India’s second-largest IT services exporter, Infosys, will use higher automation within the company as it seeks to gain profitability. Delivering the keynote address on ‘Automation and future of IT services’ at the Kotak Chasing Growth Conference on Monday, Infosys CEO Vishal Sikka said automation will drive margins up while enabling companies to use fewer employees.
Automation is one of Sikka’s key strategies ever since he took over as CEO. The IT major managed to free up over 1,100 people in the third quarter using these technologies. Sikka said it plans to further reduce the number of people who are being engaged in its various projects and these employees will be used to drive the innovation.
“The automation shift is inevitable,” the Infosys CEO said on Monday in Mumbai. He said software will have to amplify in helping to do more with less and the “people-only model” will have to be replaced. On asked whether automation would kill jobs, Sikka said, “Automation creates more opportunities than it displaces. The question is whether we have the ability to teach the skills to our people which are relevant today.”
Automation is already a key theme for the Indian IT industry where players increasingly realise that the current business model of relying on human resources to execute projects will become unviable in the years to come.
Sikka also found the current model of utilisation level in IT services companies with engineers on the bench quite unpalatable. “I cannot put my arm around this idea where 9,000 of our people are sitting on the bench. That is more than the number of engineers at Facebook,” he said. Since July year, Infosys had employed a strategy aiming to gainfully employ every single engineer on the bench with a job.
Sikka also reiterated the company’s ambition to reach a top line of $20 billion by 2020 with revenue per employee at $80,000. He also said the company would have industry-leading growth starting FY17.
Asked about the organisational culture to bring about these changes, Sikka said, “The cultural transformation within Infosys has been happening as the spark has been ignited.”
Infosys under Sikka has been engaging with its employees on design thinking that is expected to provide new perspective while also driving the various technology initiatives like the Infosys Information Platforms. Besides, it is also attempting to bring out innovative ideas in its various projects that go beyond the normal parameters of quality, delivery and execution.