​CSC opens innovation centre in Sydney's north

Computer Sciences Corp has opened an innovation hub to position itself as an industry leader in the development of new technology in Australia.

Computer Sciences Corp (CSC) has opened an Innovation Centre at Macquarie Park in Sydney's north that will focus on the development of technology solutions in areas such as blockchain, artificial intelligence, machine learning, and virtual and augmented reality.

Opening the centre on Friday, CSC managing director Seelan Nayagam said he expects the new centre to serve as a hub to incubate technology and act as a "prototyping sandbox" that will allow clients to experience and test the viability of their own technology solutions before committing to a large scale implementation.

"It will be a showcase for the very latest technology solutions from CSC and our partners," he said.

According to Nayagam, it is the people involved in the innovation labs that really make a difference, not just the technology.

"This innovation centre ... is a place where we want to bring creative people. Innovation is not just about technology, it's about processes, it's about thinking differently," Nayagam said.

"At CSC we had to go through this as an organisation over the last four years. We've been on a transformation journey, we as an organisation had a compelling reason to change and that reason was around that we as an older organisation kind of lost our way in the 1990s to 2000s and we had to innovate and we had to transform."

Nayagam said his organisation had the real estate, the building, and the idea, but needed to bring the right people to the lab. As a result, CSC also launched its Regional CTO Group, which comprises seven chief technology officers under chief CTO under Sam Johnston, who Nayagam said are experts in their respective industries.

"They can bring some of these innovative technologies to life and make [CSC] think differently," he said. "We do believe some of the things here will be disruptive to a number of industries."

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NSW Minister for Innovation and Better Regulation Victor Dominello trials CSC-developed augmented reality technology

Image: Supplied

Also speaking at the centre's opening, New South Wales Minister for Innovation and Better Regulation Victor Dominello praised the launch of the centre, noting that in such a digitally-focused climate, organisations such as CSC need to be at the cutting edge of innovation.

"By investing in your innovation lab means that you care about your future," Dominello explained. "Because if you don't think about and invest in your future, your future isn't going to look bright at all."

Dominello said the future of the public sector in many ways mirrors the private one, and said it was critical to have leaders like CSC.

"People like CSC, through the innovation lab, are going to have to think of new ways to make it easier for clients to engage with government, with society, whatever," the minister said.

"If we stay still, we fall behind and the quicker the pace of change -- and it is going quick -- the quicker we fall behind.

"This will put [CSC] as a market leader and we need more companies to follow the lead in bringing these innovation labs internally because it shows that you have the right cultural settings to ensure your success."

Nayagam originally promised an innovation centre in March, when CSC finalised its AU$427.6 million acquisition of UXC.

At the time, Nayagam praised Dominello and the state government for the way it was embracing technology.

"The minister has a big push around innovation and we wanted to create an environment where you control, in terms of the technology evolution towards the digital era -- and I don't want to give too much away, but when we come back in eight weeks' time you can then see the innovation centre and what we're going to have."

Despite his passion for the innovation centre, Nayagam admitted on Friday that at the time he announced the innovation centre, it was just a concept.

Nayagam also touched on the impending merger of CSC with Hewlett Packard's enterprise services unit, reaffirming the amalgamation will result in a $26 billion IT services giant.

"Now, with the HPE merger that will happen, we will be globally the largest independent system integrator at approximately $26 billion in revenue," he said. "And in Australia and New Zealand we will be the largest independent system integrator; we will lead in this space, we are committed to lead in this space, and we will have roughly 10,000 employees across Australia and New Zealand."

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