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Trends & Predictions For 2015 For Indian IT Services Industry

by Samir Dhir - EVP and Head of India Operations, Virtusa January-2015

Virtusa (NASDAQ: VRTU) is a global IT services company based out of Massachusetts. With a current market cap of $ 1.21 billion, the company provides IT Consulting, Business Consulting, Systems Implementation and Application Outsourcing.

In the months ahead, IT services industry in India would look to incorporate millennial traits as millennials are transforming the business landscape. Millennial solutions will continue to drive differentiation and enable unique positioning in the addressable market and reduce costs. At our company in 2014, our millennial and transformational solutions were embraced by clients across geographies as they looked to us to lead their strategic transformational programs. This would hold true for 2015 as well as enterprise IT companies will look to diversify their client base globally.

Consumers across the globe have embraced digital technology which has created both challenges and opportunities for businesses. The answer to this disruption would be cloud computing. Retail as a Service, that will bucket operations onto a single cloud, would translate into improving customer experience through improved after sales service, supply chain and marketing. Cloud computing can be a gamer changer for the banking industry as well as resources are rented and not purchased thus converting capital expenditure to operating expenditure.

Technologies like Big Data will continue to shape business strategies and operations; create seamless processes for supply chain and CRM particularly for BFSI and retail sectors that deal with large customer base. Increasingly, as banks and retail players sift through real time transactions, customer records and social media posts, they would identify the pain points ensuring a loyal customer continues to remain so and offer customized products or services them to suit their needs better. Improved cross selling and greater product penetration through technology deployment would be the mantra next year.

Digital marketing will continue to rule the roost as the CMO opportunity for Indian technology industry from digital marketing will grow phenomenally. M&A's in digital marketing sphere will be seen in 2015 as well, as IT companies will look to consolidate. The increasing number of smartphone users accessing internet on their devices will also further up the demand for mobile apps as well. Further in sectors like telecom, retail, FMCG, consumers are leaving behind a huge trail of data in digital channels. Companies need analytics now as it helps in extracting meaningful insights and makes procedures more strategic to the business. Analytics will impact our daily lives via the growing trend of fitness apps, hiring decisions or buying opinions.

As new applications for internet-connected devices will continue to grow, Internet of Things (IoT) will be a growing priority in 2015 which will also drive the demand for data analytics. Burgeoning rise of smartphone users coupled with technologies like Near Field Communication, Augmented Reality, Artificial Intelligence and Machine to Machine Communication will further boost the IoT.

However, talent gap in Big Data, Data Analytics and Digital Marketing will be the key challenges for the industry Likewise, it is also right to conclude that IT services companies who can find the right talent will hold an advantage over the rest.

The IT services industry will be expected to be extremely focused on the dual mandate of expanding the clients' revenues and improving operating efficiencies. In 2015, most importantly, the role of CIO will change where he or she will be expected to grow businesses on a strong footing by undertaking major initiatives to realize consumer facing goals. As the role of IT heads changes drastically, they will also be expected to design new and innovative products and services and increase customer reach.