Adoption of the latest digital technologies, research to innovate and fostering in-house skill improvement are three prime drivers for business success. Dr. Subramanian (Subi) Krishnan, vice president, and general manager of Apptio India explains to Baishakhi Dutta of EFY Group how their new CoE will help them achieve the same. Excerpts follow…
Q) Which technology is the most promising when it comes to innovation and solving real-world challenges? How does Apptio enable the same for the industry?
Cloud is on the rise and one of the biggest trends in technology– According to Gartner, the worldwide public cloud services market is projected to grow 17.5 percent in 2019 to a total of $214.3 billion, up from $182.4 billion in 2018.
Organizations today are transforming themselves into digital companies. Cloud is one of the key components to enable this transformation. The technologies that are the most promising today are the ones that enable businesses to go digital while optimizing their spend on cloud and infrastructure. Let’s be honest, the CIO budgets are not really on the rise and they are under pressure to optimize their spend while enabling their organization to go digital. Therefore solutions, like the ones provided by Apptio, help technology leaders make smart decisions as they plan, analyze, optimize, control, and collaborate their investments and enable a successful digital transformation for their organizations.
Q) Talking about the evolving designs, security, and services, how are you coming up with effective designs to make the solutions much better?
Continuous innovation is the only answer for companies to stay competitive and provide solutions to their customers with changing business needs. We are constantly evaluating the latest technology and innovating around it and bring them into our products to provide value to our customers. For example, we make use of data science and machine learning to help our customers optimize their IT spend to enable a successful digital transformation. Acquiring new technologies and integrating them into the core offering is another approach we have been using. Our acquisition of “Cloudability” is an example of the same
We are also looking at global talent to bring in the best of minds from across the world to fuel this innovation. The opening of the Bangalore COE was driven by this idea as well.
Q) Do you think ‘Design in India’ is yet at the pinnacle or there are more grounds to be covered? What are the extra doable?
The opportunities to innovate in India are boundless. The combination of a growing economy with a growing talent base is really potent. Apptio’s investment in the Bangalore COE is a recognition of this fact. We want the Bangalore CoE to be one of our leading centers of innovation that creates new and value-added products for our customers globally. So, in my view, there’s a lot of potentials. If there is one thing I would say, it would be for India to continue to increase its investment in universities in order to bring academia and industry together into a collaborative partnership to innovate for the future.
Q) W.r.t. edge vs cloud–where do you think will we see faster development in the next year or two?
In the next year or two, we will see faster development in the cloud because every company around the world is using cloud or planning to move to the cloud in some capacity. So cloud clearly is an area of growth.
Q) How would you advise an aspirant on the right steps to follow while applying for a job in the electronics design sector?
I would change the question into applying for jobs in the technology sector. I would recommend that they do internships in technology companies during their studies to get a good perspective and experience into what is happening in the industry today. I would recommend that they do projects that are focused on solving real-world business problems. And finally, I think it’s important to have a ‘go get it done’ attitude which pretty much can accomplish anything.
Q) Do you think organizations are getting better at responding and adapting to digital disruption? Or do we still have a long way to go?
This is a journey and I personally feel that most of the organizations have begun this journey but not many have finished it. I also believe that technology changes constantly, making this journey never-ending as organizations adapt to changing business needs due to technology changes and therefore customer expectations.
Apptio’s 1000+ customers are in this journey today. Apptio’s customer base makes up 60 percent of the Fortune 100 companies around the world and all those companies have been embracing and adapting to digital disruption.
Q) Are you hiring or planning to hire talent for your new CoE? If yes, can you share estimated numbers to be hired within the next 2 years?
Yes, we are in the process of hiring talent for our CoE and continue to add new roles every single day. Our current target is to have 300 technologists in our Bangalore center by the end of 2020. We will be opening our state of the art Apptio office in Bangalore in early 2020. So we are significantly investing in our Bangalore COE.
Q) If yes, what are the types of roles for which you’re planning to hire? Can you share a brief idea about what these roles entail?
We are hiring for various roles across different departments. Our primary focus is on innovation and creating new products and servicing them for our customers globally. So a lot of focus is on hiring technologists, architects and data scientists along with customer success consultants. In addition, we are also looking at creating our global marketing COE and our finance COE in Bangalore. So we are hiring for pretty much every part of the business, including engineering, customers’ success, marketing, finance, and HR.
Q) Do you have a formal internship program to train freshers for the industry? If yes, can you share how’s it designed to actually make them industry-ready?
Our plan is to build talent at all levels and also enable the talent supply chain starting with universities. We began our operations only on July 1st. Our talent strategy has internships, and college graduates as one of its key pillars. We plan to begin executing this by mid-2020. We are already in talks with some focused new generation universities for partnerships.
Q) Any unique hiring practice followed by your firm–to get the right candidates?
Our culture is all about transparency and focusing on the customer. Our hiring process reflects that. We ensure our candidates are given the visibility on who we are and what our vision is while also talking about our culture and how they can grow their careers with us. We have our leadership team give talks to them, even before hiring starts. We want to ensure that when someone applies for a role at Apptio, they are already sold on our vision and their career at Apptio. This makes it simple for us during the interview process.