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Don’t Dump Legacy IT to Jump to Digital: Paul Lombardo, Ness

Yogesh Gupta | Nov. 15, 2016
CIOs and IT leaders should tread carefully while embarking on a digital transformation journey, says Paul Lombardo, CEO at Ness SES.

Don’t Dump Legacy IT to Jump to Digital: Paul Lombardo, Ness

Digital transformation is turning to be a 'must-do' journey for most organizations today, irrespective of their size. Ness Software Engineering Services (SES) a provider of digital transformation and software engineering services helps organizations make the transition.  

Paul Lombardo, CEO, Ness Software Engineering Services (SES) spoke to ComputerWorld on digital transformation challenges and how NESS can leverage its deep expertise in products and platforms, data and analytics, and experience engineering in the Indian context..

Excerpts from the interview.

How far have enterprises come in their digital transformation journey?

Old IT infra models have been totally disrupted with the availability of digital channels. There are significant disruptions in the payments industry especially around bitcoin and models like Square, Apple Pay and the new model of established players like Paypal. Fintech is also turning out to be a disruptor. Travel and transportation is also a key area. Education is slow to adopt change but it is picking speed.

We tend to work with two different sets of companies in these industries as customers - incumbents struggling or racing to transform themselves digitally or disruptors who are actually bringing new business models to the fore.

What in your view are the key catalysts of the digital economy? 

They are rising customer expectations and increasing competition. For example, Airbnb is completely turning on its head how people lodge and that's forcing many established hotel chains to rethink their business model. There's enough threat to traditional business models and that's driving the rapid change. Modern consumers expect friendlier and 'end to end' journey stitched together. A traveler for example does not want disjointed experience with say air tickets, car, lodging on a trip.

In such an environment, the incumbents can't stay still because they are being disrupted and their market share is eroded by new business models. 

What is the role of mobility in accelerating disruption?

Mobility has a big impact because it enables people to do lot more on the move than from the desk. The 'always-on' and the ubiquitous nature of the mobile devices has set customers' expectations much higher.

 Start ups have embraced digital technologies and grown really fast. What about enterprises burdened by legacy?  

In big traditional or legacy companies (the trend is not universal) sometimes CIOs take the initiative to drive digital transformation and they are assuming the role of the CTO. The forward thinking CIOs are not thinking of themselves and their jobs of managing the legacy, but as business change agents.


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