Chief Technology Officer, UST
UST could be the biggest technology firm you may never have heard of, even though it has been established for more than 20 years, has a billion-dollar-plus valuation and employs some 28,000 experts worldwide.
However, that lack of recognition does not bother Chief Technology Officer Niranjan Ramsunder, he is more than happy delivering excellence to the select roster of clients that rely on UST to provide solutions to their digital transformation problems. It’s what they do.
Ramsunder says that UST only works with a select number of clients from the Fortune 1000 who have an average tenure of 12 years with UST. Its competitors would have around two or three times the number of clients but UST feels strongly about providing more focused attention in building and maintaining both business executive and working level relationships.
“We work very deep with those companies and rely on word of mouth,” he says. “That's why we are the best-kept secret. We do not spend a lot of time publicising ourselves to a wider audience because we don’t have to.”
Ramsunder explains that part of UST’s success over the past 20 years has been built on trying to understand their customers better, by moving operations ‘to the left’ – to better understand the motivation behind business objectives rather than simply providing the solution. Adopting this approach allows UST to not only better understand its customers, but also deliver better solutions.
He talks about how technology constantly adapts and how expectations and touchpoints have increased – especially since the onset of the pandemic.
“When you look at our customers’ digital ambitions and what they want to achieve, they really want to change the way their customers perceive them and use their products and services,” says Ramsunder.
“Those digital ambitions have to be supported with what we call an initial problem discovery approach – the problem is the biggest find, it's gold for us.”
How UST does that is unique, and that is why global clients turn to UST for their biggest digital transformation challenges.
Ramsunder says that expectation is driving change for customers and he believes it will continue to change the technology roadmap – pushing UST ahead of where they want to be as a technology company.
“I love it because we want to be ahead of where we are but we also want to provide value,” he says. “There is an opportunity to provide that value right now, whether you want to retain employees, retain your vendors and suppliers, or want to improve the experience of your end customers – all of that is being driven by phenomenal changes in underlying technology.”
Ramsunder is in his element, as a vastly experienced CTO, as the conversation shifts to Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, Internet of Things, Big Data, and all things cloud. Of course, many of these are inter-connected, and it is all built on cloud.
When it comes to looking to the future, technology moves increasingly quickly. Ramsunder says companies can no longer afford to try and plan 10 years in advance and need to focus on the next two years. He outlines blockchain and quantum computing as particular areas of interest and opportunity, while also recognising an increased appetite for cyber security as attacks increase and companies have become more reliant on digital.
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“Our strategic approach was reinforced by the COVID-19 pandemic response - there was stronger national direction, digital and data were the main enablers, and all the emphasis was on prevention and on delivering services outside hospital, into communities and homes.”