For IT, digital and technology companies the last 6-8 months have not necessarily been dire. With most companies especially in the banking and pharmaceutical industries accelerating digital initiatives, there’s been plenty of work to be done by the tech world. While firms in the travel, hospitality, and leisure industries have had to re-strategize and pivot, tech firms have not felt the need to do that.
The COVID-19 pandemic created an urgent requirement for applications and digital services across the public and private sectors. Hospitals and public sectors were creating new mobile functionalities to track the Covid-19 response. Banks were creating new applications to meet the exploding demand for loans, complying with new government regulations, and putting in place systems for disbursals. FMCG companies were figuring out how to deal with the bullwhip effect and optimize supply chains.
IBM, for instance, has been focused on revitalizing customer engagement and reinventing the supply chain for its FMCG customers. But this hasn’t meant that it has had to change its own business model or objectives. The company has been focused on helping its clients leverage the power of analytics, big data, AI, Cloud, Blockchain so that they can emerge smarter from the pandemic. Sandip Patel, MD of IBM South Asia says, “For Parle, IBM is working on creating an intelligent supply chain using AI and decision-optimization solutions to improve their product availability and operational efficiency.”
Suman Reddy Eadunuri, MD of PegaSystems said, “Pega, like all the other organizations, faced the dual challenge of ensuring business continuity and safeguarding our employee’s health at the same time and I am glad to say that we have done tremendously well on both the fronts.” Cloud products and services were among the best performing sectors for PegaSystems and saw 50% growth in revenue in Q2 of 2020. Additionally, the company even launched a ‘Crisis Response Solutions Portfolio’ through which clients managed a surge in customer inquiries, policy exception requests, emergency regulations and changing claims requirements seamlessly.
Taking into account the rate of adoption of new technologies and the kind of client issues tech can resolve, IT firms have continued to invest in R&D through the pandemic. Wolters Kluwer for instance, continued to re-invest 8-10% of total revenues in new and enhanced products. The company recently launched AI based products – LegalVIEW® BillAnalyze and The Sentri7 AI+ which helps health professionals improve patient care by finding at-risk patients earlier and providing evidence-based guidance to proactively addressing those risks.
The company is seeing big opportunities in their current area of work. One of the biggest examples is clinical decision support. Shireesh Sahai, CEO of Wolters Kluver said, “Today misinformation is a real threat not just for lay consumers, but also professionals. We saw some of this playing out in the media in the context of unreliable COVID-19 cures. The need for clinicians to access evidence-based clinical decision support tools, are at an all-time high.”
UpToDate, their clinical decision support product is seeing increased traction and currently more than 50,000 doctors in India are using it. In addition to that, the firm is also launching a new clinical decision support product called 5MinuteConsult to support general practitioners with India-specific content. In an effort to combat misinformation, the firm is working closely with industry bodies in the online education and tax and accounting space, offering many specialized products.
Today, India-based tech firms are less inhibited to expand overseas. With customers warming up to closing deals on a video call, the barriers to entry in international markets have substantially reduced. 3i-Infotech for instance is looking at expanding in the US, UK and Europe. Their current growth has been spurred to a large extent by their banking clients, which world over seems to be the sector most adept at adopting technology. “Automation, cloud solutions, endpoint security solutions, virtual healthcare, virtual reality, voice based technologies are driving value across all industries. We have solutions for each of the above,” says Padmanabhan Iyer, MD and CEO of 3i-Infotech.