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"IT solution is completed only when it is fully used and desired benefit is obtained. Mere implementation is only mass training and one of the stages of journey."

TVS Motor

T.G.Dhandapani is a Chartered Accountant having more than 31 years of professional experience in the fields of Finance, Business planning, Operations, Projects and IT. He has been serving in TVS group for 30 years and handles IT for Sundaram Clayton / TVS Motor group of companies for last 11 years. He is responsible for IT strategy development and execution in 10 companies including TVS Motor and Sundaram Clayton. 8 successful SAP implementations were carried-out under his leadership. Dhandapani is also the recipient of Global CIO award by Information Week in 2011.
Challenges in technology to meet enterprise needs in 2013 and expectations

Again 2013 is going to be a tough year for the Industry. Given this premise, Industry is constantly looking for greater opportunities to increase market share, revenues and volume. Retaining the existing customers is of paramount importance in these difficult times. Hence Industry is looking for IT solutions for going closer to the customer in more cheap and effective ways. Given thecurrent cost pressure scenario all these strategic initiatives should definitely yield a good payback and return on investment. Industry needs to spend more time and energy on planning and analysis.

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
Most of the analytic tools are focusing on sales and related areas like warranty. Very few IT tools address the solutions for key issues in new product development, cost analytics, logistics execution etc. For example there are very few integrated solutions on container optimization, route cost optimization etc., for logistics managers to take decisions during the transaction stage. Though there are advancements in technology and availability of cool technology, they are more in consumer areas and not in enterprise areas. Skills required for operating in ERP say SAP environment is not as simple as using an ATM.
Technology trends impacting enterprise business environment

I feel business analytics and mining solutions, social networking and viral marketing.

My roles and responsibilities as a CIO
I was inducted into the IT department, in the year 2000, to drive the ERP implementation. Before that IT was considered as an EDP unit and used for material accounting and financial accounting. Up time and availability of the IT system were considered as key performance evaluation metrics. Post ERP implementation, IT has been looked at as a process enabler and used for automating many business processes in the enterprise. Visibility of information across supply chain helped the business managers to look in for many areas to bring values to the business. Business value creation is the main KPI for CIOs and Uptime and availability have been pushed to two levels below the CIO. Now with most of the functional areas digitized,  IO has enough visibility on “what is happening and more importantly what is not happening in the organization”. With this the CIO has good opportunity to drive the business strategy and targets thereby helping the CEO as a conscious keeper.

Lessons learned and advice for fellow CIOs
• A CIO should possess business acumen skills and not be a mere custodian of technology.
• Business orientation is very essential. “For the sake of technology” syndrome will not help.
• Simplification of IT will increase usage and will bring more value to the business.
• CIO should spend more time with business users than in a data centre.
• An IT solution is deemed completed only when it is fully embraced and used by the intended users and the envisaged benefit has been realised. Mere implementation is only mass training and one of the stages of the project journey.
• Business value creation should be the target of a CIO not just technology implementation.