Mr Prakash Bhatia
  • August 8th, 2019
  • Exito

In Conversion with Mr. Prakash Bhatia, Head IT at Muthoot Housing Finance ltd.

Mr. Prakash Bhatia is an Global IT Leader and PMP certified professional with 23 yrs. of experience in IT application delivery and operations across the BFSI Sector. Track record of leveraging IT and implementing solutions contributing to the organizations goals of growth and market leadership.

1. What are the challenges you face as the Head IT at Muthoot Housing Finance Limited?

Turning data into a competitive advantage

Over the last few years, data has been the name of the game. The modern business now has access to more data than ever before.

The problem is, many companies don’t know what to do with their data. “But in the rush to avoid being left behind, I also see that many companies risk becoming data rich but insight poor. They accumulate vast stores of data they have no idea what to do with, and no hope of learning anything useful from.”

The focus going forward isn’t about gathering data (though that’s certainly important). It’s about turning that data you’re gathered into something useful. It’s about transforming that data into meaningful management information. Those who can capitalize on their data in this way will have a significant advantage.

Enabling Consistent Innovation

You’ve probably read quite a bit recently on the growing need for innovation. I’ve seen many people saying that the modern CIO must become the “Chief Innovation Officer.” That’s all well and good. No one will argue that innovation is important.

But I think it goes beyond innovation “Seventy percent of the companies that were on the Fortune 1000 list a mere ten years ago have now vanished–unable to adapt to change.”

Think about that. Strong, successful companies fell because they couldn’t (or wouldn’t) alter their course. They didn’t adapt.

In other words, only the agile survive.

So, the modern CIO must not only drive innovation. They must drive consistent innovation. It’s not good enough to innovate once and sit back.The modern CIO must set up processes to constantly adapt to new changes. They must deploy platforms that allow for rapid solution development. They must deliver the ability to pivot quickly as needed. More than ever, it’s the agile businesses that will succeed.

Balancing security with accessibility

You can’t write about CIO challenges in 2018 and ignore security. With massive data breaches occurring on a regular basis, I don’t think any CIO will ignore security in the coming year. This hopefully doesn’t catch any CIO or IT Leader by surprise.

However, I want to take this one step further. The challenge facing CIOs in 2018 isn’t just security, it’s how you handle security. The real challenge is delivering strong security while maintaining agility and data access. It’s about securing data in a way that doesn’t hinder the business or harm accessibility.

Finding the appropriate talent

Over the last few years, we’ve seen the massive growth of new technologies. Areas like Machine Learning, AI, Data Science, etc… have now become important skills in the business world.

As a result, more businesses face an IT skills gap–a shortfall between the supply of qualified IT professionals and the necessary IT skills.

Found that while 75% of businesses have a digital strategy, only 16% claim to have the skills to deliver it. Another study finds that a whopping 93% of businesses indicate they’re facing a skills shortage.

The big challenge facing CIOs: Address this skills gap while staying current with the ever-changing tech trends. After all, your business won’t stop and wait while you fix the skills gap. The competition won’t take a timeout while you search for modern skills. You must bridge the IT skills gap while operating at full speed.

Merging old and new

I didn’t include “Digital Transformation” on this list, because I feel like it’s a project that’s underway in most businesses.

A recent survey from Gartner finds that nearly half of all businesses have begun a digital transformation project. Another study finds that 55% of companies without an existing digital transformation program say the timeframe to adopt one is a year or less.

However, CIOs and IT leaders will face a growing challenge in their Digital Transformation journeys: Merging legacy technologies with modern technologies.

2. How different is India as a market in terms of technological adoption?

Technology adoption: from then to now

Foreign banks pioneered technology adoption in the Indian financial sector. The computerization of branches and the automation of operations to reduce manual effort represent the most significant examples of technology adoption in India.

Electronic waves rule new-age banking
Automated teller machines (ATMs) have also given significant impetus to technology in India’s banking sector. ATMs have become alternate delivery channels for banks, as they provide customers with the facility to withdraw and deposit cash without entering bank branches.

In 2009–10, the number of ATMs in the country increased by 37.6%. Further, the number of offsite ATMs (those not attached to bank branches) increased by 44.6%.

The adoption of electronic payment systems such as the National Electronic Fund Transfer (NEFT) and Real Time Gross Settlement System (RTGS) has also enhanced efficiency.

Banks have started offering many of their services through the internet and mobile phones.
Some of the services offered by online banking include:

  • Access to account information anytime and from anywhere
  • Fund transfer facility
  • Payment of mobile and other utility bills
  • Online booking of air and rail tickets.

These services have reduced the need to go to bank branches to make transactions.

Insurance companies are leveraging technology by launching online platforms to sell, renew and provide insurance services. The enrolments for insurance policies can now also be completed on the mobile platform.

Such technology helps insurance players make their distribution channels more efficient and cost effective.

Capital market players such as brokerage houses are employing technology to offer services on the internet and mobile platforms. Customers can now access stock market quotes, live updates as well as trends and tips on stock trading on their mobiles and computers through the internet.

3. What are some technology developments lately around BFSI Sector? What is your outlook for these technologies moving forward?

Here’s a outlook at how banking technology will change data sharing and the way your money is handled.

  • Blockchain Technology. …
  • Upgraded ATMs. …
  • Proliferation of Non-Banks. …
  • Apple Store-Style Experience. …
  • Automated Financial Services Employees. …
  • Mobile and Digital Banking. …
  • Partnerships. …

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