Vishal Sikka has landed as CEO of Infosys, a few weeks after a tumultuous exit at SAP.
My reaction – beyond the short term calming of jittery investors, Vishal will have his plenty of other opportunities. As I wrote last year in How Infosys lost its sheen the problems run deep.
What Infosys needs is to move application management, its bread and butter business, into the newer multi-tenancy world. SaaS vendors support 50 to 100X more end users per support staff. Upgrades of thousands of customers are done in days not years common in the Infosys world. Given India’s higher wage inflation, the pressure to be more productive is even greater. Amazon is delivering lower data center price points every quarter. Can Vishal push that cloud mindset?
Given his recent HANA focus, I can see Vishal pushing analytics as a focus area for Infosys, He will find a newer set of talent sourcing companies have been exploring. Players like Mu Sigma and BGI have already scaled to thousands of staff in India and China respectively. They are not traditional outsourcers (BGI focuses on genomic analysis) but are showing clients there is a potentially different staffing model – MasterCard is a client of and an investor in Mu Sigma. Even more interesting is Kaggle’s crowdsourced data scientist model. Can Vishal position Infosys as a differentiated analytical player?
Given his software heritage, I can see Vishal take Infosys into more IP enabled revenue or product engineering services. Two Indian companies, HCL and Wipro have traditionally done better in product engineering, and even they have a shrinking market share as companies invest heavily in their own IP enabled products and services (In The New Technology Elite I had profiled such investments in 75 industries) . As an example, most auto companies these days have hundreds if not thousands of software engineers on staff in their product engineering/R&D groups working on infotainment, safety, fuel efficiency and other technology enabled features. Can Vishal reposition Infosys there?
The opportunities Vishal walks into are many. One thing is for sure – Infosys’s presentations at Oracle Open World should improve dramatically. The last few have been pretty uninspiring