges Faced
We are working for BC/DR and higher level of security for further improvement in securing information and data bases.
 
Adoption of Cloud Policy
We have adopted, wait and watch policy of cloud. Initially cloud was adopted for development of engineering applications. It was an attempt to use PaaS - (Platform as a service) for development environment.

Cloud as a Tool
Even today, Security is one of the concerns for business sensitive applications.

IT Budget Expansion Plan
In 2012, we are making investment in enhancement of SAP processes and security, Next Level of Security solutions and Knowledge Management Solution.

IT Leader – Manager First or Technologist First
It should be a mix of both. IT mangers should always be with open mind and an excellent Learner with a blend of technical and business knowledge.

ROI on the Technology
ROI is both tangible and intangible. The reduction of “Procurement to Pay” and “Order to Cash” implies for Tangible and to enable data based decision, accessing of right information to the right people at the right time and at the right speed and quality, Overall productivity improvements.  

Latest Technology
Business on Mobile and map structure and unstructured data for business productivity.

Relationship between CIO and CEO
It should be collaborated through Central Business Team and the CIO to Integrate business and IT

Advice/Suggestion
CIO should adopt a technology relevant to business, not for own sake. They should justify whether the technology is relevant to their organization and how it will be effective when adopted by the organization.
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