WS02 CEO templates transformation for CIOs and Sri Lanka

WS02 dances to demand for digital transformation despite local and international challenges.

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Economic strife, conflict, skills shortages, digital transformation and a tech stock listing - typical conversation points for the technology industry in 2022. This decade is, so far, defined by disruption - a once trendy term used by Silicon Valley techies. Our interview with the founder and CEO of WSO2 Sanjiva Weerawarana would, like this decade, be disrupted by economic strife but kept on track by the transformational abilities of technology to overcome everything that the 2020s throw at it.

Sanjiva Weerawarana was meant to be in London to discuss European ambitions and implementations of the WS02 platform-as-a-service (PaaS) technology, an IPO, digital transformation and skills shortages. But events in the company and CEO's native Sri Lanka led to Weerawarana returning home, but of course, technology meant we still had that conversation.

WS02 had always focused on open-source web application development tools for integration, application programming interface (API) and identity management and was a leading member of the Apache community when the business was founded. As a result, WS02 has a heritage in the languages and foundations of enterprise technology. This continued with the development of Ballerina, an open-source cloud programming language that WS02 began work on in 2015. Ballerina is a code-based alternative to enterprise serial bus (ESB) and enterprise application integration (EAI) tools. The first version of Ballerina was publicly released in September 2019, and in June 2021, WS02 launched Choreo, a Ballerina-based integration-platform-as-a-service (iPaaS).

Weerawarana believes Ballerina will improve the productivity of application developers and at a time when development teams are under pressure to deliver. Faced with a skills shortage and increased demand for digital transformation, CIOs are keen to embrace technologies that automate and increase the pace of application development. "Cloud makes some things easier, but running software and development at scale is difficult. The depth and skills required for a digital transformation have gone right up," Weerawarana says of the opportunity he believes is there for Ballerina and the iPaaS platform his business offers.

Templated technologies such as Low and No Code are gaining traction with CIOs, and Weerawarana says this latest iteration of iPaaS brings the same business benefits. "The Choreo platform does a lot of the development functions so that the CIO and their team can do the innovation. CIOs want more control over the digital experience, as it is fundamentally a competitive advantage and defines your organisation," he says of how simplifying integration in the development process is key to the Choreo offering. Adding that, as CIOs increasingly focus on developing platforms for their businesses, the need for technologies that accelerate and simplify integration will become increasingly important. 

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