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S S Kukreja

"We are still unsure of how exactly Big Data fits into the insurance business model and how can it help the insurance industry to grow."

S S Kukreja
Executive Vice President (IT) IFFCO TOKIO
General Insurance Co. Ltd

S S Kukreja has a total experience of nearly 38 years in various capacities. He started his journey as a programmer in COBOL language and joined IFFCO TOKIO (ITGI) from its inception stage.

Challenges in technology to meet enterprise needs in 2013 and expectations

One of the major challenges seems to be with respect to the BYOD policy. Though it does seem extremely lucrative but it has its certain set of challenges that can be overcome through a certain amount of planning. However, it remains one of the top wish list items for us. Another challenge is big data. It offers intense amount of possibilities for data mining; however, we are still unsure of how exactly big data fits into the insurance business model and how can it help the insurance industry to grow. One more challenge faced by today’s CIO is to recruit, groom, mentor and keep staff motivated. Though difficult a CIOs can be positive contributor to a large extent by giving a good environment, creating a lively atmosphere, understanding what drives employees to excel and helping in improving their skills. 

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

Expectations from IT are going up day by day. Whatever is required from IT, it is expected to deliver today or rather expected yesterday. Making our applications and infrastructure available round the clock, is still one of the major factors that would keep any CIO awake at night hoping that everything is up and running. 

Technology trends impacting enterprise business environment 

One of the very interesting trends that we have been looking keenly at is cloud computing. Opting for cloud will surely change the way we operate as an organization to the way we do business. However, there are a lot of clouds on cloud computing as on date. 

My roles and responsibilities as a CIO

The factors of being a CIO and the job description on a CIO has changed entirely. From an IT savvy person, the job now demands one to be the "know all" person who not only manages the IT piece but also manages the business side of things. IT is no more a support function but an essential leg for the business tower. So, the major change that I have observed so far in my role is to transform from an IT support role to a business enabler role for a CIO who holds complete command over IT and helps the business grow to new limits.

Lessons learned and advice for fellow CIOs

As technology has grown over the past few years, the complexity in using that technology has grown exponentially. With every new technology comes an even more complex process to use it. The major learning that I have had in these past years is to maintain a balance between the technology automation and the way the technology (process) is used. It is extremely essential that this balance is well maintained, as a slight imbalance can lead to catastrophes.