M. G. Raghuraman, CIO, Mphasis, spoke to us about recent trends in the industry, evolution of the CIO role in recent times, and how one can shine as a CIO.
What are the main trends in the industry today, as far as CIOs are concerned?
As far as the CIO is concerned, there are three key trends. The first trend is the cost factor. There is going to be continuing pressure on CIOs to make their companies the most competitive in the market. I won't call it hygiene anymore; I will call it a more competitive consideration to reduce the costs of technology.
The second trend would be simplification and improving user experience. In companies like Mphasis, which is 12-13 years old, we have a lot of legacy infrastructure, legacy applications, and legacy network architecture. Some of the key things for us to become competitive and provide the best value to our clients would be simplifying the architecture, making our business grow with agility, and enhancing user experience. If I am part of a greenfield company, then it will be easy for me to get on the bandwagon of high-end technology that is available in the market today. But legacy transformation is one of the big challenges and a trend we see throughout the industry. All of us are under intense pressure to simplify and enhance user experience.
The third trend is of course compliance. Compliance, in my opinion, is getting a lot easier than ever before because of various new trends available in the market--like cloud computing and mobility. Fortunately, the latter has greatly helped in this regard.
Could you elaborate on what plans you currently have for cloud or mobility and the likes?
At Mphasis, we have made big leaps when it comes to the cloud. One and a half years ago, we were thinking of moving all incremental applications and enterprise apps onto the cloud. I don't have a strategy for moving all the current enterprise apps to the cloud. I don't think it is going to be feasible cost-wise, and I don't intend to do it. That is a conscious decision.
But we have decided that all future incremental growth needs of the applications for the enterprise will be done on the cloud. So for example, we didn't have a CRM app for our sales people, so we rolled out CRM on the cloud. We started in November 2011, and implemented it in January 2012--in two months flat. And in the last 8 months, it has seen 100 percent utilization. Moreover, since it is on a pay-per-use model, the organization has to spend only on licenses not on network connectivity, security, backup, storage, recovery, and scalability. This is one of our biggest success stories on the cloud.
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