I, The Absolute

Archive for June 17th, 2005

Management by Technology

Posted by itheabsolute on June 17, 2005

Being tech-savvy is I don’t think a USP, but not knowing what technology can do is a big disadvantage. This realization has been painfully growing within me. I need to buck up. The problem is not about my not being able to write a software or do an excel macro. If badly required, I can always have someone do it for me. The larger problem is if I do not have an appreciation of technology, how can I ever think of its benefits in improving business and thus my own success?

I last worked with HDFC Bank. The bank started operations in 1995. In less than 10 years it had many credits to its account – USD 12 Billion balance sheet; USD 750 Million revenues; best PE for any bank in Asia; always trades at a premium on NYSE; awarded by Morgan Stanley for the best policies on risk management. The list can go on. One reason why the bank stands different from others is that the MD of the Bank, Aditya Puri, saw that technology will be amongst the largest differentiators for the bank. He invested in centralized database, when no one ever thought about it, which resulted in many advantages for the Bank. Till date no other bank has been able to catch up. The problem is – redoing things always costs and has its own perils. He is named the best CEO by many a foreign financial magazines. He is not a techie himself, but he had a vision to think that technology will make difference.

It is technology which has made Wal-Mart what it is today. Automobile companies, it is said, will have 25 % of software content in its manufacture. Technology has changed / is going to further change the way product and services can be delivered. Ebay, Amazon are immediate examples. So, if I want to become someone in this corporate world or even think about that, I cannot afford to ignore the technology perspective of management. We have a course on strategic analysis of IT in our fourth term. But long before that I want to get a good hang of technology, because the best way to appreciate IT is by doing it myself. ISB has a whole lot of students from IT background. Perhaps, to begin with, I will request one to mentor me.

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