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Build Digital Intuition & Take Risks, Says CA CEO Mike Gregoire

He explained that right choices can assist in taking advantage of new business models, and that CA's "deliberate journey of digital transformation" has had partnerships and collaborations at its core.

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The only thing risky in the technology-led world is not taking risks - CA Technologies' CEO Mike Gregoire reiterated this at the annual CA World conference, taking place in Las Vegas from November 13-16, 2017.

CA Technologies has had a busy year. On the one hand, it augmented its offer, and the Automic and Veracode acquisitions were significant steps in that direction. And on the other hand, it deployed its thought process of building the modern software factory, where the narrative revolves around bringing agility, automation, insights and security together to help businesses compete. Both of these impact CA's India business as well - a market that Gregoire says, he is "extremely bullish" on. 

At the conference, Gregoire's address reiterated the need to think beyond technology and indentifying the pivots that are driving digital transformation in organizations. He said, "There is always an outlier group that has the risk taking ability. And change in companies is driven by the technologists who are not afraid to take that risk. I am not talking about an insatiable appetite for risk but a better job of managing risk."

And this is where the second part of his advice comes in play - developing a sense of digital intuition. Digital intuition can come by leveraging a myriad of customer data to find patterns, anticipate trends, inform decisions and even manage risk. He encouraged business and IT executives to find the intersection of innovation and execution.

"We've long passed the point where enterprise software is used merely to drive efficiencies.  The focus today is on innovating the next big shift for your company. That is the number one priority we are focused on - providing you with solutions that will remove the barriers between your ideas and outcomes," Gregoire said.

The pursuit will not be easy. New ideas will cause friction but Gregoire asserts that that makes all the difference in the world to unlock value. Also, more enterprise products are using data to enhance digital products. They harness and synthesize data in several industries. This also means companies must take responsibility of where that data is coming from and how best it is leveraged and deployed.
He explained that right choices can assist in taking advantage of new business models, and that CA's "deliberate journey of digital transformation" has had partnerships and collaborations at its core.

"The ability to manage change, respond to new inputs or insights and pivot has never been more important. Our entire portfolio is designed around the pillars of the modern software factory to increase the velocity, security and performance of the solutions and the apps that are critical to our customers' businesses," added Gregoire.

The Creativity Card

Differentiation and making an impact has always demanded creativity - the case is no different in the technology business as well. "It does not matter how big a company is or the funding it has raised, there is no such thing as too big to fail in the tech industry," Gregoire said.  His advice on this count is to always chase the next big thing and set creativity free. "The truly innovative people have the desire to follow what interests them," he said.

Keen to build a culture of innovation in the company, CA is also encouraging its people to gestate towards the next big idea. The company's innovation engine, the CA Accelerator, is in line with this thought process. With 10 startups currently enrolled in the program, these incubations function like 'lean startups' within CA. Each receives support and funding to develop and test new product ideas in the marketplace. "Our accelerator uses a proven VC funding model. With this, we are converting thought to actuality. The ability to move from inspiration to delivery is the ingredient to success," Gregoire pointed out.

The world today is competing on code. For Gregoire, software is the creative medium of this age, and writing software is in itself is a form of art that can be revolutionary. He quoted the examples of Eudora for email and Netscape for browsing which had initial revolutionary impact but did not change in time to stay viable.

Winners in the business are capable of marrying inspiration, innovation, creativity and execution. They are not seduced by any particular moment of success but understand that the long game. "It may sound like a tall order but everyone has the tool to address the challenges we confront every day. "First among the tools is modern software factory. It ensures that the company is built to change and can adapt to an accelerating digital world. It is a prerequisite for staying competitive," Gregoire concluded.

The journalist is attending CA World in Las Vegas on invitation of CA Technologies

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