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Mukesh Kumar Jain

"What differentiates one institution from another is the ability to understand emerging trends early and develop strategies to leverage such trends and drive sustainable growth."

Mukesh Kumar Jain
CTO
ICICI Bank

Mukesh has been part of the ICICI Bank's technology team right from its inception in 1994 and has been associated with evolution of Technology in the Bank. As the CTO of the bank he is responsible for IT strategy, Greenfield initiatives, transformation projects, IT implementations to achieve business goals. His focus is to drive synergies in technology platforms & systems across the Group to create strong infrastructure backbone and at the same time to influence business users through efficiency inducing technology. 

Challenges in technology to meet enterprise needs in 2013 and expectations 

With the technology landscape undergoing unprecedented changes, and with customers embracing mobility and social media at a rapid pace, the biggest challenge is to ensure appropriate strategy and investment in technology to ensure the growth of the bank in line with these trends, without any compromise on controls and security. We consider technology providers as our partners and believe that the architecture for meeting the needs of the future has to be evolved through collaborative efforts.
 
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

Exponential increase in the number of customers and transactions, diversity of channels and ongoing functional enhancements pose challenges in terms of readiness, availability, scalability and security. Gone are the days when applications existed in silos. Now the user experience is served through bouquet of offerings which straddle diverse channels, platforms and interfaces. These lead to challenges in ensuring interoperability. Today’s systems are also highly integrated with various external systems such as those of regulators, partners, intermediaries, service providers and other external agencies. This brings in its own challenges in terms of seamless integration and security considerations.

Technology trends impacting enterprise business environment 

With the brisk growth in adoption of handheld devices such as smart phones and tablets, we expect rapid growth in mobility- based solutions too. There has been significant focus on e- commerce and it is important for the bank to be available across various channels and geographies 24X7. In this open environment, it is imperative for institutions to maintain a constant vigil through strong fraud monitoring systems, including real- time analytics. Big data implementation would be crucial to address the opportunities and threats in the new environment.

My roles and responsibilities as a CIO

As I see over the past few years, the role of a CIO has evolved from being a technology strategist to a business strategist. Technology plays a pivotal role in achieving business goals and to that extent, key decisions taken by a CIO in terms of technology architecture, platforms, partners and solutions assume utmost importance. Today’s CIO has to feel the pulse of the organization across business verticals and also preempt future needs and growth drivers, both in business as well as technology. 

Lessons learned and advice for fellow CIOs

Each organization has its own culture which is reflected in its strategies adopted from time to time. While the technology landscape is common to all, what differentiates one institution from another is the ability to understand emerging trends early and develop strategies to leverage such trends and drive sustainable growth. In any technology implementation, the focus should be on building lasting solutions in a scalable and cost- effective manner. It is important to ensure a sustained focus on cost- effective investments, sweating of IT assets and to strike the right balance between cost, convenience and security.