A Typical CIOs Business Process

By Anand Deshpande and Ashok Korwar  |  Posted 2009-10-26 Print this article Print

A typical CIO's business process

A typical end-to-end business process for a CIO might take the form of the following five steps:

Step No. 1: Negotiate overall IT budgets with the CEO and CFO.

Step No. 2: Decide how much of the budget to allocate to existing applications and infrastructure (much of it would have been previously committed anyway).

Step No. 3: Negotiate with business units to decide which of their business needs will get supported by new applications. In this step, there may even be a high-powered IT strategy council to deal with.

Step No. 4: Search for new vendors, vet any new vendors the business units may recommend, and issue contracts and statements of work (SOW) to selected vendors.

Step No. 5: Put in place strong project management to manage the vendors and their development and integration efforts, while ensuring minimum disruption to the existing infrastructure, the company's governance processes and other business units' applications.

All the time, keep interfacing with the business units to understand their changing needs and ensure they get the support they need. Until the next budget cycle, this happy state of affairs, we believe, is about to end.

What has changed?

For a start, there is no annual budget to spend. CEOs have authorized their CFOs to cut all budgets by 40 percent and make them flexible as well (that is, manage them on a monthly, not annual basis). "Do More with Less" is the watchword. It must be noted that is not pure cost cutting in the conventional sense that we are seeing now; there is also a much higher aversion to risk and much greater unwillingness to forecast too far out into an unknown future. What should the CIO do? The solution:

1. Line up all your vendors and offer them a new contract: monthly billing, pay-for-use only and 40 percent reduction overall. Will they bite?

2. One or two large vendors will be interested if the entire IT pie is made available and if they are given flexibility regarding how they will offer the IT service.

Dr. Anand Deshpande is founder and CEO at Persistent Systems. Anand is responsible for overall leadership and management, and drives the sales and technology efforts. As an active member of the database community, Anand was responsible for hosting VLDB 1996 in Mumbai and ICDE 2003 in Bangalore. Anand has actively participated in program committees of various international conferences. Anand is also a member of the IEEE, IE (India), CSI and YPO. Anand is currently the co-convener for the Association of Computing Machinery (ACM) India Council, serves on the Executive Committee of MCCIA, and is the Chairman of CII, Pune zonal council. Anand has a B.Tech with honors in Computer Science and Engineering from IIT Kharagpur. Anand has a Masters in Computer Science and a Doctorate in Computer Science from Indiana University at Bloomington (USA). He can be reached at anand@persistent.co.in. ==========================================Dr. Ashok Korwar is a management consultant focused on helping small-to-medium companies grow to the next level. Since 2000, Ashok has been advising several companies in Chennai, most prominently Polaris Software Lab where he has been strategic advisor to the Chairman. Ashok now works with several companies in this scale in Bangalore, Pune and Delhi. Before coming to Chennai, Ashok was a Professor for ten years at IIMA (Indian Institute of Management Ahmedabad). Ashok has coordinated several management development programs, including the MEP, and served as Chairman of the MBA (PGP) program. Ashok's book "Creating Markets Across the Globe" won the Escorts/DMA award for best management book in 1997. Ashok was a member of the Strategic Management (Business Policy), Finance, and International Management areas at IIM, Ahmedabad. Ashok is based in Pune, and holds a Ph.D. in management from UCLA and a B.Tech from IIT Mumbai. He can be reached at ashok_korwar@persistent.co.in.

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