Four Q's with Mohit Kapoor TransUnion's CIO & CTO
Monday, March 12, 2018
Posted by: Gary Hotze
We sat down with Mohit to hear his insights on the state of technology in general, as it pertains to TransUnion and our customers, and what to expect in the future.
1. What are the most innovative/important technology trends you see manifesting?
Putting aside security, which could be it’s own discussion, right now we’re seeing some interesting megatrends – the first being an explosion of data—coming from devices, user interaction, blogs, video posts, social media, etc. Within that data, the ability and tools that are available to draw insights are changing significantly. What used to be cost-prohibitive and take months to do, now may take just a matter of minutes. And when you combine that explosion of data, insights and analytics with the growing trend of artificial intelligence, machine learning and algorithms, you’re able to see relevant relationships in a much faster time period.
"What used to be cost-prohibitive and take months to do, now may take just a matter of minutes."
Cloud computing is another megatrend. People today now have access—with the drop of a credit card—to the same processing power that the largest enterprises have. That means the barriers of entering into a new business and disrupting it have been lowered substantially. There’s a lot of data, tools, open sources and computational power readily available at a relatively low price point, compared to 10–15 year ago.
A last thing to note is that the traditional boundaries of industries are disappearing. You can’t define where companies lie as the lines have blurred. If you think about mega companies like Amazon, Google or Apple, they’re able to delve into a variety of industries due to their large investment appetite. Things are changing rather significantly and quickly as far as industry lines… and this is just the start.
2. What do these trends mean to our customers and how should they prepare?
We have a spectrum of customers, from traditional, established organizations striving to deal with changing customer expectations to new, emerging players who have a different model, start from a different place and don’t have the legacy – but who find our data and capabilities very interesting as they try to partner with or compete with more established companies. Next generation, startups, technology companies and established companies alike, are all grappling with where the world is going, who “owns” today’s consumers, how you treat them, etc. There’s also a concern about the presence of large technology companies, because if they wanted to enter and disrupt other industries, they could. So, our customers need to be thinking about what they can do to remain relevant and competitive – now and down the road. And, of course, in today’s world, information security has to be baked into everything every company considers as they embrace trends and morph their businesses.
3. How has TU restructured to help our customers meet future needs?
There are several different fronts to consider in meeting our customers’ needs. The first is whether our technology capabilities are evolving and if they’re available on a global basis. If you go a layer above that, you then ask, are our data and analytics shareable globally? Above that is how do we go to market and educate our customers on the relevance of those insights across business lines? We not only want to have capabilities, we want to be able to scale them effectively. Globalization of our operating model across multiple dimensions is a key element to staying relevant. When we find an insight in Market A, we want to quickly be able to get that to other markets and customers here and around the world.
4. Any final thoughts?
It’s important we continue to evolve with our customers, providing what they need now and anticipating what they’ll need in the future. As mentioned, I believe innovation is the key to staying relevant and we’re constantly pushing the envelope to deliver the best, most effective and pioneering solutions to our customers.
In fact, as we look down the road, we’re investigating new ways of getting data on a continual basis in real time—going beyond gathering it as we traditionally do in batch at periodic intervals. We’re exploring if we do acquire the technology and capabilities, how to extend that into commercially viable solutions our customers will find value in.
And in doing that and all our other work, a major focus is security—ensuring we’re protecting our customers as they protect theirs. I tell my team that in technology, availability, quality and security are like air, water and food. You must tend to all of those aspects diligently and continuously.
Bottom line, we’re constantly innovating with the customer in mind. What can we do to help make their business run better, smarter, safer, more efficiently and competitively? Their success is our success, so whatever we can do to accommodate and exceed their needs is what we strive for. It’s our nature at TU to push boundaries and anticipate where markets are going next so we can constantly stay ahead of the curve and our competition, while helping our customers do the same.