by July 30, 2013 0 comments

This year, PCQuest editors decided to introduce a new category of awards, to recognize companies for the overall IT initiatives they’ve undertaken. In order to identify these companies,We collated all project nominations and calculated the total number of projects by each company. For a large enterprise with many subsidiaries, we consolidated all projects under the group company.

Next, we counted the total number of different types of IT projects that these companies nominated. Some of them had rolled out the same type of project across different divisions, while others had implemented different technologies for different requirements. Here, we took the ratio of different types of IT projects to the total IT projects nominated by the companies.

We scored the companies on the above two parameters to arrive at the top scorers. Both parameters were given equal weightage.
Presented here are the winning companies.

Mahindra & Mahindra Group

Highest Number/Variety of Projects in a Year

The name Mahindra and Mahindra, or M&M needs no introduction to anybody. It’s a US $15.9 billion conglomerate with presence in over 100 countries and operating in many key industries including utility vehicles, information technology, tractors, vacation ownership, automotive industry, aerospace, aftermarket, components, consulting services, defence, energy, financial services, logistics, real estate, retail, and two wheelers.

This time, we received nominations for 24 different IT projects from M&M. These came from Mahindra Navistar Engines, M&M Corporate IT department for the parent company M&M Ltd, Mahindra Vehicle Manufacturers, Mahindra Navistar Automotives, M&M Financial Services Ltd, and Mahindra Two Wheelers.

The companies nominated 17 different types of projects out of the total 24 we received. These comprise of everything from business process mgmt/automation to Business Intelligence, Cloud Computing, Data center setup, corporate governance, ERP, mobility, security, storage, UC, and the list goes on.

The IT projects comprise of deployments that impact the entire group as a whole as well as individual companies. We witnessed quite a few interesting projects by this group. You can read more about them throughout this issue under various project type categories.

It’s amazing to see so much seriousness about IT being taken by an enterprise in India.

Interview: V S Parthasarathy, Group CIO, Mahindra & Mahindra

What are the three essential things you consider while rolling out so many new IT implementation projects in a year?

“Enable-Enhance-Engender” is the mantra given to the IT Team. Today’s IT landscape has gone beyond enable & enhance. Every new initiative is seen from “Engender” perspective. Essentially every new initiative must cover all 3 of them. We ensure that the project is towards ‘Creating something new’ for the business, the ‘Deliverables of each project’ are well defined and it is ‘Adequately resourced for – both – money & skills’.

How do you identify the challenges that merit the roll out of a new IT initiative?

An initiative comes up based on “Pain or Gain” and it should be directed to ensure that business runs ‘leaner-healthier-faster-smarter’. Once the assurance of ‘leaner’ IT & ‘healthier’ systems is established, the ‘faster’ works towards the user experience. ‘Smarter’ is purely through Innovation.

Simple steps that lead to a successful project are:

1. Addressing whether ‘pain or gain’, 2. Falling in the relevant quadrant, 3. Simulating challenges

How do you manage so many IT initiatives across so many companies?

There is a 3-tier hierarchy in place with strategic leaders & IT heads across the group companies:

1. Strategic Leadership Council (SLC), 2. Technology Leadership Council (TLC), 3. Cross Functional Teams (CFT) – need based
SLC & TLC jointly work to evolve a concept at strategic level. Being a federated organisation it allows many initiatives to work upon at a given point of time. The CFT then takes it forward for execution. My role as a Group CIO is purely to ‘step in when required and move out of way when not’. I call it ‘Nose in – Hands out’

Is there a common IT vision for all the group companies?

I strongly believe that without a vision, there is no path possible. One would not know where to go. So a clear & articulated vision is a must. So YES, we do have a common IT Vision which is well communicated.

State Bank of India

Change Management Award

The largest commercial bank of India, SBI has more than 21,000 branches, 30,000 ATMs, and presence in 33 countries across the globe. In India itself, SBI reaches out to the most far flung geographies. Given its reach, any action that the bank performs has an adverse impact on the country’s population itself. And in order to take any action for the customers it serves, implementing the right IT projects is imperative.

Rolling out large scale IT initiatives for a behemoth like SBI is a task in itself, and one of the biggest hurdles would become user resistance. And yet, the bank has been doing it successfully year after year, and reaping benefits.
That’s why, PCQuest has been recognizing SBI year after year for the various IT initiatives it has taken. This year, based on the five project nominations we received, we feel that the bank deserves a special award for the tremendous change management it has brought in its working culture.

Interview: SBI

What are the essential requirements for bringing in change with IT in a large organization such as yours?

Change, upgradation, continuous improvement-these are some essentials for sustainability in today’s competitive environment for any organisation. Awareness of the changing technological environment is a must, and continuous upgradation in the IT environment of the organization catalyses the business aspirations. An integrated IT architecture for transaction systems and information management is already in place in State Bank of India.

Change management is performed on all applications in a controlled manner. Risks associated to the changes are always managed to an acceptable level and all critical changes are always tested in a non-production environment.

In our Bank all application groups have a Change Control Committee (CCC). The CCC identifies all changes and approves them before implementation and ensures that all changes are compliant with the statutory, legal and regulatory requirements. Any change before approval is analysed for its need, impact, priority and security implications by the CCC.

How do you identify the challenges that merit rolling out an IT initiative in your organization?

Right from the initiation phase of any project, we list out the potential challenges which we as a team will face during the project implementation. When it comes to State Bank of India, the humongous scale and diversity of operations itself pose a big challenge. The external environment, organizational barriers, what’s worked well in the past are some of the important aspects we keep ourselves abreast with.

As the project work starts, we continuously review the “health” of IT projects and also identify gaps in requirements, staffing needs, end-user training plans and change management initiatives that might threaten the success of a systems implementation, software upgrade or new hardware roll-out. We also ensure that all the project documentation is complete and there is no gap between users’ requirements and what IT thinks that users need.

Each IT vertical in the Bank has robust Performance Monitoring capability for monitoring, trouble shooting and resolving problems related to their area. We have regular metrics of performance monitoring which are in use for monthly and yearly performance review.

Risk assessment procedure of the Bank follows a zero-tolerance approach for the first time for new systems/applications. In this approach, all the threats and vulnerabilities a particular asset may be exposed to are identified and appropriate controls are selected to mitigate them and reduce the risk to acceptable levels. Afterwards, Risk assessment procedure follows an ongoing approach for existing systems/applications. This approach takes into account all existing controls and their effectiveness in terms of residual risks and assessment for new vulnerabilities and controls required.


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