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Interview with Sachin Goel, Chief Information Officer, HCL Infosystems

May 24, 2016
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HCL Infosystems is among India’s leading information technology (IT) solutions company, with a large sales and distribution network. Sachin Goel, chief information officer, HCL Infosystems, talks about the critical role of IT in the company’s overall strategy, and the current and emerging IT technology trends. Excerpts….


How has IT and telecom helped the company enhance its business operations and performance?

IT is an integral component of our overall strategy. It allows us to generate efficiencies, both internal as well as external. Our distribution and logistics processes are run on world-class Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software. Our partners are constantly connected with us and we ensure that they have up-to-date information through the solutions we have designed specifically for them. Internally, we have multiple platforms that are aimed at improving employee collaboration and productivity.

What are the key enterprise applications that the business process management (BPM)/ information technology-enabled service (ITes) industry deploys?

For an IT/ITes company, employees are the key asset. Therefore, collaboration platforms are the most important applications. Such platforms help attract and engage high potential employees, enable employees to think creatively, collaborate with each other and contribute to the overall operations of the company. In addition, the business process automation platform is critical for the industry. It helps in managing costs and enables greater business efficiencies. Since the ITes industry involves  execution of multiple projects, there is a massive amount of content generation internally, which needs to be catalogued for future reference. Therefore, knowledge management solutions are a key enterprise application for the industry. Moreover, these organisations need to integrate many internal and external systems. As such, integration technologies like Enterprise Service Bus are necessary to simplify the technology landscape.

What is the level of virtualisation and cloud adoption in the BPM and ITes industries?

The Indian ITes industry witnessed a shift to virtualisation many years back and the adoption is fairly high, at over 70 per cent. It is critical for backend infrastructure as well as for end-users. On the backend, it helps reduce costs as one can do more with fewer resources. It is even more critical on the end-user side as the industry often deals with issues related to data confidentiality and sovereignty.

Meanwhile, there has been an increase in cloud adoption of late. Earlier, there were concerns regarding its security; however, those have been addressed now. Many enterprises are now availing of cloud in the form of infrastructure-as-a-service that is, moving a part of their infrastructure to the cloud. Cloud helps an enterprise in cost variablisation. As the business cycle changes, spends on IT infrastructure can be better aligned with these cycles using cloud.

What is the company’s telecom and IT blueprint and what are some of the ongoing and planned IT initiatives?

HCL Infosystems is already using the best ERP platform and has a large data analytics platform that was recently implemented. We have many components of employee collaboration. Further, we plan to include video and other smart technologies for employee collaboration. We have also deployed mobile applications for our employees and have seen that productivity has gone up. In the coming years, we will migrate all our applications to the mobile platform. Our aim is to create a social enterprise and we are working on deploying an enterprise social networking platform.

What are the challenges faced in implementing new technologies?

There are various original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) and it is impossible for any enterprise to consolidate with only one OEM. We have seen that the integration of applications and platforms sourced from different vendors is not always as easy as one would like it to be. In addition, in most situations, every enterprise ends up customising the OEM products to a certain extent. This increases the implementation time and leads to a cost escalation. When a new technology is implemented its value is derived only when the technology is adopted. Therefore, it is important to have campaigns to drive the adoption of new technologies among our employees and partners.

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