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Technology Edge: Investing in advanced IT solutions to create business value

May 02, 2018
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The Indian information technology (IT), IT-enabled services (ITeS) and business process management (BPM) industry has grown significantly over the years. According to the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology, the industry’s total revenue increased from $129.5 billion in 2015-16 to $141 billion in 2016-17, recording a growth of 8.8 per cent. Further, the industry accounted for 7.7 per cent of the country’s GDP during 2016-17.

The unprecedented growth witnessed by the industry in recent years can be attributed to the large-scale adoption of advanced technologies. The IT, ITeS and BPM industry is responsible for providing cutting-edge technology solutions to clients. In order to do so, it has to stay a step ahead of other industries in terms of adopting advanced technology solutions and first strengthen its own telecom and IT networks. Moreover, most enterprises offering IT services cater to clients across geographies and time zones, and hence need to adopt technological solutions to better manage their operations.

Therefore, to stay abreast of changes in the technology landscape, these enterprises have stepped up their investment in technologies such as big data analytics, cloud computing and automation. The adoption of social media analytics is also on the rise among enterprises in the IT, ITes and BPM industry. Meanwhile, leading IT firms like Infosys, Wipro, TCS and Tech Mahindra have started testing technologies such as blockchain and artificial intelligence in their innovation labs and research and development centres in order to diversify their offerings.

A look at the recent technology trends in the IT, ITeS and BPM industry...

Big data analytics

Since enterprises in the IT, ITeS and BPM industry have to handle huge volumes of data and analyse it to help clients make informed decisions, they are making significant investments in big data analytics. According to a report by Accenture, 42 per cent of high-performing BPM companies have analytics as an essential component of their service delivery package. Enterprises use big data applications to help employees structure and analyse the unstructured, raw forms (such as audio, video and messages on social networks) of data provided to them. Further, big data analytics enables these enterprises to provide strategic insights to their clients. This helps them take quicker decisions, create business value and gain a competitive edge in the market.

Meanwhile, BPM companies have started using analytics to differentiate their services and make their business solutions more productive. Further, clients are now demanding applications that can map individual preferences and deliver personalised services. To this end, big data analytics enables BPM service providers to design programmes by identifying high revenue-generating customers and build a one-to-one relationship with them.

Cloud computing

Cloud computing has taken data sharing and storage in the IT, ITeS and BPM industry to another level. Organisations are moving from legacy systems with high maintenance and upgrade requirements and outsourcing their business processes to a cloud-based platform. A cloud-based platform promotes smooth communication between the outsourcing party and the cloud vendor. It also allows information and instructions to be relayed in real time, thereby improving service delivery. With the adoption of cloud, enterprises can free up physical space and reduce their energy consumption.

Cloud computing also allows BPM companies to scale up or down quickly without impacting their operational efficiency, and dynamically update their applications. BPM service providers can leverage cloud computing to bring down the turnaround time for data-intensive business processes. For instance, they can offer data processing workflow, from documentation and image processing to publishing, at a reduced time. Further, hosting applications on the cloud rather than in complex traditional infrastructure lends greater reliability to the system.

Meanwhile, cloud computing, particularly platform-as-a-service and infrastructure-as-a-service, has provided a huge opportunity to IT companies. The pay-per-use or subscription-based cloud computing model is a viable option for enterprises that are looking to bring down the total cost of infrastructure. It will also lower the risk and promote innovation. Cloud not only helps firms manage the infrastructure cost, but also allows them to collaborate freely across geographies. Firms can remotely access the information that they need as and when required. Moreover, real-time changes and updates in data are immediately reflected in cloud-based services. Cloud provides a reliable, secure and flexible option to enterprises  for managing their mobile workforce.


The growing demand for speedy service delivery has increased the uptake of automated systems in the industry. Automation is used where processes need to be standardised and human intervention needs to be eliminated in order to reduce the risk of error. Besides, automation of processes and systems improves cost and time efficiency, and helps save energy and other resources.

Robotic process automation (RPA) has witnessed the maximum traction among enterprises in the BPM industry. RPA enables BPM service providers to increase productivity and reduce costs by finishing core and repetitive operations quickly and accurately, thereby promoting a virtual workforce. Processes such as finance and accounting, human resource management and procurement can be automated using RPA. This reduces the inefficiency associated with enterprise resource planning and back-end systems.

Some of the benefits of using RPA in the BPM industry are:

Cost reduction: The costs of hiring, attrition and other operations are reduced significantly when processes are handled by a robotic workforce.

Creation of new revenue streams: The outsourcing of mechanical jobs to a virtual workforce allows employees to engage in more diverse and value-added core business activities, thereby creating new revenue streams.

Scalability and flexibility: A robotic workforce handles increases in scale without additional resource constraints and ramp-up time, thereby supporting organisational growth and increasing scalability.

Data privacy and security: The use of RPA reduces the need to segregate infrastructure and install multiple layers of security.

Quality and accuracy: A robotic workforce lowers operational risk as its performance is consistent and it does not deviate from the defined business rules.

Improved customer experience: By using RPA, enterprises in the BPM industry can ensure accurate and timely process delivery to enhance customer experience.

Social media

The proliferation of social media applications has enabled businesses to understand consumer preferences and perceptions by tracking their activities. This has opened up new growth avenues for enterprises in the BPM industry. Social media allows enterprises to engage in conversations with customers and examine customer behaviour. BPM companies have started offering these capabilities to their clients without the latter having to worry about hiring or investing in new resources to gain traction on social media. Further, enterprises in the IT, ITeS and BPM industry are using social media analytics for offering brand building, customer engagement and customer support services to their clients.

The way ahead

While enterprises in the IT, ITeS and BPM industry have been actively leveraging emerging technologies to deliver value to their customers, they constantly face challenges in the adoption of these technologies. For instance, security concerns continue to hamper the uptake of cloud solutions among enterprises. Further, integrating and aligning technology components with changing business needs and processes is becoming an increasingly complex task.

In spite of this, the total revenue of the Indian IT, ITeS and BPM industry is expected to reach $350 billion by 2025, as per the National Association of Software and Services Companies. Further, the BPM industry is likely to account for $50 billion-55 billion of the total revenue. This is indicative of the huge potential and opportunities in this domain. As the industry serves both onshore and offshore clients, keeping abreast of the latest technological developments can help it maintain a competitive edge and capture a larger share of the global market.

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