the recent Nasscom Conference in Mumbai, there was a
session titled 'CIO Infrastructure Management Roundtable'.
The intention was to provide a platform for users and
the industry to come together and share their views,
suggestions and statistics for effective use of information
technology towards improving productivity. Most of the
discussions centered on infrastructure management and
the areas that IS managers need to address.
The session was moderated by Reyland Villacastin, Consulting
Director, Computer Associates. There were four other
panelists. N. Rajendran, Faculty, IDRBT and V.K. Ramani,
President-IT, UTI Bank also shared their experiences
on the implementation of IT infrastructure in their
respective organizations. The audience comprised of
IS managers and other decision makers. Delegates also
got an opportunity to raise their concerns, and these
were addressed by the panelists. Here are excerpts from
the panel discussions.
Reyland Villacastin, Consulting Director, Computer Associates
said: "Businesses invest heavily in infrastructure
management, and to develop applications, but cannot
quantify where the money goes, as far as business processes
go. The issue is how to account for the money and effort
spent on infrastructure. This causes businesses to reflect
if they are getting their money's worth."
Villacastin also stressed the importance of Client Support
on the business side. "Initially client support
was separated from IT. With the new applications there
is no more middle man from the company talking to the
client. Technology is used to directly interface with
the client. There is also a need for a service desk
or help desk to ensure that clients are kept happy."
According to Villacastin, other important areas are
the evolving nature of infrastructure management and
Discipline Management. "There is now a discussion
going on about expanding infrastructure management planningmoving
away from domains and going into the larger picture
of disciplines. There are already a number of implementations
and a number of products to provide Discipline Management.
For example when you talk of performance management,
it is performance management across all the different
domains of network, storage, applicationsthis
provides us the capability for the different domains
to interact with each other."
Prof. D.B. Phatak from IIT-Mumbai stressed on the Affordability
of IT infrastructure. "We usually talk of availability
and reliability, but I would like to add a dimension
called 'affordability.' In the past businesses kept
investing money in IT and now everyone is asking for
Return on Investmentand you know how difficult
it is to give a figure on ROI."
Prof. Phatak also said there is a need to improve power
infrastructure and also connectivity and bandwidth.
"There is a dichotomy in the country that the major
driving force in IT is electrical power. The power infrastructure
in the country is so weak, that we end up spending enormous
sums in ensuring that we get good quality power. We
need to evaluate what is the percentage of the infrastructure
costs that UPS, batteries and stabilizers take up."
Prof. Kesav V. Nori, CIO, Tata Consultancy Services
said: "It is important to understand that knowledge
systems are in place within an organization, which facilitate
the sharing of information. But not all knowledge can
be supported by information systems. So we need to understand
what is the knowledge required to run a business and
what aspect of that knowledge is required."