CXO Vision Summit Keynote – Do more, with less

Ivor had invited me to give the Keynote Address (I had done earlier too); I had to cancel it as my backache was worsening; Ivor arranged a Video shoot on 17th and used it on the 18th evening in Bombay. Since the CIO community is very dear to me, I spent considerable time preparing; here is the summary of my address


(1 min) CXO Vision, how you look forward to it, how I look forward to, my inability to attend (back pain), Bangalore as IT capital, Mumbai as Finance capital, how Lakshmi & Saraswati together take care of us,  Nandan for IIIT Bombay & Narayana Murthy for IIIT-Bangalore demonstrate the complementary power


(3 min) “Do more with less” – you know how bad it is; how worse it is becoming everyday; in fact I would have even liked it “with less, do, do more or do still more”. In bad times we need to walk the extra mile. During slow down the axe first falls on IT; IT had consumed maximum capital for years

Not always a curse, could even be a blessing

Not necessarily a challenge, can be an opportunity too

(1 min) weave the ideas thru – common sense, uncommon sense with technology as the key differentiator; 5 minutes each for operational, tactical and strategic issues

(5 min) Operational

Cut fat mercilessly

The devil is in details


(Common sense)

Look at the number of desktops & laptops, are they justified, are the installed software used, are we justified in over protection (2 virus control tools), have we measured server utilization? How about bandwidth utilization? can we reduce printing? stationery? media?

Can we look at alternate suppliers? Can we take a re-look at service level agreements? Are the SLA levels really needed?


(Uncommon sense)

Justify everything; MS Windows Home not necessarily MS Windows Enterprise; can we use thin clients? Can we replace desktop monitors with LCD monitors that consume 10% of old monitors? can we just remove the printer? Can we stop ordering paper? can we look at PoD (print on demand)? Have we looked at WeP, Repro, Printos of the world? can we “de-mat”? can we “meter” software?  Can we do away with BlackBerrys? Can we do away with corporate accounts? Can we re-look at billing plans? Why not an ISP-based Centrex, VoIP exchange? Why not remote IT infrastructure management?


(5 min) Tactical

(Common sense)

Look at open source dispassionately (no religious / ideological wars please). Can we migrate to OSS OS, DBMS, productivity, tools, ERP; can we move to LAMP stack for development? Can we look at OSS-based tech support companies? Are we ready to network with OSS nerds? Do we know how to tap into their rich resources?


(Uncommon sense)

Can we look at alternate sources to save cost – RedHat vs Ubuntu? Are we ready? With OSS resources depleting (many volunteers lost their jobs, many lost their “free time” (like in Google), should we look at “closed source” as well and save costs?


(5 min) Strategic

(Common sense)

Cloud computing – not for all but where it fits; need to be pragmatic; GMail down for 4 hours last month exposes the vulnerability of the “cloud”; seamless desktop to cloud; in each case “bang for the buck”; how to benefit from “green IT” not only at data center but everywhere? How about “virtualize everything” – network, storage, server and applications – even desktop?


(Uncommon sense)

Can we follow CITRIX example? Give a cheque to employees and remove all hardware outside data center? Can we distribute most applications over smart phones?


Lastly, how about a multi-homed CIO?


(1 min)

This is “agni pariksha” time; I am sure you all will come out glowingly out of it.


Remember November 20, 2008 Chicago; just hum “Yes we can”; in fact you can “do more with less!”; better still remember February 22, 2009 Hollywood just hum along with A R  Rahman “Jai ho”


My very best wishes and thanks for listening; start saving today

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