CIOs Should Actively Participate In Board Decisions

by Julia Fernandes    Nov 19, 2004

A CIO should be an active participant in the IT decisions taken at the board level, stresses Ashok Adhikary associate director-systems, Kvaerner Powergas India (KPGI) in conversation with CXOtoday.

Examining some of the key challenges, Adhikary said, “Selection of the right technology itself is a daunting task especially in view of the breakneck speed at which IT is evolving. In view of this Adhikary noted that a CIO should be able to effectively convince the CEO and the board members justifying the investments in technology. And to facilitate this, he feels that a CIO should be an active participant in board level decision-making.

Adhikary is also of the view that CIOs should be able to manage uncontrolled information explosion by focusing on knowledge management. Additionally, sufficient awareness drives should be conducted for utilization of IT tools efficiently.

Predicting some of the future trends in IT, Adhikary opines that IP-based SAN, mobile and convergent technology are the ones to watch for.

Tracing his association with IT, Adhikary a qualified electrical engineer by profession, had joined the company in 1982 heading the electrical department. His interest in technology did not go unnoticed by the management. The break came seven years back when the then IT head resigned. Despite hailing from a non-IT background, it was pure unbridled passion for IT that rendered him ideal for the head honcho’s chair.

Being in the core engineering group he has been able to effectively utilize his vast knowledge in the application of information technology in the company’s core business, i.e., engineering.

Initially the company only had SN-23 (PDP-11 Generation) mainframe system utilities with barely few dumb terminals for fewer areas of computer application. Today, seamless collaborative work and an electronic way of life is part of the work culture of the company.

Adhikary believes that IT is the oxygen of today’s business world. Drawing a parallel to the essence of oxygen in our lives, he feels that just as life stops when oxygen is withdrawn, similarly if IT stops, business too will stop at KPGI. “From the security at the gate to the chairman of the company, each and every function is dependent on IT systems,” he revealed.

Adhikary is one technology head who keeps himself abreast with the latest IT developments by reading, attending seminars, joining groups and mailing lists, besides reading research reports from the likes of Gartner. Moreover, his association with alumni associations also enables him to be in sync with the latest in the IT world.