siliconindia logo
CIO City >>  Expert  >>  

Siva Padmanabhan

"Innovation has to be at the forefront of everything we do, because business looks to IT to understand the changing world of technology." 

Siva Padmanabhan
VP – Global Applications and IT Support
Flextronics International

Siva has nearly 20 years of global leadership experience in Information Technology and business consulting. As Vice President of Global Applications and IT Support at Flextronics International, he manages a globally distributed team responsible for designing, delivering and supporting Supply Chain IT Solutions for over 30 countries and 100 manufacturing sites.

Challenges in technology to meet enterprise needs in 2013 and expectations

I think the greatest challenge for this year is to keep pace with the business growth and expansion. After many years of stagnation, the business environment around the world is starting to brighten and businesses are starting to grow again. Since there were many years of limited technology investments made in the interim, we face a large chasm between IT capability and the business demands that needs to be bridged quickly. My wish list would include enhanced capabilities in data integration, tailored business intelligence for various industries and faster adoption of mobility by enterprise software vendors.

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

One of the key areas where there is a gap in availability of solutions is seamless business process integration. Today, we struggle with a number of applications supporting our enterprise business processes. Our customers are looking for an event based view of the business, with deep visibility on the internal business processes and the status/ progress. The emphasis is on exception-based management. Although each vendor has a proprietary solution for BPM, we lack a standardbased framework and integration stack to which all applications can subscribe. Another gap we have today is a solution that will ease the pain of adopting master data management. 

Technology trends impacting enterprise business environment

One major trend is mobility. The business now expects their workplace to be compatible with any device anywhere. They expect that installing and using any enterprise application should be as fast, seamless and predictable as doing this on their mobile device with Google Play or Apple’s Appstore. The second major trend we see is that our business partners now want to see our applications similar to state-of-theart cloud applications, where they can integrate easily using standard-based web-services and publish/ subscribe models.

My roles and responsibilities as a CIO 

The role of the CIO has evolved from being a technology expert that keeps the lights on, to that of a business partner who enables the business to be successful through providing end-to-end, integrated solutions that marry technology with other business capabilities. Over the last few years, there has been a tremendous cost focus as well, since IT forms a major portion of the overhead costs of any company. So, the need to deliver cutting edge solutions, while still staying highly cost competitive is now even more important. 

Lessons learned and advice for fellow CIOs

One of the most important lessons is that IT needs to stay a step ahead of the business and not become reactive. It is very easy for us in IT to become overly focused on solving problems versus building new capabilities. Innovation has to be at the forefront of everything we do, because business looks to IT to understand the changing world of technology. It is important to stay in touch with the external environment, vendors and technology trends and help the business adapt them in a timely fashion to stay ahead of the competitive curve.