Bibek Maity, CIO, LUX Group, discusses how a CIO’s role is no longer confined to just IT infrastructure.
By Pooja Paryani
As the CIO of LUX Group, Bibek Maity has a key role to play in assessing the market demands and formulating a strategy to leverage technology to further the company’s business profile. Bibek has over 21 years of experience, and during that time he’s seen the role of the CIO change drastically. “Of course, CIOs are still focussed closely on technology, but now they also have an equally important role to play in business strategy,” says Bibek. “Ten years ago CIOs were only taking care of IT in an organisation, with IT infrastructure as the only focus. Now, CIOs are involved in creating and driving the business strategy. I have seen companies grow and gain more business after the CIOs got involved in the business aspects. The modern CIO isn’t just looking after IT infrastructure, but he’s also a board member and a marketing manager, and looks into advertising and sales generation for the business.” He talks to us about the changes a CIO can bring to the business.
1. Increase in mobility
“When a CIO is a part of the business strategy he brings in mobility. This leads to an increase in employee productivity; they become more effective and more responsive. All the data is saved in the cloud so it becomes easily accessible. The CIO also helps streamline processes and therefore the business.
2. Leveraging technology for marketing
“CIOs can help new businesses advertise more effectively using the latest technology. We help them generate more business through increased visibility of the product among the public. Marketing has now also come to heavily rely on technology, increasing IT’s role in this space as well. CIOs can take advantage of their knowledge of the latest technology to increase brand and product awareness at the same time among the end users, and therefore lead to more sales. For example, there was a company that was loosing business in Bihar and Jharkhand as television access was limited there. But mobile phone use was strong. So the company decided to advertise through mobiles. Whenever people would open their phones and switch to an app, they’d get a pop-up ad on their phones. The company was able to use technology for direct marketing, and ultimately generated more sales because of this campaign.”
3. Increase in innovation to drive business
“Technology has become a key driver of business. In fact, digital disruption and transformation are the two areas all businesses are working on. So a CIO plays a crucial role in driving innovation and generating more leads for better business.”
4. Decrease in response time
“The distributor of the technology always gets quick feedback on outstanding data. As CIOs are directly involved in the business strategy and have an overview of the technical data, they are able to quickly perceive the situation and take corrective measures if need be. They don’t have to wait till the matter is escalated to them. Reaction time is reduced and money saved.”
“Because of these reasons, nowadays business strategy is often defined by IT in an organisation. Whenever a decision is taken, IT is also an important part of the process, to see how technology can be used to further the business goals. Presently, almost 55 per cent of the decision-making is in the hands of CIOs. Managements in fact demand that CIOs be involved in every step of the business.
“Also, CIOs are key while making the roadmap for any business, as we know the requirements for a project as we are ultimately going to make technology for the same. So it makes sense for the CIO to make the plan. Creating a detailed step-by-step plan is only possible if you’re clear about the company’s goals. Also an equally important duty is overseeing the implementation, ensuring the vision has not been compromised. IT also monitor’s the activities of those involved in the project so that developments can be tracked. So it’s a more larger, overarching role.”