Digital technologies are fundamentally changing the demand ethos of the US$75 billion Engineering and Research and Development (ER&D) global sourcing market, which is expected to grow at a CAGR of more than 18 percent over the next five years. With rapidly evolving consumer needs, an increase in global regulatory pressures, the rise of the shared economy, increasingly complex security needs, and technology’s shift from enabler to disruptor, following are the major themes I expect to dominate the NASSCOM Design and Engineering Summit 2016, which is being held in Bangalore on October 5 and 6:
- The connected digital ecosystems: The proliferation of smart devices and radical improvement in connectivity infrastructure are shaping the evolving digital ecosystem of everything. Orchestrating this connected digital ecosystem and creating products that tap into it are creating a new demand portfolio of ER&D services across industries. Think rapid consumerization in the healthcare industry with increasing use of connected smart medical devices, the connected and autonomous vehicles defining the future of mobility in the shared economy, or the convergence of machine-to-machine (M2M) technologies and advanced analytics driving the industrial 4.0 revolution.
- Designing for the future: Enterprises must understand the needs of tomorrow’s customers, and will need to push the boundaries of innovation and design thinking to engineer products that are at the intersection of leveraging cutting edge technologies and re-imagining processes and business models.
- Smart, smarter, and smartest: The rise of cognitive computing technologies has pushed the boundaries of process and task automation to create smart products. Research advances in the field of Artificial Intelligence (AI), machine learning, and edge computing will drive development of products that dramatically improve the user experience, and provide convenience beyond expectations for consumers and employees alike. This creates demand for a talent model with hybrid skills of product engineering and design, domain knowledge, and ability to leverage cognitive technologies.
- Making sense of data: Enterprises are collecting a lot of data through a multitude of external and internal data sources, and are looking at how to enhance product design and engineering processes, reduce costs, improve quality, and meet evolving user expectations. Enterprises in the retail, defense, media, and financial services industries have been at the forefront of using data and analytics to answer these questions. Demand from these industries is driven from adoption of further sophisticated analytics initiatives that helps deliver competitive advantage. Industries including manufacturing, energy, telecoms, and healthcare and life sciences are rapidly adopting big data and analytics technologies.
- Real use cases beyond the cool stuff of AR/VR: Augmented reality and virtual reality technologies have great potential in areas such as remote monitoring and predictive maintenance, training, and simulated testing environments. Expect to hear more use cases for AR and VR technologies.
- Software-defined everything: “Software eats everything” across all industries – software-defined infrastructure, software-defined manufacturing, software-defined networking, software-defined datacenters, and so on. The delivery of software product as-a-service, the ability to remotely support and maintain customer premise equipment, and the increasing demand for configurable over customized software products are creating a new demand paradigm for ER&D services in the software products industry.
- Time-to-market: Speed is the new currency in the product engineering world. Sourcing has enabled enterprises not just to reduce costs but to drive agility and flexibility to respond to market volatility and constantly changing consumer demands. As technology becomes core to all activities, concepts such as agile and DevOps are becoming relevant across the ER&D services industry value chain.
- Standards, security, and compliance: Security is among three priorities for all C-suite executives globally. In the age of connected digital ecosystems, building security into product design is becoming an absolute necessity. Compliance but is a critical component of the demand driver for the ER&D services industry.
I look forward to interesting discussions on these and other topics with the engineering services enterprises and vendors during the #NASSCOM Design and Engineering Summit. If you’re there in person, feel free to contact me or my colleagues H Karthik and Bhawesh Tiwari.
Click here to read about Everest Group’s latest research on the engineering services global talent spot, and here, here, and here to check out detailed insights from this research.