Be Agile To Become Customer Centric: CA CEO

by Sohini Bagchi    Nov 16, 2016

Consumer behaviour and expectations are changing rapidly in the new digital world throwing up before them an unprecedented level of choice and freedom. Technology companies using Agile development are offering a variety of benefits for their customers, and are ensuring that the voice of the customer is truly integrated into all aspects of the software-development process, said CEO Mike Gregoire at the company’s CA World‘16 event in Las Vegas.

He added that it is this spirit of innovation and customer-centricism that make companies like Google, Microsoft, Facebook and several others unique in the disruptive technology landscape. The company also announced a series of new solutions across its Agile, DevOps, Security and Mainframe portfolios, at the event.

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Software is the single most transformative force in today’s global economy, believes Gregoire. According to a November 2015 global survey of business leaders by Harvard Business Review Analytic Services, two-thirds (66 percent) of respondents said that their company’s future depends on the quality of their software. This is as important for business as it is for society.

The agile mindset

In this regard, Gregoire explained that we are in the middle of a massive global business revolution, where conventional leadership, human resources, and financial management principles are being challenged. With the mass adoption of smartphones and tablets, customers now expect the convenience of accessing information and services at their fingertips, wherever they may be. 

“In such a situation, companies require a new mindset – and agility across your business – in how you use technology and how you build software,” said Gregoire.  “We must optimize for responsiveness to capitalize on new opportunities, make room for innovation, and deliver unique value to our customers.”

Read more: CA’s New Offerings Focus On Digital Transformation

“The agile mindset that is changing software today also provides a transformational path to become an agile society.” By definition, “being agile” means being able to move and understand quickly and easily. In business sense, it means putting the customer at the centre of their efforts to develop new products and services.

Secondly, he said, companies must be open to collaborating with third-party solution providers in order to leverage on expertise that they do not possess in-house. One important way they can do this is to open up their platforms through application programming interfaces (APIs) to expedite the development of new solutions that will enhance the customer experience.

 Why companies should built to change?

Gregoire believes successful companies of the future will be “Built to Change” by putting software at the center of everything they do. By Built To Change, he meant companies that understand the current structures and ecosystems are vulnerable to better ideas.  From how they manage talent, to how they avoid being tied to fixed assets, to how they take risks, Built To Change companies focus on business agility, which in turn enables them to drive rapid, continuous improvement in customer experience.  [Read the full release here]

Software is the critical enabler and differentiating factor in a company’s ability to succeed, according to Gregoire.  “Software is now the core component of a business’ DNA,” he said. “It is the essential customer-facing engine for sensing and responding to new needs, threats, and opportunities.  Regardless of your industry sector or end product, every brand will be represented, communicated and judged through technology.” 

It is the responsibility of business leaders to lead the charge. “The key to this shift to an agile society include how CXOs govern processes, how they unlock the potential of our people; and maximize our use of technology.

Read more: Business Performance Linked To Digital Success: Study

Calling the new application economy Industry 4.0, Gregoire said software is also fueling Industry 4.0 and is at the heart of production built around individuals. As the new world order evolves, APIs will take center stage, linking devices and production systems to one another and ushering in an incredible era of customization.

“However, these shifts are not going to be easy, nor are they going to come overnight. CIOs in the digital economy should be prepared for any change. This needs to start with an overhaul of the way we govern, empower people and use the technology we’re creating and consuming,” he concluded.