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CIOs need to be ahead in thinking and adapting technologies, says Dr. Sayed Peerzade, Executive VP & CCO at Yotta Infrastructure Solutions

For all Government initiatives and enterprises or MSME, digital is way forward to grow

This is an exclusive interview conducted by Santosh Vaswani, Content Writer & Editor at CIO News with Dr. Sayed Peerzade, Executive Vice President & Chief Cloud Officer (CCO) at Yotta Infrastructure Solutions

When asked him about his career path first to be a successful CIO and now from being a CIO to be an Executive Vice President & Chief Cloud Officer, Dr. Sayed Peerzade, Executive Vice President & Chief Cloud Officer (CCO) at Yotta Infrastructure Solutions, in an exclusive interview with CIO News said, to be fair, nothing is planned. It keeps happening and I consider myself to be fortunate. Right from Customer Support Engineer to Executive VP and CCO, the journey is amazingly interesting. Learning in every step, also got amazing mentors across, which made me what I am today. The journey of transition is very long. What triggers me to continue on previous profiles, or switch to a new one, is purely based on innovation challenges. As much as I keep getting chances of innovations, I am happy in every profile. Transition to Yotta is also part of that philosophy. I was always part of start-up teams and had the chance to create something new from scratch. Be it Hathway, where I was part of a team that was assigned to create a cable internet service provider in India, which was a first-time experiment. I created the same successfully along with Data centres in five major cities in India. That’s where my Datacentre/ISP/Telecom journey started. On-boarding at Yotta is like a full circle, back to DC and consumer business, but at a much larger scale. Meanwhile, I worked at ICICI Bank for a short period, and then moved to UTV, the start of the M&E journey which was a long one. In UTV I have created a large animation studio, which is now a Disney studio in Mumbai. I joined Reliance from the inception of the entertainment business. The stint in reliance was where I have taken large-scale digital transformation initiatives as an innovation. I designed private cloud architecture which was almost the first of its kind in India. None of the foreign players like AWS were present at that time. I created a game analytics setup, again the first of its kind in India. I consolidated the traditional business and moved them to digital and ideated and started Reliance Games, which is one of the larger companies in the entertainment portfolio. Yotta, as I said brought me back to the consumer side of business and data centre. Here I am again working on creating something like a cloud ecosystem, a complete end-to-end cloud practice using modern technologies and is for scale. Everything is in the inception stage now, the details of which we will discuss in our next discussions for sure.

When asked about the difference between his previous role as a CIO and his current role, Dr. Sayed Peerzade said, “Nothing. I won’t feel any change in profile and responsibilities”. Although at a look for it, this may look like a transition to the consumer to vendor kind of, however for me, every CIO who is part of the business board in respective businesses is serving some kind of consumers, hence these transitions of sides doesn’t matter. As I said above till that innovation quotient is there in profile, I won’t mind either think on these consumer–vendor theories. Moreover, since more businesses nowadays are driven by tech, the dream of every CIO is to become CEO. I got a chance to create something, and also head that business, what more can I ask? Hence, I accepted the opportunity. I think if you want to grow, and use your experience and lead business, CIO’s have to come out of that ‘CIO is community’ kind thinking. This will change the way you look at various profiles as a business leader.

When asked about his role at Yotta Infrastructure Solutions and his key business priorities, Dr. Sayed Peerzade said, at Yotta, I will head the entire Cloud practice. As India is growing digitally, the data centres are going to play important role in creating a ‘Digital India’. For all Government initiatives and enterprises or MSME, digital is way forward to grow. That’s where Cloud is going to play a significant role in all of these businesses. One needs to understand, in all stacks of digital technologies, the cloud is the fundamental need. All building blocks of new technologies, be it BigData, AI, Fin-tech, IOT, Edge, Robotics, AR, etc., all are built on Cloud technologies. I am here in Yotta to fulfil the mission of Yotta to build an end-to-end cloud ecosystem, which will serve India and its citizens to achieve the dream of Digital India.

When asked about the challenges faced by CIOs nowadays his advice to other CIOs for their successful professional journey, Dr. Sayed Peerzade said, biggest fear as a CIO today is disruption of business by new edge technologies, which gives them sleepless nights. Every CIO has to prepare their respective businesses to counter that, with the right technology and strategy. CIOs need to be ahead in thinking and adapting technologies. They have to come with business ideas, and in the end, lead those businesses. Creating Digital transformation strategies around business goals is the key. As I said above, one has to come out of only a tech mind-set, start speaking business languages, understand business, ideate, and create a business using technologies. I want every CIO to lead the business he ideated and created. My journey to a new role from the role of a CIO is purely based on this philosophy.

Speaking about best practices/ industry trends to suggest for fellow CIOs, Dr. Sayed Peerzade said, the advice which I always percolate on any forums to my fellow CIOs is my learning over the period as a CIO. Please follow the seven rule formula to create a successful business and a culture as a CIO.

  1. Design digital transformation or business transformations around business goals
  2. Take an enterprise-wide approach
  3. Make data and analytics a top company priority
  4. Expand the role of IT
  5. Transform the talent to adapt to the new-age tech
  6. Consumer experience focus
  7. Cost-effectiveness & smarter deals

Also read: CIO News interviews Shri Wangki Lowang, Minister (IT) of Arunachal Pradesh

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