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Is ‘IT‘ Changing?

by Chander Khanduja, CIO, Luminous Power Technologies (P) Ltd June-2016

IT changing is like seismic waves which may or may not be felt but it is undergoing constant activity for sure. Disruptive technologies are like earthquakes which shatter old models and pave way for new structures.

Business enabled IT functions is an old saying which has paved way for IT enabled Businesses. This is the journey businesses have to embark upon; and the transformation which needs to happen within IT departments.

Two terms- Digitization and Software-defined-Everything, have changed the face of IT departments.

They have created a separate line of thought processes for IT functions.

All IT enabled organizations mostly have an IT strategy and an IT governance model. Now in changing times it is essential that they have a Digital strategy and a Digital governance model.

 Going digital creates opportunities and challenges for the business. It does not matter what is the Geographical location of a customer and the supplying point. Order Fulfillment anywhere anytime is the key for any business to survive in these changing times.

Every smart phone user has around 25 apps in his phone as per the latest survey .Users will try new apps, but they need to be convinced of an app's value before they adopt them and change use patterns over the long term. Users are already having concerns that battery is draining fast with more apps so now user would put only essential apps in their phones.

Apart from ease to use, the apps which consume less power would be what consumers would prefer. Organizations would have to look for new business models which digitization gives them probably which was not earlier possible. It is opening a whole new opportunity apart from aggregators, you being a product company can also be a pure service company. A consumer electric company using IoT can start giving products as service by consumption model which consumer can himself choose.  A tyre company can start selling miles based services on Tyre. A power storage company can start services on power consumption and a water purifier company on basis of amount of water it has purified. The challenge for IT functions is that they now need to be serving external customer directly in future which are different. Privacy laws, cyber frauds, phishing, mobile malwares are the new challenges which would be faced by IT functions.

Every company which needs to travel this path has to answer:

• What Digital means for you

• What are your data points

• How to keep your customer engaged

• Security of Data

• Big Data analytics

• Updating skills of your IT and non IT staff

These are the questions which cannot be copy pasted from any other organization’s experience. Probably a small company of 10 users and with negligible IT budgets want to go digital,
 can they?

Yes, they can have a SMS based system as part of their digital solution which will not require a smart phone also, or they can have IVR based digital solution which is of negligible cost.

Similarly a mega organization with good budgets and having mobile solutions, IoT, Big data analytics, social medial analytics etc as part of their strategy embark on digital journey in a different way. So before learning from another company’s experience it is important to know above 3 points to start our journey on digitization. So rather than going into different meanings of being CIO to CMO or CDO, I feel CIO is a entrepreneur who if knows about his business and technology can marry both to give fruits of collaboration to organization. We need to ensure we don’t implement the technology which vendor sells us but we implement the technology we want. Let us keep our style entrepreneurial for any solution which is to get more with less. This is what digital is all about- Software defined everything. This is the change management that happened in IT infrastructure Software defined networks, software defined storage and software defined data centers, is the scalable option which any mature digital organization has to look for. Moving to software defined everything gives flexibility to IT departments which is key to success of digitization for any organization.