Enterprise Times spoke to Michael Chalmers, UK Managing Director at Contino to discuss all things digital transformation.
The global coronavirus pandemic has disrupted all businesses, irrespective of size or sector. It has forced many organisations to change the way they work and their relationships with their customers. One of the side-effects of the pandemic has been the acceleration of many businesses, down the digital transformation route.
A player in the digital transformation movement is Contino. A global professional services consultancy that supports businesses that embrace innovation by transforming their technology, processes and culture. The company was acquired by Cognizant in October 2019. Contino is a cloud native organisation that has grown rapidly from three people in 2016 to 400+ in 2020.
Building cloud platforms
The company focuses on building cloud platforms and migrating applications and legacy environments to the cloud. They also implement enterprise DevOps to provide new approaches to software development. This helps companies adopt a lean, value-driven operating model for faster innovation. The company develops cloud-native software to help accelerate the scaled delivery of modern business critical software products. This can transform enterprise architectures through the adoption of cloud-native technologies and services.
Achieving true digital transformation is insanely challenging. According to Chalmers, “Contino has worked with some of the world’s largest organisations. Furthermore, faced some of the trickiest challenges to help clients get closer to their customers. We support businesses envision and execute a holistic, value-driven, end-to-end digital transformation.”
Digital transformation requiring radical rethinking
Digital transformation requires a radical rethinking of how an organisation uses technology, people and processes to change business performance fundamentally. According to Chalmers, “Many organisations considering to undertake digital transformation have to ask themselves a fundamental question. Do we try and change ourselves, like turning a big oil tanker? Or do we initially operate as a separate entity, outside the organisation, and then afterward embed it within the enterprise.”
Chalmers suggest there are three key trends in transformational projects, which includes:
- Systems and platforms that enable customer self-service
- Solutions that improve customer communications
- Implementing remote working solutions.
Chalmers suggests, “Many organisations thought they had robust remote working solutions. Then the pandemic hit and all employees had to work from home. Many organisations realised that they were not as ready as they initially thought and found gaps in their infrastructure. This became a big pivot point for us, to work with them, to help their customers.”
Chalmers says the key challenges businesses face while undertaking digital transformation include:
Attracting and retaining the right talent in the industry as technology is continues to evolve, automate and become more prevalent. Chalmers says Contino differentiates themselves from other consultancies by focusing on a few key areas, particularly around talent. “We help our clients assess their maturity around digital transformation – the tools, the processes and the technologies. This is to ensure they get real value out of digitally transforming their business.”
“It’s vital that clients hire talent that can deliver services to customers to unlock real business value,” Chalmers adds.
State of the public cloud
Contino recently published a report on The State of the Public Cloud in the Enterprise. According to the report, Cloud adoption is becoming the main requirement of any enterprise IT. But it is not without its challenges. The report notes that almost all enterprises are planning on growing their cloud programme, despite lock-in concerns.
Chalmers suggests the technical and business benefits of the cloud are absolutely unequivocal, with a range of powerful outcomes. This is reflected in the almost universal desire to keep expanding and growing their cloud programmes, albeit with some caution. That said, fully-fledged, business-wide public cloud programmes are rare. The results suggest that cloud programmes are still largely experimental, with organisations struggling to adapt to the new operating models and cloud native processes.
The companies that are really suffering are those that have been neglecting their digital programs. The crisis has shown that the reasons why the cloud is such a game-changer are more valid than ever. We strongly believe that the trends towards wider and deeper public cloud use that are.
Chalmers notes in the report, the major stumbling block is the transition from a data-centre mindset to a cloud-native mindset. Enterprises still have to learn how to navigate that shift.