The Challenge: The modern workplace scenario presents IT teams with a dynamic landscape and a multitude of challenges. These include managing transitions between full-time, remote, and hybrid work models, determining on the optimal balance of physical and digital assets, and addressing the increasing risks of security breaches and data vulnerability. In my role as the Global IT Leader - Office of CIO at Moss Adams India, I understand the significance of proactive preparedness in averting inefficiencies and last-minute failures, ensuring system currency and security while transforming obstacles into opportunities for organisational growth and resilience.
The Venn of Learning, Growth, and Experiences
My career of 22+ years as a global IT leader resembles a Venn diagram comprising three key elements - service industry, product development, and captive services specific to the Indian market. During the first decade of my career, I immersed myself in product development, particularly in the healthcare domain, while working with Siemens Healthcare India and Siemens Healthcare US. It was an exhilarating experience as my team, and I built high-quality products that adhered to rigorous standards like HL7 and FDA (food and drug adulteration laws). This uncompromising emphasis on product quality allowed me to deepen my knowledge and understanding of emerging technologies.
Following this, my career took an intriguing twist as I ventured into the entertainment industry, joining the ranks of Sony. The opportunity provided me with a unique opportunity to develop capabilities for both Indian as well as international markets. I had the privilege of witnessing first-hand how India was evolving into a hub of success for conglomerates in the entertainment sector. Additionally, I also spent a brief period of my career at various consulting and service companies, exchanging ideas and practices related to data security.
Throughout this journey, managing and leading diverse teams across the globe has been an indispensable part of my professional growth journey. Each step along the way has been a learning curve, shaping my growth as a global IT leader.
Reminiscing on the past
As I reflect on the ever-evolving IT landscape, I am amazed by the transformative changes that have taken place over the years. Gone are the days of Unix, Fox Pros, and Fox Spaces, where we used to store critical data on servers. Today, we have embraced centralised systems that enhance data security and reliability to newer working models. This evolution highlights the dynamic nature of our field, emphasising the paramount importance of adaptability in the face of digital transformation and technological advancements. As we continue to ride the waves of change, staying one step ahead remains crucial.
Managing change seamlessly amid great shifts
In recent years, we have witnessed a significant shift in the way we work, with remote and hybrid work models becoming increasingly common. Organisations are no longer bound by traditional office setups and are embracing flexible work arrangements that allow employees to work from various locations. While it may seem interesting to many, it brings about its own set of challenges, especially for the IT teams. As an IT professional, we are tasked with establishing effective communication and collaboration channels, ensuring seamless integration between remote and in-office teams. Moreover, evaluating the right proportion of physical and digital assets is crucial in this evolving work environment. To navigate these channels successfully, proactive planning and adaptability are essential. We must stay informed about emerging trends and technologies that facilitate remote work. By leveraging these tools effectively, we can create a secure and efficient digital ecosystem that enables remote and hybrid work models to thrive.
Data security is a top priority
In today’s landscape of rising cyber-attacks and threats, data security has become the utmost priority for every organization. As IT professionals, our role has become more critical than ever before. When I joined the IT team at Moss Adams, every boardroom discussion used to revolve around the same questions - how do we secure our data, protect the confidentiality of our business information, and ensuring its safe usage across geographies? To tackle these challenges, my team and I forged strategic alliances with leading cybersecurity firms and adopted cutting-edge security technologies.
These partnerships armed us with advanced precautionary measures and enabled us in safeguarding our organisational assets from invisible yet potential risks. As an IT leader, I’m proud to say that identifying the right technologies and unlocking fruitful partnerships wouldn’t have been possible without the support of my team and their wholehearted commitment and dedication to optimising our processes.
Onboarding isn’t just for HR, but for IT too
Gone are the days when the role of IT was just limited to offering support. In recent times, it has evolved into a comprehensive role that encompasses seamless business operations and talent acquisition. At Moss Adams, we recently conducted our first large-scale physical recruitment drive post-pandemic, marking a significant milestone in our journey.
Over the last three years, our approach to onboard new hires at Moss Adams has been purely digital. This transition required meticulous planning and coordination with various stakeholders to ensure a seamless experience for new hires. As IT professionals, it was nothing short of a challenge for us to test our adaptability.
However, through 15 days of thorough preparation, we successfully navigated the shift and delivered exceptional results. I take great pride in proclaiming that we have accomplished an outstanding onboarding experience for our 100 new hires. For me, this achievement stands as one of the biggest milestones in my journey as an IT leader.
Looking back, it’s been a fulfilling journey made of numerous learnings and delivering on time despite immense pressure, all with one goal - protecting the trust my stakeholders placed in me.