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How to Extract More from Your Staff

Yes, extract. Don't be ashamed of saying it. It's part of your job as CIO. Here are three ways to use your staff more optimally.

Consolidate

V. Balakrishnan, CIO, Polaris Software, has capitalized on his company's global integrated networks to attempt to consolidate the huge number of people the IT services company has. "Since we have global networks, we make sure that only one or two people deliver functionality across the world. This ensures that we don't need to keep and maintain people at every location. We use VoIP, virtualization and audio conferencing to limit the use of manpower. If you have 20-30 functions you don't need separate teams, one team is sufficient," he says. These strategies have helped him -- and his large team -- slash opex and improve quality of services.

IT-enable Work Sharing

Often, there are daily tasks that are assigned in an ad hoc manner. We all have them: it could be the one system that needs patching or a new in-house application that needs a tiny tweaking and can't wait. And these throw a spanner in your planning, making it a challenge to ensure that some resources are not overloaded while others are idle. That's' why Sankarson Banerjee, CIO, India Infoline, has deployed a multiple project management tool on Open Source. "We've combined technology and daily meetings (derived from agile practices). Our tool helps us allocate work and track if it was completed or not. It also helps us identify people with too much or too less workload," he says.

Get Them to Multi-task

For Sriram Naganathan, CTO, Reliance General Insurance, all job roles are rolled into one. "At the lower level, our IT staff acts as a business analyst and a developer. While, at the senior level we have given them business roles. My senior project managers are aligned with claims processing and BI. So, apart from IT they contribute to business functions as well," he says. This strategy not only saves manpower but also exposes IT staff to business functions.


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