Though Indian IT services companies are reeling under the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, they may look forward to getting increased business from the digital segment. The spread of the pandemic is likely to shift the customer experience curve towards self-fulfillment technologies, technologies that obviate the scope of human interaction and visiting specific branches or fulfillment centres. Even before the pandemic struck IT companies had been eyeing increasing presence in the digital space. The trend was clearly visible as reports say that the Indian IT companies digital revenue crossed $50 billion in the last fiscal.
For the uninitiated, cloud computing, digitisation and automation comprise the digital segment. In fact, companies such as TCS, Infosys and Wipro had been at the forefront to offer added offerings in the digital space. It is also expected even in a tough business environment, the digital business will continue to add on to better margins for the IT companies in the next few quarters though there is quite a lot of uncertainty over delayed or deferred projects. Digital will continue to stay as customers, especially retail giants, may offer more contactless touch points to their customers that will require more digital technologies in force. There is no doubt that organisations are becoming much more agile and moving towards the digital space. Indian IT services companies are likely to take on big MNCs with increased offerings in the space.
“In a way, a move towards self-fulfillment technologies that promote social distancing is already on the way and the advent of Covid-19 is likely to steeply accelerate this trend. Indian IT firms can expect demand for digital business that has a strong element of customer experience within the context of self-fulfillment solutions. Self-fulfillment entails provision for omni-channel interactions that enable the customer to accomplish their objectives without physically interacting with the service provider. For a bank, for instance, it could enable lending without the customer ever visiting the branch,” remarked Alok Shende of Ascentius Consulting.
Experts say that social distancing and contactless interactions are here to stay. It is likely to become the new way of life, driving adoption of digital strategies in business operations. This is where Indian IT services companies can look towards making inroads to garner new business. “Traces of digital adoption and move towards a digital world were there for the last decade. Covid-19 will accelerate this adoption as a dire business necessity. India with its ability to drive this change would see aggressive growth both as a contributor to change as well as absorbing this practice to enhance customer experience,” remarked Subramanyam Sreenivasaiah, CEO of Ascent HR.
For an IT company, an efficient digital transformation in business is required to reap benefits from the ongoing wave of digital adaptation of manual processes. “IT companies will be eyeing an increase in business from the digital segment with extensive offerings ranging from cloud-based services, cyber security management, data analytics, virtualisation and work space transformation,” said Rajiv M. Ranjan, CMD of PaisaDukan.com.
That said, during an interaction with THE WEEK some time back, Krish Shankar, the Group Head-Human Resources at Infosys, expressed that the IT industry has changed in the last three to four years and there have been changes in technology, move to cloud, digital disruption, etc. He said that Infosys had looked at certain parts of their business as the agile digital business.
“We had already identified those businesses, which had to do with digital, analytics, cloud etc. That business is growing at over 30 per cent growth rate for us. We are thinking to relook at the whole as the world has changed. Lot of digital looks towards a lot of re-skilling as even the outside ecosystem is changing,” said Shanker.
Even IT majors such as Wipro have witnessed digital transformation of most of its customers. As a result, digital is now at the forefront of Wipro's offerings. Wipro has, of late, been redesigning business processes to be future ready, building enterprise agility and creating next-generation IT. The company has a ‘business first’ approach to cloud adoption and has built domain centric solutions with its cloud service providers. Wipro had also embarked on its ‘Big Bet’ programme—digital, cloud, engineering services and cyber security. The company's investments in digital and cloud had created the requisite presence, experience and scale to support transformation. Now, digital revenue contributes more than 40 per cent of its total revenues.
Even some start-ups in the technology field are witnessing good traction in the digital space in India. “Digital businesses like ours are seeing tremendous growth and impetus right now. Our inbound enquiries have increased by 2.5 times over the past couple of months. We will surpass our revenue estimate for the year by 150 per cent. More and more large corporates, consulting firms and even fast growing startups, are all looking to digitise and automate their processes as soon as possible”, said Kiran Menon, founder and CEO of Tydy, an onboarding automation firm.
During the pandemic, firms are developing solutions aimed at contactless solutions. A start-up that has found an opportunity in this crisis is SignDesk.com that is offering products to businesses to completely digitise their processes, such as onboarding, stamping, signing and recurring payments.
“We have found an uptick in our revenue and interest in our products, mostly due to the need to create contactless solutions. In fact, we have started hiring more people. As the situation unfolds, new kinds of jobs and the need for innovative solutions employing presence-less and contactless methods are sure to arise. New ways to deliver education remotely, work-from-home solutions, and end-to-end digitisation methods will be in great demand,” explained Krupesh Bhat, Founder of SignDesk.