Digital transformation isn’t 'Flavor of the week,' says CA APJ exec

Digital transformation isn’t 'Flavor of the week,' says CA APJ exec

Businesses sluggish in completing digital transformation will perish in the era of the app economy says Kenneth Arredondo, President & GM, APJ at CA Technologies


The start-ups, unicorns and traditional large enterprise customers are leveraging APIs for faster time-to-market in today's hyper competitive world. CA technologies is clearly focused on digital transformation in the enterprise technology world. "App Economy is the fundamental change to the way businesses operate today as we help accelerate the companies' IT infra to help them seize net new revenues," says Kenneth Arredondo, President & General Manager, Asia Pacific & Japan, CA Technologies.

Edited Excerpts from our interview:

Computerworld India: For a while now CA technologies has been talking APIs, App economy, digital transformation. Is it a case of old wine in a new bottle?

Arredondo: Our legacy historically is into monitoring (that's our bread and butter), predictive analysis, application performance monitoring. We have that core as part of our DNA for years. We have security that goes around app economy with payment security systems, identity and access management, authentication, single sign on experience. We also bring that same history and DNA of security into API economy. We focus on generation and consumption side of API to provide that total experience with a rich history of monitoring, tracking and providing real time data.

Being a 40 year old company, we have thousands of customers who have lots of data in their extremely valuable and stable systems. As a leader in PPM traditional waterfall model, we moved to the next logical play by integrating that portfolio with an agile central solution.

I wouldn't say it is old wine in a new bottle, but we are playing to our strengths with the industry trends. For example, big data and IoT drive demand in the things we do. IoT leads to more traffic and endpoints which means more to track, more to deploy and more to monetize data.

CW: App economy is far more complex than what these two words indicate. How can CIOs grapple with APIs -- number-wise, threat wise and help their organizations get better of competition?

Arredondo: Digital transformation is the future in App Economy. However the whole transformation to digital is a very complex journey. CIOs, CTOs and titans of industry in India, like their global peers, are today trying to transform themselves as they transform the business. We are working with CIOs on the whole end-to-end suite on App economy to be more relevant to transform, work with LOBs, talk to CEO etcetera. We don't want to outsource our strategic advantage of developing and providing those types of solutions needed in digital era.

Digital Economy is not a flavor of the week. It is a complete redoing of business driven by cloud, mobile, social, IoT, big data which are coming together at once in a consumer driven economy. In our 2014 survey, we found 25% of users abandon an App (if it does not open or have good UI) in 3 seconds to move to another App. This figure escalated to 40% in 2015 survey. Our mission is to break down the barriers between ideas and outcomes through a whole application lifecycle portfolio to enable clients get their ideas to business values much faster.

CW: Do you foresee any fear factors that CIOs and CTOs of companies should watch out for on the path to digital transformation?

Arredondo: In general, the typical first reaction is security. With API management, CISOs fear the exposure of data through different APIs. The security checklist for API economy is clicked pretty quickly by our customers as security is a built --in function of our management solution.

Most CIOS and CTOs excited by the opportunity with digital transformation can now move out of back office operations to the forefront of the business. Banks are now known as software companies with banking licenses. That's the mentality being embraced at the board and at the CEO level and there exists a fantastic opportunity for CIOs to be more relevant to the business.

As more companies put data in the cloud, we have the ability to secure and monitor all those environments - private, public and hybrid.

CW: Do you see a distinct pattern with the unicorns and startups - especially in India -leveraging App economy (including SMAC) than the traditional companies with legacy?

Arredondo: Lot of unicorns not dependent on legacy systems can devise their IT strategy from scratch. Because of that competitive advantage legacy companies are rapidly adopting new technologies. APIs work everywhere. Some of the unicorns are leveraging someone's payment systems, for example though API, retail e-comms are tapping in other Apps.

But we also provide legacy companies that same ability in this digital transformation era because they have in-house data captured over the years which they can leverage and monetize through our solutions.

CW: Does that indicate the end of the road for companies ( less IT-centric businesses) that are less nimble in the digital age?

Arredondo: There is very large potential to be left behind if companies do not transform digitally. CIOs don't have to do it all today but they do have to start today. People who write these software rule the world. Legacy companies have the advantage of big client base, long term relationships, tons of information, payment systems, back end infra. They can put well etched digital transformation strategy in place to excel in App economy.

One of the banks in the region expanded to a new country only with an App. The continuous delivery on DevOps delivered RoI within ten months. CIOs should realize that is not just about cost savings on the inside on digital transformation but capturing net new revenues. That's a much bigger win.

Do's and don'ts for the app economy

How can companies stay successful in the App world? Kenneth Arredondo, president & GM, APJ, CA Technologies, shares his bucket list for CIOs and CTOs of companies


--Be more open to innovative ideas to monitor, secure and manage the infrastructure.

--Relook at partnerships across the board rather than the few traditional partnerships of the past.

--Talk more often to the line of business, BUs to stay relevant to the overall business.


--Don’t wait to start on the journey as you could be left behind pretty quickly.

--Don’t approach digital economy as the flavor of the month.

--Don’t dump less-dynamic legacy systems, like throwing the baby out with the bathwater.

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