The Role of Ethics and Values in Business Leadership: Insights from Dr. Sourav Dutta, ED-IT, IDBI Bank

Dr. Sourav Dutta

In a recent industry session, Dr. Sourav Dutta, Executive Director-IT at IDBI Bank, discussed the role of ethics and values in business leadership. He emphasised the importance of data security, the impact of digitisation, and the evolving role of technology in the banking industry at the 4th Elets BFSI Gamechanger Summit, which took place from 9-11th June 2023 in Goa.

Vendor-Driven Industries and Data Security

Dr. Dutta noted that most industries in India, including the banking industry, are primarily vendor-driven. This means that different departments within an organisation interact with various vendors based on their specific business requirements. However, this often leads to operations happening in silos, which can complicate processes, especially in large organisations with more than 10,000 employees.

He highlighted the need for organisations to be cautious about the information they share with vendors. Despite non-disclosure agreements, confidential information can still leak into the market, which can be detrimental to the organisation. Therefore, controlling the flow of information to vendors is crucial.

The Evolution of Banking

Dr. Dutta suggested that banks are evolving into tech companies with banking licenses. This transformation is being driven by a push from the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) towards automation and digitisation of processes. The RBI has introduced automatic data feeds and other systems to streamline reporting.

However, the method of data sharing is also a concern. Currently, data is often shared via hard disks or USBs, which is not ideal from a security standpoint. Dr. Dutta suggested that a secure file transfer approach should be adopted to ensure confidential data is shared securely and without leakage.

The Impact of Digitisation

The future of business lies in digitisation, according to Dr. Dutta. He predicted a shift where technology will lead business, rather than the other way around. The return on investment (ROI) and bottom line of a bank or organisation will be determined by the IT solutions or services it provides.

This shift is also evident in the manufacturing industry, where automation is becoming increasingly prevalent. However, the advent of 5G technology has sparked debates about licensing and its potential impact on industries like banking.

The Importance of Cybersecurity

With the rise of digital technologies comes an increased risk of cyber threats. Dr. Dutta warned of the growing trend of ransomware and hacking as a service, which are readily available to anyone. He stressed the importance of being vigilant against these threats, as the resources for protection are limited compared to the infinite time and effort attackers can invest.

To mitigate these risks, Dr. Dutta suggested focusing on secure operating systems to reduce the threat landscape. He emphasised the need for a stable and secure operating system tailored to specific requirements, which can simplify operations and enhance security.

In conclusion, Dr. Dutta left the audience with some key takeaways to consider. As industries continue to evolve and digitise, the importance of data security, ethical business practices, and the role of technology in driving business cannot be overstated.

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