Known on the global stage for its indisputable domination in IT, India is at the cusp of a digital revolution, finally on home ground. With its strong push for a digital economy, the Union Budget for 2017, presented by the Finance Minister recently, has only validated this claim. As a member of the IT community, it is a truly exciting moment to witness the sweeping transformative power of technology, as it transcends barriers of literacy, class and industry to create an environment of inclusivity – social, economic and financial.
IT is the biggest employer in private sector and its revenue for the year (according to Strategic Review 2016 by NASSCOM) was $143 billion. The IT sector is generally expected to contribute around 10 percent to India’s GDP and account for almost half of the total services export. However, with the open and overarching commitment to fuel the expansion of ‘Digital India’, evinced by the government in the budget, technology is finally seen as a vital engine to propel the country to meet its development goals, rather than exist merely as a prominent contributor of exports.
While the budget was largely silent on addressing the expectations of the IT industry, there was positive policy support for expanding the scope of digital payments and decentralizing digital infrastructure from cities to towns. Whether it is the Aadhar based smartcards, transaction based lending, vociferous promotion of the BHIM app, tax holiday for startups, or friendly tax structure for companies on the path to digital adoption, these announcements will chart a new trajectory for the IT industry in itself, where allied support functions, like cloud based SaaS services will get a chance experience their moment in the spotlight.
Understanding the scope and magnitude of this indirect benefit to the saturated IT market would mean, acknowledging the criticality of IT Service Management (ITSM) in delivering safe, quality and efficient services at low cost to support the migration to a digital economy. For instance, The Bharat Interface for money or BHIM app has been immensely successful. 125 lakh people have already adopted what is being dubbed as the ‘technology ecosystem for the poor’ and the government plans to introduce two new schemes to promote its use to encourage the use of digital money. In addition to this, the proposed extension of the optic fiber cable network to 1, 50,000 gram panchayats for high speed broadband connectivity and rollout of 4G in the country will create a more digitally inclusive society.
The banking and internet penetration in the country, currently at less than adequate levels, will see a sharp, accelerated growth. Increased access to internet, coupled with major revisions in the personal income tax rates for lesser earning tax payers, would lead to a boost in domestic consumption. These welcome developments will further the advancement of the already flourishing e-commerce segment in India, which is slated to touch 1 trillion USD by the end of 2017.
Such a large-scale transformation of banking and e-commerce sector will present the need for ITSM and ITOM solutions to render seamless transactions. Cloud based SaaS services are the backbone that strengthen and support digital applications and new age technology, and the Budget 2017 gives ample scope for the development and strengthening of the ITSM and ITOM sector. Already, the BHIM app has facilitated the mushrooming of several technology startups to work with commercial banks and customers.
The ITSM industry in India is presently at a nascent stage. As companies will increasingly undergo digital transformation to stay ahead of the curve in this thriving environment, there will be greater demand for enterprise and cloud based solutions, leading to increased employment and innovation. As part of the ITSM industry, we are eager to explore the opportunities this digital revolution will bring.
The author is President and CEO, Symphony SUMMIT IT Solutions
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