CIO Masters 2013: Celebrating The CIO As A Business Technology Leader

Biztech2.com's CIO Masters 2013 celebrated the CIO role and the impact that these leaders have made on the way the business works.

hidden March 26, 2013 16:01:40 IST
CIO Masters 2013: Celebrating The CIO As A Business Technology Leader

Apple co-founder, Steve Jobs once said that ‘Innovation distinguishes between a leader and a follower.’ We agree, but our criteria for recognising India’s top business technology leaders goes way beyond that. An innovator and game changer who drives business impact and transformation within his organisation while also building thought leadership and mentoring leadership teams under him. Thereby, ensuring that only the best make the cut.

CIO Masters 2013, the second edition of Biztech2.com’s CIO Masters programme, celebrated the CIO role and the impact that these leaders have made on some of India’s leading private and public sector enterprises, making them worthy of the CIO Masters title. Biztech2.com received close to 200 nomination requests, out of which only 77 made it to CIO Masters 2013. And, the best among the best made it a notch above to CIO Grand Masters.

The grand finale on 21 March 2013, marked the culmination of months of CIO engagements through roundtables, CIO nominations for the best of their projects under the the five key technology domains of ‘Collaboration’, ‘Security’, ‘Data Centres’, ‘Business Intelligence’, and ‘Cloud’. The CIO Grand Masters list for these technology domains comprised of:

  • Ashish Pachory, CIO of Tata Teleservices, winner in the DATA CENTRES category;

  • Burgess Cooper, Chief Technology Security Officer, Vodafone India was the winner with Subhash Subramaniam, CISO, ICICI Bank as the runner up in SECURITY;

  • Francis S Rajan, VP – Information & Communication Technology, BIAL and Amit Sethi, Senior President and CIO, YES Bank jointly won with Daya Prakash, CIO of LG Electronics as the runner up in COLLABORATION

  • Kamal Karnatak, Group CIO of RJ Corp was adjudged the winner in BUSINESS INTELLIGENCE;

  • Jayantha Prabhu, CTO of Essar Group emerged as the winner while Anil Nadkarni, CIO of Thermax was the runner-up in CLOUD.

What drives these CIO Grand Masters is their constant effort to grow beyond the traditional responsibilities associated with the CIO role, and create new standards for others to follow while overcoming the business challenges.

The key criteria laid down for judging the projects under each category included the impact the project had on business, the innovation behind that project, and the difficulty in adaptability. The eminent jury included Prof. Ashok Kumar Wahi, Distinguished Professor of Information Systems at Jaypee Business School and an ex CIO; Rajesh Uppal, Executive Director at Maruti Suzuki; Manish Bahl, Vice President and Country Manager for India at Forrester Research; and Nagaraj G N, an acclaimed business technology leader who has played CIO roles at various large enterprises.

The key highlight of the evening was the award for CIO Of The Year at CIO Masters 2013 – Jury’s Choice Award, which was jointly won by Vijay Sethi, CIO and VP - Information Systems, Hero MotoCorp and Jayantha Prabhu, CTO, Essar Group. These CIOs have successfully crossed the barriers to be truly recognised as business leaders and not just technology leaders within their respective organisations. Speaking on the occasion after receiving the award, Jayantha Prabhu said, “I think this recognition will help me innovate more as a business leader and I think that CIO Masters truly deserves a lot of credit for building this platform for all the IT leaders”.

This year Biztech2.com also introduced the Jury Special Award – for the first time, a Lifetime Achievement Award. The award was conferred on C.N. Ram, till recently Group CIO at the Essar Group and formerly the CIO of HDFC Bank. C. N Ram is now the co-founder and Executive Director of RuralShores, an innovative BPO company that leverages the power of rural India. The veteran CIO was honoured for his immense contribution and the long-lasting impact he left on various companies and the industry through his achievements as a CIO.

Taking forward the theme of business leadership and the changing CIO role, John Brand, VP & Principle Analyst, Forrester Research delivered his keynote, focusing on the importance of Business Technology (BT) for CIOs in India, and how the CIOs can smoothly make the transition from being IT leaders to BT leaders. He threw light on the current BT maturity status and the future outlook.The panel discussion further addressed these and other related areas as the panelistspanellists discussed the issues around preparing the enterprise for tomorrow's battles. With Arun Gupta, CIO of Cipla, Brand and the jury members on the panel, the discussion was moderated by Nagaraj G N.

According to Nagaraj, consumerisation of IT and device proliferation have competed with enterprises to emerge as the best technology provider to the end consumer. The battle was won on three counts, power directly in the hands of the consumer, creativity and simplicity on the usability front, the most robust technology distribution platform (app stores). Gen Y - tomorrow's talent pool, and the new consumer base, will enter the enterprises and also have enterprises compete for their wallet share; having lived their life in a world of mobile devices and apps and a very characteristic digital lifestyle that shapes their personality, attitude and culture.

And, no discussion around consumerisation of IT and Gen Y workforce can be complete without a discussion around BYOD. BYOD managed to bring a spark in the discussion with Arun Gupta opining that it is just a hype created by vendors and analysts and every enterprise should look into its business outcome before going for implementation. Manish Bahl being an analyst himself agreed to some extent but maintained that BYOD is surely the way enterprises will work in future no matter what kind of implementation they come up with.

The discussion further veered in the direction of CIO’s role in enabling and empowering enterprise workforce, and how they see the CIO preparing the enterprise IT landscape that empowers and facilitates an eco-system for creativity to flourish.

Commenting on the success of CIO Masters 2013, Ivor Soans, Managing Editor-Enterprise Technology, Network18 said, “CIO Masters 2013 is a celebration of the CIO role and the impact that these leaders have made on their respective businesses. I would like to thank our eminent jury selected from across three generations of CIOs for using their rich experience and fair judgement through a very transparent process for selecting the winners. Business impact and innovation were the driving factors for choosing the CIO Masters, and will continue to be the hallmark for taking business technology leaders to success.”

Forrester Research was Knowledge Partner for the event, while CIO Masters Technology Partners included Emerson, RSA and Brocade.

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