Over 20 CIOs from around the region, as well as representatives from Cognizant’s global operations, came together to discuss business models in a digital age.
Stephen Fernandes, Regional Assistant Vice President, Cognizant, opened the event with a presentation that shed light on the unique, digitally fuelled transition in business.
“We are in the midst of a once-in-a-generation transformation,” said Fernandes, “The way that businesses interact and transact with customers, employees, partners and markets is changing. For those that embrace the fact that technology now drives business, it will create a huge opportunity.”
Fernandes went on to highlight other significant transformations in the history of corporate IT and proposed that this, the fifth wave of corporate IT, has been brought on by the advent of disruptive technologies such as social, mobility, analytics and cloud.
Manish Bahl, Senior Director – Center for the Future of Work, Cognizant Technology Solutions, then took the floor to discuss ‘Code Halos’, and the next age of business and technology. Bahl highlighted some innovative companies and projects that have leveraged disruptive technology to their benefit. He echoed Fernandes’ sentiments on the opportunities that SMAC technologies are already creating. “Businesses like Uber are successful because value flows from the invisible,” he said. In short, SMAC allows businesses to bring the consumer to the enterprise.
Next, Cognizant welcomed John McVay, AVP Consulting, CBC, Cognizant Technology Solutions, who had come in from their US headquarters for the event. McVay showed how by taking advantage of ‘Code Halos’ – the data created by an individual’s interaction with SMAC technologies – enterprises can have a richer and more productive relationship with their customers. “Competitive advantage flows when companies capture moments of engagement, draw insight, enable intuitive experiences that delight users, and ultimately scale to drive value for organisations,” he explained.
To provide a regional example, Ghazi Qarout, CIO, Qatar Islamic Bank, joined the discussion. Peter Steward, Director Middle East, CBC, Cognizant Technology Solutions moderated what became a lively and interactive group discussion on digital technologies. Qarout kicked off the discussion using his own experiences at Qatar Islamic Bank with the digital transformation. “We are interacting with our customers in ways that no one else in the region has managed,” said Qarout, “and we are doing that using digital technology.”
“We want to use data to personalise our products,” said Charles Awad, Director of Marketing Communications, Al Futtaim, “to do what we need to to analyse that data.” Attendees agreed with the need to not only leverage data created in these ‘Code Halos’ but to ensure that that data is relevant to their business goals.
“Things are different now,” said Shyam Kesarwani, Manager of IT, RAKBANK, “our customers want to know about their accounts immediately, and we can provide them that service using mobility.”
The crux of the discussion pointed to one recurrent theme – businesses are striving to leverage code halos not only for their own benefit, but to provide the best user experience possible for their customers. Cognizant closed with the sentiment that they would be there to help reach that goal in any way possible.