IT on the edge: CIOs who (literally) keep the lights on

CIOs in emerging economies have to be creative to keep IT up and running -- addressing redundancy, navigating a thicket of sometimes onerous regulations, and in general doing more with less

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Any IT leader in the mood to complain about excessive regulation should first have a cocktail with Murat Mendi of Nobel la, an Istanbul-based manufacturer of generic pharmaceuticals.

Mendi, formerly CIO and now general manager of the firm, which operates in 25 countries around the world, can talk about the time an overzealous bulldozer operator started excavating the foundation for a new structure next to his company's building without bothering to confirm what might have been underground first. It tore through Nobel's Internet cables, leaving hundreds of employees offline all day.

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Arguably, such events happen in Indianapolis as well as Istanbul, but with a few key differences: In Turkey there tends to be little regulation of excavation protocol beforehand and few options for restitution after. "That's part of the culture here," Mendi says. "If something happens, they'll say oops, sorry, and move on."

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