Vijay Gurbaxani

The impact of digital technologies on businesses and the economy has been a passionate area of research for Information Systems and Computer Science Professor Vijay Gurbaxani. Gurbaxani received an integrated five year Master’s degree in Mathematics and Computer Science from the Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay and obtained his Master’s and Ph.D degrees in Business Administration from the University of Rochester. At UCI, he is the Taco Bell Endowed Professor of Information Systems and Computer Science and has previously served as a Senior Associate Dean and Associate Dean of the UCI MBA program. “I thought I would be here for 3 years and 31 years later I’m still here and loving every minute of it,” says Gurbaxani.

Due to his extensive knowledge in Business Administration and Computer Science, Gurbaxani felt that it was necessary to build something that is lasting and influences the world of practice. This necessity spurred the idea for the Center for Digital Transformation (CDT) at the Paul Merage School of Business. Gurbaxani launched the CDT and became its director four years ago. The CDT’s mission is to become a vital center of influence that advances the competitiveness and productivity of business in the digital economy. It focuses on four critical issues: Economies of the Digital World, Big Data and Analysis, Digital Services Delivery, and Digital Business Models in order to understand the digital business environment. The CDT helps companies prepare for the demands of the dynamic digital economy through progress assessments, partnering on research, offering problem-solving forums, and creating educational programs. 

Gurbaxani proposed the idea for the CDT because he thought it was something that was important for the university and the business school. From running a Chief Information Roundtable over the years, Gurbaxani noticed that a reoccurring theme at the roundtables was the dynamic and rapidly changing nature of the Chief Information Officer’s job and day-to-day
activities. “Companies in the community around us are challenged by the digital economy and the center aims at helping these companies adapt to the digital economy,” says Gurbaxani.

Gurbaxani’s interdisciplinary experience and research on technology’s transformative role in business has allowed him to lecture worldwide on management issues and the idea of disruption. His recent contribution to the Harvard Business Review titled, “You Don’t Have to Be a Software Company to Think Like One”, focuses on the current business environment and the role software plays in an ever-changing and digital economy. At the 2016 Road to Reinvention Conference, he also talked about the digital economy and the idea of disruption which he defines as “new ways of organizing and arranging assets and resources, and brand new ways of configuring companies.” Some of the examples he gives of disruption are Uber, 
Lyft, and Airbnb as these companies significantly impacted existing industries. “This is disruptive in both good and bad ways and we’re in for some really interesting times, I think,” says Gurbaxani. 

To learn more about the CDT, please visit: http://merage.uci.edu/ResearchAndCenters/ CDT/Default.aspx.