The New Order

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

The new order

Vendors will no longer have the license to roam the corridors of the company and interact directly with business units. The CIO will be the "gatekeeper" and no interactions will be allowed directly between the vendors and the business units. Additionally, the CIO will scrutinize each and every business application for its alleged "uniqueness"-only a few will survive the scrutiny. The rest will have to accept whatever the vendor provides and, if necessary, change the business process to adapt to the vendor's offering.

How will the vendor respond to this requirement? In the past, the vendor's business process would have looked like the following five steps:

Step No. 1: Work with the business units to understand their needs.

Step No. 2: Work simultaneously with the CIO to understand the CIO's standards and safeguards (to which the vendor must always conform), testing constantly how far out the envelope can be pushed.

Step No. 3: Understand other applications that need to be connected and interfaced with.

Step No. 4: Work with the CIO to coordinate with other vendors, get access to protocols and connectors and perhaps even future road maps.

Step No. 5: Manage the deliveries as well as possible, while maintaining links with the business units to keep an eye on changing business needs and, more importantly, on further business opportunities.

Much of this will now change

Now that the vendor has license to do whatever is necessary to bring down the total cost to the CIO and come up with flexible, pay-for-use models, the vendor will transform himself into a cloud operator. The vendor will no longer have to treat each and every application vendor and database provider with the exaggerated respect due to a colleague of unknown influence with the boss.

The vendor will swiftly move as much of the data and applications onto his own cloud, the better to control it, and the better to achieve the kinds of scales he will need to cut costs the required 40 percent.

Standardization will be ruthlessly enforced. Applications will be pressed into service for more than one client organization-only the company's data will continue to get the respect it deserves. Applications will be ruthlessly switched in and out of the cloud, entirely on cost and performance grounds. The new "cloud" vendor will work exclusively with the CIO and all other vendors will have to go through him.

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 ==========================================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

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