2020 has been a difficult year for many, but several companies have stepped up to lead their partners through the pandemic. Such is the case for professional services firm Cognizant, which is shortlisted in a mighty six categories at Computing's upcoming Digital Technology Leaders Awards for its work.
"This year has been particularly difficult for a large section of the world population, with the disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic," says Sanjiv Gossain, head of digital business at Cognizant. "I feel proud that over the past few months, we have continued to work with our clients every day to deliver business value and help improve the lives of countless people globally and across industries. We ensured that clients were able to conduct business as usual and, in some cases, speed up their move to becoming a more digital company."
Gossain believes that the key to Cognizant's success this year has been a combination of its experience in working with large (Global 2000) enterprises through their digital transformation process, combined with its focus on putting the human first, with technology in a supporting role.
"We employ anthropologists who understand human behaviour, combined with extensive industry and technology expertise to develop a deep understanding of customers, to create technology experiences that are both relevant and desirable. Our global reach and diverse workforce mean we are able to bring together the best of Cognizant to address client challenges at speed and scale.
"Even before the pandemic, we envisaged that work in all its forms was poised to change. Data-intensive and digitally oriented ways of working were set to boost agility and increase business insights across the organisation. We believe the pandemic has accelerated the trends of modernising technology and migrating to the cloud. As Satya Nadella famously said, ‘We have seen two years of digital transformation in two months.'"
That preparedness to accept big changes to the world of work helped Cognizant quickly pivot and adapt to the new normal this year - even managing to design and launch a brand-new digital platform to support relief work at the height of the crisis.
"I am particularly proud of the timely and fast-paced delivery of the Cognizant Assist platform for our Corporate Social Responsibility team, Cognizant Outreach," says Gossain. "Cognizant Outreach works with several charities around the world. Around April this year, we identified a need to develop a digital platform to coordinate and support community relief work during the pandemic. In response to this demand, we stood up a dedicated team to design and develop a user-friendly, free to use, cloud-based platform that brings together charities, sponsors and people that require support to coordinate relief efforts.
"Recognising the time criticality of the platform, our team put in long hours and developed and rolled it out in as little as four weeks! Cognizant Assist is now successfully implemented and used globally by over ten charities across the UK, India and the US, with a large implementation pipeline. The sheer impact this made in terms of touching and improving the lives of people fills us with a unique sense of contribution and accomplishment. It demonstrates how technology can make a positive contribution to people's lives."
Speaking about Cognizant's success in the shortlisting stage of the Digital Technology Leaders Awards, Gossain says:
"The UK tech sector is a vital part of the British economy. The benefits of such a vibrant sector are felt across other industries. The Digital Technology Leaders Awards provide a platform for recognising the best of the best digital technologists, individuals and companies at the forefront of innovation. The wide range of organisational, project and personal excellence awards provides organisations and individuals an opportunity to gain recognition for their work and the impact they make. The awards also provide an opportunity to showcase work that is pushing the envelope on the technical, project management, organisational and cultural change required in organisations to solve the problems of today.
"From a Cognizant point of view, I have encouraged our teams to participate in the awards. I am pleased that Cognizant entries are finalists for six categories. I wish them and the other finalists all the best. "