As the Indian IT services industry enters 2018, it will see more artificial intelligence (AI)-driven business than ever before, said analysts.
While leaders of the $154-billion software services industry foresee fewer human involvement across projects; industry body Nasscom claims a lot of technology firms have started seeing AIbased decision-making.
Clients of the IT service providers are increasingly using smart technologies such as using a chatbot over phone call to get banking related services giving rise to AI and automation-driven offerings.
This, analysts said, requires more data and machine learning-driven work for technology services providers and lesser human intervention to do low-end work.
Overall value of enterprise automation and AI is expected to reach nearly $10 billion globally in 2018, while spend on AI will be around $1.6 billion, wrote Phil Fersht, chief executive officer, HfS Research, in one of his recent blogs. "Artificial Intelligence, which is already emerging as a billion dollar market for enterprise operations, could almost treble in spend in four years," mentioned Fersht.
IT services companies such as TCSBSE -1.11 %, InfosysBSE 0.04 %, WiproBSE -0.22 %, Cognizant and others have in the past year talked about rationalising their workforce and reducing roles at repetitive works such as software maintenance, testing using AI and automation. They have widely said new roles would be created to do complex works using the domain expertise for people released from varied projects.
AI and automation will result in reduction of overall number of IT services sector employees between 7-10% by 2022 in India and the US, according to the HfS research. India currently has 3.9 million employees.
Fersht goes on to add in another commentary that more mediumskilled and highly-skilled jobs will be added with emergence of AI at time when there will be significant elimination of low-skilled roles across services industry.
By 2022, HfS research says, with higher use of automation and AI, India will see 15% growth in medium-skilled workers in IT-BPM sector-it will have more than one million people at that level, while high-skilled roles will see close to 50% growth by that time.
"AI is being used in lot of the decision making in IT systems and that capability is increasingly being given a lot of value. For example, in healthcare, something like IBM Watson is tremendously useful for even the trained medical practitioners," said R Chandrasekhar, president, Nasscom.
The industry body is confident of its extensive impact.
"It may be a little bit of a hype in terms of how far we have already gone down that road, but I do not think there is any hype in terms of how much impact it is likely to have. It is pretty much there and going to have pervasive and overwhelming impact going forward," added Chandrasekhar.