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Global economy creates data transparency mandates, challenges

Embracing a bimodal IT strategy has helped tax technology solutions provider Vertex Inc. advance in the digital era, according to John Viglione, former CTO and current executive vice president at the company. Viglione spoke with SearchCIO at the Gartner Symposium in Orlando, Fla., where he talked about how the company is investing in Mode 2 applications of bimodal IT strategy. He also explained the challenges associated with supporting clients through their transition towards increased data transparency as it becomes a compliance priority associated with tax management.

What key technology investment helps your company thrive in the digital economy

John Viglione: There are actually a number of them. Our company has been around over 30 years, and so the conversation that Gartner gets into about Mode 1 and Mode 2 [of bimodal IT strategy], we're right in the middle of that. We've made a number of Mode 2 investments, one of which is now coming to fruition. We're starting to take the learnings from our Mode 2 investment and starting to push it back into the core business where it operates as a traditional Mode 1 operation. We're also involved in a number of what we called digital sizing of the world when you look at it from the perspective of what governments are starting to do and how they're operating. We operate our business around finance and tax, and governments are getting more sophisticated with data transparency and the requirements associated with it. We're also highly engaged in looking at that pattern and that trend within the industry, and understanding how we have to help our clients who are spread across horizontal and vertical domains within the industry. It's kind of like a who's who client base, how they're going to deal with that and how we can support them through that transition into data transparency across the globe.  

What challenges exist in making that transition towards data transparency? 

Governments are getting more sophisticated with data transparency and the requirements associated with it.

Viglione: The first one is from a company perspective. You have to think, I don't want to use the term globally, but it's a different viewpoint on how compliance is conducted from a data perspective. Specifically; countries want to understand the revenues that you are paying to each country, call that tax. How do we work with that from a global perspective? Governments are sharing data more and more, or at least they're sharing the conversation about sharing data more and more. Then how do you deal with them internally and position your staff to address that and understand the monetization perspective of the data from a governing perspective, and understand where your clients are as far as how they're going to comply with that demand. Then it's the whole transition of the universe of technology that all our clients are dealing with. Gartner calls it the Nexus of Forces, but you have to deal with the cloud, the social media, you have to deal with the big data, the mobile. All that's moving around constantly and it's not one clear pattern, it's a number of patterns and your solutions in the market have to sit nicely within that support where your clients are going.

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