Abhijit Katkar (Deloitte): ‘Technology is redefining operate services’

20 April 2023 Consultancy.in 7 min. read
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Digital innovation is redefining how organizations outsource and partner with external managed services providers. To find out more about the key forces shaping the sector and its future, we spoke with Abhijit Katkar, partner at Deloitte and leader of the firm’s Operate Service practice in India.

What is the role of operate services in expanding and creating solutions for businesses?

Operate services play a crucial role in expanding and creating solutions for businesses. These services comprise a range of activities related to managing the routine set of operations of a business, including production, logistics, customer service, and support.

By providing reliable and efficient operational services, businesses can focus on the core business processes, improve their performance, and enhance their ability to deliver quality products and services to their customers.

Abhijit Katkar, Partner, Deloitte

Operate services can help businesses expand their operations by providing the infrastructure, technology, and expertise on demand as needed without worrying about managing and retaining a workforce.

In addition, operate services can help businesses create solutions by identifying inefficiencies and areas for improvement in their operations utilizing the data gathered while running the operations and provide the industry insights gained while serving other clients.

How do operate services have the potential to transform organizations?

Operate services have the potential to transform organizations in several ways. Overall, they allow organizations to conserve their resources and management bandwidth to focus on customer satisfaction and innovation.

A number of ways in which operate services can help in organizational transformation:

  • Streamline operations by adopting best in class standard processes which leads to improvement in quality, elimination of waste and reduce cycle time
  • Increase quality and customer experience by providing timely and effective assistance to customers
  • Increase organizational agility by having a reliable operate service provider who can bring the technology, infrastructure and required skills on demand
  • Organizations can drive innovation using the operate service provider who can provide access to new technology and business models without committing huge capex by the organization

What are the technology trends that are driving outsourcing decisions in organizations?
In our practice, we see several technology trends that are driving outsourcing decisions, including:

Cloud computing: Cloud computing is a path breaking innovation. It offers access to most powerful computing, storage, and processing power houses without spending in hardware and software. Cloud computing is driving outsourcing decisions as businesses seek to partner with providers who can offer them cloud-based solutions that are secure, reliable, and cost-effective.

Internet of Things (IoT): IoT is driving outsourcing decisions as businesses seek to partner with providers who can help them to drive innovation in operations or customer experience and thereby bringing differentiation in the market.

Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning: Automation and Artificial Intelligence technologies are driving outsourcing decisions as businesses seek to partner with providers who have the expertise and resources to implement and manage emerging technology solutions, reduce experimentation time, and launch innovative products in the market ahead of competition.

Cybersecurity: Cybersecurity has become a top priority for businesses in digital age. With the increasing frequency and sophistication of cyber attacks, businesses are seeking to partner with providers who can offer them robust cybersecurity solutions that can protect their data, networks, and systems and offer resiliency in the case of any event.

Overall, these technology trends are driving outsourcing decisions in organizations as businesses seek to partner with providers who can offer them the expertise, resources, and solutions required to stay competitive and thrive.

How are growing compliance and regulatory concerns motivating organizations to hire third-party professional service providers?

With ever-changing laws and regulations (regulations being introduced at frequency which is unmanageable to keep track), regulatory compliance is becoming increasingly complex and stringent. The use of technology and data analytics by the regulatory for vigilance isalso adding to the problem.

This is becoming a common challenge for several organizations that are operating in multiple geographies and diverse business activities. Therefore, hiring a professional service provider who specialises in these services, understands these requirements, and has robust processes to keep track and comply with these requirements can help organizations to deal with this issue.

How do you envisage the future of operate services, and how do you see the industry evolving in the next 5-10 years?

The future of operate services will be characterized by evolution in the technology, particularly cloud and artificial intelligence. Technology will enable complex and heterogeneous data processing and proactive problem solving. Organizations will have the ability to collect wide array of data through IoT devices and use complex data models to integrate the internal and external data.

Meanwhile, the availability of real time data will open possibilities of mimicking human decision making and automate not only routine but also unstructured business processes.

Some of the key trends that are picking up and will continue to drive operate services are:

  • Increased adoption of cloud and cloud-based services
  • Emphasis on cybersecurity and data protection
  • Increased use of emerging tech for data collection and automation of processes
  • Real time decision making through use of analytics and artificial intelligence
  • Emphasis on sustainability and reducing waste
  • Expansion of digital ecosystem

Overall, the future of operate services looks very promising with technology playing a pivotal role in driving innovation and transforming organizations.