It’s evident that most third party service providers today consider analytics as being the biggest growth area going forward. Almost all big to medium sized IT/ITES providers today have an analytics setup with certain level of maturity. Yet, amid the whole excitement buildup, certain confusion still exists in terms of the delivery structure that a typical analytics function can take up.
Firstly, it’s difficult to categorize analytics into an industry/ function bucket. Analytics obviously spans across all of these, which often leads to confusion as to where inside an IT/ITES organization do we fit analytics into. This often leads to multiple incubation of analytics practice as plug-ins to various industry/ function buckets inside an IT/ITES provider. The problem exaggerates in cases where there are separate process, technology and consulting organizations inside the outsourcer. These separate analytics incubations do not normally talk to each other but pitches for the same pie of client’s business. Moreover, this almost always leads to delivery of solutions that are decentralized in nature, i.e. separate business units inside client’s organization do not talk to each other on their analytics needs.
Secondly, services companies still wrestle at the traditional ways of acquiring clients, while the issue remains that the analytics mostly is a push offering. It’s not feasible for clients to always have well-defined analytics requirements that servicers can scout for as potential deals, resulting into longer sales cycles. Also, it’s at times difficult to sell analytics as a pure standalone offering to clients. Organizations might appreciate value in analytics, yet are still reluctant to spend on it. It’s useful to attach dollar value to an analytics solution but more often than not it’s highly difficult to do so with certainty. The answer lies in not selling analytics as standalone offering, but selling other deals with analytics as sweetener.
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The emphasis today is to offer analytics as a packaged deal with other offerings. Analytics requirements are accessed at each deal level within the existing processes and services for the clients. Having a centralized business unit that feeds into other business groups and identify areas for potential analytics offerings, helps in three ways. Firstly, it sweetens the deal for the client. From the client’s perspective, this provides him value over and above what’s being signed on. From servicer’s perspective, this provides a foot in the door for more analytics driven solutions in future.
Secondly, analytics solutions plugged into the existing deal provides better process optimization and tighter control over KPI’s. Optimization resulting through outsourcing to the tune of 10-15% is the talk of past. Today clients demand cost/ process optimization to as high as 40% from servicers. This can only be achieved through analytics either by better metric regulations or through predictive analysis. Also, analytics delivered inhouse has better chance of success rather than at client’s site.
And thirdly, the client moves up the value chain by having a flavor of analytics in providing actionable insights. Rather than just looking into optimization through analytics, solutioning experts can scout for other analytics opportunities within client’s business. This means that the client doesn’t necessarily need to have fully cooked analytics requirements on paper but leave it upto the servicer to look into those opportunities.