Over the last two years there has been a significant change in the macroeconomic fundamentals and geopolitical balance in the region. As a result, CSC has seen a shift in the spending behavior of its customer base across the region. The IT purchasing process has become increasingly driven around business use cases, with expectations of tangible return on investment, and request for additional details across the purchase process.
On one hand, spending decisions are being revisited and business heads are being pressured to look for new revenue streams using innovation. Even spending patterns are changing, moving away from upfront capital asset investments to consumption based payments. On the other hand, executives are increasingly engaging with CSC on how to move forward from here.
“While spending has been tightened, this has opened up interesting conversations on changing business models, operating models, outsourcing, cloud, big data and finding new ways to monetise existing assets,” says Alok Bapna, Managing Director, Middle East and Africa, CSC.
For the regional operations of the $8 billion global system integrator, these are not unfamiliar expectations coming from its customer base.
Globally CSC has strategic vendor partnerships with Amazon Web Services, AT&T, Dell EMC, HCL, Hitachi, IBM, Lenovo, Microsoft, Oracle, Salesforce, SAP, Workday, ServiceNow. CSC also maintains alliances with 100+ other vendors in 25 countries.
On the technology platform side, offerings from CSC include workplace, cloud, cyber security, mobility, social, application services, banking, next gen networks, storage, consulting, big data, analytics. The vertical markets include banking, healthcare, insurance, manufacturing, retail, energy, transportation, public sector.
While spending has been tightened this has opened up interesting conversations on changing business models
Doing more with less is always an interesting conversation and one that CSC is particularly good at
“Doing more with less is always an interesting conversation and one that CSC is particularly quite good at,” continues Bapna. Being agnostic to any one vendor, CSC is regionally leveraging its broad platform of vendor alliances and technology competencies to offer what works best for the customer. “This enables us to really put the customer in the centre and design solutions that cater just for that.”
CSC is also able to leverage business expectations and decisions to move from capital expenditure to operational expenditure spending. Its key partnerships with Amazon Web Services and Microsoft Azure enable CSC to meet these expectations.
“Capex to opex shifts and the interest in the cloud is also an interesting move that we look to capitalise further,” adds Bapna. The changing macroeconomic conditions and economic downturn is driving decisions away from existing ways of thinking towards continuously opening up doors for change.
The fourth platform of technologies has changed the landscape of IT solutions. Components such as cloud, converged infrastructure, software defined anything, fabric networks, scale out, managed services, connected devices, security, open systems, interoperability, IoT, smart solutions, are becoming increasingly integrated into solutions being newly procured.
The fourth platform of technologies are the current focus of CSC and is the lead driving factor in all its conversations with customers. Over the past five years, CSC has been preparing itself by embedding these digital transformation technologies internally. Digital transformation technologies from CSC are helping customers move away from traditional models of technology usage.
We have been leading our client’s digital transformation regionally, moving them away from traditional operating models particularly when it comes to helping flagship enterprises transform
The market is in desperate need for talent with the next generation skill sets and the more this is mandated by partners the better
Says Bapna, “We have been leading our client’s digital transformation globally and regionally, moving them away from traditional operating models, particularly when it comes to helping flagship enterprises transform.”
CSC is helping its customers move away from buying boxes for their datacenters towards modernising applications, designing scale out architectures, implementing agile operating models, and maximising their cloud adoptions.
Channel partners are trusted advisors and are at the forefront with customers. They have the responsibility to lead the conversations on digital transformation with their customers. However, in order to do so they must have the right people with the right skills on-boarded. With shortage of digital transformation skills in the market, end-customers will expect their partners to have these skill sets.
“Everything is moving fast. The market is in desperate need for talent with the next generation skill sets and the more this is mandated by partners the better,” says Bapna.
While awareness and understanding of digital transformation builds up in the region, CSC is also following its business-as-usual approach. Bapna indicates that healthcare and insurance are focus vertical markets in the region and CSC has built significant assets in these market segments.
CSC first entered the Middle East region in 1978, initially starting in Saudi Arabia. In 2004 Covansys, which was later to be acquired by CSC in 2007, started engagement with Emirates. In 2004 Covansys also started SAP implementation in the region. At the time of Covansys acquisition in 2007, project engagements with Emirates had clocked 200+ man years. In 2009, CSC on-boarded Qatar Airways and started its first Oracle services engagement.
In 2012, CSC opened Abu Dhabi and Qatar offices and reached the milestone of 50 customer accounts. In 2013, the Middle East and Africa regional offices were merged. At present the, consolidated CSC Middle East and Africa operations include 750+ employees, 100+ customer accounts, and six operational offices. CSC operates in UAE, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Oman, South Africa.
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