What prompted you to embark on an IT transformation journey? How has your organization benefited since you transitioned to a cloud environment?
Over the last few years we have been focusing more on enhancements to IT security, datacenter and disaster recovery site operations. Simultaneously we are also ensuring that users have adequate connectivity and access to applications in a secure environment without any disruptions. We constantly keep monitoring usage and ensure that user needs are adequately catered to.
A couple of years ago, we deployed a private cloud designed to deliver advanced infrastructure, platform, and application services. Prior to that we had to provision infrastructure separately for each one of the Shriram Group companies, with each company’s usage peaking at different intervals every month. This arrangement was neither cost-effective nor easy to manage. Consequently, we set up a private cloud with a self-service portal, an orchestration layer, and capabilities for dynamic resource management for different group companies. The cloud also provided us clear visibility into the usage of resources such as storage and memory by each company in the group at any given point in time. A service catalog, created with images or snapshots, also enabled swift deployment when required. Some of our key achievements include:
- Reuse and re-purposing of infrastructure resource pools across multiple departments, which has significantly reduced time and HR costs for infrastructure provisioning.
- Using a cloud solution has helped us integrate the tools, processes, and the architectures of our physical and virtual infrastructure to cut costs and enable faster delivery.
- Consolidation of our servers has reduced the carbon footprint at our datacenter and disaster recovery sites.
- Faster application hosting is possible now as templates are designed accordingly.
We’ve opted for a hybrid cloud model, where our mission critical workloads reside on a private cloud while the non-critical workloads are on a public cloud.
How do you see your organization’s IT infrastructure evolving over the next three to five years?
As the financial sector is getting increasingly competitive, it’s imperative to have a digital strategy for all aspects of our business to cut costs, improve efficiency and enhance the value we provide to customers. We are focusing on enabling a Software Defined Data Center by virtualizing compute, storage, networking and security. This should help us bring in Software-as-a-Service capabilities to deploy applications based on profiles and requirements of our users. We have developed mobile applications for finance and insurance sectors. Transactions are already being done through mobile and it will be the primary device for data entry and queries in the future. With quick decision-making and faster turnaround for all back-end processes at the Group, the disbursal time has reduced. Mobile applications is a major focus area for us, where we are introducing frequent enhancements. We’ve also put in place an enterprise mobility program that helps us manage multiple devices with ease.
Given the dynamic marketplace and the rapid uptake of digital technologies by enterprises, how do you see the role of a CIO evolving in the foreseeable future?
Every business wants to differentiate and attract customers in an increasingly competitive marketplace. Today, most organizations have begun to, or are about to, undertake a digital transformation initiative for their business. The CIO’s role today is also going through a transformation and businesses are looking at the CIO to lead their digital transformation journey.
CIOs must see this as an opportunity to take a lead and drive the business.
How has VMware partnered and helped in your IT transformation journey?
We have been using VMware for over a decade now. Our private cloud is built on VMware cloud infrastructure and we use a host of VMware technologies to manage a robust infrastructure that supports our business.