Reflections: Deva Choesin, IBM

Deva Choesin, IT deployment manager at IBM ASEAN/South Asia, reveals his challenges and priorities for 2006

Q. What has been your most memorable IT project experience?
It would be the stabilization of our India IT operations. With the significant growth in the number of users in India, we have had to 'rewire' the way IT services were being delivered in India, including the network, server operation and voice services which must be reliable. The ultimate measurement is how the end users perceived all of this work. India scored big improvement in customer satisfaction in our recently completed 2005 worldwide survey, and the country now ranks the highest globally.

Deva Choesin, IT deployment manager at IBM ASEAN/South Asia, reveals his challenges and priorities for 2006

With regards to an IT project, what was the biggest lesson learnt in 2005?
It's our determination to complete our projects on time and on schedule. And what that means is a good assessment of the do-ability of those projects we undertook in 2005. There were numerous projects, but it was our insatiable focus on timelines and deliverables that really helped our teams complete their projects on schedule.

What are the top 3 technology priorities for your company in 2006, and why?
If I were to group next year's priorities, I would say it starts with global standards, voice, and end users' self-sufficiency. We can take better advantage of what global standards can deliver in terms of consistency and cost savings, as well as tap the expertise of a fully functioning global IT security team. So, we are going to see more and more convergence in IT business processes which leverages on our global standard.

Voice is an example where there are many new and emerging technologies which companies have not yet embraced. These include voice-enabled ICT to bundled (voice and data) wireless services. We need to know which technology is right for the company, and ensure that whatever we select is used sooner rather than later.

My challenge is to ensure compliance with the workstation security standard.

Lastly, self-sufficiency. I think it's self-explanatory; we simply have to adopt technology which is intuitively friendly. IBMers must be encouraged to tap on the vast knowledge base that we have posted in our Lotus Workplace intranet teamrooms. Useful how-to information range from tips for setting up a home LAN, which is important if you want to work from home, to a guide to performing data and systems migration when upgrading a computer. We have tools that make this once difficult and impossible task easy, so you can even do it at home.

What will be the top security issue in 2006, and why?
Most of the security initiatives were undertaken over these last few years. And we do take security seriously. My challenge is to ensure compliance with the workstation security standard. All our users need to have the proper security settings on their workstation. Having passwords on their hard disk drives, encrypting their e-mail box, and installing the latest personal firewalls are some examples. We will be deploying tools which help the users, too. So the next time a person is working on their PC, a blinking green or red icon will indicate whether they're security compliant or not. This is important for a company like IBM where 50 percent or more of staff are mobile workers, and you can, therefore, never be complacent with the information they carry. And of course, we want to minimize the risks of an infected machine connecting back to our network.

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