Archive for September, 2010

CIO Movement from Cost to Profit and Social Media?

September 23, 2010

The concept of moving IT from a cost center to a profit center is still fairly new for most companies with the notable exceptions of Google, Facebook, Neilsen and the major telcos. But the role of the CIO is transcending its traditional function of automating and enabling other aspects of the business to driving profit utilizing the data that it is the steward of.

The CIO needs to possess strategic business smarts and superb operational ability. The ability to be able to work with the operational units in devising ways to look at the data that they have an monetize it effectively. Most business become aggregators of data, the ability to monetize those assets is becoming a crucial keeping a profitable business. The companies that understand this are looking at their CIOs and saying, “You own the data now help figure out how we can make money off this — or make more money off it.”

Wireless carriers are starting to realize they can monetize all matter of data collected from mobile users — specifically data that highlights their movement habits. According to MIT Technology Review, researchers and marketers are finding plenty of new uses for call detail records, or CDRs — which allow them to study a mountain of user behavior data. That data can be used by researchers or city planners to study travel behavior — but it’s likely going to be a gold mine on the marketing behavioral front.

The digitization of business assets– in concert with the rise of social media and networking as the vehicles of choice for reaching customers — increasingly puts IT at the center of the business’ marketing effort. It is now becoming very difficult in some organizations to tell the difference between the Chief Marketing Officer and the Chief Information Officer.

Advertisements

Offshoring: DO NOT Stop Sending IT Jobs Overseas

September 16, 2010

My response (and this is also posted in comments section of  George Tillmann‘s article/post on www.cio.com):

Offshoring: it’s Time to Stop Sending IT Jobs Overseas

The answer: DO NOT place a moratorium on offshoring!

Henry Ford drove the “Buggy Whip” and “Horse Cart” manufacturers out of business due to his invention of the assembly line and developing a product that could be purchased by the masses. The people who were designing and manufacturing “Buggy Whips” needed to retool their skill sets in order to be successful in a new market/economy.

I am sure that the owners of the Horse Cart and Buggy Whip manufacturers hoped that Henry Ford’s automobile would not succeed so they could continue on the status-quo. Unfortunately, similar to Henry Ford, offshoring is here to stay.

In order for US companies to be competitive in the world economy what we will need to do is retool our IT department’s skill sets!

Cost saving idea for “overbloated” telecommunications costs

September 3, 2010

In North America, Enterprises spend upwards of 6% of an enterprise’s gross revenues on telecommunications expenses.  This is a sizable chunk of money especially when you consider that is anywhere on average between 15%-30% of the entire IT budget.

Many enterprises have begun to get on board to the Voice Over IP (VOIP) bandwagon along with Unified Communications as a way to reduce their telecommunications cost.

With globalization in full swing, multinational companies now have offices all around the world. Consequently, a significant amount of calling traffic exists between these offices as employees collaborate on projects together. This leads to high long distance call charges. Even though International calling rates have significantly come down in the recent years, they are still a significant source of expenses for multinational companies. With VOIP and least cost routing, these costs are significantly reduced. In addition, VOIP opens up new avenues for conferencing and collaboration.

1. Reduced Capital Expenditure (CapEx)

Moving to a single platform that handles both voice and data traffic reduces capital expenditure by a huge margin, both initially and for the long-term. VOIP allows the enterprise to consolidate separate voice and data infrastructures into a single converged network. In addition, by implementing IP-based services, branch offices can preserve their investments in legacy infrastructure and extend its useful life, while leveraging the IP-based services hosted at headquarters.

2. Lower Operational Expenditures (OpEx)

VOIP allows one converged network to transport data and voice services simultaneously. This convergence reduces the overhead required to operate and maintain two disparate systems. Moves, adds, and changes (MACs) are much easier and cheaper on an IP-based PBX and telephony platform. With legacy platforms, difficult configuration changes can be cumbersome and costly third-party consulting often comes into picture.

3. Enhanced Employee Productivity

Initially, enterprises began adopting VoIP technology applications as a means of reducing long distance bills. However, these technologies have evolved into a platform that enables such rich featured applications as Unified Communications, conferencing, and worker collaboration. With teams working across the globe, VOIP enables multimedia conferencing, which can be easily setup and operated independently from the service provider. In addition, VOIP presence features allow users to be notified when the other party is online, ready and available for interaction. It also supports such file sharing and business applications as Microsoft Office Suite on a single platform, enabling still higher levels of collaboration.

4. Reduced mobile phone bills

With to remote voice connectivity via VOIP, road warriors no longer need to mount their monthly expenses by using their mobile phones when they are globetrotting. With Internet access universally available, road warriors can use VOIP to be connected to all their phone numbers remotely. Furthermore, by using presence, VOIP allows a single number to be registered to a variety of devices, making staff members available to their customers even when they are traveling.

Overall VOIP solutions can save an enterprise anywhere between 40-70% on their office to office telecommunications costs. Obviously existing infrastructure and communications lines have to be taken into consideration when developing a successful VOIP solution.