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Harnath Babu

"Technologies have reached a "tipping point," requiring CIOs to develop new IT strategies, priorities and plans."

Harnath Babu
Aviva Life India

Harnath is a Technology Leader with over 13 years of rich experience in directing Insurance start-ups, Business Legacy transformations, Innovating , developing and executing IT operational strategies to promote organizational growth and optimal utilization of emerging technologies. He had been recognized and honored as one of India's Most respected CIO for year 2011 , honored with CIO 100 Awards for the year 2010 & 2012.

Challenges in technology to meet enterprise needs in 2013 and expectations

Enterprises have to reinvent themselves and this time using technology as the core component. Get into re-engineering the way customer is being serviced to give better value for customer and returns to the shareholder. It is important for the enterprises to try riding on the technology hype cycle based on their appetite on investing in the current technologies. Enterprises using digital technologies including mobile, analytics, big data, social and cloud. These technologies have reached a "tipping point," requiring CIOs to develop new IT strategies, priorities and plans. We saw in later part of 2012 the increase use of cloud, especially hybrid cloud. Companies began to truly adopt and explore the potential of smart devices, whether corporate- issued tablets or securing personal devices to create a more productive, mobile workforce. These trends will continue in 2013 and a collection of new developments will emerge.

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 

Few of the problems pertain to integration between various systems, one of the challenges which I’ve seen is the organizations have been deploying systems over a period of time. Data moving across various systems either manually or through batch jobs are prone to errors. When  he same set of data is referred by various applications having their own business logic to extract, we see possible mismatches, and SOA/ ESB is the solution. 

Technology trends impacting enterprise business environment 

First thing is hybrid cloud. We as an organization in business from more than a decade built up our data center infrastructure. The infra has become complex and to solve the problem we are consolidating and migrating to collocated data center with a complete virtualization stack which is cloud ready for possible shift of workloads in future. 

Secondly, we are seriously looking at mobility as a channel for communication with customers and better enablement of distribution force for efficient selling process. We are building up applications to simplify operational processes for better efficiencies.

My roles and responsibilities as a CIO

Role of a CIO has transformed from a supporter to business enabler. As a CIO I’ve seen my role evolving from purely technical to business driver. Along with focus on cost, innovation and keeping pace with the business requirements now I’ve started equally contributing to the business success with innovative business solutions.

Lessons learned and advice to fellow CIOs

For a successful transformation journey it is very critical to plan in advance and have an end to end view. Buy-in from the top is critical success factor. Incremental growth is to be adopted for implementation of systems. It is also very important to understand a business problem, do complete due diligence before providing solution to the business. One has to be really innovative, if he/ she has to survive and should understand and speak the language of business.