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5 technologies CIOs need to drive for integration

Rajiv Kumar Singla, Head – IT Services, ACC Limited, on the technologies CIOs should be using in their businesses. By Shweta Gandhi

Rajiv Kumar Singla is an IT professional specialising in SAP (Systems, Applications and Products) in the sales and distribution module. He is responsible for the IT hardware and software requirements of all the users across ACC, ensuring an uninterrupted connectivity and upkeep of all the third-party vendor services. “Technology exists to make your life faster, quicker and easier,” says Rajiv. “The key technologies we use today and in the future will govern the way a business progresses and performs. When we are able to incorporate all these in our organisation is when we would have overcome the big challenge and know that our idea has turned into reality.” He talks to Bonne Vie about the technologies CIOs must pay attention to.

#1 BYOD (Bring Your Own Device)
“BYOD has its own merits and demerits. On the one hand, it can help the company in reducing costs and improves employee satisfaction as they’re working on their own familiar device. On the other hand, it acts as a nightmare for the IT department as the user will be coming into a new network and will need to have freedom to use the device in any way they want. New millennials have their own thought processes, so it’s becoming more challenging. Add that to the increased security risks BYOD causes and there’s a lot at stake. However, if a company wishes to adopt BYOD, the best way to ensure safety is to tell employees in a clear-cut manner that their device needs to operate in a controlled environment and that the security policy has to be strictly adhered to.”

#2 Cloud computing
“This is still emerging as a technology. We have started using Cloud for only non-critical activities, which is CRM and mailing. Its benefits include giving you freedom from not owning the asset, high computing power, high performance, accessibility, availability, and, more importantly, scalability. The new applications we will use would work well with Cloud too. However, our core at ACC is still SAP and moving all the critical activities onto Cloud will take time. Moreover, Cloud is an expensive proposition. Perhaps in the future, when it becomes more abundant, we will make the shift, but being slightly traditional in nature, we still haven’t experimented with open-source technology which does not provide controlled licensing.”

#3 SAP on mobile devices
“Mobile technology can optimise users’ mobile experiences with enterprise mobility solutions. It delivers faster interactions and accelerates the process. Since everyone has a smart phone today, it is even simpler to stay connected. We have been pushing this technology in our company to make sure it is adapted. Most of the senior management is usually travelling and they need to work through their phones, but they currently use SAP only till certain levels of engagement. This technology is definitely on our agenda, and we will be adopting it soon.”

#4 Social analytics
“Data from social media offers interesting facts and information about customers, products, prospects and competitors. We are taking baby steps towards this—we have a digital presence on Facebook and Twitter now—and we have noticed that using this platform has helped us.”

#5 Internet of Things (IoT)
“IoT as a system can make big changes to really small activities that humans partake in. It provides solutions that generate data-driven intelligence from connected things, people and devices. We have used IoT in many of our projects. We have taken safety as a major concern—for example, a lorry driver in our factory has been provided with a RFID permit that lets him move around the factory seamlessly, and this has reduced our security concerns by 60-70 per cent. IoT will be a driving force for automation in the future and will revolutionise the way we interact.” 

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