I will just start by noting ‘ more things change, more they remain the same’ is no longer true. It is possible that quantum of changes is less than anticipated one, but things are changing for sure.
So what’s changing ?
- Infrastructure is under Attack. Race to the bottom which was triggered by AWS is now joined by IBM, Google and other cloud vendors. While we expect to see some consolidation in future, this trend remains to stay.
- UX (including mobility, security) is changing as business applications get aligned to changing customer tastes. As our smartphones get powerful day-by-day ( thanks to Moore’s law), we expect to get more work done on phone, so is drive to get better UX.
- Mobility is driving another set of user behaviour , which is Social. Now, collaboration has become norm in the way business is done. It also mean that business is looking to go where the customers are.
- All these activity is throwing so many data points , which businesses are looking to harness. I would think that harnessing this big data is gradual process since old adage says that you will find what you are looking for. So, would expect businesses get better at it slowly.
- Machine-to-Machine (IOT) is something Gartner puts in next 5-10 years in hype cycle. Its something to watch out for, but there are just too many open questions (data standards, security etc) which need to be resolved before it becomes industry norm.
Now, where does IT outsourcing get into picture ?
Well, all these business trends put technology at the forefront, it would require new skills to interact and develop with the customer.
Here are the key trends I see IT industry need to adopt.
- While cost is still major factor, its not only ONE. It means that you should pay to acquire or develop skills. It would not just mean training thousands of engineers in two hour course, it would require whole new skills around design thinking (actually develop products).
- Be flexible in how you deliver services and collaborate extensively. I would expect so many models emerge when IT industry need to partner with SaaS vendors and deliver part of the services.
- Value your people. Extensive focus on cost has resulted in sub-standard cost vs skills ratio, so loosen purse strings to encourage people to acquire new skills and innovate even if it means that its outside his/her job definition. It would require lot of change in management style .
- Develop and sell products as I see services revenue will be shared with SaaS vendors. Monetizing assets as products require you closely collaborate with the customers.
- Lastly, digitize yourself. If you are going to take four weeks of internal review process to take a quote to customer, its no-go. So, your first customer for digitization is YOU.