Berkes, a co-founder of Xbox and a Microsoft veteran, and now CTO at CA Technologies, said a fundamental transformation in society was underway, and it was all being rewritten by software. Berkes said this transformation was a digital one and so jobs were changing from operating and consuming technology, into ones that were about collaboration to create new technology 'every single day'.
He said to affect this change, IT departments were being rebuilt as software development organisations to create applications that allowed businesses to connect directly to customers.
Berkes asked why a bank -- Capital One -- on the East Coast in the United States, had thought it necessary to open a software development office in Silicon Valley. He said they had needed to attract the best software talent and had realised 'that to win in business they need to be in the software business'.
He said an investment in technology had a greater impact on a company’s profits than comparable levels of spending on advertising or R&D. According to MIT, a $1 increase in IT expenditure per employee was associated with more than a $12 increase in sales per employee. By way of example of how technology was changing everything from healthcare to retail, finance and media, he mentioned how in the city of Nakuru in Kenya, a website called Hivi Sasa (which means 'right now') had started publishing about 30 local articles a day and had become an important source of local news.
Another example was IBM engineers trialling drones that could ferry cargos of up to 10kg for 120km. These could carry medicine or food to outlying communities on the continent.
He said there were a number of steps a company could take to accelerate digital transformation, one of which was embracing containerisation and microservices. These involved 'slicing' complex online apps into more manageable parts that deliver microservices, each of which can be managed separately, through loosely coupled API architecture.