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How The CIO Can Champion Digital Transformation


Organizations are on the forefront of digital transformation. The C-suite is not only responsible for managing change, but the role can affect both the internal organization and customers. In an interaction with CXOtoday, Faris Sweis, Chief Transformation Officer at Progress Software, who was in India this week, spoke on aspects like digitization of an organization, changing role of a CIO, digital adoption by enterprises and more. Excerpts.

– Gartner says the role of digitization and Chief Digitizing Officer has increased in recent times. What is your view on the increasing digital adoption in the Indian enterprises?

My role in Progress should be a typical example. I was the chief digital officer in Progress. However, with more transaction coming and I would say today, digital is everything. Either your role demands a role that faces external or internal clients digital strategy is turning top priorities for enterprises. The policies are changing globally. Be it India or Asian enterprise, one cannot avoid the role of a Chief Digitizing Officer.

– How Progress is helping organizations to change internal operations without major shake ups.

‘Digital Factory’ is the latest tool from us what will be the best solution targeting the enterprises struggling with operations. By bringing cloud efficiency, we firmly believe that DigitalFactory for sites allows organizations with a global presence and thousands of websites to manage it all in a cohesive way.

– How do you help organizations to innovate around business models? Explain your role in the Indian market.

Today mobility is taking center stage in all the organizations. ‘Native Script’ is one of the popular products from our list of solutions. We believe that through ‘NativeScript’, we will be able to connect different technologies through mobility. Organizations are finding it easy and relevant for their business needs it terms of mobility.

Of course India is a key market for all the organizations. Progress software is very particular on Indian market. We have our sales team in full-fledge in Delhi which was operating with minimal human recourse last year. Our Hyderabad operations is the second largest in the world on the development side. We have different partnerships in India. Be it large SI or ISV, we will be bringing more relevance to Indian market in the coming year.

– What according to you is Digital Denial ?

Many enterprises are facing it. Digital technologies are transforming every facet of business. However, many organizations are reluctant to change. This inaction now leaves IT decision makers facing a stark reality

– What are the key pain-points that are forcing Indian CIOs adopt digital model for their business?

Some of the key aspects like the threat market competition is forcing CIOs to adopt digital technologies immediately. Also, the conventional methods are not enough for the new-age employees or the customers. So a CIO should adopt digital aspects without any further delay.

– A role of a CIO goes beyond cost-cutting or keeping the lights on. In fact, many CIOs in India are making their team as profit making entity. In what ways Progress solutions can help any CIO in this challenge?

The role of a IT team goes beyond technological expectations. Organizations are expecting their presence and innovation every time. One CIO cannot tell his job ends only in maintenance and ‘keeping the lights on’.

– What is your roadmap for Indian market?

We are betting big on the ‘new digital factory’ product. We will be focusing more on verticals like BFSI. Also, this is an year of planning for Indian subcontinent. We will be having more news to share in the year 2017.

– Do you have a channel for reaching out to Indian market? If not, will you be adopting a reseller/distribution model?

We might not typically reach out to the partners of the large ERP companies. We will be going direct for our new products. However, for our established products, we might look at some channels to reach out to enterprises.

– How security is an integral part of digitization?

With organizations are adopting more cloud, we believe that security plays a key role. So organizations are building capabilities on programmes and educations around security. The enterprises need to culturally understand the top security constrains. The IoT is giving access to more connectivity, which means more security breaches and therefore, digital assets need strong security policies. 

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