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CIO Review >> Magazine >> October - 2013 issue

Staying on top of Operations to Guarantee Success


Bajaj Energy is the power generating arm of Bajaj Hindustan. The company has set up five new plants in Uttar Pradesh. Headquartered in Mumbai, Bajaj Hindustan has a market cap of 812.68 Crores.

The major challenges that CIOs face today is to align budgets and solutions to be delivered successfully. No management will oppose an idea with great potential. This holds true for all sectors in the market. The planning and execution of potential ideas have to be impeccable for the proper working of the organization. One needs to be ahead of or at par with the latest advances in science and technology. The latest technology may not be adopted immediately but when the adoption level comes, one can be prepared to face that situation.
The burning issue on the Indian horizon is the absence of realistic vendor management. There is a yawning gap between vendor demand and supply. The CIO should be street smart in filtering the difference between vendor claims and delivery. Many companies claim that they are working in the U.S. very successfully. However, they are really not focusing on their performance in the Indian scenario. The CIO can depend on a reliable vendor, if he can be found, and tap his full potential. He must direct the vendor alone or as part of a team, maintaining and improving the same over a certain period of time. Hence, the CIO has to ascertain that only capable candidates are put to work.
In this day and age, worthy employees have become rarities. Though there are huge skilled manpower resources coming from the education sector in the form of college graduates, they cannot be put to use because of the lack of proper vocational training. This holds true in the majority of the cases. It is the responsibility of the CIO to provide the same so that they can deliver the goods.

Tackling the Innuendos of Today
The current generation may not be strong in many aspects. Their way of thinking and way of working is entirely different than it was two years earlier. They want to achieve things very fast and always take shortcuts, which may or may not lead to success. Virtues like loyalty and commitment, which existed earlier, are now rarely seen. Therefore someone needs to think of and plan on all these issues.
In the present scenario, only a few companies are placing budget constraints on good projects. A major issue in the initiation of a project is the absence of facilities or its distant location. Consequently communication is of primary importance. Also significant are the availability of centralized hardware and applications like SAP. Good planning solves half the problems a CIO can face. Knowledge of the strengths and weaknesses of various solutions can prove to be extremely advantageous. For instance, if one is using SAP, he has to be sure where he can fail in that. The CIO's duties also include planning for proper change management, vendor and team selection. He should check the credibility of the vendor's consultants, whether they have the proper training, experience and exposure. If these steps are not followed, it may lead to difficulties. When the solution is ready or work commences, after doing initial analysis, the hardware is put in place. Now, depending on the number of licenses, the loads, the number of persons, the sort of transactions they will be doing, it is required to find out what is going to be the ultimate hardware configuration needed. If that is planned and there is a tie-up with the proper OEM and vendor, then chances of failure are less.
Problems can also occur if there is no fallback option for the communication links. Once the company commences work through SAP with a centralized system, any shutdown of link may create chaos.
Some contractors claim to expedite the work by adding man power, extra machines, and many cranes too. This affects the ultimate last date of commissioning, and ultimately may involve extra expenditure also. And naturally, some persons who are directly involved with the work at the senior level will discuss and finalize the matter with the vendor.
The CIO must utilize the recent technological developments and educate the organization about the hazards involved to the work of both the company and the employees. He has to frame certain policies and follow them strictly. He has to ascertain that no one erodes his thought patterns and planning. He must be in touch with the latest issues coming up daily, so that he knows them before anyone else in the company. This is because of the presence of hackers looking out for a breach in security. The CIO has to maintain a balance in the organization at all times and uphold the security of the organization.