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Issue of July 2004 

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New World Solutions

Exploiting IT for growth

Tailoring IT for growth, rather than discussing the deployment of IT was the theme of “New World Solutions - Exploiting IT for growth”, a seminar organised by Datacraft and facilitated by Network Magazine. The seminar had speakers from premier IT companies like Cisco, EMC and Datacraft.

The issues faced by today's enterprise were precisely highlighted by Peter Williams, Head-Solutions Development Group, Datacraft Asia Ltd., when he spoke about the need to have an IT strategy to generate business. This was interesting considering the fact that most IT managers seem to be grappling with issues relating to implementation.

Williams opines that firstly, an IT strategy should be in place and most importantly enable IT as a business tool for furthering growth. “Modern day businesses are more complex than even rocket science and to evolve a strategic game-plan that revolves around IT should be an organization's mantra,” said Williams.

Another aspect that was brought to light by the speakers was related to security concerns of organizations. Organizations often hesitate to venture into the global marketplace due to security issues, corporate governance compliance and host of other legislations. To reduce these complexities and address the security aspects, companies can look at availing services from suppliers who offer the breadth of expertise to integrate and manage these diverse applications.

The networking giant Cisco talked about the importance of having 'intelligent information networks' that could drive a company en route to profitability. Jaideep Sahney of Cisco spoke about the companies' evolution from a product centric business to a wholesome service provider. With the business climate

changing and economic growth occurring at different geographical pockets for organisations (which opens up their vulnerability to risks), information security assumes huge proportions. It is at this juncture that an intelligent information network strategy comes into existence, whereby companies can strategise and mitigate risks according to the needs of the business. Sahney also threw light on the 'integrated security strategy' that Cisco has in place to make the network self-defending and improve the network's ability to identify, prohibit and adapt to various threats. He also spoke about the offerings on the IP communications portfolio like video telephony, IP telephony, Information Communications Management solutions etc.

Information Communications Management (ICM) solutions as a topic generated some interest amongst the participants. Datacraft has built an ICM, which is a messenger that enables people to communicate (working in the organization) to other colleagues at the click of a button. Typically, at the click of a button, one can communicate with colleagues (through phone, chat or email using the same IP phone) and extends this to a wireless environment too. This, the company reckons can improve productivity and enables quicker decision-making.

The data that accompanies communication is one of the most important aspects in modern day businesses. Abhijit Potnis, solutions consultant from EMC spoke about the necessity of managing information and touched upon some aspects of ILM. Managing the lifecycle of data, which is mostly unstructured, is the challenge faced by most organizations. It is here that Content Addressed Storage (CAS) and KVS, an email archiving tool from EMC, comes into the picture. An interesting case study on how SBI had networked its branches all over India was also presented by Ananth P, Banking Projects, Datacraft India.

The event brought out the important fact that it is not possible to justify IT investments by mere technology alone. At the end of the day, the CTO/CIO will be asked to show the business benefits as well. In the final analysis, as one speaker remarked, it is all about show me the money, rather than the WOW factor!

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