Despite a downturn, the US and EU continue to be potential markets for Indian software and IT enabled services. They have shown positive emerging trends based on this IBEF report. It predicts a 7-8% growth for 2017-18. However, the IT market that’s not totally service based is likely to grow in India, especially with the proliferation of smart watches and appliances, smart cities and the clean-energy drive over the next few years.
Today, an IT-service company, anywhere in the world, is aware of the massive potential India offers. However, Indian demands are unique, challenging and diverse. There is skepticism about the rapid adoption of technology by the economically challenged sections of the society.
A digital-savvy, connected India will need businesses and governments using secure devices and the right infrastructure for cutting-edge services. The same is true for the West as the digital revolution evolves quickly. "Solutions", and not "services", will thus drive technology service providers now, irrespective of region.
The question of choosing a market
Based on access to research, IT service providers will have to figure out which region offers the best deal. EU and US may have better facilities to test and implement cutting-edge solutions. One may even say that the country that needs digitization the most, India, may not offer the best research and local skills.
Most Indian markets are in Tier II and III cities. A large support base is thus necessary to implement innovative solutions based on connected devices. As the government also initiates training-and-development programs, there is ample potential for creating new skillsets.
The new IT strategy
Stalwarts in the Indian IT/ITES sector have so far been thriving on long-term partnerships. Companies that demanded organization-wide computerization mostly took advantage of existing infrastructure and supported their implementations with services. But automation of services is slowly giving way to manual coding. Consequently the markets in EU and in the US are changing, It will be no different in India very soon.
Today, technology advances like automation, machine learning and Artificial Intelligence (AI) shape IT offerings. However, market acceptance remains an issue at both business and consumer levels in developing markets like India. To protect private data a non-intrusive communication strategy in this connected age is vital. Innovation in endpoint management and cyber security will help achieve a roadmap towards high-tech B2B and B2C communication for large and emerging markets like India. CIOs are focusing on those areas increasingly.
The emerging Indian market
On one hand, the Indian market is growing tech savvy with cloud connectivity and smart services becoming prominent. On the other, government initiatives include foreign collaborations for skill development. In the spirit of "Making in India" and "For India", Indian-bound services should innovate considering the sheer scale and market size..
With the increase in cloud-connected devices, the scope of customer service will scale to a new level and managing enterprise intelligence across industries will need a new strategic outlook. Thought leaders in the enterprise will show the way for the rest.
Factors to consider in 2018
IT service providers need to consider certain factors to succeed in 2018 and beyond. The government policy and its plans to digitize infrastructure will play a critical role in the domestic market as these will result in large projects. Trade policies of EU and the US will impact IT/ITES services. Service providers should also recognize and tap potential growth in relevant user bases in the private sector. With advances in technology and deployment of emerging concepts like AI and machine learning they should also focus on new skill development and research
Companies will need policy-assisted and research-based development of digital technologies to come up with practical implementations. Modernizing public-sector services for connected environments in the country can be a good start to capture new markets. Also industries that address larger customer bases can offer IT solution providers lucrative opportunities.