IT For A New World
Business Today|June 27, 2021
HOW THE INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY INDUSTRY IS LOOKING TO SERVICE A WORLD WITH NEW RULES, HABITS AND BEHAVIOUR
RUKMINI RAO

$4 billion

India’s expected spending on public Cloud in 2021, up 25 percent year-on-year

60 Percent

Indian organisations exceeded their 2020 Cloud budgets by 5-15%, says IDC’s CloudPulse Q4 2020 survey

$6 trillion

The cost to the global economy due to cybercrime in 2021, double the 2015 number, according to the annual Cybercrime report

Since April 2020, Cisco’s collaboration platform, WebEx, has on an average clocked 25 billion meeting minutes a month. Outside the United States, India has been the second-highest user, recording 40 per cent year-on-year increase in March 2021. Does this mean in-person meetings will become history? Probably not. However, most changes at the workplace triggered by the pandemic are here to stay.

This is not surprising. Adoption of digital technology has seen a decade's growth in the past 12-15 months as companies shifted to the distributed remote work model. This meant increased demand for Cloud service providers. Companies also adopted digital tools to make operations more efficient. These included Artificial Intelligence (AI), Machine Learning (ML) and Robotic Process Automation (RPA), which involves automating repetitive tasks. As digital became big, cyberattacks also rose and security became a concern.

As these trends unfold over time, information technology (IT) companies are adopting new ways to help their clients manage these technological changes.

On Cloud Nine

The massive surge in adoption of Cloud services after the pandemic struck is making IT companies adopt an integrated Cloud-first strategy to meet demands of their consumers. A survey by global market intelligence firm IDC for Q4 of 2020 shows that 60 per cent Indian organisations exceeded their 2020 Cloud budgets by 5-15 per cent. The number one reason they cited was Covid-19.

From transforming business models to hiring experts in AI, ML and analytics, IT companies are doing everything possible to tap into the demand for Cloud services. They have, for example, helped healthcare companies run simulations on Cloud for formulations and drug discovery.

RPA, too, has become an important tool for raising employee productivity, streamlining processes and improving process quality and designs in order to improve customer experience. For instance, ICICI Prudential Life Insurance’s virtual assistant, LiGo, uses IBM Watson AI to interact with policyholders, address queries, provide personalised account-specific information by applying NLP (natural language processing) and recognise the meaning behind the queries through deep learning techniques.

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