Digital Transformation Rush: Latest Challenges & Opportunities in the Technology Industry
The global technology landscape is undergoing a flaring transformation. The pandemic became a strong tailwind to this trend. Today, with the prevailing hybrid work culture on the one hand and the constant need to digitally transform and improve customer experience on the other, organizations have their hands full. To say nothing of the exponentially growing level of cyber threats. The lengthy array of challenges often makes it challenging for organizations to focus on their core business.
It’s no wonder the demand for business services is skyrocketing. With a higher level of technology focus, resources, and expertise, business services companies could not only help you focus on your core business but also provide solutions to multiple business challenges powered by futuristic technologies. To decipher such challenges and opportunities in the IT industry, Raghavendra C Swamy, Managing Director, Concentrix (India), engages in an exclusive interaction with CEO Insights. Raghavendra is an IT thought leader with more than three decades of global experience in the IT industry. His expertise spans across digital transformation, strategy & technology consulting, IT services, global delivery, and practice/offering management.
In conversation with Raghavendra C Swamy, Managing Director, Concentrix
The Indian IT industry is expected to grow to $300-$350 billion by 2025. Could you elaborate on the factors that will catalyze this growth?
India’s IT industry has exhibited strong growth over the years and is expected to continue expanding. Digital transformation is becoming all-encompassing and will propel the big growth of the Indian IT industry. The adoption of emerging technologies such as AI/ML, the Internet of Things (IoT), cloud computing, blockchain, and intelligent automation will drive innovation and create new opportunities for IT services. Of course, we will see more government initiatives and industry collaborations that will further favor this growth.
Given the increasing cyber-attacks, how can companies safeguard themselves while enjoying the benefits of transformation?
Yes, as I mentioned earlier, digital transformation is the key driver for our next big growth in the IT sector. An excellent thing happening alongside is the increased focus on building a robust and resilient security framework to support this growth. The IT ecosystem has realized the importance of security and is putting great measures in place to address cyber-attacks. The key initiatives include adopting global security standards (like the NIST Cybersecurity Framework), implementing recommendations from Cloud Service Providers (CSPs), and continuous training programs on security. Organizations are setting up Cloud Centers of Excellence (CoEs) with a special focus on Cybersecurity and Security Operation Centers (SOCs) that provide centralized monitoring and incident management support.
Organizations should start adopting robust zero-trust architecture in their security implementations. This approach assumes no inherent trust in any user or device, regardless of their location or network. It emphasizes identity verification, continuous monitoring, and strict access controls to protect cloud resources and data. Everyone in the enterprise should become a security owner. It has to become an integral part of their work life. Technological advances like Quantum computing, Blockchain, Security-as-a-Service (SECaaS), AI-driven Automation, etc., will soon start making their impact in helping enterprises stay safe from cyber-attacks.
How do you perceive the outlook of the business landscape going forward?
We are in exciting times. The business landscape is rapidly evolving with advancements in technology and changing market dynamics. There are four key items I would like to highlight: (i)We are just at the beginning of a great revolution in the IT industry, with technologies like cloud computing and AI/ML shaping the landscape; (ii)The pandemic also has accelerated the adoption of remote work and collaboration tools; (iii)Digital transformation is becoming a strategic priority for businesses across industries (companies will invest in technology to streamline processes, enhance customer experiences, and drive continuous innovation); (iv)Green IT: Businesses will adopt energy-efficient technologies, optimize data center operations and promote all initiatives that drive sustainability and green IT.
Tell us about your leadership approach. What are the guidelines or methodologies you follow as a leader?
I always adapt my leadership style based on the situation at hand. I assess my team members' competence and commitment levels to determine the best course of action. This situational leadership approach allows me to provide the guidance and support needed for individuals who are new to a task while gradually transitioning to a more delegative-approach as they gain experience and confidence.
One of my key leadership skills is empowering my team. I firmly believe in providing my team members with the necessary resources, support, and authority to make decisions and take ownership of their tasks. I believe that creating an environment of autonomy, accountability, and trust leads to increased engagement among my team members.
Situational leadership approach allows me to provide the guidance and support needed for individuals who are new to a task while gradually transitioning to a more delegative-approach as they gain experience and confidence
Motivating my team to achieve higher goals is another strength of mine. I set challenging yet attainable objectives that inspire my team members to push their limits and strive for excellence. I frequently celebrate milestones and successes along the way to maintain enthusiasm and boost morale. Furthermore, I take the time to understand my team members' individual motivations and aspirations, allowing me to provide personalized encouragement and incentives that foster a sense of fulfillment and satisfaction in their work.
My focus is to build a motivated, high-performing team that contributes to the success and growth of our company.
How would you define your team? As an IT leader, what skills do you look for in fresh candidates?
My team is a dynamic blend of diverse talents, skills, and personalities spread across the globe, working cohesively to deliver a common goal – to delight our customers with best-of-class solutions. We operate as a tight-knit group, actively supporting and encouraging each other to reach our full potential. With my style of working, our team always extends to include customers, partners, and other technology practices within my company. I not only take pride in the achievements of my team but cherish the strong bonds we build along the way.
For a fresher to be successful, he/she has to possess strong technical skills that will be the foundation for growth. One should possess strong programming skills and a solid understanding of operating systems, databases, networking, and other technologies relevant to their specific roles. They should also be thorough in their approach, have a basic understanding of Agile methodologies, possess good communication skills, and show an understanding of the importance of documentation and testing.
One of the key skills that every IT engineer should possess is strong problem-solving skills. A fresher who can approach problems systematically, think creatively, and come up with different options is a great asset to the team. Also, freshers who are curious, proactive in self-learning, and open to acquiring new skills will thrive in the rapidly changing IT landscape.
What would be your advice to the individuals aiming to set benchmarks in their career in this industry?
First and foremost, it is crucial to fully embrace and embody the values of the organization they work for. By aligning their actions and behaviors with these values, they can contribute to the success of the organization and create a positive impact.
Remaining humble and demonstrating passion for embracing new challenges will take you to great heights. Be open to learning and growing. Embrace a problem-solving approach, viewing obstacles as opportunities for growth and learning. Giving 100% effort in everything you do is vital for achieving the best outcomes and making a lasting impression.
Building a strong professional network is another valuable strategy. Actively engage in networking activities, both within and outside the organization, to connect with colleagues, mentors, and industry experts. Networking opens doors to collaboration, knowledge-sharing, and new ideas to explore.
Imbibe the values of integrity and honesty in everything you do. Act with transparency, uphold high ethical standards, and always strive to do what is right, even when faced with difficult situations. Maintaining integrity builds trust, credibility, and respect are essential for long-term success and professional relationships.
- Reading Kannada and Sanskrit literature, admiring all art forms, and continuously exploring diversity across India.
- All varieties of Indian vegetarian cuisines
Favorite Movies: "Though I love old Hindi classics, Dr. Rajkumar’s great movies in Kannada are my all-time favorites. And thanks to OTT platforms, I have also started watching many Malayalam, Tamil, Telugu, and Marathi movies."
- Practicing the Power of Now: ‘Essential Teachings, Meditations, and Exercises From the Power of Now’ by Eckhart Tolle
- 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen R Covey
- DVG’s Mankutimmana Kagga (Kananda)
- Sanskrit classics in original.
Favorite Travel Destination: I love the Himalayas and aspire to explore Manas Sarovar.