“CIOs who try to resist changes risk ending up as ineffectual figures, overwhelmed by the inexorable tide.”
Innovation has always been one of the keys to success for a CIO; and over the years, every enterprise technology decision maker has realised that the job is much more than just managing IT in the organisation. The management's expectations from a CIO has undergone a sea change – as for a CIO to become relevant, he always has to think differently and come up with ideas that can transform the organisation.
According to Tridib Bordoloi, CIO, PTI, “The reality facing CIOs is to find new ways to make money from technology, rather than spending money on running it. That means the skills that helped build the old IT organisation are very different to the ones that CIOs will need in the future. Being strategic is important than tactical. If a CIO has to successfully move into future mode, then there has to be a paradigm shift in their thought process. IT leaders tend to be perfectionists who are highly detail-oriented. It’s what has made so many of them good at their jobs. But in the fast paced world, CIOs need to move beyond perfectionism and embrace risk. Doing things differently and challenging traditions is now the key objective to success.”
The new concept that Bordoloi is working on is to develop a mobile application that enables users to get PTI feed for a day for Rs 1. With the growth of mobility, it becomes imperative to develop an application where users can get PTI feeds on their mobile device, and this means developing an extra revenue stream for the company.
“There are many vendors whom we are talking to – in order to create a mobile application that can provide live news to the consumers. Spending Re. 1 a day is not a big deal and with our customer base, this means that we can earn a few crores every year by developing this application,” said Bordoloi.
The problem though is that there are very few vendors who have the ability to understand the intricacies of a media organisation, and it is proving to be one of the blocking stones for Bordoloi.
“Vendors have come and discussed about how to develop such a mobile application – but we are yet to finalise with any one – because there are still some loopholes that need to be addressed. But I am sure, if this application can be developed it will become an instant hit among the users,” adds Bordoloi.
Challenges for a CIO have grown manifold in today's ever changing IT world, and to come up with new concepts where IT can help in adding revenue to the organisation is the key differentiator.
Sanchit Vir Gogia, Chief Analyst and CEO, Greyhound Research says, “I have seen many CIOs trying to come up with innovations surrounding the social media segment – because this can definitely work for the organisations' benefit. CIOs try and work on social analytics and find the behavioural patterns of the consumers and this can be immensely beneficial for the marketing team – as they can now develop products around those lines.”
Bordoloi says that successive waves of change over last few years have undermined the old certainties for the CIO.
“Building capability with less spend and managing IT is absolutely vital. Talent availability and retention of staff whose profile (skill set) has also undergone change, viz., from pure play techie to someone who also understands the dynamics of business, are also posing new challenges,” said Bordoloi.
He also added that CIOs who try to resist changes risk ending up as ineffectual figures, overwhelmed by the inexorable tide.
Business analytics has proved to be a boon for CIOs. Anindya Garai, Head IT, Emaar MGF feels that business analytics plays a very important role in understanding the needs of a customer, and real estate players are using it in a big way.
“When our sales and marketing team goes to meet a customer, it is very important to understand his/her likes and dislikes. We have devised a mechanism where we collect all the vital information of a prospective customer in advance, and feed it to our sales and marketing team – and that helps them immensely as they can approach the customer in a very customised manner. IT should always be able to help all the departments in the organisation, and a CIO should always look at coming up with innovative solutions by using business analytics,” added Garai.