As a brutal
2013 drew to a close, India’s technology services industry looked towards a new
avenue — customer investments around SMAC technologies — in the hope that it
will open up bigger revenue opportunities and yield transformational changes
for the sector in 2014.

predict that the confluence of SMAC — social media, mobility, analytics, and
cloud computing — will be a potent and leading business-technology enabler of
the next decade. They agree that the SMAC ecosystem will have a huge
rub-off on IT services.


 Naveen Mishra,
a research director at Gartner India, said SMAC adoption will reach mainstream
status in 2014. “We believe that the disruptive technologies will start
creating new IT services business models and spur spending.”

For IT
providers who traditionally dealt with CIOs within client organizations, SMAC
is creating opportunities to engage, influence, and sell to business users, said
Salil Godika, chief strategy and marketing officer at Bangalore-based IT
services firm Happiest Minds. “As industries such as retail,
manufacturing, media, and entertainment work at providing a uniform experience
across all communication channels, the need for SMAC technologies will only

estimates that India-centric IT services vendors will witness an 8-10% annual
revenue growth from SMAC. “We see global customers willing to invest
aggressively in these technologies,” Mishra said. 

SMAC may
provide the much-needed boost for India’s $108-billion IT sector, which has had
a jagged growth in the last couple of years on account of global economic
challenges, falling consumer spending, and a Eurozone crisis in their main
markets. Industry body Nasscom foresees a 12-14% revenue growth in the
ongoing fiscal year. The adoption of disruptive technologies could further impel
client spending. 

Indian IT vendors are already aggressively chasing this market opportunity. The
biggest of them are driving new asset acquisitions and investments around SMAC
technologies to carve out market differentiation. Many are grabbing
opportunities to set up divisions or acquire niche, boutique companies in the
area of big data, analytics, and social mobility that are up for sale.

largest software services exporter, Mumbai-based Tata Consultancy Services, has
set up a digital enterprise unit in Santa Clara, Silicon Valley, to club its
SMAC technology services under a single roof.  The unit, less than a year
old, has a few thousand employees already. TCS has invested in a network of
cloud data centers around the globe.

Another top IT
services provider, Bangalore-based Wipro, has acquired two companies in the SMAC
space in the past few months. In mid-2013, it spent $30 million to
acquire a minority stake in New Jersey-based big data and analytics firm, Opera
Solutions. Shortly after, it acquired a minority stake in cloud-based
services firm, Axeda. Axeda’s core offerings include machine-to-machine


 Even the
smaller IT services firm, Happiest Minds, said it has dedicated centers of
excellence for each of the SMAC technologies. “Happiest Minds has a
laser-sharp focus on disruptive technologies,” said Godika.

As global
enterprises adopt SMAC technologies to gain operational efficiency, optimize
costs, better customer experience, reduce time to market, or drive efficiencies,
Indian IT and BPO vendors can cross $225 billion in revenues by 2020 (from the
current $108), said trade body Confederation of Indian Industry in its recent
report titled “The SMAC Code – Embracing New Technologies for Future Business.”

The growth
will not be without challenges, however. Mishra of Gartner said that the
talent and skill base to go after the SMAC market opportunity will be a serious
concern. “India has long been hailed the talent engine for the world, but
from a SMAC perspective, skills could be a concern,” Mishra said.