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Forbes India: Cognizant’s CEO Says the Future of IT Services Companies Remains Bright and the Best Days are Still Ahead

“The overriding thought that comes to mind [about the current phase of change in technology] is just how much innovation we have seen,” says Francisco D’Souza. “About 24 years ago, when we started Cognizant, technology was largely a back-office function. It’s gone from there to becoming the very basis of competitive advantage for many of the businesses we serve; and because of this evolution, the best days are still ahead of us.” Excerpts:

“If you think of the great digital buildout that’s happening, I think Cognizant, and the industry in general, is still in the early innings. The next years will see digital technology being deployed more broadly in all industries and in many more companies. And digital isn’t just one thing, it’s many different technologies — social, cloud, mobile, analytics, blockchain, AI, IoT and so on.

Until a few years ago, there was a sense among our clients that digital technologies would be fundamental to their future. But the patterns of how, why and where were less clear. So we saw a lot of small pilots, testing and iterating. In the last couple of years, we’ve seen that change — the patterns are becoming clear, digital technologies are becoming more mainstream, and we see clients adopting them at scale.

To do digital at scale, our clients are having to change their business, operating and technology models simultaneously. That is at the core of today’s change.

One of the most foundational changes that we’ve made at Cognizant over the last two years is to realign our delivery capabilities across all of our business segments along three areas — digital business, digital operations, and digital systems and technology, each focused on transformation in that area.

In the past, there were periods of rapid advances followed by longer stretches during which new technologies were widely deployed. With digital, technology is evolving on multiple fronts and at a much faster pace. The ability of a company to sense and respond quickly at this pace is new. It is particularly important now, and one that we can’t miss.

I spend a lot of time making sure that we keep one foot in the present and one foot in the future, ensuring that we don’t miss an important trend.

As the world becomes more tech intensive, as tech becomes more complex and the ecosystem and range of available tech broadens, the need for companies like ours in advising our clients on the right technology will only become more critical.”

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