Over the July 4 week-end, CEO designate Vishal Sikka appears to have been in a reflective mood. In a blog post on Sunday, Mr. Sikka articulated his feelings as he readies himself to take on the top job at the second largest IT exporter in the country.
Bringing up the debate on an 'innovator's dilemma', the academic-technologist mused about the need to disrupt, to learn and to understand new ways of remaining relevant. What Mr. Sikka writes is relevant given the fact that he makes a crucial transition from a products background to IT services, a new uncharted territory for the man credited as the chief architect of SAP's popular data analytics product HANA.
``My fundamental conclusion is that there is no innovator's dilemma,’’ he writes. “There is only a desire, a willingness, a courage to change. To learn. To understand new ways of working and being relevant.” Detailing his approach to disruption, he writes that he does not believe that rules can block an organization's ability to deal with disruption. “Disruption is not an excuse, a fait accompli, it is simply an opportunity to learn new skills and to develop new products and services, and processes and economics,” he writes. These disruptions, he believes, present an opportunity to “renew ourselves and our organizations”.
He adds that anchors – namely, deeply rooted principles, experiences, values and ideas/visions that companies are built upon – can help guide through such change. On a personal note, he also dedicated his “anchorage”, amidst such huge transitions in life, to his wife “V”, quoting mathematician John Nash' tribute to his wife in his Nobel prize acceptance speech.
Talking of transformations and transitions in the world of technology and business, he writes: “Transformations they must go through, to survive, to continue to be relevant, when the circumstances and contexts around them change dramatically. Companies around the world, including mine, are going through these transitions, driven to a large extent by software and computing technology.”
In the blog post, titled 'Transitions and Anchors', Mr. Sikka also points out that he looks forward to taking over the reins at Infosys on August 1, and to a “great transition that must follow my little transition.” “A great transition and its set of challenges and opportunities, that await my new company, as well as every company in our industry, and indeed as software reshapes the world around us, every company in the world.”
A great transition awaits my new company as well as every company in
our industry, says Vishal Sikka