Integration: Prepare for the future

While integration has always been important from an IT perspective, recent trends have reinforced the strategic importance of integrating applications and data to provide customers with analytics and automation capabilities to better serve their needs. Being agile with new services deployment and building resiliency into operations and IT systems both require integration. Businesses were already using integration to enhance their capabilities across these areas coming into 2020, and COVID-19 reinforced the importance of this strategy in a big way. The good news is that most organizations are confident their current integration strategies and platforms are adequately supporting their business needs. The not-so-good news is businesses are much less confident their integration strategies will be able to meet changing and evolving future requirements. Organizations that are highly confident with their existing integration strategies provide some clues around how to develop a future-ready integration strategy, including enabling citizen developers, establishing competency centers, and utilizing platforms and partners that know their business. While there may not be a silver bullet to improve integration strategies, collectively these strategies can enhance the ability of IT to support future business needs.  

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Agile-ready everything: An India-centric special scenario

In Technology Business Research’s (TBR) April 2018 Global Delivery Benchmark, we noted that reskilling existing resources is taking precedence over aggressive hiring, resulting in decelerating headcount growth for the 14 benchmarked vendors in 4Q17. While vendors claim that digital-related revenues contribute from 25% to over 55% of their total services sales, existing engagements continue to require nondigital skills as well. Recruitment initiatives help vendors fill skills gaps in areas such as artificial intelligence (AI), Internet of Things (IoT) and analytics. At the same time, vendors continue to build local presence by opening innovation hubs to support agile-based service delivery. The return on these investments has yet to be quantified, but TBR will continue to monitor this trend as these facilities become ubiquitous to how vendors conduct business.

Workforce, workplace, offerings, partnerships

Based on previous forays by India-centric vendors into consulting-intensive offerings, TBR remains skeptical that a trend toward agile will radically change these vendors, but the exception could be TCS. As the largest, TCS will be the biggest battleship to turn around, but the public, deliberate, and staged approach may create the kind of permanence necessary for significant organizational change. TBR has witnessed an emphasis in recent years by consultancies prioritizing recruiting, retaining and reskilling of their talent, especially in emerging tech areas and the consulting offerings tied to those technologies. By leading with two people-centric initiatives, TCS may have charted the proper course. Now, will the company follow it? And will its peers chase its wake?