Indian IT industry sharpens focus on emerging technologies

IT sector continues to be at the forefront of adopting and showcasing the power of emerging technologies, setting the stage for other sectors

As per reports, India is the world’s largest sourcing destination for the IT industry, accounting for approximately 52% of the $124-130 bn market. About 10 mn Indians
are employed by the industry and the sector continues to contribute significantly to the social and economic transformation in the country. The IT-BPM market is estimated to expand at a CAGR of 9.5% to $300 bn by 2020.

The Indian IT industry is also one of the most competitive sectors, and is always looking at ways to constantly reinvent itself. This sector is one of the leading ones in implementing emerging technologies, as any technology that is tested internally, can be taken to the market as a service line.

With increased competition, more and more IT companies are looking to upgrade their existing infrastructure, innovate with emerging technologies, and offer solutions and platforms that not only benefit customers but also bring increased business value. For companies in the highly competitive IT services sector, provisioning of project infrastructure is perhaps one of the most important pieces in getting a project quickly executed. This is also one of the most challenging tasks, as most companies in this sector execute distinct projects for multiple clients spread over multiple countries. As IT projects are of different durations, any delay in provisioning infrastructure can have a direct impact on margins.

This is where a private cloud is extremely beneficial and is used by every major IT services company in India. The business efficiencies of a private cloud can be seen in almost every IT services firm. A case in point is Rolta, which has transformed its old legacy IT setup by moving its IT infrastructure to a private cloud. Today, the private cloud hosts applications that are used by its enterprise users across the world across different geographies.

Thanks to the private cloud, the overall provisioning time of servers for project-specific requirements has reduced from 8 weeks to 10 minutes. It has also improved user productivity by 31%. Rolta has managed to reduce the time to deploy new product demonstration environments from several weeks to less than one day. Further, the utilization of the existing IT infrastructure has improved from 25% to 90%, which is a jump of almost 65%. The overall power and cooling requirements of datacenter has reduced almost 60%, resulting in an opex savings of approx Rs 1.3 crore per annum. Further, the number of datacenter server racks have reduced from 13 to 5, giving ample space for further growth within the existing datacenters. For smaller IT firms, the cloud is a big enabler. IT startups are betting big on public cloud, as they can focus on building their products without worrying about complex IT infrastructure. The scalability of the cloud coupled with the pay per use option and speed of provisioning infrastructure,
makes cloud a win-win proposition for startups.

Considering the networking and connectivity benefits of social media platforms, businesses are increasingly replicating the same model within the organization by implementing Enterprise Social Network (ESN) to enhance collaboration among co-workers across various geographies, and time zones. Businesses are also integrating key enterprise-specific features like emails, discussions/forums across domains, knowledge repository, etc, in an ESN to enable seamless exchange of ideas and information.

A case in point is Polaris Financial Technology. The firm was facing issues with information being lost due to too many silos within and across teams. A lot of time was taken up by calls and emails. Aiming to address these pain points, Polaris embarked on a project called ‘Octopus’. The objective was to have a central enterprise platform which allows centralization of team correspondence, managing and tracking of teams, analytics, knowledge repository, etc, from a single space. This has resulted in more transparency in decision making.

Moreover, there has been a 25% reduction in emails while the email volume has come down to 70% and is sent now only while interacting with clients. 99.5% mailing groups have been removed and there has been a 75% reduction in ramp-up time for new joiners in the projects. This has also resulted in a huge impact on employees’ productivity, which has increased by 12%. Another firm which has successfully embarked on an ESN initiative is L&T Infotech. L&T Infotech’s enterprise social networking solution CliquePoint, has a ‘personal collaboration’ feature which provides people with comprehensive tools such as micro-blogs, blogs, and wikis, enabling them to connect and follow others, and also help them track relevant business events. Employees can subscribe and follow important events from their Line of Business (LOB) systems and collaborate over CliquePoint. Employees also have the ability to create a venture, which is a closed transient community for collaboration. With more and more employees accessing the solution, the usage of email has reduced by 50% while user productivity has improved by 20%. Time for query resolution, reviews, planning, and requirement management has reduced significantly leading to the overall reduction in time to market in the range of 10-15%.

The growing level of digitization means that data now is being churned out at an even more frantic pace than before. Many IT services firms use analytics to look at project patterns and utilization ratios. Hexaware Technologies, for example, does structured
data analytics with the data at the employee and project level. It gets aggregated at the customer, vertical, horizontal, geo, business unit, and the project type level. The primary
focus of the firm’s efforts in analytics is in the areas of customer centricity and delivering innovative services.

Due to analytics, the firm can view the organizational dashboard of various metrics. This helps the firm in time management, tracking insights, and reporting accurately to stakeholders for quick actions and decision making. Better reporting and decision making enables excellence in sales, delivery, and operational areas. Today, the company can present monthly dashboards for various levels of management. Thanks to analytics, the firm also has more structured and data-driven management and reviews.

With digital drive gaining momentum across sectors, IT industry is no different. A number of companies in the sector are embarking on digital transformation journey to improve productivity, streamline processes, and improve efficiency. A case in point is Persistent Systems, which used its own product, Persistent Intranet (Pi), to undergo digital transformation. Persistent’s IT team launched an initiative to revamp the intranet, with a focus on ‘mobile first.’ Persistent Intranet has been developed to work on any device, be it an iOS or an Android.

With digital transformation initiatives, Persistent has reaped significant business benefits. The company has been able to reduce resource allocation cycle time and has registered an increase in employee efficiency. Further, the employees have been empowered to connect with the right person in any organization, as the time spent on finding a connect into a new organization has been reduced by 20 minutes.

Sapient is another company that is accruing significant benefits by going digital. Key benefits include easy manageability, improved operational efficiency, and reduced
total cost of ownership to manage business operations. In conclusion, the IT sector will remain the leader when it comes to deploying emerging technologies. Once emerging technologies deliver the impact, the experiences are documented, and sold as IT services for other sectors.



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