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Do not lock IT

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CIOL Bureau
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KOLKATA, INDIA: If someone who knows the stuff about pillars, cornerstones and heights like an ace first-hand architect, tells us some tips about what to lock and how to unlock, it makes a great read. Because a small nail can make all the difference between a run-of-the-mill masonry and a state-of-the-art skyscraper.

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When we say IT is no more a hygiene factor but a strong differentiator, any perspectives from the insight you have so far?

IT in our organization has brought business value by saving time, money and also  improving the quality of works. The number of tenders that we can submit within a specified time now is much higher than what it was earlier and with far more accuracy. Current rates of materials, labour etc., are easily available from the system. As our ERP system integrates quality and safety, there have been  improvements in these two areas also. As the system is online, what is happening at project level can be monitored from the Central Office at all times and appropriate action taken immediately.  Earlier it was a post-mortem kind of thing.  Without a proper system it would not have been possible for us to submit tenders for certain projects abroad.  Our prospective customers often visit our data centre. The huge success of ERP in our organization speaks for the need of IT and its integration with business in the construction sector.

What are the key pieces of the IT brick and mortar at your organisation? Any major changes this year?

The major investments  in hardware were in Dell Servers and EMC Storage, Cisco and Juniper Networking products, Security Appliances and in software, Oracle Database, Application Server, Development Tools, IBM DB2 Content Manager and IBM Infosphere Content Collector,  IBM Tivoli Backup Solution and Security Solutions from Multiple vendors and Citrix Metaframe Presentation Server. We have not made any overhauls of any significant scale.

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What is your plan for IT in the coming future?

Migrating the in-house developed ERP application presently running at more than 150 project sites from Oracle PL/SQL to Java and using tablets and some mobile applications and context aware applications.

If you were to pick the most interesting breakthroughs from what we have today?

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IT Risk Management and Using Social Media effectively is interesting indeed.

What points can you distill as good CIO advice from all your experiences?

Develop communication skill for communicating at all levels.Take a step forward so that IT can reach all levels in your organization.  Do not keep IT locked within the department.Think about investments in IT in terms of business and not just technology.