Cloud Smart: Cloud will be biggest expense for customers: C Vijayakumar, CEO of HCL
What is HCL Technologies’ area of intervention for the next five years or so?
We consider the cloud to be the most important area of spend for all of our customers and all of our businesses, whether it’s digital foundations, digital business, digital engineering, products and platforms, they’ll benefit from the rise of cloud opportunities. So I think that’s the most important business objective to really exploit all the opportunities around the cloud.
We have an offering called Cloud Smart which provides independent advice around the cloud transformation journey for our clients where they can choose from different hyperscalers and technology solutions. One of the pillars of our intelligent cloud strategy is the ecosystem of partnerships. We have the strongest ecosystem partnerships with AWS, Microsoft Azure, and Google Cloud, as well as hybrid cloud practice with IBM.
How is HCL positioned when it comes to exploiting the opportunities of big tech companies?
We have the largest technology and services vertical, contributing 18% of revenue. This is probably the highest among our peer group. So it’s about serving some of the big tech companies.
You recently said the company isn’t considering large acquisitions and an organic growth strategy, but has announced smaller acquisitions over the past week. What drives this?
Our train of thought is to acquire more vertical and industry-specific capabilities. As in the banking sector, wealth management is a very important area and it has several strong products, like Avaloq, for example, in different geographies. Confinale (acquired for 53 million Swiss francs) is a company with good wealth management advisory capacity. And we already have strong implementation capacity. So we acquired the front piece.
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Has growing global geopolitical uncertainty changed the type of solutions customers seek? Are they looking for more decoupled solutions?
It’s not new, a lot of big companies have always been talking about composable platforms. So composable platforms give you the flexibility to make those changes, demarcations, and segregations based on business needs and create new applications, create new controls, create more security postures. So it’s a good trend for many companies.
And has this demand for composable solutions translated into revenue?
I think last year 50% of the incremental revenue we got was from a digital apps business focused on building composable apps, digital platforms, analytics, data, and so on in (this space).