Each Core Function of IT should be treated as a Separate Market

Rajiv Batra
Headquartered in New Delhi, MTS (Mobile Tele Systems) (NASDAQ: MTSC) is a Indian subdivision of Russian Mobile Tele Systems, a telecommunication company that provides wireless voice, broadband internet, messaging and data services in India and operates across over 16 million customers in the country as on 2012, with the present market cap of $1.12 billion.
Telecom is today looking for vendors who can endow the industry with their technology needs by providing flexible systems which require minimal maintenance. This also creates the opportunity for many organizations to build industry’s own software that can be mended, maintained and sold. An enterprise deals with business expectation and business administration at the same time and any organization can gain its full potential only by giving the confidence and comfort through technology solutions. Driving the IT part of an organization has become very prominent today with IT no longer being seen as an enablement type of function. The challenge now lies in how IT can bring differentiation to businesses by coming up with innovative products and services on a regular basis.
In a cloud environment, most of the SMEs (Small and Medium Enterprises) prefer to take up a service, label their brand name to it and sell it in the market. It works fine for service providing organizations by giving them complete solution to run the service. This offshoot of the main system held with the cloud service provider, which most of them call a cloud service, enables any organization to run the services as their own service by completely labeling their own brand where the cloud provider takes care of entire backend operations. Cloud today is reaching a maturity curve where the adoption has started increasing tremendously, especially by small and medium organizations. Cloud gives SMEs much better application quality and services that can be financed at affordable cost.
Social CRM is another trend which has brought tremendous makeover to the interface between customer and the service provider. It has come up as one of the key value added services for customers. There are several controls where government wants some rectification in terms of stopping spam and the flow of malicious content while there are many organizations working in this vertical. These are a few things which hold much importance for telecom industry wherein the role of IT is so huge that one or the other technology keeps coming up and looks promising for the industry in the long run. In the present market, organizations also need to be cautious with regulatory compliances with respect to information security. Any organization can never say that they are 100 percent perfect in that because it is very dynamic and continuously changing situation.
Role of CIOs
In the present day scenario one does not have to showcase technology and use jargon with business. The job of a CIO is to make IT simpler for the business and make the organization friendly with commoditization of IT. Each of the support functions or core functions must be treated as a market and a CXO or a CIO should study the market at least once in a month to get the respective technology updated for the organization. There is a circle of operations existing in the market which CIOs must go around considering the various industrial trends and check for the advancements with IT channels. IT channel is what CIOs call a channel through which the organization can sell allied products. By meeting the retailers, distributors and the customers, they then figure out the real life scenario of the market and make themselves comfortable with the IT systems that are being used in the industry. The entire process till the last call of billing is managed through technology. 
When reaching out to the customers and addressing their concerns, consumption of data is inevitable and a CIO gets firsthand knowledge about what is happening in the market and where the upgrade is required; what is not working well can be made better; what has become redundant and can be removed. All the life cycle management applications consist of customer and retail network or distribution network. If the CIOs keep in touch with the business requirements and delve more into the technology, they can take the organization ahead on the path of growth. (As told to Mujeeb. S)