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TCS doubles down on innovation and talent in Australia

Indian IT service provider TCS has opened an innovation centre in Sydney and is investing in local talent to meet the digital transformation needs of Australian organisations

Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) is doubling down on its innovation chops and investing in local talent to drive its next phase of growth in Australia.

The Indian IT service provider, which has been operating in Australia for three decades, recently opened an innovation centre in Sydney to bring its global capabilities to the local market, joining a network of similar facilities in Riyadh, New York, Pittsburg, Amsterdam and Tokyo.

Vikram Singh, country head of TCS Australia and New Zealand, said that the centre will provide support for organisations that want to innovate at scale, whether it is ramping up their cloud adoption or solving a business problem through technology.

Singh said at the innovation centre, organisations will be able to tap TCS’s global network of academia, startups, and technology providers to develop prototype projects and ascertain their business outcomes without making significant investments.

“People used to think that IT is a cost and capacity play,” Singh told Computer Weekly. “But today, it’s an innovation and transformation play, and governments and enterprises understand they have to take advantage of the capabilities of companies like TCS to drive innovation and transformation in the digital era.”

As one of the world’s largest IT services firms, TCS has been growing in the “double-digit” range, Singh said, noting that the company is seeing a similar growth trajectory in Australia.

Much of its Australia growth is being driven by its customers’ investments in cloud, cyber security, data analytics as well as the move to new enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems such as SAP S/4 Hana.

The company, which has 20,000 associates in Australia, India and the other parts of the region serving Australia and New Zealand customers, operates offices in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth and Canberra. Its major clients include Foxtel and Woolworths.

With Woolworths, TCS worked on several transformation initiatives, such as building a centralised platform to deliver a connected store experience for consumers. It also helped to consolidate and migrate Woolworths’ ERP and supply chain systems to the cloud.

Besides retail, TCS’s footprint in the region extends to financial services, oil and gas, and telecommunications, not just in key Australian population centres but also in Western Australia and Queensland.

In recent years, TCS has also nabbed more deals from Australia’s public sector. “That gives me confidence that we are learning how to operate and be relevant to the public sector,” Singh said.

Like most tech companies in Australia, TCS has been grappling with talent shortages which were exacerbated by border closures at the peak of the Covid-19 pandemic.

“We have managed that by investing in learning and development for our existing workforce, building a local talent pool and investing in graduate training programmes like what we have done in India,” Singh said.

Despite those efforts and a talent retention programme to meet the career and financial aspirations of its employees, TCS’s talent gap remains due to the high adoption of digital technologies in Australia and elsewhere.

“But it’s easier now with the government putting out more open and business friendly policies, by allowing visas and providing training grants for skills development,” Singh said.

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