Manas Fuloria talks about Digital transformation

Of Digital Transformation, Legacy Systems and the Role of IT Consultants: Manas Fuloria, CEO, Nagarro

Legacy infrastructure and lack of skills in modern technologies tend to hold organisations back from moving rapidly with digital transformation

It’s the year 2019, and we can now safely say that Digital Transformation has ‘arrived’ in the IT industry. However, despite all the promise upgrading an organisation’s operation with technology holds, it is a journey that a majority of companies are struggling to tread. Legacy systems and lack of skills in new age technologies are some of the challenges companies deal with. Nonetheless, IT consultants are making this journey simpler for organisations. In an interview with DataQuest, Manas Fuloria, CEO, Nagarro, speaks about some of the challenges associated with Digitisation, the role played by IT consulting services and the future roadmap of Nagarro.

Excerpts

What are some of the emerging trends in the IT consulting services?

Across industries, the role of IT is changing from being an enabler to being the primary driver of competitiveness. This is very exciting for those of us in tech! Technology is transforming the interaction with the customer, how goods or services are created and offered, and the internal working of the enterprise. In each industry, the companies that will win will be companies that master and lead this transformation. And the IT consultants that win will be those that will enable their clients to navigate these changes, not just in terms of technology advice and implementation but also in terms of business model, organizational and cultural changes.

Digital transformation has become imperative to every business. However, how much of a challenge is legacy systems?

Legacy systems have held back some companies from moving fast enough with digital transformation. The good news is that new technologies offer many helpful ways to leverage these legacy systems for new business purposes – for example, with API-led approaches to legacy systems integration using microservices. At Nagarro, we believe in that in the ideal value stream setup, “breakthrough” new business ideas will naturally and continuously provide the impetus to Agile DevOps-driven implementations of high-value use-cases, all carried out with a strong enterprise architecture concept that elegantly tackles the presence of legacy systems.

How serious is the skills gap situation in current times? What must be done to encourage reskilling?

The skills gap is at the same time very serious and very bridgeable! On one hand, the explosion of new technologies and the proliferation of short, intense projects has made it difficult for companies like Nagarro to plan skills development proactively. On the other hand, never has so much been available online to allow the individual to re-skill himself or herself. I do not think re-skilling should need to be encouraged! In a few years, we engineers and engineering managers will have to compete with AI – we should practice re-skilling and re-re-skilling to build that learning and re-learning “muscle” that will help us stay relevant and competitive till we retire.

I cannot stress this enough. An engineer’s goal should not be to use the latest technology – that is not a big strength in the age of AI – it should be to be able to change technologies quickly. And it should be to be able to understand and factor in more business and emotional and social context, to tap the un-instrumented or less-instrumented data and knowledge that AI may not have access to for some time!

Please shed some light on Nagarro’s growth in the past year and strategy for future growth.

Nagarro continues to grow rather fast organically and through acquisitions. We are growing not by signing up large contracts of relatively boring, low-margin work, but mostly by signing up intensive projects that bring significant business value to our clients. And we grow by being the best at this kind of work.

Our tagline used to be “Enterprise Agile” because we were Agile in a software development sense and agile-minded in a business sense well before most of our competitors or clients were. Our new tagline is “Thinking Breakthroughs” which places a premium on innovation. We have our own innovation framework that is not about having innovation come through a few top consultants but rather to build an innovation mindset across our entire team. We are also very global, with clients in nearly 30 countries. And we are non-hierarchical throughout, which makes the company a relaxed place to work across its many offices. We don’t worry too much about growth. We feel if we do a good job and are a place where intelligent people like to work and collaborate with global colleagues, we will grow fast enough!

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