We are a general practitioner in IT’

CIOs face a complex situation. The demands of the business increase as the importance of IT increases. But they primarily have to do with the business, when things go wrong, when everything works correctly, data is taken for granted. eG Innovations therefore tries to help CIOs keep the systems healthy. ‘I see us as the GP in IT’, says CEO Srinivas Ramanathan.

“If you look at how IT has evolved in recent years, so many different technologies have emerged: mobile applications, containers, new languages, new technologies,” said Srinivas Ramanathan, CEO of eG Innovations. “At the same time, all companies have had to digitize, at least in the past two years. Organizations are completely dependent on digitization to run their business.”

The IT administrator’s job was to make sure people’s computers worked. “Today, the IT administrator’s job is much bigger, they have a direct impact on the business. If email is not working and you want to respond to an RFP, you may be late. And it’s just a simple service like email. Many people currently work from home. And when the remote access infrastructure goes down, these people can’t do their work at home. They are not productive and it costs the company money.”

He cites the example of a top manager in a bank: “He wants to focus on his business, on getting more customers to use his bank. He’s focused on this job, so if the IT works, he won’t come and say to the IT administrator ‘you’re doing a great job’. But if something goes wrong, he wants to know why the service isn’t up and running quickly. Why didn’t IT catch this problem early?”

Difficult
So today’s IT administrator’s task has become very difficult. “On the one hand, they have managers who demand more from them and who only notice them when there is a problem. At the same time, budgets have been tightened. So they’re asked to do more with less, they have fewer people to do things, probably even externally.”

So Ramanathan sees it as his job to help the IT administrator get it right for their two stakeholders, the managers and the users. “We offer tools for the IT manager and for everyone in the chain who must ensure that the IT applications and infrastructure work correctly. Previously, when you talked about monitoring, it was mostly about CPU, memory and disk health. It is no longer enough. If you’re at home and your access is very slow, the IT manager can’t call the supervisor and say his CPU or memory is bad.”

User experience is now the most important measure by which IT is viewed. “So IT administrators have to change because what they did in the past is no longer enough. The CIO is more important to the company. I look at it from the positive side: IT now has a very proactive role, it is no longer a support function, it is a activates for the company. So the IT managers are all in the line of fire now, but it also gives them the opportunity to have an impact on the business.”

Team
So eG Innovations helps IT teams deliver what the business expects from them. “One of the things the CIO focuses on, which is actually very important, is what new applications can he enable, how can he scale? How can he give his staff more applications and more opportunities to do their job? How can you come up with a new app that will help the business? What is often overlooked is that there is a lot of room to improve the efficiency of the IT team. IT operations are often seen as maintenance that simply needs to be done. But when you start looking at things like the cloud, even small businesses are investing heavily in it. It’s a huge shift.”

“But are those investments productive? Or is someone turning on a VM without doing anything about it? So IT and the CIO need to realize that IT operations is more than just solving performance problems. How to ensure you that you are investing the right amount in the cloud? Audit the environment, see what is running, find out if there are machines that are not needed. Stop ‘virtual machine sprawl’.”

Then it’s a question of the right proportions, namely making sure to invest sensibly and not overprovision your IT environment. There is also the question how solve your problems. What often happens in IT organizations is that the experts are overburdened because there are always only a few skilled people. In addition, there are many people who are less skilled than the experts. So any problem that comes in is always referred to the same three, four or five people in the organization.”

more productive
The question that the CIO must consider is: how do I scale my business? How do I scale my IT team? “You won’t find ten more brilliant people. So how do you implement the tools and processes to make the other people on the IT team more productive? Give them tools that are easy to use. Imagine calling the help desk where the , the caller could say that a web application is not working. But the real problem is, say, the router. So the help desk needs to be aware that what the user is telling him is about the service, not about the underlying infrastructure components. So they need the tools to quickly diagnose a problem.”

It is about being able to quickly find out what the problem is in the network. Is it storage? Is it virtualization? Is it the cloud? If you can solve half the problem without calling all 20 experts together, then you only need to bring in the two or three people who can work on that particular problem. And it saves the organization a lot of money. It frees up experts’ time so they can do productive work. It also prevents the few experts from burning out. I’m not saying it’s an easy thing to do where you just have to flip a switch to make it work. But I think optimizing IT resources is something a CIO should think about.”

“As a software developer, we develop software tools that IT teams use to make businesses efficient. Most of us have worked in IT teams before, we know how expertise works with few people. So things that we looked at from a product point of view, the user interface is designed so that even a non-expert can use the tool. Many of the tools on the market today are aimed at the experts. But I don’t want any more tools for experts at all. That’s exactly the 97 people in my 100 large organization – who are not experts – who need help. That’s what we offer with our tools, a bit like the general practitioner in IT.”

Author: Marco van der Hoeven

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