Cognizant’s revenue grew 10% in 2017 even as its headcount fell by 200 from the previous year, for the first time in its history, a performance that experts said the rest of the IT sector is working hard to emulate.
IT companies, whose growth typically marches hand-in-hand with headcount growth, have been talking about decoupling the two for years but Cognizant is the first to show success over an entire reporting annual reporting period. The Teaneck, New Jersey-headquartered firm reports results for the calendar year, while Indian-listed IT services companies follow an April-March reporting period.
“As the industry moves from the labour arbitrage factory model to the technology-based digital model, the revenue per person rises and fewer people are needed,” said Peter Bendor-Samuel, CEO of IT consultancy Everest Research. “Cognizant is one of many firms which is driving hard into the new digital marketplace and this effort is showing results both in their increased growth and the improved revenue per person and falling headcount,” he said.