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Quick Take:IT’s Reflex to Regulation

Added 25th Nov 2011
Compliance for companies in BFSI and telecom, 2011 has been the year of regulation, as regulatory bodies like TRAI, the RBI, and IRDA introduced frequent changes in policy. Debarati Roy spoke to Navin Chadha, director-IT, Vodafone Essar, to find out how IT departments are coping with the pace of change.
What pressures do the CIO and the IT team face?
Adhering to compliance can be tricky and expensive. While CIOs need to be constantly vigilant to make systems are compatible with new reforms, there is also a need to keep costs under control. It's  the CIO’s imperative to keep the team motivated because team members could be disheartened with constantly building and rebuilding systems and processes.
How do you ensure a quick turnaround time?
It’s important to start early. As soon as a new regulation comes into effect the entire team evaluates the practicality of the deadline in which a change needs to be made. System changes are always accompanied by changes in business processes, and both these factors need to be managed in tandem to ensure quick turnaround time. Starting early gives us enough time to inform the regulatory authorities in case some core changes demand more time than what had been originally provisioned.
Is there a way to build systems that are more flexible to accommodate frequent changes?
CIOs need to constantly engage with internal legal and corporate affairs. This may give the IT department a head start when it’s time for new regulations. A distinguishing feature in most regulated industry verticals is the varied number of products. So, CIOs should ensure that systems in such sectors are built in a way that any change on the fringes can be isolated and does not affect the entire lot.