Customers want IT providers to invest in digital
Mini Tejaswi

Customers want IT providers to invest in digital
Customers want IT providers to invest in digital

Indian IT is seen as a le?ader in the global race to bu?ild skills around automation technologies and domain- sp?ecific expertise. Automati?on has existed for as long as the industry has and is a na?t?ural progression of search for efficiencies. It started off in the form of automation of specific areas like testing, remote infrastructure monitoring, or claims processing, and has now reached a stage where bots can takeover low -value tasks without need for human intervention. Automation has resulted in an improvement in average re?v?enue-per-employee from $15,000 to $56,000 between 2008 and 2018 as it allows resources to take on higher value tasks that require subject matter expertise in te?c?h?nology or vertical specific processes. Digital is another jo?urney in search of even be?tter value propositions, said Hansa Iyengar, a senior analyst at London-based consulting firm Ovum, in an interview with Mini Tejaswi. Excerpts:

How do you view the status of Indian IT industry?

There’s no doubt that the In?dian IT industry is curre?n?tly facing headwinds, whi?ch threaten the growth pro?s?pects. Shifting spending patterns, tightening visa regulations, geo-political uncerta?inties and internal metamo?rphoses are all posing major hurdles for a sector that has seen its margins getting thin and growth peter out over the past few years. But it’s just another ph?a?se in the evolution of the industry and it will bo?unce ba?ck li?ke it has done before. This phase is temporary – it’s a time for reflection, realignment and regrouping.

What are new customer expectations and demands from IT providers?

Services using new techno?l?o?gies like artificial intellige?n?ce and machine le?arning, IoT, analytics and UX (user experience) de?sign form the core of ent?erprise demand around digital services. It requires vendor to work directly and clo?s?ely with clients, provide co?n?sulting around business pr?ocesses and technology ro?admaps, which are different from what vendors are us?ed to doing. The current bu?sin?e?ss environment is fo?r?cing In?dian IT to recalibrate st?r?a?t?egies and go-to-ma?rket app?roaches. Resource-based ef?ficiencies are being replaced by efficiencies of automati?on, demand for IT is being dr?iven by need for value ra?t?her than need to lo?wer costs and traditional lift-and-shift work is being rep?l?aced by hi?gher value work that requ?ires a different set of skills.

What kind of investments are bing made in digital?

Clients are making serious in?vestments in digital. But th?ey are reluctant to spend la?rge amounts on untested technologies and want vendors to invest in pilots and tr?ials to get an idea of capabilities before scaling up – and this requires vendors to put more skin in the game. These are areas that are relatively new to Indian vend?o?rs and require them to bu?ild new capabilities, partnersh?ips and engagement models as well as reinvigorate th?e?ir talent pool. This takes time.

Indian tech players are vying for a sizeable share in digital engagements. Wh?at’s the future outlook for digital?

We are witnessing an evolution of Indian IT. Portfolios have been realigned to add?ress client’s digital ag?e?ndas, acquisitions are being made to bolster capabilities, and the industry is investing in re-skilling nearly 50 per cent of its talent to reorient them towards digital services.