Quick Recap of the CIO Executive Luncheon in Karachi

CIO Pakistan kicked off the second half of the year with a CIO Executive Luncheon hosted here in Karachi on 1st August 2017, inviting the top four industry verticals for a discussion on the top technology trends, industry challenges and the technology enterprise roadmap specific to four top rated industries which serve the end customer space, their issues, their plans, their case files.

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Industry representatives from Health, Pharmaceutical, Food & Beverages as well as Fast Moving Consumer Goods were invited to participate in a boutique industry roundtable.

Our theme for these sessions is the CIO, the IT Head, and the IT manager. What are their biggest tech scares? What are their biggest tech shares? With ransomware viruses on the loose and an increasing dependence on the cloud, what is the way forward for securing organizational data as while as enablement best serving the end customer.

After a networking lunch, the session started with an overview of the industry survey that was presented by CIO Pakistan, based on surveys conducted with local technology heads and their teams.

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Chairman PPMA (Pakistan Pharmaceutical Manufacturer’s Association) – Dr. Sheikh Kaiser Waheed who heads Medisure delivered a keynote along with his peers from the industry, Dr. Shehzad Pasha from Liaquat National Hospital and Dr. Sara Khurram from Sehat Kahani.

On the other side, we had Mr. Khawaja Tanveer Saleem from Engro Corporation and Syed Ali Waqas from Dawlance to share their own experience.

IT as an Investment, not a Cost

Not surprisingly, the top concern for all those present was the financial challenge they face when trying to justify the investment IT needs to make for services like Cloud Computing or Enterprise Resource Planning.

Zeeshan Ali from National Foods addressed this concern, making a valid point that all costs incurred when are actually investments that information technology needs to make today, to reap the benefits for tomorrow. He added:

“If the IT team is going to consider this as a ‘cost’, there is no way the management or business/financial side of your organization will look at this any differently. If you change your approach, their outlook changes as well.”

Deliberating Cloud Computing

Within Pakistan, there’s still a debate on the move to the cloud. In a quick summary on this discussion, CIO at Engro Corp said:

“In three years, Cloud Computing will no longer be an option it will be a necessity. So the sooner you jump onto this bandwagon, the easier it will be for you and your organization. Take the leap!” – Kh. Tanveer 

Industry Standardization

Particularly for the health and pharmaceutical industry, one important point to note is the industry regulation and standardization, and the other is data sensitivity with regards to the patient records.

Barcode technology, serialization and eMAR, which is electronic medical administration record in healthcare is a great example of agility and safety both, especially in light of recent cases of drug theft. In Pakistan, this is still relatively new, but the idea has been brought to market and needs a lot more work before it can be effective.

CEO Medisure and a few participants agreed that the only way to bypass this is to have IT make business sense. Tech jargons, for ages have known to intimidate the business end, and somehow ends up with no action from the business side.

Most importantly, it’s the dialogue that matters. Sessions like these are a great way to have technology professionals interact with one another, learn from their own industry peers and their organizations’ best practices to lead the way for their own technology enterprise.

This event series is powered by RapidCompute and is on its way to Lahore for a North session! Find the event photographs on IDG Pakistan’s Facebook page.