CIO, Ericsson India
Q: What are your resolutions for the new year?
First, I would make the cost of IT operations in line with cost of desired service levels (business SLA vs cost). Next, I would make all IT costs modular and enable businesses to decide on which ones they would retain, with no interdependence between modules.
Q: When you try to align the cost of IT Operations with cost of desired
service levels, how do you determine such discrepancies or variations between
business SLAs and their cost?
Business SLAs are on top of the wish list of businesses and everyone wants 100% uptime with zero development time. We have tagged costs of optimal SLAs to cost and let the business decide. So if they want more they pay more and justify accordingly. We don't have to then do any analysis around discrepancies, etc.
We just monitor and report and accordingly take the credit or discredit for services.
Q: How do you modularize IT costs?
All our IT costs are based on headcount. A PC cost can be broken down into hardware, maintenance cost, cost of corresponding server operations related to a single user. Then there are costs of each function, for example the cost per user of an R&D person is different from that of an SG&A person because he uses more tools and therefore more license/development cost.
Q: What measures are you taking to save costs and improve efficiency in
We are looking at costs in granularity, for example costs broken into per person cost, etc. We are also moving to pull printing to enable us to do print accounting. We are doing an intra-company IT cost allocation cycle every month to enable all cost centers to become more conscious of their IT wastage. We are trying to innovate by using desktop conferencing, and by deploying Office Communication Server. We have closed down applications, merged applications functionalities and saved money on maintenance. We have consolidated data centers, and setup virtualization and SAN centrally to save from having multiple instances, thereby reducing maintenance costs. We have gone on a user recharging method so that there is awareness among cost center managers and they take necessary steps to reduce ISIT costs to save their bit of Opex. Maintenance of infrastructure and applications, costs me 54% of my budget.
We are not introducing any new technology since that takes up costs initially while people learn to use them. We have reduced multi-language support on our help desk and are streamlining management of switches and our IT network operations centers through tools and methods rather than people. We are setting up desktop conferencing and video conferencing to reduce travel. The numbers are confidential, but they're substantial. We are also going for pull printing, which reduces the print infrastructure drastically to save on consumables and maintenance costs. Plus, we're encouraging the option to work from anywhere, anytime to reduce office and IT footprint.
Suresh A Shanmugam
National Head - (BITS) & CIO, Mahindra & Mahindra Financial Services
Cost saving and efficiency improvement measures: We're bringing in more concepts of reducing expense overheads by automating our back office in terms of saving power and resources by optimizing further in three areas like customer control and cost control and to bring in more discipline to deliver best solution support services with available resources.
Technologies to reduce impact of slowdown: It is not long since we brought in more automation through system - bits which empower our executives to use technology effectively and efficiently, but the market should have its own turn to tune accordingly which will have some more impact on all of us. But one thing's for sure: everyone's going to look at technology for cost effective and efficient productivity solutions during the slowdown. And it's not going to disappoint either.
R I S Sidhu
Chief GM, Punjab National Bank
Cost savings and efficiency improvement measures: We're planning to leverage technology for more business and to get better turn-around times.
Technologies to reduce impact of slowdown: We plan to use technology for financial inclusion and also do better hardware utilization.
Resolutions for the new year: To get more business per employee and have a better MIS
Technologies to invest in 2009:
Bhavesh R Vekaria
Head - Information Technologies, Supreme Industries
Q: Please elaborate on how you're optimizing resource utilization in your
organization? Which resources need to be optimized on priority, and what
measures are you taking for doing so?
We are working on optimizing resources like sharing IT Assets (Printers, Scanners, etc), maximizing bandwidth usage (we have 45 locations having multiple connectivity that are connected to a central server at Mumbai). Plus, we're also testing out server virtualization, and optimizing manpower services and support in multiple areas.
Q: Tell us what measures are you taking to improve energy usage in your
organization? Are you planning any green IT initiatives?
We're minimizing energy usage in our in-house data center by sharing it with our Group company, and by creating awareness amongst all desktop, laptop users, etc.
Q: What concrete steps are you taking for cost cutting?
One of the measures we've taken is to promote the usage of soft copies instead of hard copies.
Q: In which areas have you controlled your spending?
We're rationalizing our IT expenses towards new procurement, by trying out new product and their features before buying.
General Manager, NIIT
Cost saving and efficiency improvement measures: Re-negotiate with vendors. Do right-sizing and optimization of the IT Infrastructure. Plus adopt newer technologies like virtualization for cost optimization.
Technologies to reduce impact of slowdown: Optimize existing Infrastructure, i.e. servers using Virtualization, utilize IP Telephony and services like LiveMeeting to reduce travel and conventional telecom costs. Plus, use power saving features on the desktop Infrastructure.
Resolutions for the new year: Embrace virtualization and better leverage the existing Infrastructure. Propagate and popularize existing services like Unified Communications and Live Meetings.
Technologies to invest in 2009: Hyper-V, Windows Server 2008, and MS OCS.
Senior Vice President – IT, ICICI Prudential
Cost saving and efficiency improvement measures: Sales force automation and mobility projects are being provided more impetus and space optimization initiatives at branches are being worked on.
Technologies to reduce impact of slowdown: More server and application virtualization; Explore new connectivity options for new and remote locations; exploring new tools for enhancing data center performance.
Resolutions for the new year: IT to take the forefront in driving cost efficiencies across the organization. Improve utilization of IT spends.
Technologies to invest in 2009: Portal and USSD technologies.
GM - IT, Inter Solutions
Cost saving and efficiency improvement measures: Optimize existing IT infrastructure. Adopt cost effective technologies like server virtualization and storage virtualization. Optimize the bandwidth and communication links. Conduct cross functional training for IT employees to maximize productivity.
Technologies to reduce impact of slowdown: Use cost effective technologies like server and storage virtulization.
Resolutions for the new year: Ensuring high reliability and availability of the IT infrastructure. Optimize cost and bring efficiency in IT Operations.
Technologies to invest in 2009: Server Virtualisation, bandwidth optimization tools and security tools.
Head of IT and Systems, VIP Industries
Cost saving and efficiency improvement measures: Reduce operational costs by at least 5% while maintaining existing levels of quality.
Technologies to reduce impact of slowdown: Collaboration and workflow, virtualization, and in-sourcing.
Resolutions for the new year:
1.Expand business applications
2.Secure and improve infrastructure
Technologies to invest in 2009: Collaboration, Virtualization, thin clients, and Web 2.0.
Sr GM-IT, Hikal
Cost saving and efficiency improvement measures: All cost saving investments will be done on priority.
Technologies to reduce impact of slowdown: Implement UCM/PRI to reduce recurring costs and increase productivity.
Resolutions for the new year: Servers consolidation with centralized storage.
Technologies to invest in 2009: Blade Servers, NAS
Vice President – IT, Moser Baer
Cost saving and efficiency improvement measures: Productivity enhancement through IT enablement; Tight budget control measures while carrying out projects and purchases based on clear business cases; Negotiating contracts for better value proposition and minimizing the TCO. We're also leveraging video conferencing, VoIP and Remote working.
Technologies to reduce impact of slowdown: Continue to better align and prioritize IT to Business and unleash the true potential of IT as a value to business.
Resolutions for the new year: Applications Platform, Enterprise Application, Data center and DR, Data dedupe and Information Lifecycle Management; Single sign-on and integration with Active Directory.
AGM – IT, Sterlite Industries
Cost saving and efficiency improvement measures: Holding projects that were planned for long term business goals/supporting expansions. Renegotiating existing IT expenses.
Technologies to reduce impact of slowdown: Considering server virtualization to reduce data center costs. Considering open source methodologies for reduction in license costs.
Resolutions for the new year: Increase operational efficiencies and error free business operations. Improve IT security framework.
Technologies to invest in 2009: Business Intelligence with Business Objects/Hyperion), CRM.
Head IT & Biz Development, Prime Focus
Cost saving and efficiency improvement measures: Increase efficiency in all departments; have audit trainings, and optimize resources based on results. Take innovative inputs or feedback from employees for better utilization of resources or business performance improvement.
Technologies to reduce impact of slowdown: Use energy efficient and eco-friendly IT solutions. Retire old and outdated non- performing assets
Resolutions for the new year: Cloud computing, Virtualization, and HPC.
Vivek Manilal Dharia
CIO, Knp Sec
Cost saving and efficiency improvement measures: Use computers wisely to save electricity and try to make a paperless office.
Technologies to reduce impact of slowdown: Virtualization, Green IT, Cloud computing are some of the measures which not only save money but also create a high technology impact on business.
Resolutions for the new year: Infrastructure of the company have to be competitive & cost effective.
GM Corporate IT, Sutlej Group
Cost saving and efficiency improvement measures: To stop all unnecessary expenses.
Technologies to reduce impact of slowdown: Business Process Re-engineering.
Resolutions for the new year: Subordinate development and provide all necessary reports in time to management.
Technologies to invest in 2009: Bar code.
Cost saving and efficiency improvement measures: Optimum utilization of the over looked organization assets.
Technologies to reduce impact of slowdown: Reduce purchase and reuse equipment by recycling and rebuilding if possible.
Resolutions for the new year: Integration, consolidation and virtualization of IT servers, storage and networks.
Tech to invest in 2009: Integrate and virtualize existing resources and for new requirements, plan to use Cloud Computing.
VP-IT, Torrent Power
Cost saving and efficiency improvement measures: Adapting virtualization and consolidation.
Resolutions for the new year: Creating a one stop solution for all units under Torrent Power for our Management, employees, stake holders and customers.
Technologies to invest in 2009: An ERP system with Industry solution for utilities and customer care service i.e. Utilizing SAP ECC 6.0 with ISU/CCS.
O A Balasubramaniam
Vice president - IT, Roots Industries
Cost saving and efficiency improvement measures: Cutting down travel, saving power, and reducing manpower whereever possible.
Technologies to reduce impact of slowdown: Promoting and adopting Open Source technologies.
Resolutions for the new year: Adoption of Open Source software and no additional external projects.
Tech to Invest in 2009: Backup and security.
Cost saving and efficiency improvement measures: We have plans to in-source certain activities that were outsourced till now in order to reduce the pay out.
Technologies to reduce impact of slowdown: Business is planning to use IT to increase productivity and stop recruiting further even for replacements. They look forward to IT to automate processes and address integration issues.
Resolutions for the new year: Business Intelligence for KPI measurements and SCM solutions for visibility of supply chain for optimization.
Tech to invest in 2009: SAP BI and SCM.