New Paradigm in ER&D Services: Convergence of Engineering and Technology – Part 1 | Sherpas in Blue Shirts

Posted On March 13, 2017

It is interesting times for the engineering services and R&D (ER&D) market. Industry demand for engineering services coupled with technology innovations is transforming the market landscape, and leading to the emergence of new business models – in particular, the convergence of engineering services with new technologies, such as digital, IoT, and analytics for product development.

The proliferation of digital technologies is compelling enterprises to relook at their product development strategy, and integrate new technologies with products to deliver an enhanced customer-centric experience. Service providers in the ER&D industry are looking to expand their engineering service offerings by tapping into new technologies that can help them differentiate their position in the market and deliver increased value to their clients.

The convergence trend is manifesting itself in many ways in the industry, and fundamentally transforming the normal course of business for both enterprises and service providers:

  • Evolving consumer needs, coupled with the explosion of digital devices and technologies (e.g., connected vehicles, chatbots, and machine learning based platforms) are dramatically changing the demand landscape in the ER&D services industry. Given that the number of connected or smart devices is expected to grow from 22 billion today to 50 billion by 2020, it’s clear that enterprises must now provide a “connected ecosystem” experience for their customers across devices and platforms.
  • The US$75-80 billion ER&D global services industry is expected to grow at a rapid pace (14-16 percent YOY) and reach US$145-155 billion by 2020. This growth is being driven by evolving customer demands, the need to integrate new technologies with products, shortening product lifecycles, and the resulting cost and margin pressures for enterprises.
  • Facing margin pressures for IT services, service providers such as HCL, Infosys, and TCS are betting big on the fast growing ER&D services segment. For example, Infosys recently opened delivery centers in Croatia and Russia to provide engineering services to its automotive, heavy manufacturing, and aerospace clients. The ER&D services industry is expected to drive the next wave of growth for these players:
    • In the last couple of years, the engineering services segment has grown faster than IT services. Estimates from NASSCOM are that engineering services exports grew by 12.6 percent in India during FY 2016, whereas IT services exports grew by 10.3 percent
    • Infosys’ YOY FY 2016 revenue growth for its engineering services practice (16 percent) was more than the company’s total revenue growth (9 percent)
  • With enterprises’ shift in demand, service providers are looking at capturing a larger share of ER&D outsourcing market pie by investing in the segment and acquiring new capabilities. For example:
    • HCL Technologies recently acquired Geometric to strengthen its engineering services and IoT capabilities
    • Luxoft recently acquired Pelagicore AB, a leader in open source software services for human machine interface (HMI) development. The acquisition is expected to help the service provider bolster their automotive services offerings with next-level technology capabilities.

Time-to-market pressure for product development is making enterprises and service providers look at avenues to deliver enhanced value to their customers. Make sure to visit our blog page later this week to read our follow-up post on the different ways they’re keeping up with this trend.

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