Thursday, July 28, 2011

TCS ITIS: Detailed Analysis

It has been quite sometime while the discussion had been going on as to what ITIS actually is. Well, to begin with, ITIS (IT Infrastructure Services) just another position offered by TCS. I see people are going so crazy to know about it in every social networking site or many news sites and blogs. For freshers and new candidates, it is really a new domain. So the curiosity is even more.infrastructure It will be quite sometime before the companies across the world realize the benefits of the Infrastructure services offered by a player with as much talent and quality as TCS.

Infrastructure Services range across a pretty decent array of technologies and tools ranging from the smallest bug in the system software to the mainframe server systems, from cross-platform compatibility of a software to the networking functionalities of a widespread network of workstations. They all come under the Infrastructure services. There is virtually unlimited amount of potential in this field and TCS has probably taken one of the smallest step in one of the most gigantic field of opportunity and is undoubtedly destined to some outstanding performance in ITIS in years to come. I think it will be pretty soon when ITIS services will overtake IT services in terms of total profit and revenue. Here's some further readings on different domains.

A more clear picture of ITIS
If you want me to help you relate to some real-world scenario which might clear your doubts further, lets take up some examples. Say for example a company like SAIL (Steel Authority of India Limited) which all of us are familiar with. They must be having a pretty decent volume of data to handle with so much of construction work going on all across India and with such huge volume of finances involved.

If they want to move all their data from the huge files on their tables to the computer systems (you can be sure they already do), they have moved to the world where they will be requiring ITIS. Because the moment they start using computers to facilitate and speed up their work, they are automatically stepping into a world in which they do not have expertise (try not to use your imagination and relate the use of steel in your computer motherboard or CPU cabinet!). Soon their data volume will increase, hence the need for more servers, hence comes a service for Data Management. Soon they will be concerned with security issues, hence the need for more secure environments, hence comes a service for Security. They might be using a software for managing and faster processing of their data. Soon they will want to get the best quality performance of the particular software, hence the need for upgrading to a better version or to a different better software, hence comes a service for Application Management. Thus every aspect related to the technology they will be using will invariably have a Service aspect associated with it.  

Detailed picture of job roles in TCS ITIS 
TCS ITIS is the service started by TCS for quite sometime now. It ranges currently across most of the industries like banking, healthcare, retail, telecom, etc. It promises and undoubtedly delivers an enhanced quality of service to help their clients experience the perfect ITIS solutions they can yearn for. You can read my detailed comparison of IT and ITIS for a more clear idea. Here I have tried to provide some insights into what the job role might be like for each of the ITIS services offered by TCS. At the end of each job role, I have provided an approximate rating of technical skill that I feel might be required in the particular job role along with an analysis. Each an every of these job roles offered by TCS are dreams to thousands of IT professionals. So there shouldn’t be any doubt whether you should go ahead for it! You can feel free to comment below. I would also recommend you to download the ITIS document from the download page to have a better understanding of this field.

Service Name

Job Role
IT Service Desk TCS says “We define a service desk (SD) as the single-point contact for all IT-related issues for our clients. Our geographic spread and thorough understanding of IT Infrastructure technologies helps us provide you with quick turnaround solutions from concept to service delivery in 30+ local languages, with certainty of cost, quality and schedule.”

Type of Job:
Well, it can be somewhat like a technical helpdesk kind of job. I doubt if the people in the IT Service Desk will actually be working on the issues that arise. They will take calls from users all across the world and record the problems they are having. They will then transfer the issues depending on the type of problem to the respective technical team (Database Team, Security Team, etc). They will be more concerned with updating the list of issues and events, keeping a track of the issues, contacting and updating the user, following up with the technical teams, suggesting resolutions to the user. Tools they will be using might include all sorts of sophisticated mobile technology like desktop sharing, video conferencing, etc.

Data Center
Management Services
TCS says “TCS’ Data Center Services offer comprehensive data center support. They help design and manage data centers across heterogeneous platforms and support these with global hosting capabilities. Our solutions optimize and consolidate the data center and its resources, leading to improved service levels and reduced cost of ownership.”

Type of Job:
This job might range across a pretty broad array of opportunities ranging from Database Administrators to handling the glitches in the network server which might call for candidates expert in networking. But no doubt the majority of the people will have to expert in SQL and PL/SQL apart from having knowledge of DBA activities. There are a lot of things to learn which are specific to DBAs only. If you want to start preparing now, you can start with this book by Oracle right away. It will undoubtedly give you a complete grasp over the subject to begin with your DBA career.

Computing Services
TCS says “TCS’ End User Computing Services (EUCS) provide services to seamlessly transform the end-user computing landscape from its current state to a world-class environment by utilizing an analytics-based transformation approach to enhance end-user productivity and save costs.”

Type of Job:
This service will surely involve most of the modern technologies that are coming out starting from cloud computing to security solutions. So hardware knowledge for any kind of platform might be a default requirement. Compatibility and 24x7 availability will no doubt involve cross-platform testing and thus might involve thorough testing of single instances of applications (involving software, hardware, phones, patches) before they are being produced to the client for their use. These applications need to be of top-class quality and hence not the mildest bug or glitches of any sort would be entertained. But I tend to give it a touch low rating below because I am not sure how much repetitive the work will be like. If the same work needs to be done daily to resolve similar problems or issues, I won’t rate it high on technical skill. But if it’s not the case, consider it fine.

Application Management Services TCS says “
Growing application dependency and dynamism of the enterprise’s business environment require organizations to derive more out of its IT investments in its endeavor to align IT to business objectives. In this context, the need to ensure that your applications are at their peak performance with minimum downtime becomes critical
TCS’ Application Management portfolio, by leveraging our vast experience in the application space, ensures that your enterprise has a reliable and available application eco-system through proactive 24X7 monitoring and performance tuning.

Type of Job:
Many large organizations nowadays revert to top notch application usage to meet their analytical, financial processing, data processing needs. These applications need to be managed well and supported well by the vendor (not necessarily always the vendor, third parties might also help the organization to fix bugs in the application software built by a different vendor) to provide the correct, accurate and perfect output as expected. The needs of the organization might also change from time-to-time which inevitably leads to the developers and coding jumping into the scenario and providing the solution. But I am skeptical here as well, what if the organization using the application does not report any bugs or issues for a long time, or they do not need any upgradation or any new feature to meet their needs for years. But as you can see, this might well vary for different organizations and different clients and projects.

Network Services
TCS says “TCS’ Converged Network Services offer a robust data network backbone that helps you converge your voice, data, video and other multimedia communication applications. It increases your operating efficiencies, reduces expenditure and promotes business interactions among employees, partners, customers, and any other internal or external agencies, thereby powering your processes and functions.”

Type of Job:
This service will be an amazing one with the convergence of virtually of all technologies available to mankind till date. It will be a mixture of electronics, software, hardware, electrical and computer engineering at it’s very best. Platforms and files can range from anything to anything. Quality of service is promised to be of utmost priority, hence the coding standards needs to be high no doubt. There is immense opportunity to become a network admin or database admin or admin of any technology in this service. To start preparing yourself, just collect some names of books from your seniors and buy here. It deals with Routing(all kinds), Switching (most extensively used, might require knowledge of advanced Cisco Nexus Platform besides standard IOS), Virtualization(e.g. for VMWare implementation one has to be adept at VSphere, ESXi, VCenter). But I doubt how much work will be done for networking internally as TCS has Cisco as one of it’s biggest partners in this field. 

Security Services
TCS says “TCS’ Managed Security Services help you with comprehensive and cost-efficient security solutions that enable you to meet your regulatory compliance and data integrity needs.”

Type of Job:
This service will survive forever as long as hard disks and computers survive. Yes, security is given the topmost priority in each and every organization which use Information Technology. So to manage data securely and in an efficient manner, developers will need to be abreast with all the latest developments and coding standards and certifications. You will surely not like it if your code has a loophole which a hacker was just waiting for!

System Management
TCS says “
TCS’ IT IS Enterprise Systems Management (ESM) services focus on addressing the critical needs of your enterprise toward ESM tools implementation and operations.
We collaborate with you to create an ESM tools services strategy that addresses the specific needs of your organization, ensures data and infrastructure availability, increases responsiveness and improves reporting and real-time dashboards.

Type of Job:
According to Wikipedia, “
Centralized management has a time and effort trade-off that is related to the size of the company, the expertise of the IT staff, and the amount of technology being used”.
So Enterprise System Management is one of those vital areas which needs to be taken care of by the entire team as a whole. Coding and developing may be a once-off activity here. Occasional upgrades and bug fixes or enhancements might keep ticking the coding brains alive. I am skeptical in this case as well and it entirely depends on your project.

IT Service
TCS says “The recent economic challenges have thrown the IT industry open to new arenas such as the migration to a Cloud environment, adoption of Software as a Service (SaaS) models, IT management by leveraging multiple suppliers and so on. TCS’ IT Service Management offers a comprehensive solution to help its customers establish a strong governance and setup a unified and standardized operating environment.”

Type of Job:
There is a revolution going on currently in the technology world with newer, faster, bolder and more complex ones coming out to provide some awesome services to the organizations and individuals. Starting from cloud computing to to conferencing technologies, there had been progress by leaps and bounds. This service area is going to include programmers, developers, tester, support activities of all sorts. It is destined to grow with more and more organizations looking up to IT these days to meet their needs.

Transformation Solutions TCS says “TCS’ Transformation Solutions focus on the optimization and transformation of enterprise IT infrastructure through its analytics-led Enterprise Transformation Framework. They transform your traditional computing environments, which are plagued with poor utilization, high complexity and high Total Cost of Ownership (TCO), into highly efficient, agile and optimized infrastructure, capable of meeting business goals effectively.”

Type of Job:
There are many different kinds of models followed by different organizations. Each of these models can be optimized to an extent that nearly achieves perfection with zero hiccups in every part. Such a service will certainly require candidates from all sorts of technologies because organizations differ in technology for the same task. It will be going to a very big team and it is difficult to say where you would fit. But the technologies would be nice no doubt.

More about ITIS here.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Health of IT professionals, err..

“Hi, did you taste that new Zinger meal at KFC? It’s awesome! Well it doesn’t have as much cheese as you would get in the Chicken Cheese Italiano Pizza in Pizza Hut but it tastes good. Also try the Chocolate pastry at Biscotti if you ever get a chance.”
This is pretty much what one would hear if he gets to ask a IT professional about some good food in the city. Yes, they have the money. They have the cool geek status. They don't bother to spend thousands for the style. They surround themselves with all sorts of gadgets (including me!). And last but not the least, they never compromise on eating. In fact, an average IT professional spends anything between 5-10% of her salary on food.

It has appeared that IT people start eating out more than before after they get accustomed to their professional life. And this junk food and delicacies outdoors adds half an inch to their waistline every year. Yes, you read right, half an inch. (If you doubt, look around you and multiply the experience of your colleagues in years by 1/2 inch and try to guess and compare istockphoto_16575184-expressive-man-eating-fast-foodwith their waist size. Disclaimer: Don’t get slapped ogling at anyone and blame me for that).

Well, the common symptoms are all too common.  You can’t wake up with full vigor and energy in the morning. You always feel you need more sleep. You feel a stiffness in your neck and back, specially in your waist. You find it difficult falling asleep. You put on weight a lot faster than you expect. Well, sitting in cushioned chair all day long might well seem like a boon from outside. And to an extent even true. (Lucky us who don’t have to get drenched in the rains during monsoon or burn under the sun during summer ;) But that comes for a steep price. Our Health. It’s up to us now how we take measures to protect what we have been gifted with. All it takes is a little consideration from our side and it will yield us gold. Not a single one of us would say we don’t like fast food. All of us do. So how come some people stay slim, hot and sexy around us and some age so fast!

It’s partly in the genes which is beyond your control and normally forms 50% of the decisive factor of a person’s figure. But we have the rest 50% of the factors in our control. And that’s istockphoto_9434272-healthy-eating-and-dieting-conseptpretty huge. Let’s start with food. We can never stop having non-veg. But that doesn’t mean we can’t stop eating cheese and can’t opt for chicken pizzas with less cheese in them! We can’t stop having chicken biriyani, but that doesn’t mean we can’t reduce our frequency of having it. Same applies for cold drinks too. It would be a sin if you tell me to stop having cold stuffs. But as you see, it’s still in our control without much controlling ourselves! And this would also allow you to freely eat during office parties and hangouts with your girlfriend(s!).

Now coming to better food habits. If you feel you can control yourself pretty well, then there's nothing like it. But if you cannot, don’t go for mad dieting like a lot of my colleagues who just have fruit salad for lunch and a biscuit for snacks in the evening and keep on complaining about headaches and fatigues when many people are bubbling with energy! With a little conscious effort you can bring down your calorie intake. Not taking milk products and food stuffs with visible oil in them goes a long long way in bringing down that extra inches.

istockphoto_16471286-young-couple-man-and-woman-running-laughingSurely none of would like it if we get into an unwanted shape in the middle of our life! So it will always pay if you can get some time out of your busy schedule to do some physical activity. And by that it does not always mean to hit the gym. Use the stairs instead of the lift. If your place is within 6 storeys, you can always use the stairs. Might not be daily, but 2-3 times a week would be pretty decent.

As lucrative the job might seen, it will not be so if medical expenses rise 10-15 years after regular work. So as they say, ‘prevention is better than cure’, it works like a divine phrase in the IT sector with people sitting 24x7 without even turning their head. Only things that moves are the fingers.

The IT sector will continue to be like this forever. So it is up to us how we face the challenges and  act. Do we succumb to it or do we get over it and do the needful to get the life we want, a healthy life to enjoy life to the maximum with our dear ones!