Anubhav Rajput, VP and Head of Information Technology – Max Bupa
‘A CIO is seeing a transformation from technology driven to a business outcome focussed role’
Commitment as a Tech Head
In today’s fast changing enterprise world, CIO is a blend of Executioner, Enabler and Strategic partner for business. Right from engaging with stakeholders across the value chain to executing end to end business operating model, all is the remit of responsibilities for a CIO. The span of responsibilities can range from ensuring products get to market faster (end to end automation), generate newer business models (cloud based delivery & consumption) and channels for revenue (e.g. data monetization, API based models etc.). The CIO needs to ensure that he/she wears the appropriate hat and dawn the characteristics which are an amalgamation of a technologist, chief revenue officer, chief compliance/security officer, a digital marketer and many more. Realizing success through these require the business executive to be able to envisage the journey end to end and hence can be a competent fit to enable organizations.
The role of CIOs is changing from a mere technology driven role to a business outcome focused role and innovation focussed.
Consumerization has significantly accelerated the pace of technology change and it is imperative for organizations to identify and associate use cases. While these scenarios and use cases specific to organizations emerge, the critical path ends up being a flawless execution which indeed requires skills and experience in respective areas. Emerging tech areas like IoT, Blockchain, Cyber Security, Digital etc. are fairly new and have seen surges of adoption across industries. Hence skills within the incumbents is a key challenge for any CIO to address for initiatives that go to realms beyond the business as usual. CIOs are becoming more critical to the overall business strategy. So if the role of a CIO is changing, the skills needed to deliver are also changing and these need to get deep rooted within the organization.
Another approach that CIOs take is partnering with forums and industry tech bodies for enabling in house talent and teams. This is sometimes done using innovative approaches such as “Hackathons”. This ends up serving dual purpose – Firstly, a real life business problem gets solutionized till a working prototype level leveraging vast talent and a multitude of technologies. Secondly, the engaged business and technology teams of the organization work to take the prototype to real life and thereby go through a quick technology adoption.
IT Priorities are focused around key business drivers and outcomes which are – innovative product offerings, differentiated customer experience and faster time to market. Our key IT technology priorities will include journey towards Hybrid cloud, Digitization across the value chain leveraging mobility, Bots, collaboration technologies, Omni channel journey for customers and partners. Another key focus area will remain building and improving our resilience towards Cyber security using the latest and best-in-class tools and enablers to ensure hygiene for growth.
Adaptability to Organizational Changes
Ensuring availability of a flexible, cohesive and integrated process and technology ecosystem is a core responsibility for a CIO. A few years back CIOs were setting up a robust middleware or Enterprise Service Bus for the enterprise, now the dimension has gone beyond the boundaries of organization since key to growth is setting up and enabling an integrated organization ecosystem which includes industry partners.
CIOs are also devising strategies and plans to identify a purely services based architecture and decomposition of existing monolithic applications to expose ‘Fit for purpose’ capabilities which can be consumed in the digital ecosystem and initiatives.
Investment Plans for FY 18-19
The contours of IT budgets are seeing a dramatic shift. Each CIO is focused on variabalizing the IT budgets and align it to business agendas so that true cost models for IT can be assessed and aligned to individual business initiatives. Irrespective of the lifecycle stage, the penultimate model for IT spend is going to be linked directly to business initiatives which are aimed at digitization, customer experience, newer innovative offerings and faster time to market.
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