The demand for digital transformation related technologies specifically is driving interest in certain metropolitan areas. The share of digital services being delivered in new service provider set-ups has been steadily increasing from approximately 25 percent in 2012 to 63 percent in 2016. “This percentage is expected to continue to remain high as service providers focus on expanding and broadening their digital capabilities,” says Everest Group Vice President Salil Dani.
A Trump executive order said US government agencies should look at ways to reduce the number of immigrant workers in the country, including reducing the use of H-1B visas. This is part of an election campaign promise to encourage employers to hire more US citizens.
This is having an impact on IT services, with providers and their enterprise customers in the US holding back from investing in services offshore as well as pausing hiring at their own operations in India. This is because it is not clear how immigration laws will change, according to Sarthak Brahma, head of pricing advisory at Everest Group.
Peter Bendor Samuel, CEO of IT consulting firm Everest Group, told Times of India the industry growth has slowed and the “arbitrage first” segment (traditional IT services) is in secular decline. “When this is added to the pyramid factory model, which requires new freshers to be brought in every year to keep cost low, it results in an excess of more experienced employees,” he said.
Interestingly, Peter Bendor-Samuel, chief executive of global IT research firm Everest Group, says Indian firms can probably “get one last bite” of the H-1B visa lottery “apple”.
“Indian firms are moving to address their H-1B dependent workforce issues by increasing their hiring of experienced US workers and recruiting from US universities. Firms like Wipro are more advanced in this process and have already made substantial progress. However, I would stress that all of the Indian firms are still active in the H-1B lottery and will take as many of these as they can, but expect that the numbers will decline,” points out Bendor-Samuel.
Robotic process automation (RPA) technology typically uses artificial intelligence to handle repetitive, rules-based, back-office tasks. And the market is about to experience a period of “explosive” growth, according to an Everest Group study.
The RPA market grew 64 percent to $200 million last year and is expected to grow 70 to 90 percent by 2018 because successful pilot projects are inspiring buyer confidence in the technology, the consulting and research firm reports.
Even before this latest executive order, it is clear that the Indian service provider industry was taking steps to reduce their dependency on H-1B, as reflected by the drop in overall applications for H-1B from 236,000 last year to 199,000 this year. The majority of this reduction is thought to be the reduced number of applications that the service providers are submitting, says Peter Bendor-Samuel, chief executive officer of Everest Group, a global information technology researcher.
“It is clear that there is building bipartisan support for some of these changes, and it is likely that a merit-based system could get broad support,” says Peter Bendor-Samuel, CEO of outsourcing research and advisory firm Everest Group. “However, visa reform is likely to be complicated by broader immigration reform where there is not consensus.”
“It is clear that there is building bipartisan support for some of these changes, however, Visa reform is likely to be complicated by broader immigration reform where there is no consensus, further complicating this picture is a crowded legislative agenda with health care reform, and tax reform likely to take priority. Keeping this in mind it seems unlikely that any visas legislation will make its way through congress this year, leaving the current system in place for at least another year,” said Peter Bendor-Samuel, chief executive officer of Everest Group, the global technology researcher.
In the new scheme of things, Zensar’s mid-size could be an advantage. “It’s lack of success in the previous era of services has given Zensar a leg-up as it has a much smaller and more manageable organisation to transform,” says Peter Bendor-Samuel, founder and CEO of Everest Group, a US-based management consulting and research firm.
Peter Bendor-Samuel, the CEO of outsourcing consultancy and research firm Everest Group, said last month: “It is clear than many firms are postponing or canceling offshoring activity as they wait to see what happens on the political front.”
Everest Group now expects revenue declines for the top five Indian service firms, which are also among the largest H-1B users.