Unpacking Europe’s 2019’s major tech milestones with NIIT
FinTech Futures sat with Gautam Samanta, global head of banking and financial services & head of Europe at NIIT Technologies to unpack all the trends and developments this year brought.
Our journey in the last 12 to 18 months has been nothing short of scintillating. We have been one of the fastest growing IT services companies in India and the road ahead looks very promising. Speaking of Europe, we have hit some key milestones in this period:
Growth in business
Our focus on expanding our business in Europe has paid some handsome dividends. We have been growing at a faster rate compared to the company average. Revenue from Europe now contributes one third of our total business.
We have established and strengthened strategic relationships with Fortune 100 High street bank, one of Europe’s major central banks, UK government services agencies like HMRC and taken over managed services for major charities in the UK.
In accordance with our digital strategy, we have acquired a niche company with deep digital integration capabilities with primary footprint in Europe. We now have the largest pool of Mulesoft practitioners in the UK to support our clients.
NIIT rated as the best in Business Understanding in the UK by Whitelane research. We have also been rated as leaders in the Nelson Hall NEAT result in our AI and RPA capabilities in financial services.
What trends and technologies do you feel have impacted the industry in 2019?
It is now as clear as day that the secular technology trends and the accelerating pace of technological change is on one hand driving unprecedented innovation and on the other it’s also disrupting the decades and centuries old business models and processes in the financial services ecosystem today. Here are the top five trends that have impacted us the most:
Digital has become the mainstream
Customers are now demanding their digital experience from their financial service providers to be equivalent to the services provided by tech giants like Amazon and Apple. Providing great customer experience through best in class digital front-end backed by a frictionless middle and back office is what every bank is trying to develop.
AI is making automation intelligent
Our clients, which includes leading incumbent financial services companies, have no longer been content with using robotics and are trying to use AI to address key pressure points, reduce costs, and mitigate risks.
Public cloud adoption has gained tremendous momentum
It’s no longer a “why” question for the enterprises but its “how” and “when”. We have been helping several of our key clients with migrating workloads at scale and speed to public cloud.
Cyber Security is every CXO’s priority
With processes moving to the realm of digital, the cyber threats have also escalated. Cyber-security is now one of the top risks facing financial institutions and we in NIIT have made key investments in building our capabilities to address the same.
“Customer intelligence” using data
Advancement in analytics and new techniques in harnessing data has provided the enterprises with amazing opportunity to unlock the hidden information about customers and to provide them what they really want. Again, this is an area where we have seen major traction in 2019. Our digital practice has used our capabilities in platforms like SiteCore, SalesForce and Pega or built bespoke solutions using open source technologies for our clients.
Which of these do you see playing a significant role in 2020 for financial services firms?
I would say all the above and in addition we would see increased usage of the so called low-code-platforms like Appian to develop enterprise grade applications at the speed of business change. Public cloud would become the dominant infrastructure model in the next couple of years. Also, integration technologies like Mulesoft would have a significant play in providing seamless flow.
What goals and targets do you as a company have for 2020, what do you hope to have achieved by this time next year?
We see ourselves as challenger to the scale-driven IT services model hinged on labour-arbitrage. We have client-centricity at the core of our business model. We have set aggressive yet real-time goals for our business in the coming years. One target that we have set for ourselves in financial services is to add two more Tier-1 clients into our list of customers and consolidate our position in the overall digital integration space.
What are the major concerns of your clients, what’s driving their technology decisions?
How to improve agility without escalating costs
We are seeing investments going into modernising infrastructure, moving more workloads into public cloud, adopt the newer ways of working, moving away from monolith to microservices, improve utilisation of the Enterprise platforms like Salesforce, Pega and using low-code platforms like Appian.
It’s already one of the top risks facing financial institutions and unfortunately it is not likely to change for the better in the coming years due to proliferating of digital technologies and move towards a sharing economy where more and more systems would have to be opened up for seamless flow of information. We see investments in people, process and technology to manage and mitigate the cyber threat across the industry.
Banks are no longer able to attract the best technology talents particularly in the emerging technology space. Hence talent acquisition and management becoming a key factor in technology decisions and overall transformation planning.
How is NIIT solving those client concerns?
NIIT is unhindered by the scale-driven business model and hence we have been investing heavily in building core capabilities in digital transformation space. We have equally focused our domain along with technology to build real solutions. Our partnership strategy is also tuned to address the key concerns of our clients. For example, our last acquisitions have significantly bolstered our capabilities in Pega for BPM and PAAS capabilities, Appian for enterprise grade low-code app development, Mulesoft for digital integration and Cloudera for big data management. We have also made significant investments in our cloud services capabilities forging strategic partnerships with Microsoft, Azure and GCP.