‘A CIO should market his initiatives to the company’

By : |March 5, 2008 0

Usha Prasad

Ravish Jhala, Manager – ICT, Mars Hotels and Restaurants tells us about the IT requirements and planning in a hospitality industry.

Ravish Jhala1. There is a lot of noise being made about IT spending across verticals? What is the scenario in a hospitality industry like yours?
Ravish Jhala:
In most companies, the IT department is considered to be an expensive one. In such cases, whenever the IT budget for the company is planned, one needs to make a long-term plan keeping the business in mind. Thus, the onus lies on the CIO to implement cost saving solutions in terms of usage. As the head of an IT department, what he/she gives back to the company becomes important. We should work towards making our department a profitable one.

2. How far has IT proved to be an enabler for your business? Does your company look at IT spending as an investment or expenditure?
We have adopted IT solutions and services to the best extent possible based on our business requirements. When it comes to spending on IT, the company looks at some part of it as an investment and some portion as expenditure. I feel it is the CIO’s duty to convert expenditure into an investment.

3. What is your IT budget for 2008-09?
We have planned a budget of Rs. 70 lakh for our hardware requirements in 2008-09. We want to implement new technologies that bring in energy efficiency and cuts down on annual maintenance costs. This huge investment takes care of our planning for next five years. It is also the responsibility of the IT head to propose a careful planning of the budget so that the company accepts it as an investment.

With technology expiring day by day, we are moving towards the virtualization phase along with a DR plan. By implementing these, we need not worry for next five years.

4. How significant is the role of a CIO in today’s enterprise?
The role of a CIO in any organization is very critical. As Manager – ICT, I feel I should take right initiatives and first be able to market it to my internal users and the company. It is very important to prove IT’s worth in every section of the company – what I mean to say is that a CIO should market himself.

Further, those concerned with the IT department should also motivate people in the non-IT department as well to make the best use of IT implementations and reduce overall expenditure to the company. In our company, we send across a signature line stating ‘Not to print if it is not necessary’. By going paperless, we have saved 20 percent of the paper cost utilized by the company in the last six months.

5. What part of IT implementations – software, hardware or networking – plays a more prominent role in your organization?
Being a hospitality industry, software and network plays a major role for us. They are like bread and butter for the hospitality industry.

6. Going forward, what are the challenges you foresee as a CIO?
Managing uptime of the IT set up, what with lines going down often given the kind of geography Indian has. And, all our efforts should revolve around planning high ROI .

7. How far have you come as regards adopting Green IT technologies?
By going in for virtualization, we are a step towards Green IT. This helps us save phenomenal space and human resource. We have managed this very well. I am focusing more in terms of general stacking, ie., how IT can become a major revenue earning department.

No Comments so fars

Jump into a conversation

No Comments Yet!

You can be the one to start a conversation.