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Being a Tech Startup in the Digital Era

Being a Tech Startup in the Digital Era
"As a tech startup, life is not going to be easy, but there has also never been a better time to be in the technology domain than right now. We are extremely relevant to the future of humanity !!” VC Gopalratnam (Gopal) CIO, International Operations and SVP, IT, talks to startup at Cisco LaunchPad startup demo day.
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Being a Tech Startup in the Digital Era

VC Gopalratnam
Cisco
CIO, International Operations and SVP, IT

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Being a Tech Startup in the Digital Era

We are living in a world that is riding high on the technology transition wave. Everything we knew 10 years back, looks different today and will change in the very near future. A number of technology transitions are taking place simultaneously and most of these transitions are Intersecting.  As a tech startup, life is not going to be easy, but there has also never been a better time to be in the technology domain than right now.  We are extremely relevant to the future of humanity !!

Today, every company is a digital company and the key differentiator is technology and how quickly you put it to use.  The industry is getting more and more complex. No single company can deliver all capabilities to customers. It has to be done within a framework of an ecosystem.

Let’s look at some of the key challenges that are fundamentally changing the way we do business and deliver beyond expectations.  

  • Timelines:

Execution timelines are shrinking. Previously, we used to take years to come up with new tech. Today, you have a few weeks, if you are lucky, to implement an idea at scale.

  • Relevance:

It’s difficult to stay relevant with the pace of change. In fact, this is a huge advantage for startups as they are much more nimble. All the tech big boys are like aircraft carriers that have to deal with large turn-radii to turn around.

  • Competitive landscape

Competitive landscape is changing on a daily basis. We don’t know where the competition will come from. It could be a global company, a startup or some people working out of a garage somewhere! We may compete with some for a particular solution and may partner with the very same entities for a different solution.

  • Integration:

While all companies want digital transition, they are not going to throw away the legacy systems they have invested in. We need the ability to backward integrate to accommodate our customer’s requirements.

 

With all these changes and challenges, the focus should be on attaining the ultimate goal – unquestionable  customer satisfaction and seamless, compelling user experience. The experience will drive adoption and that adoption will translate into success. Customers want solutions that are based on flexible consumption models which are also affordable, secure, and scalable in a cloud environment.

As a tech startup, make sure that you do the following:

  • Benchmark your capability with the best in class,
  • Be ultra-competitive and agile,
  • Continuously move the agenda forward (waiting is a sin !),
  • Understand the ecosystem play,
  • Focus on building great teams and
  • Try to consistently deliver beyond expectations.

 

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About the Author

A core member of Cisco's executive leadership team in India and the region, VC Gopalratnam (Gopal) is Cisco’s Chief Information Officer (CIO) for its International Operations (APJC, EMEAR and LATAM) and Senior Vice President of Information Technology. He is also the leader for Global IT Services, guiding the vision and strategy for key IT enablers across the organization in the areas of Employee Services & Experience, Global Workforce Planning & Operations, Vendor Management and Application Support.

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