Digital Solutions

All big IT companies have professed digital solutions as their primary growth engine. What are these digital solutions? How does one company’s approach differ from another? Are there some common patterns in their focus areas?

We studied digital solutions of the top IT companies including IBM, Accenture, TCS, Cognizant, HCL and Wipro to find the answers. Our analysis included whitepapers, point of view articles, case studies and blogs published by these companies around their digital solution offerings.

Stacking up comparative solutions did throw up some interesting insights. But before we get to that, a quick note on why digital solutions are a big deal in enterprise solutions today.

According to an Accenture research, digital’s share of the global economy is already 22% of the global economy. More importantly, spending on digital transformation initiatives by companies is set to grow by 16.8% every year from 2014 to 2019 [IDC study]. That’s a $2.1tn business up for grabs by 2019.

And that’s why every technology firm has made digital solutions their pivotal offering in recent times.

Key focus areas

Depending on the context at hand – maturity of technology, stage of market adoption, specific geographical market preferences etc – digital solutions can be scoped into 3 to 5 key themes.

Internet of Things: Linking the physical and digital world through IoT solutions could generate up to $11.1tn in new economic value by 2025, according to a McKinsey report.

Big Data and Analytics: These include both predictive and prescriptive analytics to improve decision-making, operations and delivery of products and services.

Cloud computing: 46% of IT expenditure will be in cloud infrastructure by 2019, says an IDC study. That’s because its affordability-scalability-flexibility proposition is unmatched, and will most likely remain so in the near future.

Wearables: According to research firm, Tractica, by 2020, we will see over 75mn wearables in workplace. It’s an early opportunity for IT majors because there’s much still to do in cross-platform integration, more effective product design, performance verification etc.

Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality: The AR market alone is expected to grow to over $117bn, according to MarketsandMarkets report. While the use-case in gaming is immediate, the real potential is in health-care, and also in retail in the medium term.

Given these focus areas, we asked the following question: in what ways is the digital proposition being defined differently by the top IT and tech majors? Do they differ in emphasis? Is their interpretation, therefore, of the real opportunity in digital solutions also different?

The answer to both questions turned out to be Yes. Here’s why.

IBM: Cognitive thinking

The technology leader is big on natural language processing and machine learning, and is wrapping solutions around its Watson technology platform. Insights derived from analyzing large, unstructured and structured data sets – that’s how IBM is strongly differentiating its digital solutions.

Accenture: Digital integration

Leveraging its roots in strategy and operational implementation, Accenture seeks to deliver value through integration of digital assets, software and services. And they have chosen digital marketing, analytics and mobility as three customer contexts to focus on.

Cognizant: Healthcare-driven

Healthcare is a big customer segment for Cognizant. Not surprisingly, its digital solutions are also driven by possible applications in health-care. So apart from the usual SMAC solutions (social, mobile, AI and cloud), its key digital themes include wearables, AR and IoT.

TCS: Comprehensiveness

As a market leader among IT firms in India, TCS has interpreted the digital solutions opportunity in the broadest possible terms. It’s “Digital Re-imagination” theme includes all SMAC technologies applied across customer segments, services and business solutions.

HCL: Enterprise digitalization

In some ways similar to Accenture, HCL has carved out an operational focus in its digital solutions. Marketing, analytics and process digitalization are its primary areas of enterprise interventions.

Wipro: Customer experience centricity

Wipro defines digital solutions more around customer journey enablement, aiming to create value through interactions, integration and insights-driven applications and solutions.

Six technology majors – and six different interpretations of what digital solutions could mean for their customers. The digital opportunity is deep and wide, but even the biggest players are differentiating their approach – and focus – sharply. Are you?

(MWG is global content marketing agency, with clients including Fortune 500 firms and global consultancies. Our content marketers configure thought leadership solutions across enterprise technology solutions.)

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