by May 24, 2013 0 comments

CIO Day Celebrated in Chennai
As a first-of-its-kind initiative, the Chennai chapter of CIO Klub, has recognized April 25 as the world CIO day on its anniversary.
– B Swaminathan

Today’s anniversary diaries come with all the dates dedicated for love, father, mother, hug and sometimes beer. The Chennai chapter of CIO Klub, has added April 25 as the world CIO day, to that list. Amol Vidwans, president of the association, in his inaugural address, said, “This is the first time in the history, a day for CIO is celebrated and we are doing it on the anniversary day of our chapter. The key objective of this not-for-profit association is to network the chief information officers from various sectors across the country.” “Promoting the CIO profession, learning beyond profession through knowledge sharing, provide a platform that helps to communicate and link a CIO with public, government, government agencies and vendors. The Chennai chapter has its own managing committee where the accounts of the chapter are audited by E&Y.”Amol also said that Chennai is one of the most active chapters and recently had concluded a meet for the family members. “We want to bring more professionals into the forum and in the near future we are planning to execute certain activities with global vendor HP.” Amol said while speaking on the chapter’s plans.

Venkateswaran, CEO, Abban, an offshore construction company, who happened to be the chief guest of the evening, recalled his days with Word Star, Super Calc and Unix systems. “Earlier, the IT was conceptualized only for word processing and inventory management has turned today as a part of the business strategy and one of the key aspects of successful business building.
The event also had sessions from sponsors–Oracle, Riverbed and Aircel.
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IT – Cost center or profit center?
A debate was organized between two teams where one side argued that IT is a cost center whereas the other group claimed IT to be a profit center. Here are the salient points:

IT as a cost center:
In today’s scenario apart from companies that have IT/IT services as the key business, no one is getting actual RoI for the investments made in IT. Budget is one of the key constraint as many of the investments are made only after careful consideration and approvals. Nobody ever looked to make profits from it. In the financial sector, IT is still seen as a cost center, as there is no revenue coming directly from it.

If IT is sourced to an external party, it is indeed seen as a cost center. If there is no innovation in IT, it will never be a profit center.

IT as a profit center:
From back-office work, IT has refurbished itself as a part of the company’s strategy and management has also started giving preference to IT solutions. To put it crude, IT is as important as the need for electricity in an organization.

Today, IT is helping everyone–from the chairman of a company to the security guards at gates. Every single penny saved by a company is due in large part to IT. And even though the IT department yields profit, the companies do not credit it as a profit center. It is the CIO’s duty to promote the IT fraternity and let the outside world know what innovations are being done by them to cut costs. Having doubts on whether IT is a profit center is like seeing a jet vehicle and asking whether it runs on a two-stroke or a three-stroke engine.

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