India CIOs need to focus on aligning with biz outcomes

IT leaders should map existing projects to their company's targets and better demonstrate how their investments are paying dividends in order to get funding support and avoid cuts, say panelists at ZDNet's TechBizz in Mumbai.

TechBizz India: Highlights

MUMBAI, INDIA--Technology for technology's sake is not something that's being appreciated, so IT leaders will have to step up to demonstrate the business value their investments are bringing the company, said panelists at ZDNet's TechBizz dialogue.

"I've seen many IT heads, they come to the meeting they start talking about the Java, Java beans, and the dot-net," noted Raghupathi C.N., head for India at Infosys. "The CEO goes 'that's not what I want to hear'. He wants to know 'how much money did I give you and how much money am I going to get in return at the end of the day?'"

Echoing his views, Manish Bahl, country manager for India at Forrester Research, said the first step should be define the business outcomes desired such as an increase in sales, revenue or customer satisfaction. The next stage will be to map existing and planned projects against those desired outcomes.

"Once you do that, you can easily prioritize projects delivering greatest business outcomes, and that way it will be a lot easier for IT organizations and CIOS to get a buy-in from stakeholders in terms of project funding, project priorities and be a true business leader for the organization," said Bahl.

Yagnesh Parikh, CTO at ICICI Securities, added it is critical for the CIO to figure out how to align the department with the business. "How do you start thinking that you are no more on a support role but a value add role, that's where you create value," elaborated Parikh.

Bahl noted the core issue was how to align IT with business changes, amid a fast changing landscape. "It's about the core business technology for the entire organization CIOs need to develop so that they can have a single business technology in place. The CIO can then take the lead in executing the technology portion of it," he explained.

Drawing value through analytics

One way companies are increasingly looking at to deliver value add and demonstrate results is through analytics .

Venkatesh Babu S, head of management information systems at Cafe Coffee Day said a key project for his company will be looking at deriving more value from business analytics. "That's going to be a key factor. Going forward, what are the analytics that we are going to publish and what actions have been taken to enable the business," he said.

Raghupathi pointed out social media analytics would be a "big thing" for India based on the level of concerns he has heard from senior management customers.

Sharing his view, Mihir Karkare, vice president of Social Wavelength, said: "We are actually seeing this trend mature as we speak. So we are looking at companies mining conversations that are happening about them and their products over social media."

"Social media is like eavesdropping on what customers are saying about you it’s not like a survey that’s biased. We’re seeing a lot of companies listen to these conversations and try to derive actionable intelligence from these conversations," Karkare added.

complete video recording of the event  is also available or  read our report  covering other key points from the TechBizz dialogue. The Mumbai edition concluded the discussion series which kicked off in  Singapore , and was also held in  Australia .

TechBizz India panelists:

  • Venkatesh Babu S, head of MIS, Cafe Coffee Day
  • Manish Bahl, country manager for India, Forrester
  • Yagnesh Parikh, CTO, ICICI Securities
  • Raghupathi C.N., head for India, Infosys
  • Mihir Karkare, vice president, Social Wavelength