Digital transformation is reshaping every aspect of a business organization: Madu Ratnayake, Virtusa Corporation

Madu Ratnayake VirtusaPolaris

Impacted by trends such as automation and AI, the IT services industry is in the midst of a massive change. Madu Ratnayake, Chief Information Officer & Head of Business Process Excellence, Virtusa Corporation, in an interaction with EC’s Rachana Jha, discusses how Virtusa Corporation is trying to build opportunities and stay relevant in the era of digital transformation

Some edited excerpts…
Your views on digital transformation and the impact on your company? How is Virtusa Corporation aligning itself to this new world?

Digital transformation is reshaping every aspect of a business organization. As digital technology continues to evolve, the success of digital transformation will require careful collaboration, thoughtful planning, and its inclusion in every department. During recent years, we’ve seen shifts in how traditional leadership roles operate, as silos break down and the scopes of various roles widen and change. Digital transformation has morphed from a trend to a central component of the modern business strategy.

Building a customer experience business requires re-orientation around the customer – a disruption in the way the customer is connected and retained. To evolve our customer experience, we have an expert lab framework where we are helping our customers to understand and realize the potential of these technologies. Our customers are also experimenting with the usage of these technologies in their companies.

We at Virtusa are building more of these expert labs service offering where without investing deeply our patrons can partner with us and where we provide them with some readymade innovation program be it a hackathon or building right skills or POCs. Virtusa in a very agile way helps businesses to collaborate with their customers and create use cases to try out. That is one of the lead successful service operands for us, which in a way bring whole new-age technologies like AI, VR, Big data and IoT into one coherent kind of a platform where we include our tie-ups with some of the research partners universities on the platform that we are bringing into work.

We are taking initiatives which are not only forthcoming for our business but will also help us work closely with our clients. Keeping in mind the digital wave we are transforming the way we work, learn, share, connect and accommodate processes that create a more collaborative and innovative platform for our employees to do a better work alongside our customers. To enhance our employee’s performance, we are also building a next-generation management/performance engineering platform which gives our employees a real-time visibility in their performance through gamification.

How has your experience been with Indian enterprises? Also, how global CIOs are leading the change in transformation?
Corporations and business leaders are facing some of the most disruptive changes of this generation. Digitally savvy consumers and advances in technology are at the forefront of every user whether in India or in abroad. The emergence of a new generation of digital technology is reshaping the expectations of the end consumer and employee. It is mainly driven by the advent and maturation of Mobile, Social media, Big Data and Cloud. Many of today’s products and services that don’t leverage these technologies can lose market share or even become obsolete, which can create competitive threats for some of the today’s best-known brands.

The role of CIOs is changing drastically, from being just an IT person initially to a business person now. To be able to transform this space, they need to change their approach from being more co-engineering oriented to more design oriented. They need to develop their capabilities to transform and achieve things to hit the transformation and build teams around design thinking and core. In order to, move more rapidly towards the other infrastructure services, the role increasingly demands a more orchestrated and clear-thinking process. That’s why the role of CIOs in transformation perspective is changing largely to design pro, where they have a much larger role to play in the business which is understanding the business better and collaborating it with digital transformation as most businesses are rapidly moving towards it.

Will new work habits like Work Out Loud/Gig work transform the way people work and collaborate?
Today, technological advances are rapidly making it possible to automate much of the work currently carried out by employees in the organizations. This applies to both blue-collar jobs, through robotics and the Internet of Things, and white-collar work, through artificial intelligence. Of course, technology has always removed the need for some types of jobs but has also created some new ones. Technology is a set of tools that we use in different ways to increase efficiency. Working out loud rather than privately (through email messages, or in closed meetings) has its own benefits. It provides transparency in thinking, processes, and decisions making. It also helps in exchange and support ideas with other employees with an organization, and open them up to receive inputs and feedback from anyone who is willing to contribute to their growth.

If we look at the younger generation a lot of people are natural at adapting these new age technologies because they have the bent towards these. They don’t follow the old systems and have mediums like WhatsApp, Facebook, and Instagram etc. which they collaborate with to communicate with their surroundings. So, work out loud kind of practices are essentially helping organizations to become more collaborative. I believe it will certainly transform the way people work because these are more individual-oriented practices which are changing the way they work. More and more people in the younger generation are looking at their career, to draw some great experiences while working for a company. They do work and move on to their next experience unlike thinking about how will the next 10-year of their career will fair. The work cycles are changing drastically and we as an organization should be able to adapt to these cycles.

To improve the customer experience, enterprises need to have responsive and agile back-end and front-end systems, but big firms are still stuck with legacy systems. What suggestions would you give to them?
Organizations must leverage and transform their operations for increased efficiencies and improved customer service. In addition to implementing end-to-end business offerings, Virtusa is enabling its clients to leverage modern technologies such as mobility and cloud analytics, along with best-in-class digital and consulting skills, to drive customer-centricity, productivity and enhanced business outcomes.
These modern innovations have helped our large-scale enterprise customers to become more able and innovative. Some of the fundamentals which are used in innovating the processes are called platforming. We use these large monolithic systems and systematically convert them into platforms. And then take these converted platform efficiencies to enable our customers to use and increase the life of their systems and which in turn help them interpret things better. Things like open APIs and micro services are helping in making these legacies more agile and convenient.

What are your future plans for India?
As our customers are setting up their base centers in India, we are trying to see how we create more collaborative environment sets to integrate with them better. The boundary between the customer and the enterprise is diminishing. Virtusa with its increased efficiency and improved customer services is trying to build that environment and make the collaboration smooth and easy for their patrons. The other big thing is security, as we get more open and assimilate ourselves with more data services together with the increase in customer base, it is very important that we also build a robust security platform that not only helps us to protect our information and intellectual property but our client’s information and property as well. So, security is probably the other big focus for us in the future.

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