Jagdish Belwal,CIO,Tata Motors
The expectation from IT is moving from technology delivery towards information and insights to support business decisions. The biggest challenge here is quality of data. This challenge is made bigger by the fact that the data entry points are manned by temporary workforce. So, the data quality challenge remains alive.
The other challenge is the difficulty to integrate new technology into our existing architecture. Technology vendors need to understand this better and stretch out for discussing integration issues seriously. That remains a challenge.
The areas in business environment where solutions do not yet exist or not up to the mark, and which if existed, would've made job easier
In automotive industry product structures tend to be complex. Even the constituent components are complex enough with many raw materials and production process involved. There are no mature solutions to deliver end to end, true grounds up costing estimation for components or aggregates.
Technology trends impacting enterprise business environment
One trend which has a significant impact on our industry is social media because automobile happens to be a very involved purchase and a very involved customer experience. Social media is changing the entire customer engagement which we will have to adapt.
The second trend which will have an impact on environment is probably cloud and specially software as a service trend. With multiple customers engaging on a common solution, SaaS model accelerates the evolution rate of the solution. This pace of evolution cannot be matched by in-house application development.
My roles and responsibilities as a CIO
Today, CIOs are expected to take an end to end ownership of any project’s business benefits. This means collaboration and change management capabilities are needed in order to actualize benefits from technology. CIOs need to create the agility in architecture to deliver new solutions out of existing technologies, as much as possible. So, as a CIO my role has changed into looking into sustainable architecture where you can reuse capability, reuse technology and where you are always anticipating business needs and challenges in advance while taking platform decisions. The expectations are of solutions, not technology being delivered faster.
Lessons learned and advice for fellow CIOs
Having come from business background, one of the unique lessons I have learnt is that IT is not really a technology challenge, it’s a bigger HR challenge. IT engages into, as well as positively destabilizes, the enterprise processes. As IT optimizes and redefines the processes, it also unsettles people’s current working patterns and information power centers. In any program, we have to ensure that people are well communicated, trained and reassured about the benefits of technology in their personal context. Another lesson I have learnt is that technologies seem very powerful and capable but if it were so simple, everybody would be already doing it. The challenges and also the success factors are in how are you going to integrate new technology into your existing architecture, services and business policies and processes. That’s where fault lines appear and benefits remain elusive.