"Our predictive ability to prevent incidents in operations has improved through automation"

Meenakshi Vajpai, CIO, Vodafone shares her views on being a practical CIO, implementation of automation at Vodafone, digital transformation and adoption of new technologies in the telecom industry

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Meenakshi Vajpai, CIO, Vodafone shares her views on being a practical CIO, implementation of automation at Vodafone, digital transformation and adoption of new technologies in the telecom industry.

Here are the excerpts:

What does it take to be a practical CIO?

First, we need to find the business use cases where the technology is relevant. There are so many new things we are trying to adopt that we are force-feeding new technology into a business context. Unless it is contextual for the business and its outcomes, no technology is relevant. CIOs of today are more business people than technology people. We don't need to make technology massive. The business outcomes and efficiency along with a simple model is enough. CIOs make the mistake of getting carried away by trying to showcase technology in a big way.

How has automation being implemented by you at Vodafone?

In our IT operations, we have tried to eliminate most of the manual monitoring, inference drawing and corrections by automation. Now we have started putting intelligence to automation and transitioned from simple automation to predictive automation management. So our main time to resolve problems has gone down drastically month-on-month. Our predictive ability to prevent incidents in operations has also improved quite a lot.

How do you foresee the digital transformation in the telecom industry?

Industries are mostly pushed to transform as per customer expectations. We need to provide customers technical tools which they can use and serve their purpose. 

How has the change in the competition landscape affected the evolution of Vodafone?

Every industry is grappling with the new digital definition that we are trying to create for ourselves. We have to keep trying new things to satisfy customers, for example customers talking through self-serve channels as opposed to live agents. Everyone is trying to adopt. So how soon and effectively we can adopt them will be important for us to stay ahead of competitors.

Which are the new technologies that will be adopted by the telecom industry in 2018?

Cloud, IoT and Intelligence is going to have a big impact. The way we use automation and intelligence smartly both for customer experience and internal efficiency will also define our adoption in 2018.  


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