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10/9/2008
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CIO Values: K. Ananth Krishnan, CTO Of Tata Consultancy Services

IT services companies must "deliver innovation to clients across multiple dimensions," Krishnan says.

Career Track

K. Ananth Krishnan

K. Ananth Krishnan,
CTO

Tata Consultancy Services

How long at current company: 20 years

Career accomplishment I'm most proud of: The highlight of my career has been establishing the TCS Co-Innovation Network, which extends TCS's in-house innovation capabilities with an open framework. It's a new approach to innovation that pulls together venture capitalists, startups, academics, partners, and customers in a single collaborative network.

Most important career influencer: My father gave me excellent advice when I started on my career: Do your best in whatever you do; put your heart and soul into it and don't ask for responsibility, but earn it; and help others in whatever way you can.

Decision I wish I could do over: Switching from physics to computer science in the mid-1980s was a great career move, but I always wonder if I would have solved the global energy crisis if I had found a way to complete my physics Ph.D. research on amorphous silicon solar cells!

Vision
The next big thing for my business will be ... the need for the IT services industry to deliver innovation to clients across multiple dimensions--business models, technology, and service models.

View on offshore outsourcing: The IT services, consulting, and systems integration industry has already globalized the talent pool and cost base. The benefits of global delivery are now moving into the transformational phase, where the best global providers are able to deliver new platforms and services.

On The Job
Size of IT team: 1,500

Top three initiatives:
  • Deploy a full-scale, internal service-oriented architecture driven by formal business process modeling and execution.
  • Simplify and consolidate existing infrastructure to follow an internal utility computing model.
  • Continue R&D on next-generation model-driven development.

How I measure IT effectiveness: We use a balanced scorecard approach for measuring all functions, including innovation, research, and internal IT. Sample measures include financial impact on the business and internal and external customer satisfaction benchmarking.

Key tech partners: Dell, Hewlett-Packard, IBM, Oracle, SAP

Personal
Colleges/degrees: BS in physics, Fergusson College, Pune, India; MS in physics and master of technology in computer science, Indian Institute of Technology

Best book read recently: The Return Of Sherlock Holmes by Arthur Conan Doyle

If I weren't a CTO, I'd be ...a quiz-show host or business school professor.

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