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CIO - The Dashavatar

Aniruddha Mehta, Head IT, Prince Pipes & Fittings

In Hindu Mythology, Vishnu - the preserver, has ten primary avatars. The CIO's Role today is quite similar to these ten avatars within every company, which is or will be a technology or a data company. Technology will never be a disruptor to carry your business but would be a backbone to run the show. The CIO needs to have some characteristics that add significant value to the organization and the individual.

1.Matsya: The Technology Optimizer
Early adopters/ Optimizer of technology
When technology outgrows the organization at the pace at the growing pace of technology, the CIO will step in to create an optimization plan for the entire organization to keep sailing in the flood of technology. Also, aid the change management within the organization adopt new technology.

2.Kurma: The Weight Bearer for Business
With the different technologies implemented in the organization and the complexity of data, the CIO needs to keep the Business running while working within parameters of cost, tech upgrade, legacy system, growth and diversification, keeping everything secure and working. Availability of 99.9999%, like the uptime of systems. Shows the organization’s weight bearer with solid technical support to all departments to bear the business's growth, flexibility and lifecycle.

3.Varaha: Strong Business Acumen
Technology implementation is not a pure play IT role or process; it involves various parameters within or out of the control of the CIO, but the CIO has a continuous fight with the business on their strengths. This is to justify why not a particular requirement or why not a specific change. The CIO is also constantly proving the technology ROI for every technology implemented.

4.Narasimha: A Servant Leader
Despite being in control of all the technology and

data across the organization, the administrator for all implementations. As the bridge for all integration, the environment always looks at the CIO as a service centre/cost centre or a support function, not a Business Driver. The CIO is always split between technology, business and people; he needs to provide an optimum solution to every problem within the set boundaries.

5.Vamana: A Dwarf in the Organization
Vamana in Sanskrit mean Dwarf; the CIO is nowhere is decision-maker when it comes to business but is always the essential communicator or responsible person when it comes to business disruptions; when Business Strategy goes off track, there is a tilt towards IT to drive new solution to resolve the issue. A thankless role which grows when it comes to resolving issues.

6.Parashurama: The Warrior
There are many fronts that the CIO has to deal with within and outside the organization; when it comes to outside the organization, it is Cyber Security and Data Integrity. The one who builds the wall and fights every warrior out there to break down the barrier. This, like Parshurama, is the one who will kill over and over again to make sure there is no attack. Data is also kept safe, and there is no leakage by even someone internal to the organization.

7.Rama: The Honour & Righteousness
Every company is or will be a data/ technology company; with tech and data come the control and boundaries on the usage of data and technology. The onus is on the CIO to provide a complete governance setup for use, privacy, regulation, and operations. This would create a legal, regulatory compliance for the complete organization.

The CIO today is not just the Head of EDP or IT but the one who will be responsible for the experience difference which will be brought in into your organization

8.Krishna: The Strategist
The CIO is a central character who works with all departments, never seen on the front end, never facing but always working to drive business and continuous working. The CIO provides a fallback mechanism to every business process.

9.Buddha or Vithoba or Jagannath: The New Age Leader
The one who brings a fresh perspective to the organization as being a data or a tech organization, all employees, irrespective of the business vertical or job profile. The leader who provides a vision to the organization.

10.Kalki: The Retirement Officer
When the CIO knows that the system is at the end of life, it creates an entirely new setup with the latest technology and a futuristic roadmap but with the complete legacy data. Creates the best of both worlds.
The CIO today is not just the Head of EDP or IT but the one who will be responsible for the experience difference which will be brought in into your organization.

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