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CIOs need to take on some responsibilities traditionally held by business leaders: Chris Bedi

Gopal Kishore | July 10, 2013
Chris Bedi, CIO, JDSU, talks to CIO India about how CIOs can break the legacy logjam and get on the information superhighway.

Chris Bedi, CIO, JDSU, talks to CIO India about how CIOs can break the legacy logjam and get on the information superhighway.

CIO: In your view, what are the challenges that CIOs in India face when it comes to setting up an end-to-end communications infrastructure? How can they overcome these challenges?

Chris Bedi: Not being a CIO in India, it is a little challenging to answer the question with great precision. Some of the challenges I would imagine are the same -- how do I enable the best possible communications infrastructure at the lowest possible cost. CIOs must deliver on the promise of "every service available on every device from any location". I could see how that could be a big challenge given the lack of Ethernet expansion throughout India and the requirement to deliver high bandwidth services.

Currently, there are a number of technology options which allow IT leaders to reduce costs while delivering better service. For instance, CIOs can leverage cloud based services in a pay-as-you go model which avoids a large chunk of up front capital investments while delivering the bandwidth the enterprise needs.

CIO: According to recent reports, demands from big data, mobile and cloud computing have pushed networks and communications infrastructure to a "breaking point". What do you think is the push that enterprises need to get out of this inertia?

Chris Bedi:Enterprises need to identify how big data, mobile, and cloud can enable new business models and deliver shareholder value. The question of when to replace legacy with newer technology is a perennial question. Enterprise CIOs need to figure out when the cost of replacing legacy is outweighed by the shareholder value that new technologies can deliver. I think a number of enterprises are in a "wait and see" mode. Enterprise CIOs need to be willing to lead the charge and take on some responsibilities traditionally held by business leaders, in order to show the benefits of technologies such as big data and mobility.

CIO: CIOs are trying to consolidate the infrastructure, yet grow the company at the same time. However, shrinking IT budgets make this a big dilemma. How can CIOs overcome this?

Chris Bedi:Growing the company and IT capabilities while reducing the cost of IT is certainly not a new challenge. I think there are a few key strategies to overcome this. Firstly, CIOs must understand their cost structure, cost drivers, and fixed versus variable components. Secondly, and more importantly, CIOs must become very focused on IT investments with a real value proposition. Prioritizing means that someone in the enterprise will be left out. However, IT leaders need to be laser-focused on investing in technology that will deliver value, as opposed to that which is nice to have. Lowering the cost of IT is not always about cutting headcount or services. The killer combination is to leverage all the technology--big data, cloud, and mobility--that is now available to deliver an incredible value proposition while lowering costs.


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