The progress of organizations from being software enabled to software led

Slowly and steadily, a good percentage of the DNA of organizations is being driven as a software.

CAST, a software intelligence company for digital leaders in association with BW Businessworld organised Software Intelligence Forum on a very well-timed topic of Accelerate Application Modernization & Secure the IT Landscape on 19-20th June in Mumbai and Bengaluru.

Keeping in view every CIO’s agenda of efficiency, effectiveness and minimizing software risks, the event brought together the IT industry to discuss about their varied experiences and how they leverage software intelligence.

Nilkanth Iyer, SVP-Country Manager, CAST Software, set the context by explaining the concept of Software Intelligence. “Software Intelligence is a new category. Software Intelligence today is where other categories like Robotic Process Automation (RPA), AI or ML were a couple of years ago. While software intelligence has been existing in the US and Europe for some time now, it is, however, a new category in India and our country is still progressing to leverage it fully. It is insight into complex software structure produced by software designed analyse database; software framework and source code. Software intelligence is largely driven by application modernization, IT due diligence and digital transformation.” he said.

Nilkanth explained how software intelligence can be broken down into different areas, “A software’s composition, health, critical risk applications, cloud readiness, blueprints, developer learning, benchmarks and size together produce software intelligence. An organisation becomes digitally ready once it functions with all these different capabilities. Through this, an organization becomes able to understand which applications need to be rationalised and focused on, where to invest and where not to, make sure of terminating any chances of outages, loss of brand image, secondary issues like architecture, and finally delivering with timed quality.

Sachin R Seth, Partner, & National Leader- Technical Transformation, EY, gave the keynote address by speaking about the new concept of software intelligence, what he has understood from his clients- service providers, market trends, and customer demands regarding digital transformation, cloud migration and a whole lot of other areas.

While giving a presentation on the difference between the customers’ demands and today’s reality, Sachin R Seth said, “Transformation of legacy applications is the most important issue at present faced by many organizations. It can help them see the impact of the changes on every aspect of an application. However, while everyone wants it, not many are able to implement the transformational changes. It is the need of the hour to understand that the industry is moving at such a high pace that an organisation’s implementation of a software becomes a legacy for it in only a couple of years’ time. Meaning, an innovation dated may be five years ago is now age old.”

The limitations of transforming legacy implementations are such that a technology organisation which implements an ERP system three years ago is not equipped to upgrade the software at present due to lack of proper documents. The paradigm and concept of quality of that software has become very primitive. It is assumed that software will continue to work and if required to upgrade then someone might come handy locally from the office to deal with it. While in reality, it is not that simple at all.

Having a 15 years old system which cannot be integrated with other systems cannot lead a way forward. Digital capabilities cannot come without having the capabilities of integration. “I do not

believe there is any organisation which operates without any API and third party interface or ecosystem partnerships. While integration with partners was considered a challenge five years ago, organisations do not work in isolations anymore. The challenge of integration can only subside if the complex issues with legacy systems are dealt with or at least improved.” he added.

Malay Shah - Executive Director, Ernst & Young, gave a session on how Global In-house Centres (GICs) are transforming and playing a role in the now digital world. “Over the last decade, we have observed the shape of GICs absolutely transforming, especially digital playing a very critical role in the transformation exercise around the world. Every year more than 200 new GICs are set-up and India has seen expansion in its global share- initially due to cost reasons and more recently due to digital talent. India has seen consistent growth in outsourcing and offshoring since 2001 with 43 percent, the largest share of FTEs employed in GIC among other countries.”

Two panels of digital leaders who recognise the value of software intelligence came together to share what they are doing within their organizations to leverage software intelligence, digital transformation, modernization, and to gain visibility across application portfolios. The panel also helped the audience in understanding complex systems better and gaining insights to make better decisions with efficiency.

Speaking on what CIOs should focus on in the market of start-up ecosystems and disrupting businesses, Rahul Shandilya, President & Group CIO, Welspun India said, “The first thing to focus on is getting right the delivery of systems and software in the first go. Secondly, user experience too needs to be updated with the changing times and advent of youth’s demands. Lastly, the reliability of systems with respect to the business which invests in it”

Ramesh Chandrasekaran, Delivery Head- Nordics BU, Larsen & Toubro Infotech, has been doing some very exciting work around digital transformation. “Software intelligence helps in extracting business knowledge, understanding the opportunities that emerge through transforming platform and its architecture, service management of legacy systems via the power of cognitive technology. Since the past one year, platforms like CAST Software have been very useful for us in doing a 360-degree detailed impact analysis.”

Sameer Mehta, Vice President, Reliance Jio, shared how and when he understood that it was the right time for his start up to embark on the journey of software intelligence. “With the use of software intelligence, we have created a culture where business and technology work together and customer experience is put upfront. Software intelligence matters because it not just about making our business work but it is about making it work in a future proof way. That way, software intelligence is adding a lot of value.”

Babuji Abraham, CEO & Founder, XDORF AI gave the example of cloud migration by saying, “Cloud migration due diligence is a really very tedious task. It requires to really go through every type of software code to find the exceptions. But software intelligence points out the exceptions.” Speaking of productivity, “Software intelligence also helps in getting the calibration of productivity of individual programmer. For me, software intelligence is like a fitness health band which helps in measuring the health parameters of my business across the organization. It also helps me drive improvement areas.”

Another panel discussion on the path to successful IT modernization showcased the different flavours of software intelligence through modernization perspective by Guru Yellapur - Vice President - Software & Product Development, Omega Healthcare; Nilesh Biniwale - Head Technology Governance & Quality, Schlumberger; Prashanth B Panduranga, Swiss Re; Anil Raghav - Senior Director and Head Cloud Engineering & Governance, Lowe's; and Sanjay Siboo, Tata Communications.

Beginning the discussion with a thought provoking question from the classical debate ‘Is software development an art or a science?’, Guru Yellapur - Vice President - Software & Product Development, Omega Healthcare said, “We develop applications that give intelligence to business and their entire business relies on our software. It is indeed interesting to ask, “how are we managing/tracking our applications portfolio—as an art or science?”. Software intelligence helps us to convert the administering of our applications portfolio to more of a science than an art. Guru Yellapur also added that software intelligence helps leverage cutting edge technologies to build such solutions that not only meet the business needs but also enable the company to scale to the next level. Speaking about Schlumberger’s transformation journey, Nilesh Biniwale, Head Technology Governance & Quality at Schlumberger, shared insights on how the organization leveraged the different pieces of the software intelligence journey and how it helped in its modernization. “We have not been in this journey for long yet as we began just six months back. However, in this short period, we have certainly been able to find the landmines which are spread across all our application portfolio. This helped us big time.”

Nilesh also spoke about leveraging software intelligence for GDPR compliance, “Our company is very stringent when it comes to data protection. We are working in 85 countries and 127 different nationalities so there were so many GDPR compliance issues in the applications. To deal with this, we have started a qualification process for GDPR using software intelligence. Through this, we have been able to reduce at least one GDPR non-compliance from the software.”

Prashanth B Panduranga, SVP – Head of India CorSo IT, Swiss Re said, “We are going through a very interesting transformational journey. As our user base is globally distributed and a very diverse portfolio, we leverage AWS, Azure, Ali cloud and a private cloud environment as well. Our strategy is to leverage the services from multiple cloud providers in a truly hybrid cloud environment. Our application landscape is also very diverse from a language point of view. With this transformation, we are trying to convert the regional applications to be global in nature. We have a broader cloud surface to address with vulnerabilities, security, GDPR compliance etc. In the past I had leveraged CAST for cloud readiness and vulnerability assessment and intend to evaluate in our new environment"

Anil Raghav, Senior Director – IT for cloud engineering & governance, Lowe’s India spoke about exploring software intelligence to grow the organization’s cloud journey further. He says, “Cloud migration is all about three things— migrate to the cloud, modernize for the cloud, and build for the cloud. I believe that the use of software intelligence is necessary to achieve these three areas. Also, software intelligence will be critical in identifying the right use cases or areas where we need to re-platform or identifying some applications which can be retired as they may not make any sense to the organization now.”

Sanjay Siboo, General Manager, Cloud SME, TATA Communications too explained the role and importance of software intelligence for cloud readiness. “While there is a good amount of adoption of cloud in enterprises, however, there are certain enterprises which are still trying to understand how to go beyond a non-critical workload. That is where software intelligence really helps in assessing whether a workload really fits in from a cloud perspective or not. It also helps us in identifying the workloads which could be more easily deployed to the cloud”

In a fireside chat between Hariharan Mathrubutham, Vice President - Delivery Excellence at Cognizant and Prakash B. Hemdev SVP- Global SI Engagement, Cast Software, Hariharan, being the early adopters of software intelligence, brought forward the practitioner’s view on the culture change, change management, and the importance of change. “Being using software intelligence from last six years, the biggest challenge we have seen is ensuring that a large organization consistently behaves the same way globally in regards to work culture and customers receiving the same value. Software intelligence has helped us in dealing with challenges such as hesitation from people’s side in stepping out of their comfort zone and updating the systems as it takes a lot of time to configure using a certain tool and lack of knowledge of the value of the tool. Now we have a long way in creating a push which is what it was to create a pull norm as an organization.” 40-50% of IT Budgets has been spend in transforming Business from legacy to digital & most of the organization are already running on highest level of operational efficiency . In this case Automation for improving Product delivery, services & productivity can play a vital role & organization should use a platform an integrated platform which helps to shift left in terms of Quality assurance, fixing bugs & Technical Debt. He also quoted a reference of a manufacturing client where cognizant has able to reduce by $2 MN USD technical debt in 8 releases with 40 % increase in Total Quality Index using Software Intelligence. Adopting a platform culture in fast pace Agile Devops environment is needed to optimize Software Quality & Cost while increasing productivity & Organizations should leverage analytics & data points provided by Software Intelligence Platform.

Naresh Choudhary - Vice President, Infosys and Nilkanth Iyer - SVP & Country Manager, CAST Software had a fireside chat on the reason why companies are looking at software intelligence is as software is the most evident, necessary, and omnipresent component in a business today. “We are trying to give a snapshot of a before and after situation through software intelligence. When we convert something into micro-services, we take the legacy code and first migrate it to the new tech and our modernization platform presents you options to convert into micro-services. Here again we are helping make decisions very scientifically such as why you should pick certain pieces of the app and then convert it into APIs or micro-services. All of this we are doing using software intelligence powered by a platform approach”


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