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Thought Leadership

What software transformation really means

Most software businesses, especially those that have been around for a while will readily acknowledge that the only way they can survive in a disruptive landscape is by transforming and future-proofing their core software. Question is what sort of transformation are we talking about? The answer is neither simple nor binary. Transformation could mean different things for different businesses. The transformation trajectory and strategies to achieve it will be influenced by numerous factors including the nature of legacy challenges, the pace of technology adoption in the industry vertical, and competitive landscape. In this newsletter, my colleague Seshu Loka will present Apps, Saas, Platforms – a playbook for software transformation and outline the possible strategies one could pursue to achieve leadership and excellence.

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For any software business, there are three broad dynamics at play: experience, scale, ecosystems. Irrespective of your domain and legacy challenges, every software product/application must transform and pursue one of the following trajectories to achieve leadership and success:

  • Domain Leadership,
  • Technology Leadership, and
  • Market Leadership, which is a combination of domain and technology excellence.

Based on our extensive expertise in building enterprise-class applications for global markets, we developed a proprietary playbook – Apps, SaaS, Platforms (ASP), to help in choosing and executing the right strategy for software transformation. Whether it is a new product or an existing application in need of modernization,  you will need a mix of strategies to achieve your objectives; you cannot have just an Apps strategy, or SaaS strategy, or a Platform strategy. It’s essential that you have a mix of all three strategies, as collectively they help in achieving technologydomain, and market leadership. Choice of strategy could vary based on the product legacy, current challenges, competitive landscape, and future opportunities. We developed a 2-dimensional product maturity canvas (shown below), based on technology and functionality, to help plot typical transformational trajectories.

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The playbook helps you define the roadmap for Apps, SaaS and Platforms vision of your product. Over the next few months, we will share our insights and expertise to guide the choice and execution of appropriate modernization strategy, and help in the adoption of the right technologies.


Appification implies a lot more than a mobile App, and for any legacy application, this is one of the important milestones towards modernization and transformation. As you can see from the quadrants depicted in the above image, this involves elements of technology and product modernization, and Apps are characterized by the following features:

  • Functional decomposition with separation of concerns
  • Self-contained, independent business functions
  • Mobility, pervasive spread, and personalized experiences

This enables increased focus on users and also lead to an increase in usage of the software with very specific functions. It also enables continuous increments to be delivered with minimum operations lag.

Software-as-a-Service (SaaS)

This is perhaps the 2nd key milestone in the modernization and transformation journey of any software application. A SaaS application is the pivotal point, and is characterized by the following additional features:

  • Deployed on cloud
  • New revenue model
  • Modern frameworks and flexible architectures


This is the highest milestone in the modernization journey of any software application, with two possible scenarios. You can either evolve as a platform that is used by other businesses to build and offer differentiated applications, or you can be part of an ecosystem, where you coexist and deliver business value as part of a platform. A platform has the following differentiating features:

  • Open, collaborative systems
  • Deliver continuous business value
  • Support new business models/ecosystems

The playbook enables you to map this journey based on the current business drivers and future organizational goals.  I would like to reiterate that you will need a mix of Apps, SaaS, and Platform strategies to achieve your modernization and transformation goals. Those that have it already will thrive and those that haven’t, must start ASAP. We are ready to help!

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Google and Amazon may face US antitrust investigations
News reports indicate that US Justice Department (DoJ) and Federal Trade Commission (FTC) are actively investigating potential antitrust violations by technology giants Google and Amazon.

U.S. blacklists China’s Huawei
The Trump administration hit Chinese telecoms giant Huawei with severe sanctions, adding another incendiary element to the U.S. China trade dispute just as Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said he would visit China soon for more talks.

Australian businesses facing talent crunch amid scramble to transform
Australian businesses will create 35,000 new IT roles this year, as they scramble to transform operations and avoid being disrupted out of existence, a new survey has found. But there will be a significant amount of job churn, with one in 10 businesses predicting that some roles will be made redundant as a result of digital transformation.

Foursquare buys Placed from Snap
Foursquare, the location tech company acquired Placed from Snap Inc. on the heels of a fresh $150 million investment led by The Raine Group. The terms of the deal were not disclosed. Placed is the biggest competitor to Foursquare’s Attribution product, which allows brands to track the physical impact (foot traffic to store) of a digital campaign or ad.

Alibaba pumps $100 million into Vmate to grow its video app in India
Chinese tech giant Alibaba is doubling down on India’s burgeoning video market, looking to fight back local rival ByteDance (TikTok), Google (YouTube) and Disney (Hotstar) to gain its foothold in the nation. The company stated that it is pumping $100 million into Vmate, a three-year-old social video app owned by subsidiary UC Web.

German chipmaker Infineon to buy US rival Cypress for €9 billion
Bavarian chipmaker Infineon is planning a multibillion-dollar takeover of United States competitor Cypress Semiconductor, the two companies said in a joint statement. Infineon said it would pay $23.85 (€21.35) per share, a 46% premium on Cypress’ average share price between mid-April and the end of May. That amounts to a €9 billion enterprise value, by far the most significant acquisition in the Bavarian firm’s 20-year history.

Grocery startup BigBasket becomes India’s newest unicorn
India has a new unicorn after BigBasket, a startup that delivers groceries and perishables across the country, raised $150 million for its fight against rivals Walmart’s Flipkart, Amazon and hyperlocal startups Swiggy and Dunzo.

Consumer Spending on Technology to Reach $1.3 Trillion in 2019
Consumer spending on technology is forecast to reach $1.32 trillion in 2019, an increase of 3.5% over 2018. According to the inaugural Worldwide Semiannual Connected Consumer Spending Guide from International Data Corporation (IDC), consumer purchases of traditional and emerging technologies will remain strong over the 2018-2022 forecast period, reaching $1.43 trillion in 2022 with a five-year compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 3.0%.

Healthcare Insurance Needs An Overhaul — Fast
The healthcare industry is being disrupted. Emerging tech and a widespread access to data will enable customer profiling, and healthcare reform and disruptors like Amazon entering the market add fuel to the fire. As the industry that ranks fourth to last in Forrester’s CX Index – a survey of more than 110,000 consumers across 300 brands in 19 industries – it’s clear that healthcare insurers have work to do to keep up with members’ evolving expectations. Forrester believes that an overhaul of the health insurance industries is needed now for insurers to survive.

11 million vehicles will be equipped with V2X communications in 2024
More than 11.2 million light vehicles equipped with some form of Vehicle-to-Everything (V2X) system will be produced globally in 2024, representing 12 percent of the light vehicle fleet, based on new research and forecasts from business information provider IHS Markit. It is expected that production of light vehicles equipped with V2X systems will be just under 15,000 units in 2019 and will grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 277.5 percent in 2024.

Software doesn’t age well
In a disruptive landscape, you can’t compete with aging stacks. Customers demand modular applications with flexible, modern architectures to support evolving business models. In the absence of modernization, you will not be able to leverage the power of emerging technologies and will fast become extinct like a dinosaur. At the same time, any modernization should be meaningful, and holistic.

Wake up, Table Thinkers!
IT has not given business owners a better abstraction than tables. First design your information object, then build a screen on top of it, and then please add some business logic. And take your pick: whether with “good old” 4GL tooling, modern day low-code platforms or coding based Entity frameworks – all of them take the basic “table” as starting point.

Business-value driven approach towards legacy application modernization
There is no universal panacea for legacy modernization, and different strategies are designed for different scenarios. You must choose the most optimal strategy that will enable you to derive the maximum business value, while mitigating your risks. Waiting on a ticking time bomb is not an option either, so put on your thinking hats and get started with the journey of modernizing legacy applications in your portfolio.

Legacy Modernization Imperative: Do or Die
To survive and thrive in a fast-changing digital landscape, application modernization should cover the entire product life cycle, use modern software architectures, and focus on end-to-end business capabilities. Legacy modernization must not be approached with a narrow perspective and must be continuous in nature. Legacy modernization is no longer a choice, but a vital business imperative. It is either Do or Die.

Application Modernization: Myths vs Reality
Challenges of legacy applications and the technology/business drivers for modernization are well known. Yet, there is no silver bullet for application modernization. It is important to understand the pros and cons of various modernization approaches, distinguish between myths and reality, and to formulate a holistic strategy for creating future-ready applications.

Legacy, once a burden, is now a new opportunity to transform
Modernization of legacy software applications cannot be achieved with a uni-dimensional approach. Legacy modernization has multiple dimensions, and one must choose the right strategy, based on the current state of the legacy software, competitive drivers, and broad business context.

Modernization is key to avoid the ISV death spiral
In a fast-changing technology landscape, where digital disruption is the norm, status quo is not an option for a traditional ISV, as it will lead to irrelevance, extinction, and a certain death. To avoid this death spiral, ISVs must embrace technology modernization and transform their legacy software into digital native applications, that can be deployed either as an enterprise SaaS or as part of a digital platform.

It’s never too late to modernize your legacy applications
It is futile to struggle with legacy frameworks, and delay taking the difficult, but necessary decisions on modernization. The risks of inaction and delay could be catastrophic, and the potential rewards are too obvious to ignore. It’s never too late to embrace change!

coMakeIT | Newsletter 2019 Vol 2 – Issue 2

TaRanG: As part of our continuous drive to make coMakeIT a fun place to work, we hosted numerous employee engagement activities over the past quarter. These initiatives included playing host to our employees kids, competing fiercely in the T20 cricket league, and ushering in the Telugu/Kannada new year.

Tarang logo

Kids week: We welcomed children of our employees to visit us along with their parents during summer school break. Kids from all age groups participated with lots of enthusiasm in activities ranging from painting competitions to exploring how basic science works with the help of toolkits, etc.

kids june

Ugadi celebrations: The arrival of Ugadi, the traditional new year for people across the south Indian states of Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, and Karnataka was marked with gaiety and fun. Highlight of the celebrations was a competition for making the ‘Best Ugadi Pacchadi’, which is a traditional dish made to mark the arrival of a new year.

ugadi 2019

Cricket League: Summer is also the time to indulge in our national pastime, Cricket. We grouped ourselves into multiple teams and competed aggressively for the bragging rights of ‘coMakeIT Cricket champions’. Needless to say, that was loads of fun that reminded us to be fit and healthy!

cricket 2019