The Indian IT industry has gone through several changes over the past few years. Virtualisation of the Data Centers has resulted in huge savings in terms of cost, space and resources and this will definitely have a long term impact. The internet has moved from ‘search’ to ‘watch’ mode, signalling the shift from data to voice to video, bringing the internet closer to users. Allied to this is the ‘death of distance’ as communication has taken a big leap from chatting to video calling. Innovations like Tele-presence now provide a ‘near to real’ experience by virtually eliminating geographical boundaries. The influence of social media on the consumer has also increased exponentially with businesses banking on the same to sell their products and services. This has resulted in a win-win situation for them as well as their consumers. And of course, how can we ignore the rapidly growing area of mobile apps which has helped businesses reach out to a larger customer base.
In terms of technological trends driving the industry at present, I would say analytics and mobility are predominant. Now, users literally have the world at their fingertips as they can work from anywhere, at anytime and on any device. At Mahindra, we are working towards this by leveraging synergies within the Group and creating a uniform customer experience across the Mahindra brand, ensuring a strategic advantage.
We are also gradually moving towards cloud based applications. This is in keeping with the upcoming trend of moving data to the cloud. However, this technology needs to evolve and become more robust. A secured ‘network of networks’ is how I see it evolving. Another fast emerging trend is the ‘Internet of things’. Products and services are getting aligned which will result in the evolution of new business models and this could lead to the emergence of new industry sectors, while others may disappear at the click of a mouse.
There are essentially four things that are collectively changing the nature of consumer demand. These include the devices consumers use, high speed connectivity, an intuitive user interface and social media. This implies that businesses must gear up for constant innovation in order to reach the consumer. Essentially, technology will drive the three ‘Es’, i.e. Enable to reach the mind of the customer, Enhance the way transactions are carried out and Engender the way business will be conducted.