Monday, March 20, 2006

A new job

I took up a new assignment recently with a large multinational company with multiple business units and a market leader in most segments in which they operate. The job comprises of managing IT for the enterprise and ensuring that the diverse business operations are able to use the systems consistently. The various business units have their own IT shops who attempt to create systems to meet the requirements of their respective business units. The global organization provides technology directions and expects the country operations to adhere to these standards and common systems. Shared service centers provide transactional support and charge the business for the services availed.

Having spent approximately 2 months in the new place understanding the people, perspectives, history and future plans, the realization is that there are many opportunities staring in the face waiting to be exploited. At the same time the business units being well established with over 75 years of legacy operate independent of each other. The IT agenda has primarily been to provide reactive support rather than proactive solutions to the changing market.

With the competitive marketplace putting pressure on marketshares, the desire is felt to create synergies and harmonize operations and IT. The big challenge is to move people away from the old way of working to collaboration. The systems which were then contemporary have served well for over a decade on technologies that are obsolete now with high cost of maintenance. The global organization is pressing for the change and is creating some via global mandates, which is increasing the operating costs for the business units.

Keep tuned in to see how this transformation unfolds.

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