1, I like being a CIO because….
In todays world where technology has become an essential part of how businesses function, the CIOs role has become more multidimensional in terms of business, technology and innovation. I like this role as it allows me to work with people from multiple business functions across the organisation to innovate on new technologies and identify newer ways to create impactful business outcomes. Simply put, I view a CIO as the transformation agent who walks a tight rope between business and technology and is constantly seeking winning strategies without any fears.
2) An ‘Aha ‘ leadership moment in your professional career.
Since the CISO function also reports to me, I proposed a plan to reduce the decision-making layers in our cyber response team where end users can escalate any potential attack directly to the IT/Infosec owners. For this, we equipped our staff with cyberattack (e.g. phishing) training where they could experience simulated cyber-attacks with real-life scenarios. We also educated them on response practices. This eventually came in handy when a real phishing attack was noticed by our end user and the training that was provided kicked in. The end user reached out to our Cyber Threat response team and we were able to kill the attack in its early stages.
The decision to invest in training and improving our teams response time had paid off when a real attack took place. This reinforced my belief that some complex issues can be handled with a solution as simple as reducing response time and training. The moment I made that decision was an Aha moment for me
3) As a CIO what was the toughest decision you made?
The cultural transformation within the organisation led to some tough decisions from my end. We were engaged in revamping the firms strategic agenda which required a complete digital transformation and new age technological adoption from employees, whom I had hoped to take along during the journey as active participants. Unfortunately, not everyone in the IT function could ride the transformation wave, leading to some churn.
4) What’s the ‘next big thing’ in your industry vertical?
With technology developing every day, the next big thing is constantly transforming. For now, from a modern economic infrastructure standpoint, 5G, Cloud and Edge seem to be in focus. These technologies have opened endless possibilities to help organisations realise ideas which were not possible earlier. Similarly, artificial intelligence and machine learning have fuelled new possibilities in ambient computing. It is also worth noting that stackable technologies have the potential to supercharge the entire digitization efforts. Apart from this, I also hope that Quantum computing, though in early stages, will take us beyond supercomputers in the future.
5) One thing that IT departments should do better.
While we have developed multiple technologies and solutions, IT service should be pragmatic in using them wisely basis clear understanding of problems that are being addressed. Adoption of too many platforms and tools that work in silos will eventually be counterproductive. Rather, IT departments must innovate and invest in developing platforms that are built with independent technologies but work as a single unit. It should be collaborative and serve with a common purpose to yield maximum benefits.