With everyone claiming to be ready to provide ‘Digital IT services’ to the clients, it is surprising that there is no consistent definition across IT industry so far.

Let us see what we have from leading IT vendors.

  1. IBM defines Digital in terms of CAMSS (Cloud, Analytics,Mobile, Social ,Security)
  2. Accenture defines it as Interactive, Analytics/Mobility.  Cloud related services are tagged separately as operations.
  3. TCS considers it as Analytics, AI, Cloud, Mobility and Channels.
  4. Infosys has similar definition for Digital, though much less outlined.
  5. Cognizant considers it as SMAC (Social, Mobile, Analytics, Cloud).

Further confusion comes as we skim through financial numbers as most of revenue segmentation is done via industries/verticals. Since, some industries are less impacted by digital than the others, it is really difficult to know how particular IT company is performing on Digital front.

While IBM is leading the way in terms of sharing revenue numbers per digital segments, will be a while before we see it becoming IT industry norm.

Most of the IT players also prefer the status quo, as majority of Digital work they are doing , would be on Infrastructure (Cloud) end , than other technology areas. No-one would like to admit lagging behind in digital bandwagon.

What does it mean to the clients of IT companies ?

  1. While everyone is convinced that Digital is way forward, few IT vendors have really cracked the code on ‘Execution’.
  2. Digital delivery models are continually evolving and there is little clarity on how really on-shore/off-shore model will work.
  3. Efficiency /productivity brought into existing delivery models will be difficult to replicate into digital delivery models. So, costs/pyramids on digital models have to be re-worked , more often from scratch.
  4. Most of the digital skills are acquired by acquisition, rather than home-grown. While there is the conscious effort to train thousands, would probably take some time before they start delivering real client value. Learning curve takes time, and is often based on job-experience than classroom training. So, expect lot of learning (and re-learnings) on the way.
  5. Going Digital is no way CHEAP (may be excluding Infrastructure/cloud services) . It requires re-skilling your IT workforce and involves a lot of organizational changes. It puts onus on client to ‘make it work’ , rather than to the IT vendor. If you are expecting IT vendor to own it, expect certain risk premium. So, plan your ROI on digital investment as detailed as possible.
  6. Finally, understand and outline what Digital really mean to you and your industry. Digital is more of sociological change rather than technological one. So, you should clearly understand how it is driving consumer behaviour and how to benefit from it. Technology selection (and thus corresponding IT services) is  just small part of much bigger equation.