Digital transformation in the IT sector was already underway in the pre-Covid 19 era. But the sharp rise in digital adoption across industries has been phenomenal in the last one year. Needless to say, IT organizations are accelerating digital transformation and cloud migration to better respond to the global pandemic, more so, as remote work becomes a necessity.
IT as a business enabler
IT spending in India is projected to total $93 billion in 2021, an increase of 7.3% from 2020, according to Gartner. Although the growth in India will be lower than the global average, as worldwide IT spending is projected to total $4.1 trillion in 2021, an increase of 8.4% from 2020.
Satish Kumar V, CEO at EverestIMS believes that Gartner’s forecast indicates a deeper role for IT being an enabler of “business value delivery”. IT now will assume a “spearhead” function to achieve enterprise goals rather than being just a support player. The pandemic actually was a telling case in point that showed how IT came to the rescue of businesses, but through emergency and knee-jerk reactions. Whether it was “work from home” or managing the internet backbones that kept communication or remote management of Infra, IT was a key player in keeping the show running.
We anticipate a larger role for IT to play in the coming years. The IT spending will be directed towards achieving revenue goals, creating platforms for employee engagement and collaboration, along with ensuring IT Infrastructure is kept pristine and in high performance mode. IT will no longer be seen as an expense center, rather it may soon become a key element in the arsenal of businesses looking to excel.”
John-David Lovelock, distinguished research vice president at Gartner explains the strategic role of IT stating that it no longer just supports corporate operations as it traditionally has, but is fully participating in business value delivery. This not only shifts IT from a back-office role to the front of business, but it also changes the source of funding from an overhead expense that is maintained, monitored and sometimes cut, to the thing that drives revenue.
Prashanth GJ, CEO at Technobind sees spends on two major fronts – one consolidation of the strategy and execution for a more continued WFH culture and second re-starting of the paused transformation projects.
Although optimization and cost savings efforts won’t disappear simply because there’s more economic certainty in 2021, the focus for CIOs through the remainder of the year will be completing the digital business plans that are aimed at enhancing, extending and transforming the company’s value proposition as projected by the analyst firm.
Growth from innovation
All IT spending segments are forecast to have positive growth through 2022, Gartner said in the report. The highest growth will come from devices (14%) and enterprise software (10.8%) as organizations shift their focus to providing a more comfortable, innovative and productive environment for their workforce. Cloud is expected to drive majority of the expected software growth in India this year.
“The Indian economy is observing a slow but steady growth trajectory this year. Additionally, the government relaxation of foreign investment in certain sectors such as insurance, infrastructure, telecommunications will provide additional funds for business and IT leaders to accelerate their digital transformation journey,” said Naveen Mishra, senior research director at Gartner.
S Sriram, Chief Strategy Officer at iValue InfoSolutions, states that forward looking companies did a lot of saving around business travel and office expenses during pandemic most of which was invested around securely extending business apps to all stake holders, strengthening authentication and end point security, ensuring optimal app performance for WFA scenario and securing end point data.
“Business continuity was another key focus area with investment in hybrid cloud model for bursting in and out of multi-clouds from private and seamlessly managing it remotely,” he says.
While technology is expected to play a major role in accelerating growth in the enterprise, Gurpreet Singh, Managing Director at Arrow PC believes it is not just the growth factors which organizations need to focus on, but also an employee-centric approach in terms of technology to ensure that employees are up to date on technology and the IT infrastructure they are using.
He also sees a need for companies to carefully plan their expenditure. As remote working has become the new norm, tech companies need to watch their budget and improve the remote working environment.