Information Technology is in a new wave of transformation, catalysing change in diversified industries: consumer, manufacturing and technology. Some of the industries, such as media, retail, consumer products, telecom and hi-tech manufacturing, are gaining significant growth momentum while leveraging learning from the economic crisis of 2008. The growth rate of global IT spending in these businesses has accelerated from 1.2 per cent in 2012 to 4.2 per cent in 2013 and is forecast to continue with the same momentum.
Companies from these industries are entering into new geographies and changing their business model to attract new customers and retain existing customers.
A very high focus is on innovation to tap young and socially connected customers. The industry is moving from cost containment to business differentiation and most of the growth is attributed to rapid transformation from “technology enablement” of business to “technology is” the business.
Two big trends driving the change are ‘digital’ and transition from ‘product centric’ to ‘customer centric’. For media businesses, content relevance has transformed to content anytime, anywhere, any device and any format. Similarly, all leading retail, telecom, consumer product, automobile and high technology companies are executing strategies to generate increased revenue from digital products and services.
Convergence is the key, like a newspaper of yesterday isn’t only a newspaper of today, but also a digital newspaper, a mobile application, localised service enabler, and a large e-tailer.
Disruptive IT technologies are increasingly gaining adoption and driving most of the transformation. IT is enabling companies to accelerate, upsell, cross sell, promote and open new avenues of revenue.
Big Data technology is enabling consumer services, manufacturing and technology companies to capture high volume of data from sources such as the Web, mobile phones, tablets and so on and derive insights to develop customised products, offer personalised user experience and formulate individualised marketing offers. Big Data and Analytics have largely impacted companies’ trade promotion, sales and ad revenues.
Digitalisation in consumer, manufacturing and technology companies is rapidly monetising and distributing content on multiple devices in multiple formats across multiple platforms.
The advent of the cloud has enabled enterprises use IT infrastructure, platforms, applications and even business services ‘on demand’ and ‘on pay by use’ allowing enterprises to make a significant portion of their IT costs variable. Crowdsourcing and collaboration platforms have enabled truly ‘connected enterprises’ that provide visibility and transparency across business value chains.
With boundaries blurring across the entire ecosystem of technology players, product companies (hardware and independent software vendors or ISVs) and original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) are expected to protect and grow their market share via product innovation and enhanced consumer experience.
Electronic device manufacturers are joining retail innovators to enhance customer experience by assisting customers with purchasing and activating mobile products on the carrier of their choice. ISVs, OEMs and Content Providers are collaborating to bring out new and exciting products by combining hardware, software, and content to deliver enhanced customer experience consistently.
Cloud service providers are creating vertical specific workflows and solutions for integrated business processes on the cloud.
Analytics companies are focusing on predictive analytics — a solution that is helping organisations anticipate emerging trends, minimise risk, and make better decisions with much greater accuracy and confidence.
In conclusion, IT and IT services industry is in the middle of exciting times, with growth coming back to services, complex transformational projects, healthy pipeline and a strong balance sheet.
The IT and IT services industry today is at an inflection point to drive real and significant business transformation.
(The writer is Senior Corporate Vice-President, Consumer, Manufacturing & Public Services, HCL Technologies)