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July 16, 2015updated 21 Oct 2016 5:22pm

IT under threat, it must learn to act like consumer facing product companies

Build, manage, service at scale or become irrelevant.

By Sam

The digital disruption being felt in every business must radically change the IT function from an internal facing service to a customer facing function.

The shake-up of traditional IT from its infrastructure silos of storage, network and server is underway thanks to so many cloud propositions coming into play. This means it must become more agile and more service oriented.

Ashish Kumar Gupta, EMEA head at Indian outsourcing firm HCL Technologies, said: "Internal IT is essentially being tasked with creating customer facing products. So it needs to embed the same principals which product companies have had for many years. That is making the products, delivering the products, managing the products."

IT must create models and capabilities for disruption, this means addressing the digital value chain and the machine to machine value chain.

"Each large company will have a choice. Become General Electric [which has reclassed itself as a software company] and do it on your own. Or do it with a set of partners," says Gupta.

Mr Kumar Gupta further warns of challenges around scale and customer experience: "The moment you create a product for an external user and his or her customer experience needs, the exposure is not limited to what is happening in your industry but is compared to an Uber or Facebook. So the experience dimension is totally different. This is something most IT and most IT firms are not great at."

Read the full interview with Ashish Kumar Gupta.

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