The Symposium, held at one of St. Petersburg historical mansions, showcased a distinguished group of prominent technologists from around the world who discussed the most imperative issues of global sourcing, innovation and technology today.
Jamie McLellan, CIO for Europe, Africa and Middle East at Ogilvy, opened the Symposium with a presentation Deploying Technology for a Global Company: Innovation and Change Management, outlining Ogilvy’s success in managing 497 offices in 125 countries supporting more than 2,300 clients, and over 14,000 employees worldwide. According to McLellan, the global challenge is managing needs & wants as well as expectations concerning IT, which in turn brings the issue of affordability and compatibility. According to McLellan, demand generation, consumerism and evolution are the key drivers for innovation.
Alexei Miller, Executive Vice President at DataArt, the host organization, described the evolution of software outsourcing industry through the prism of DataArt’s 10 year history. The path from generic software work in the late-90s, fuelled by internet technologies boom and sobered by the following crash, the industry as a whole has taken a more mature, quality-driven position. DataArt continues to innovate, building itself as a high-end provider of “expertise-based outsourcing” services. Miller covered two major trends which will affect the industry in the next decade: (1) the changing vendor landscape – the shift from all-India strategy to global multi-sourcing, involving emerging geographies such as Eastern Europe and (2) the shift in the risk/responsibility equation; whereby vendors take on more responsibility and move from staff augmentation to application outsourcing service model. DataArt sees itself as an “enabler” – a vendor that helps companies use these trends to use global resources for tasks that were previously thought not suitable for outsourcing.
Dr. Christian Oversohl, Vice President and Head of Sapient Europe, spoke about managing distributed teams and projects. After listing numerous challenges to an outsourced project, from lack of executive support, clear business objectives, process and methodology to user and client management and cultural differences, Oversohl pointed that the basis for selecting the right offshore partner is the need to focus on the “real cost of ownership” for offshore projects, not simply cutting cost as usually thought. Sapient’s Global Distributed Delivery Model ensures smooth bridging of continents and cultures in delivering projects, where a united team and common methodology are the basis for success, and cultural differences are taken into consideration.
Jean-Francois Loche, Vice President and CIO of Nissan Europe, made an overview of his organization's broad use of technology outsourcing over the years. He highlighted the differences in outsourcing approaches by major Nissan divisions - the U.S., Asia and Europe and described how outsourcing blends in with Nissan core business planning process. Loche described Nissan IT group's BEST value up strategy, including key components Business Alignment, Enterprise Architecture, Selective Sourcing and Technology Simplification.
Dr. Gernot Gmelin, Head of Global New Technologies, Technology Architecture and Strategy at Novartis Pharma AG, presented his company’s outlook on changing technology environment and emerging information security threats. His presentation included examples of how a large organization such as Novartis educates its employees and partners on various aspects of information security.
Key not speaker, Mark Minevich, Founder and Executive Chairman of Billion Minds Foundation discussed globalization. In his presentation, he outlined the mission of BMF to promote the sustainable development and growth of a global economy of six billion minds through social knowledge entrepreneurship and socially responsible investments, and pointed that technology is an important enabler of this mission.
The event also included two panels, The Impact of Technology on Globalization of Financial Services, moderated by Orest Kyzyk of OMK Associates, and Russia’s Role in Global Innovation, moderated by Heidi Brown, Senior Reporter at Forbes Magazine.
This is the first even of such magnitude hosted by DataArt, and represents the company’s vision for using global resources in high end technology tasks. Participation of prominent technology executives from around the world reaffirmed that vision. The company plans to organize the Symposium annually in one of its four locations worldwide.