Interview with Himanshu Shrivastava, Managing Director, Head – Digital Technology (APAC and EMEA) at Citibank

Himanshu and his team are responsible for accelerated delivery of Citi’s Mobile first strategy and driving digital channels to next generation technology capabilities. Responsible for Development and Deployment of Internet and Mobile banking platform, API, ESB and CMR applications for Asia and EMEA Consumer Business. The primary focus for this role is application development, deployment of technology based business critical solutions, standardization of platforms & processes, managing large  teams in diverse geographies, off shoring & outsourcing, vendor management.

Himanshu joined Citi in 2003 as a Manager – Application Development in Business Systems Team of CitiFinancial, India. Since then, he has had many stints within Consumer Business Technology in India and Singapore. He has extensive experience in Product Development, Project Management and Implementation. Product/Solution design using various technologies. He leverages his knowledge of Citi’s systems and technology to deliver solutions to clients.

He holds a Bachelors Degree from the Delhi University specializing in Computer Science, Mathematics and Science & a Masters of Business  Administration from Institute of Management and Technology, Ghaziabad, India (I.M.T.) specializing in Marketing and Technology.

1) What do you feel are the biggest challenges IT leaders are currently faced with within their business?
Biggest challenges I find currently are:
Balancing Speed
Cost and Quality of Solutions being delivered.

2) As an IT leader, what do you feel businesses continue to get wrong when it comes to their IT strategy?
IT is a support function for the business, in fact IT is business now.

3) What are the latest trends and behaviours you predict will be surfacing on the market over the coming 12 months?
AI/ML using Big Data will be BAU.

4) What is the best piece of advice you have received within your job over the years?
Doing is easy, getting it done is difficult.

5) What is one key takeaway you hope our IT audience leaves with after hearing your presentation on site?
Be an ecosystem player to win, and it’s not so difficult if we have the thought.

Interview with Ramesh Munamarty, Group Chief Information Officer for International SOS

Ramesh Munamarty is the Group Chief Information Officer for International SOS. He leads the technology function for the Group that includes the engineering functions for the leading digital products that the company offers. International SOS is the world’s leading Medical and Travel Security Assistance Company and is in the business of saving and protecting lives from more than 1000 locations in 90+ countries. The Group companies also include Aspire lifestyles which inspires the extraordinary in lifestyle services for leading financial institutions and high-end retail businesses. MedAire provides medical and travel safety services to leading commercial airlines, corporate aviation and yachts.

1) What do you feel are the biggest challenges IT leaders are currently faced with within their business?
One of the challenges that the leaders have is balancing innovation with growth. The advent of new technologies such as AI, ML and Blockchain can be a gamechanger to enter to new domains, however the growth with current strategy may prevent organizations being agile to fuel innovation for the next growth wave. The other challenge is driving organizational change management to make the enterprises be more agile. The third challenge is providing superior customer experiences with talent well versed in modern technologies and getting appropriate funding.

2) As an IT leader, what do you feel businesses continue to get wrong when it comes to their IT strategy?
Companies don’t link IT strategy with customer needs and don’t have clear metrics that link the KPIs of IT to the Enterprise KPIs. Many companies are also inward looking and don’t consider IT to be a strategic function that can be a differentiator and gain competitive market share.

3) What are the latest trends and behaviours you predict will be surfacing on the market over the coming 12 months?
One of the key behaviour change will be the agile way of working and leveraging modern technologies such as AI, ML and blockchain. In addition, data analytics will be a key focus area for several companies. There will be an increase in Cloud Adoption and network transformation to be ready for Cloud such as SD-WAN.

4) What is one key takeaway you hope our IT audience leaves with after hearing your presentation on site?
Drive digital transformation by organizing agile teams into pods, reusing tech patterns and focusing on business outcomes.

Interview with Steve Ng, Lead for Digital Platform Operations, Mediacorp

Steve Ng is the Lead for Digital Platform Operations (Digital Group) in Mediacorp, with a keen interest and vision in adopting new technologies and solutions to improving the work environment. In Mediacorp’s Digital Transformation journey, Steve is instrumental in upgrading its cybersecurity using Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML), behavioral and pattern recognition with the intent to quickly identify, isolate and neutralize threats. Steve is also leading the Blockchain initiative in Mediacorp, developing use cases and applications, and building up the blockchain technology ecosystem to enhancing customer experience, corporate governance, and streamlining business systems.

1) What do you feel are the biggest challenges IT leaders are currently faced with within their business?

Cybersecurity threats, unknowns in their environment, and widening skill gaps are three of the key challenges faced in my opinion.

Cybersecurity threats landscape is continuously evolving, getting more sophisticated in design and our reaction time is shortening. All these factors combined caused IT leaders to scramble for quick fixes and reprioritise IT budget on the fly.

Acquiring cybersecurity talents with relevant skills and experience is also another challenging task. Most of the time, candidates do not have the necessary skills and credentials, as well as sufficient work experience to be competent on the job. Besides hiring, we are also upgrading our own people’s skill set with a long-term approach.

2) As an IT leader, what do you feel businesses continue to get wrong when it comes to their IT strategy?

Generally, the lack of strategy and execution of plans due to pressure to fire fight any immediate issues aka knee-jerk reactions. We may be solving urgent issues but may not be the important and strategic tasks.

Resource planning is another factor, with a mid-term strategic plan, IT leaders need to identify the skill gaps, develop existing staff to take on new roles, and identify new partners to supplement the team.

3) What are the latest trends and behaviours you predict will be surfacing on the market over the coming 12 months?

Doing more with less is the common theme here. Business and IT leaders need to identify and acquire new solutions and skills for their organisation to better manage the dynamic global environment.

Knowing your data is another important trend. Having visibility and insights into our systems and operational environment can give us early warning signs of stress and potential issues. Big data, artificial intelligence and machine learning are critical platforms to help us achieve the goal of spotting the potential issues amongst the ocean of data.

4) What is the best piece of advice you have received within your job over the years?

Build a strategic vision, communicate the plans, develop the people and partner ecosystems to support the execution. This is a collection of advice from many wise mentors in my career, each adding a layer of wisdom to my thought processes, people management skills and foresight.

5) What is one key takeaway you hope our IT audience leaves with after hearing your presentation on site?

Collaboration is the key ingredient to successful outcomes. Learn from other people’s experience and journey, identify how to improve your own journey, and collaborate.

Inteview with Wandera

Who are Wandera and what do they do?

Wandera’s pioneering web gateway for mobile provides organizations with Enterprise Mobile Security and Data Management. A recognized leader in the space, Wandera’s security solution includes Mobile Threat Defense, designed to identify vulnerabilities and protect devices from targeted mobile attacks. Powerful Content Filtering features extend this protection by allowing organizations to manage unapproved device usage and reduce data exposures on a proactive basis.

Wandera’s technology is powered by MI:RIAM, a proprietary intelligence engine that detects and prevents zero-hour attacks by applying machine learning to the industry’s largest and most varied real-time mobile data set.

What do Wandera see as some of the key challenges facing senior IT executives within their space?  

Mobility within the enterprise has exploded. What started as a consumer technology quickly spread into businesses allowing employees to work in a more agile and flexible way. This fast-paced change however has left IT scrambling to keep up. Mobile devices are not only used in a different way to more traditional laptops and desktops, often including personal apps and accounts on one device. They are also more likely to be used outside of the corporate walls and have the ability to access many disparate networks. This makes managing and securing mobile devices a lot more difficult.

As yet, companies have not invested in mobile security solutions in the same way they have in their traditional infrastructure. Many companies have started by using mobile device management solutions (MDM) which allows for fast deployment of business apps, the ability to block unwanted apps and also wipe devices remotely if there is a security risk detected. However, without visibility into what data is going in and out of the device, it is impossible to tell if a mobile is infected with malware, if someone has clicked on a phishing link, if apps are leaking data, and the list continues.

Not only this, hackers are wise to the fact that corporate mobile devices are often the weak link in a company’s infrastructure, and exploit this weakness through targeted campaigns. Phishing is the number one threat to mobile, backed by research from Google, Black Hat and US Homeland Security, and last year research showed that 76% of businesses suffered a phishing attack. Furthermore, users are 3x more likely to click on a phishing link on a mobile device than on desktop.

The proliferation of mobile malware is also a top security concern for enterprises across the globe. In 2016 the number of malicious malware installation packages found striking mobile devices more than tripled, resulting in almost 40 million attacks globally, a number that has continued to rise.

With data breaches hitting the news daily, companies can’t be too careful when it comes to security. Mobile security needs to be given the same resource and investment as all other parts of a businesses IT infrastructure.

How can Wandera help secure mobile devices?

Wandera has a mobile first approach to security and data management. It integrates into your MDM solution allowing you to utilise your existing investment. The Wandera app is installed on the device and roots traffic through it’s unique, multi-level gateway. This gives admins full visibility of the data going in and out of the device by operating in the pathway of the data. It does this through intelligent vectoring techniques, meaning no need for VPNs and all data remains encrypted – with no latency or impact upon battery performance.

The admin portal gives admins access to see what security issues are lurking within their fleet. There are a number of dashboards which give insights into what apps are leaking data, if anyone is clicking on phishing links, and any malware installed on devices. As well as this you can see who is operating outdated OS’s and if anyone has jailbroken their device. From here, admins can set policies in place to monitor devices and only flag up the issues they want to see. They can also block access to sites just as adult, gambling and extreme, which are areas of the internet well known for their higher risk.

Wandera are well known in this space and the only vendor who secures mobile devices end to end. Wandera were recognised in Gartner’s 2017 Market Guide for Mobile Threat Defense as well as identified as a leader in IDC’s MarketScape for Mobile Threat Management.

What are the key messages that attendees will take away from Wandera’s roundtable discussion?

Join Wandera’s VP of Business, Stijn Paumen for a roundtable discussion to learn more about how you can protect against the rapidly changing mobile threat landscape. You’ll hear real life examples of how other business have been infiltrated and what steps have been put in place to mitigate future risk, and importantly what technologies are most relevant in helping CIO/CISO’s protect against mobile threats.

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