Analytics In IT Outsourcing Gains Momentum
As organizations are increasingly focusing on data to gain customer insights and remain competitive, they are looking for outsourcing partners having niche capabilities in analytics so as to help them unlock the hidden potential of data. India, which has always been a preferred IT outsourcing destination, is also showing much potential in analytics outsourcing, surging ahead of its Asian counterparts like China and Philippines.
Based on this premise, The Bengal Chamber recently organized a panel discussion titled: “Indian IT: Can we stay competitive” that discussed India’s outsourcing scenario, with a focus on how analytics is playing an important role in steering the Indian outsourcing business towards more advanced business models.
Analytics steering IT outsourcing
Ambarish Dasgupta, Partner and the Head of Management Consulting at KPMG in India explains that today, organizations are moving away from cost pressures and labor arbitrage while focusing on areas such as a skilled and experienced talent pool, domain expertise, availability of tools and technology needed for analytics and the business value added by these services.
“The IT outsourcing industry will evolve based on customer demands and dynamics of the industry. From that perspective data analytics can help companies to unlock the full potential of their data, generate useful insights and make better business decisions,” says Dasgupta.
The IT/ITeS sector is rapidly evolving as key industry growing at 12% annually is set to touch $50 billion by 2020 from the present $21 billion, according to a Nasscom report that predicts this growth to be driven by smart use of technology, such as cloud, mobile and analytics.
Sudipta K Sen, CEO and MD at SAS Institute India states, “Outsourcing data analytics makes so much sense because it is a highly specialized field which requires expertise in fields like statistics, economics, business intelligence, IT and also requires domain expertise. By outsourcing analytics to firms in India, companies can optimize their operational efficiencies, get better quality results and at the same time save costs.”
Toward this end, panelists believe that predictive analytics can be a game changer in the IT outsourcing industry, as it determines probable future outcomes from current data, and helps organizations to compete and thrive with greater accuracy. Gartner expects that 70% of the most profitable companies will manage business processes using real-time predictive analytics by 2016.
According to Bhudeb Chakravarti, Senior GM & Region Head at National Institute for Smart Government (NISG), “While major analytics companies in India include Genpact, TCS, IBM, Cognizant, HP, Accenture, Infosys, and Wipro, we are also seeing the emergence of niche start-ups providing innovative solutions and capabilities in analytics, with an estimated 500 plus start-ups in India providing analytics solutions.”
Chakravarti adds that these companies are using a range of pricing models, from traditional effort-based, to output-based (transactional) pricing, to pure outcome-based models. “In line with the maturing Indian outsourcing industry, newer pricing models will be widely accepted, while traditional effort-based models will be less favored,” he says.
Skill gap: A key problem
Despite the optimism, the panelists were challenged by the fact that skill gap remains a key problem in analytics. Sen however argues that the gap will eventually get reduced. “To reduce the skill gap, organizations such as SAS are collaborating with academic partners to develop curriculum that reflects the mix of technical and problem-solving skills that is necessary to prepare candidates for Big Data and analytics careers, across all industries,” he says.
These collaborations span a variety of areas including business, digital marketing, mathematics among others, providing B-schools and engineering institutes with access to advanced analytics software, curriculum materials, case study projects, and expertise.
The good news is that India’s talent base is expanding rapidly, agree panelists. In such a scenario, providers now have to look for the best talent and provide adequate training to cash onto the opportunity, they say.
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