Here’s what Indian IT sector expects in 2021

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Mumbai: The Indian IT sector is among the few lucky sectors globally that have remained operational and active amid the COVID-19 crisis in 2020. Although the Indian IT sector faced many technical challenges and issues, it did overcome them with determination and innovative ideas.

Despite all those unfavourable working conditions, the Indian IT sector has been able to run its large-scale operations undisrupted – all thanks to its massive remote workforce.

Interestingly, remote working has become the new work norm this year and is unlikely to end soon. But what’s certain the year 2020 is coming to an end. And with the new year awaiting, the Indian IT sector is hoping for a very positive start in 2021.

Here’s what Indian IT sector expects and predicts for the new year 2021

This may or may not come true. But certainly, the Indian IT sector can hope for a positive change and return of normalcy to all aspect of life and business in 2021.

Ramesh Mamgain, Country Manager – India and SAARC, Commvault
The year 2020 laid down the foundation for us to pause, reflect and work towards becoming better versions of ourselves as individuals, enterprises and economies.

In the hindsight, digital adoption and cloud migration stole the show, opening up avenues for emerging technologies such as intelligent data management, to be at the forefront of this accelerated transformational journey. As we step into a new data-driven world, business leaders are taking the compassionate leadership route at the helm of this new normal.

As for the future, it can only be navigated successfully by leveraging the in-house data lake through optimised data management solutions, empowering the workforce and clients with robust endpoint protection framework, augmenting use of cloud-native applications across environments and unleashing the potential of 5G.

While 2021 and beyond looks promising, the onus lies with digital enterprises to choose the sustainable route and become future-ready. Ultimately, the decisions enterprises’ make from here on, be it their IT systems or data security, should not just reflect the capabilities to stay successful today but also deliver ammunition to fight the uncertainties and threats of tomorrow.

Pradeep Nair, VP and MD – India, VMware
As we move into 2021, there will be a sharpened focus on leveraging next-generation technology to drive growth and progress across sectors. I am looking forward to seeing how the tech-powered future of India unfolds and to being part of the transformation story in the country

Mehul Suratiya, Director – Biz Analyst
We’ve seen rapid cloud adoption during the pandemic, technology is going to play a big role in 2021. Firms will shift from on-premises licensed software to subscription-based SaaS models, as well as adopt new software collaboration tools.

The trend of monthly subscription plans is already visible and will continue to the next year as businesses will continue to be conservative about cash flow in the 1st half of next year till the situation completely stabilize.

SMBs must focus on identifying digital tools that will help them access real-time business data, enabling them to work in a location independent manner. It enables entrepreneurs and leaders to keep a track of all aspects of their business and smooth functioning between internal teams.

Karmesh Gupta, CEO and Co-founder, WiJungle
2021 will be a year where adoption of cloud-delivered security will be witnessed significantly and more number of local players will mark an entry in this space.

In parallel, the probable introduction of 5G by the end of 2021 could add an ample of opportunities and use cases, leading to the new cybersecurity categories. The most awaited Personal data protection bill and the National Cybersecurity Strategy would also further add immense value to the entire ecosystem.

Based on the current heat, it is very much expected that a percentage of the funded local cybersecurity companies will shoot up substantially, making them potential enough to give cut-throat competition to foreign silos and increase their global prominence.

KT Prasad, MD and RVP – India & SAARC, Zendesk
People around the globe are eagerly awaiting 2021 and the many promises that it brings. Looking ahead, we anticipate that CX (customer experience) will continue to remain a catalyst to business success as businesses reorganise their priorities to incorporate a seamless CX journey for customers.

On the other hand, digital transformation will definitely take precedence in the coming year to accommodate more omnichannel services, better IT security, agile technology and collaborative tools. Businesses will also take steps to be more people-centric, not just toward their customers, but also toward their employees.

Employee experience and engagement will be a major area where we will see a change as businesses rethink their digital workplace. As the year comes to an end, there is a sense of hope and excitement in the air of what the new year holds and businesses will look to strengthen their customer experience as the year unfolds.

Rajat Singhania, Founder – SocioRAC
2021 promises to be an interesting year for technology. The pandemic has created a new normal, reinforced the value of tech even for businesses staying away from tech till now.

People adopted tech overnight to get life and business moving and enable some activity whether it was basics like Zoom and Netflix for survival or stuff like hardware, CRMs, and team management solutions. 2021 would see a significant increase in the use of tech for:

1) Banking/ Digital payments – lots done but even more, is to be done.
2) Healthcare – enhanced options for remote monitoring, management, treatment and solutions for data interoperability.
3) Education – tech enablement has removed the geographical boundaries and would see education outreach happening remotely with more robust platforms providing a single point solution to enable remote education seamlessly
4) Information management – people and business are getting overwhelmed with too much data and this gets severely amplified with remote working. Too much data actually becomes counter-productive eating up precious time, creating pressure and triggering decisions based on incomplete information. I see a lot of activity in this space.

In the end, it’s the year for the consumer and consumer experience, it will be a big win for them!

Amit Kumar, Founder – GalaxyCard
2021 will be a very unique year, with the economy getting back up on its feet. A lot of new mobile subscribers and first-time internet users will look for services to excite them, and this is a boon for all the consumer brands.

FinTech will benefit largely from these new consumers as the convenience will drive a lot of referrals and word of mouth. We’re already seeing UPI grow by leaps and bounds. With the government’s continued push on digital payments, such as mandatory FastTAG for every vehicle, we’ll see even more digital payments adoption as people begin to travel as COVID-19 fades away.

HCL Technologies
The year 2021 will see massive digital acceleration across all sectors. COVID-19 has proven that technology can be the single greatest factor in enabling businesses to survive and thrive.

From a market-demand perspective, tech services companies are seeing strong interest across all sectors to invest and capitalize the opportunities created through faster cloud migration, cybersecurity, blockchain, analytics and internet of things (IoT) technology solutions and managed services – all these will be critical strategies and components of the enterprise that will live well the COVID-19 environment.

Sectors like Energy, Manufacturing and Auto may see slower recovery while others like Technology, Telecom, Life Sciences, and Financial Services will continue to have strong growth.

Additionally, sectors heavily impacted by the pandemic, such as retail, auto, travel, hospitality, etc. are in the process of transforming and redefining their business models and customer engagement for ‘zero-touch’ interactions, by leveraging conversational AI, analytics and numerous digital innovations.

Shabna Salam, Founder and Director – Maneraa
COVID-19 has brought about a dramatic and permanent shift in consumer shopping behaviour in e-Commerce. The consumer today has become more cost-conscious and is investing increasingly in an affordable fashion. We have also observed that customers from tier 2 and tier 3 cities who were previously reluctant to do online shopping now enjoy the perks of digital retail.

On Maneraa’s website this year, we have seen consumers opt for pocket-friendly fashion with a willingness to experiment with new and relatively unknown brands. Though we are amongst the new players in the space, the customer response this season has given us great confidence especially with the spike in demand from tier 2 and 3 cities.

It’s very likely that these trends are here to stay even after COVID-19 as these are new customers who have joined the fray and they will only increase their usage as per industry norms. Looking ahead into 2021, we expect E-commerce retail to rise to 7% as opposed to the previous 1.6% thanks to the newfound demand and transforming consumer behaviour.

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