It is easy to rent access to computers for a monthly fees rather than buying them and maintaining them for a lifetime. Cloud has proved to be a profitable business for Microsoft, Amazon and Alphabet as large enterprises shift to Internet-based services to host and manage their data. (Alphabet – parent company of Google). These 3 companies excelled their profit estimates for the last quarter with major contribution coming from cloud computing services they offer. On the contrary, technology companies like IBM, HP, EMC (will be merging with DELL) etc. are seeing a downtrend with decline in sales of their traditional hardware, software because of the cloud providers. Google, Amazon and Microsoft provide their computing services to many companies who are eagerly seeking for low cost alternatives. Otherwise those companies would have gone for traditional hardware, software from HP, IBM.
While many firms try providing cloud services in the market, winning in cloud is not for everyone! Amazon, Microsoft and Google invest significant sums to build huge, so called state-of-the-art data centres. “Developing a data centre infrastructure along with the required marketing and operations support is simply beyond the reach of all, but to the companies like Amazon, Google, Microsoft” says chief analyst John Dinsdale from Synergy Research Group.
Many of the Indian IT companies like TCS, Infosys, Wipro are already focusing in the digital and Cloud computing services partnering with companies like Microsoft. Indian IT companies are seeing a reduction in larger deals from customers who traditionally rolled out tenders of hundreds of millions of dollars, but they are many transactions from customers in lower value deals linking with Cloud and digital. Like Google’s CEO Sundar Pichai said “Every business in the world is going to run on cloud eventually” let us see how it rains dollars!
Please refer to Bloomberg, The Walls Street Journal, tech.firstpost.com, Forbes for more details.
There are couple of articles recently in ET, Business Line on the challenges our IT industry is currently facing. Due to a steep fall in the crude oil prices in previous fiscal, IT investments by clients in the energy vertical have delayed, reduced and some are cancelled. Telecom services providers are also not doing well and hence the revenues from those accounts had a hit. Also there is this cross currency impact While there is stagnation/decline in the incremental revenues of IT majors like TCS, Wipro, Infy, HCL for the last year we should also understand the drastic changes in the way IT business is undergoing.
Unlike previous times, there are many small firms who possess consulting capabilities and are able to sustain in the market by having a kind of conversations clients want. While all IT majors have strong consulting capabilities, the technology is changing at a drastic level where IT majors are having challenges to go to customer and say “this is what your business problem is, and we can solve with this ‘new’ technology”, says Forrester Research.
Let us speak about Cloud. Well, Cloud is not a new technology at least when we see time vs technology changes, but the business strategies associated with cloud are changing. Cloud is gradually disrupting the enterprise software and hardware industry by being easy to scale up the infra and being cost-effective. It is making computing services / resources available on internet. Cloud makes infrastructure like Storage, Servers, networking as a service. This reduces the infrastructure maintenance needs, and, hence, infrastructure services will reduce. Mid-range clients who don’t have huge infrastructure prefer cloud-based systems. This will hamper the sections of infra business in IT companies.
At the same time automation and robotics are also booming along with cloud. With burst of new technologies and delivery models there is high competition in pricing too.
However, there is still time to adapt, experts say, irrespective of new developments though the changes are drastic. At the same time client relationships matters over the price. Again IT majors have their plans in place. Wipro and Infosys has already made large acquisitions/investments in automation companies, and in startups. ET says Wipro is planning to improve the efficiency and bring the reduction of 30% in it headcount in next three years by investing in automations and artificial intelligence and digital technology. Infy CEO Sikka too mentioned “New areas in Infosys of automation and innovation will constitute a tenth of total revenue by 2020.” TCS has its own innovation Labs.