IT infrastructure management is a complex process that requires agile handling by CTOs and CIOs. A discussion on what are the high-points and possible pitfalls:
CIOs must concentrate on innovation tasks rather than focusing on technology to drive business. A greater challenge to creating innovation is the time-scarcity factor. Major time is being consumed on managing infrastructure related elements. Infrastructure in banking can be divided into software based and hardware based. However vast the infrastructure be, it ideally should not consume human bandwidth that could be utilized for creating innovation. Automation to a greater extent can provide an answer to reducing human intervention required in infrastructureoperationalization and thereby percolate into creating the spark of innovation.
Maintenance is always timeconsuming; however, most CTOs and CIOs opine that average time spent on managing software is higher, than time spent on hardware related tasks. Says Anup Purohit, head-IT, Ratnakar Bank: “On an average we spend 60% of the time on software related tasks and only 30% on hardware related ones. We have outsourced hardware maintenance services to Netmagic though. We have a good data governance procedure to check vendor relationships. This helps save time so that we can focus on business transformation activities and applications.”
Shibu Thomas, DGM-ICT, South Indian Bank is of the view that there is no difference as such in hardware or software maintenance. A failure no matter the source is always a pitfall, he says adding internally, most system related hardware maintenance has been outsourced, but software pains do linger. There are vast IT infrastructure management is a complex process that requires agile handling by CTOs and CIOs. A discussion on what are the high-points and possible pitfalls: IT Infrastructure – Soothing the Pain Banking Frontiers April 2014 29 interdependencies between software and hardware, but the customer is the critical cog and at times managing multiple expectations becomes a bigger challenge, he maintains.
Managing outlived hardware comes with performance issues, says S.K. Mohanty, GM-IT, Punjab National Bank. “Hardware Infrastructure challenges lead to investment irrationality. An ideal method bankers should look at is to calculate RoI on hardware related investments,” says he.
Usha Menon, GM-IT, Central Bank of India, argues that hardware maintenance is more of a physical activity while software maintenance could be managed remotely. “Maintenance activities of hardware require dedicated resources to move and undertake tasks at locations where the hardware is to be installed. Software maintenance, on the other hand, is not location-dependent. Most of the applications today are networked and hence can be accessed remotely. To some extent there are tools to rectify standard software bugs automatically. As a result, in the present scenario, physical movement of resources is not necessary when it comes to software maintenance. Updates and version control can be scheduled/maintained in a systematic way.”