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Information Technology Enabled Services (ITeS)

IT enabled Services (ITeS), also called web enabled services or remote services or Tele-working, covers the entire gamut of operations which exploit information technology for improving efficiency of an organization. These services provide a wide range of career options that include opportunities in call Centre, medical transcription, medical billing and coding, back office operations, revenue claims processing, legal databases, content development, payrolls, logistics management, GIS (Geographical Information System), HR services, web services etc.[1]


Information Technology that enables the business by improving the quality of service is IT enabled services. The most important aspect is the Value addition of IT enabled service. The value addition could be in the form of - Customer relationship management ,improved database, improved look and feel, etc. The outcome of an IT enabled service is in the two forms:

  • Direct Improved Service
  • Indirect Benefits.[2]

Whereas direct benefits can be realized immediately, indirect benefits can accrue over a period of time, and can be harnessed very effectively, if planned well upfront.


Information Technology Enabled Services (ITeS)
source: IT Info


Information Technology Enabled Services (ITeS) Processes and Services[3]
ITeS provide a range of IT-intensive processes and services, which includes business process outsourcing (BPO) and knowledge process outsourcing (KPO), provided from a distant location and delivered over telecom networks. ITeS focus on verticals such as content management, finance and accounts, research and analytics segment. ITeS includes:

  • Customer Interaction services -including call center facilities with adequate telecom infrastructure, trained consultants, access to requisite databases, Internet and other online information infrastructure to provide information and support to customers
  • Back office operations -data entry, data conversion including finance and accounting and HR services.
  • Transcription/Translation services
  • Content development/animation/engineering/design and GIS
  • Other services including remote education, data search, market research, network consultancy and management

The favoured application areas are areas where there is huge amount of data that needs to be processed and utilised for delivering the results, or the data is the outcome of the service. In all cases, without use օf IT the task would otherwise be unmanageable. Some of the most important areas where IT enabled services can be deployed are:

  • Telemarketing
  • Helpdesk
  • Customer Support Centres
  • Data Ware House
  • Transcription Centres
  • GIS Mapping for Transport tracking
  • Electronic Distribution.


Opportunities and Challenges of Information Technology Enabled Services (ITES)[4]
The changing economic and business conditions, rapid technological innovation, proliferation of the internet and globalization are creating an increasingly competitive environment. The role of technology has evolved from supporting corporations to transforming them. Global companies are increasingly turning to offshore technology service providers in order to meet their need for high quality and cost competitive technology solutions. As such a company can encounter a wide variety of risks and challenges in their endeavor to create and maintain a seamless, successful, sustainable and scalable business. Some of the challenges faced include:

  • Ability to create and maintain a truly world class proven global delivery model which would allow your organization to provide services to customers on a best shore basis. This would require round the clock execution capabilities across multiple time zones, access to a large pool of highly skilled technology professionals and a knowledge management system to reuse solutions where appropriate
  • Develop and expand a strong, comprehensive, best in class end to end solutions and service offerings in order help your clients gain market differentiation or competitive advantage and thus capture a greater share of your client’s technology budgets
  • Ability to scale when the opportunity arises. This would require constant investment in infrastructure and rapidly recruit, train and deploy new professionals
  • Manage revenue and expenses during economic downturn, enhance your organization’s capacity to withstand pricing pressures, commoditization of services and decreased utilization rates
  • Manage exchange rate volatility and counter party risk in treasury operations
  • Expand your client list across business verticals to reduce over dependency and risk of losing substantial market share
  • Maintain superior and sophisticated project management methodology in line with global quality standards and ensure timely, consistent and accurate execution to achieve highest client satisfaction
  • Ensuring successful integration of inorganic growth opportunities that your organization may undertake from time to time across geographies


12 Factors Which Have Propelled the Growth of the Indian ITES Sector[5]
India is regarded as the back office of the world owing mainly to its IT and ITES industry. The sector in India grew at a Compound Annual Growth rate (CAGR) of 15 per cent over 2010-15, which is 3-4 times higher than the global IT-ITES spend, and is estimated to expand at a CAGR of 9.5 per cent to US$ 300 bn by 2020. India is also the world's largest sourcing destination for the information technology (IT) industry, accounting for approximately 67 per cent of the US$ 124-130 bn market. With the rising influence of online shopping, social media and cloud computing, this trend will only further increase. Some of the most important factors behind India's rise as an IT information technology services giant include -

  • Newly emerging verticals, such as retail, healthcare, utilities, etc.
  • A revival in the demand for IT services from both US and Europe
  • Focused government initiatives leading to an increased adoption of technology and telecom, eventually leading to increased ICT adoption
  • Growth in the number of high-value clients (> $1million)
  • A spurt in the SMAC market (social, mobility, analytics, cloud) to support ITES services
  • Growing R&D expenditure across the globe
  • Rising costs to train new workforce ($1.6 billion in 2016)
  • Plan of the Indian government to lay down a large-scale optical fiber network connecting the whole country
  • Partial privatization of telecommunication
  • Low operating costs as compared to most other developed and developing nations
  • Tax breaks and SOPs offered by the government
  • Development of multiple SEZs in tier-2 cities across the country


Benefits and Threats of ITeS[6]

  • BENEFITS: Increases company’s flexibility: Through Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) which is a part of ITeS the companies will increase their flexibility. Most services provided by ITeS vendors are offered on a feefor-service basis. This helps the company to change their structure of cost from Fixed to Variable cost. A variable cost helps a company to respond to changes very quickly and make the firm more flexible through outsourcing. One more way in which ITeS contributes to a company’s flexibility is that a company focuses on its core competencies, without any burdens from bureaucratic restraints. With this main employees are released from performing non-core operations or administrative processes and can spend more time and energy in building the firm’s main businesses. Another way in which ITeS increases organizational flexibility is by increasing the speed of business processes. Using techniques such as linear programming we can decrease the production time and inventory levels, which can increase effectiveness and controls or decreases cost. Supply chain management (SCM) with the effective use of chain partners and business process outsourcing increases the speed of several business processes. Lastly, flexibility is one of the stages of organizational life cycle. ITeS helped to convert Nortel from a bureaucratic organization to a very reliable competitor. ITeS therefore helps the firms to retain their speed and ability, which they have to otherwise sacrifice in order to become efficient. A company grows at a faster rate as it will be less constrained by large capital expenditures for people or equipment which may take years together to gradually write-off the cost. Though the above-mentioned arguments are in favor of ITeS and increases the flexibility of organizations, management needs to be very careful with the implementation of it. The company has to look into the challenges before it decides to engage in business process outsourcing. Another issue is that in many cases there is less scope to differentiate BPO from other with size. They provide same services, have same geographic footprints, same technology stacks, and have same Quality Improvement approaches.
  • THREATS: Risk is the major threat with ITeS. Outsourcing an Information system, can cause security risks both from part of communication and from privacy. The Security of North American or European company data is very difficult when accessed or controlled in the Sub-Continent. From the perspective of knowledge, a change in attitude in employees, underestimation of present costs and the major risk of losing independence, outsourcing leads to a different relationship between organizations. Risks and threats of outsourcing can be managed, to achieve any benefits. If we are able to manage outsourcing in a structured way, maximizing positive outcome, minimizing risks and avoiding any threats, a Business Continuity Management (BCM) model arises.


See Also

IT Sourcing (Information Technology Sourcing)
Outsourcing
Business Process Outsourcing (BPO)
Supply chain management (SCM)
Business Continuity Management (BCM)
IT Strategy (Information Technology Strategy)
IT Governance
E-Business
Enterprise Architecture
IT Operations (Information Technology Operations)
Chief Information Officer (CIO)


References

  1. What is Information Technology Enabled Services (ITeS)? Directorate of Industries
  2. Intro to Information Technology Enabled Services (ITES) IT Info
  3. Information Technology Enabled Services (ITeS) Processes and Services Connect
  4. Opportunities and Challenges of Information Technology Enabled Services (ITES) RSM
  5. 12 Factors Which Have Propelled the Growth of the Indian ITES Sector [1]
  6. Benefits and Threats of ITeS omicsonline.org


Further Reading

  • The Global Opportunity in IT-Based Services: Assessing and Enhancing Country Competitiveness Randeep Sudan, Seth Ayers et al.
  • Information Technology Enabled Services in Promoting Services Marketing Archna G
  • Information Technology Enabled Services (ITES) Sector Industries Might be Cut Down to Size, but Globalization Will Continue: An IISD Commentary IISD