This management specialisation programme from DoMS, NIT-Tiruchi, aims to train MBA graduates in business analysis, crucial for the IT industry.

Managerial talent is needed to understand the growing market potential in the IT consulting domain, which the Garner Report 2009 has valued at $73 billion.

IT companies inevitably require business analysts to investigate into operations of an enterprise aimed at understanding every aspect of its functioning including processes, people and technology. Business analysis is a crucial first step in the software consulting process because it identifies enterprise needs and helps build IT solutions aligned to these needs. Business analysis also gives managements business intelligence, and allows them to study business performance, explain shortfalls in performance and devise strategies for improvement. Enterprise IT solutions can be made more effective if the process of building them is preceded by a thorough and detailed business analysis.

Research shows that as against 56 per cent of Business Analysis and IT consultants employed by IT majors, only 17 per cent have had a formal training in the segment that ranks high in the value chain and is considered a critical capability for success and growth. Foreseeing the opportunity, the Department of Management Studies (DoMS), National Institute of Technology - Tiruchi (NIT-T), has set a precedent by offering a specialisation in Business Analysis and IT Consulting. The curriculum has been evolved systematically through a collaborative approach involving senior managers from various organisations in the IT consulting area.

At a foundation workshop in August 2009, practising managers from leading organisations (Accenture, TCS, Wipro, Cognizant, and Infosys) presented the opportunities and live cases in the field, providing an insight into the role of business analysts in IT industry, skill sets required and the associated challenges. The workshop covered presentations on BA & IT consulting in verticals such as BFSI (Banking, Financial Services and Insurance), Knowledge services, Marketing & Retail, Manufacturing, Telecom and Healthcare.

The draft curriculum was presented to industry experts from organisations such as TCS, Wipro, Infosys, Mindtree and Cognizant, for incorporating their valuable feedback in the new curriculum which has courses covering the areas of retail, marketing, manufacturing, financial services, corporate information strategy and management, software project management, and software quality management. The electives delivered with extensive industry participation equip students in three broad areas: techniques, domains and applications, to develop capabilities to understand the business context and requirements, choose appropriate technologies, enable implementation and thus continuously improve business performance.

A two-day workshop on ‘Advanced Business Analysis and IT consulting' conducted by the DoMS earlier this month further strengthened its academic initiative. Inaugurating the workshop, Thothathri Visvanathan, vice-president and Centre head, Infosys, Chennai, in his presentation on ‘Opportunities and Challenges in Business Analysis & IT Consulting' highlighted the emerging trends in technologies that would shape the future of IT in business.

Students gained an edge in business analysis by learning how to get a job done by demonstrating excellent critical thinking and analytical skills in the Requirement Analysis and Elicitation Knowledge areas during the workshop conducted in collaboration with Zaasti Corporation, USA, represented by Mr. Peter Johnson–A certified Business Analysis Professional by International Institute of Business Analysis (IIBA). Mr. Peter mentioned that students passing out will be able to provide great value addition to business analysis and IT consulting profiles of various organisations. It helped the students to understand the class room concepts of the new specialisation and relate to real-life situations.

“DoMS is preparing to launch packaged in-house training programmes and a certificate programme for junior-level professionals in the IT industry. Many leading organisations have evinced interest,” said G. Kannabiran, Professor, DOMS, and Dean, Research and Consultancy. Business analysts are accountable for designing and building software systems that are totally aligned to the enterprise needs. They interact extensively with employees and stakeholders to understand their requirements. They gather, detail, and document requirements in a standard format accessible by application developers.

“A young MBA graduate who undergoes this training typically joins as a Business Analyst in the IT industry and move up to become an IT consultant. Leading organisations such as TCS, Infosys and Wipro have shown keen interest to recruit trained students,” said Prof. Kannabiran.