Hype to hyper-adoption mode for Indian IT

Hype to hyper-adoption mode for Indian IT
Hype to hyper-adoption mode for Indian IT

The Indian ICT industry has been a flag-bearer for the country, especially in the UK and Europe. NIIT Technologies, as a leading player in the field, is well placed to give an overview of the successes and challenges. The firm's Europe in-charge weighs up the market, how it has evolved over the years and if the upcoming referendum on the UK's membership of the European Union (EU) is likely to have any significant impact on the industry. Europe offers a huge opportunity for the Indian IT industry. One of the most important things is to recognise Europe is one continent, but many countries. For us at NIIT Technologies, we are making great inroads in this market by aligning our offerings to local nuances, investing in countries where we operate and bringing in the expertise we have as a global company. For example, we have invested in a development center in Madrid, which besides serving Spanish clients has evolved to be the Centre of Excellence for digital with a pan-European clientele. We also see European clients scaling up their digital investments. Digital projects are typically smaller in size and require faster time-to-market. As a result our clientele are emphasising speed, skill and client centricity over size and scale and this is playing to our advantage. We are seeing a very significant shift in client expectations. A few years ago BPO was about offshore or near-shore execution of commodity and industry agnostic processes, such as finance, HR admin. But today that is no longer the case. Clients are outsourcing industry-specific processes and require partners to provide the underlying technology solutions and take end-to-end responsibility. For example, one of our fastest growing businesses in Europe is the Revenue Accounting platform solution. We provide end-to-end solution for revenue accounting and fare audit that runs on our industry leading MonaLisa™ platform and clients pay based on outcome. I will say Cloud has moved from hype to hyper-adoption mode. We are helping one of the travel companies to move all their applications to public cloud. Similarly, one of our products is now available as a service on the cloud. Even traditionally cautious sectors, like insurance, is looking at a cloud to optimise the cost of hardware for memory intensive functions such as catastrophic modelling. Having said that, there are cases where Cloud does not make sense from an economic sense or for compliance issues and as a trusted system integration partner for our clients, we regularly advise clients to look for alternatives in such cases. With regards to IoT, again we see adoption gaining pace. For example, we are working with insurance companies using it for motor insurance, home insurance. We see airlines investing this for baggage management, aircraft operations and maintenance. Digital services and Infrastructure management services - two of our fastest growing service lines are focusing on these areas. One important thing we have observed is that while these technologies are getting adoption, fundamentally clients will not invest unless the investment reduces cost, increases revenue or improves customer experience. This is why our Digital Services - our fastest growing Service Line is working with a laser-focused strategy to exploit these technologies and build solutions that will deliver value to our clients' customers. There is a lot of debate around the EU referendum. We operate in the technology industry, an industry that can legitimately claim to be the enabler of the borderless world that we all operate in with freer flow of information, capital and talent. We believe the UK and other countries will continue with the free-market ideal that has been at the core of European economic progress in last several decades, irrespective of the referendum outcome and we look forward to serving our European clientele bringing the best of talent and expertise from across the world. We as members of NASSCOM are providing inputs to the UK government so that legislative framework takes into account the need of the UK business to have access to best global technology talent and improve their cost competitiveness. At the same time, being a UK company we also recognise the sensitivities involved around immigration. We are confident that the legislative framework will appropriately balance the two. Our Digital strategy in Europe has three prongs. First and foremost, we have laser sharp focus on delivering value by enriching the experience of our clients' customers by using Digital technology. We don't want our clients to repeat the Dot Com mistakes and invest in a technology that is 'cool', but ultimately does not deliver value. Secondly, we believe digital engagements require a right mix of offshoring and local expertise. Our investments in our delivery centers in London, Madrid is a reflection of this strategy. UK has world-leading talent pool that can bring together technology, human interaction and creative elements and we want to leverage that. Finally, Digital is not about one partner doing all. It is increasingly about a lead partner like us leveraging the entire eco-system. That is why, we are partnering with many innovative technology companies in the UK - both start-ups and established ones to craft solutions that will deliver differentiated value to our clients.

Satya Samal heads NIIT Technologies' Europe business as EVP and Europe Head. He started his career with SAP serving high-tech clients in Silicon Valley and later worked with McKinsey & Co for several years.

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