With covid-19 disrupting the usual way of working, global information technology service provider Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) shifted its workforce to more a more agile and remote model of operations, which it calls Secure borderless workspaces (SWBS), said Tata Sons chairman N Chandrasekaran
Chandrasekaran was addressing TCS shareholders at the first ever virtual annual general meeting organised by a listed company. The AGM, the company's 25th, which is usually characterized by the banter between management and over 500 shareholders, moved out of the familiar settings of the Birla Matoshree auditorium in Mumbai to the National Securities Depositories Limited’s (NSDL) online platform. A total of 27 shareholders out of 1283 attendees presented their views.
SWBS has helped the organisation tide through the difficult times and will help to engage with customers in the future, said Chandrasekaran.
TCS believes that with the new operating model, it will be in a better shape to tap opportunities as companies seek to adapt their businesses to a more digital world following the disruption caused by the pandemic
The emergence of the pandemic has resulted in many sectors adopting digital channels, which were previously backup choices, and have now become primary channels, he said. "This is the transformation we had spoken of five years ago, when we said that the “default is digital". The sharp lift in consumer preferences has now forced enterprises to significantly accelerate their digital transformation initiatives," said Chandrasekaran.
In the post pandemic world, technology will play a larger role in helping companies adapt to the new normal and TCS is poised well to take the lead in partnering customers to recover and rebound on to their growth and transformation journeys, he added.
Since the first leg of lockdown was implemented in the country, TCS has changed its business delivery model rapidly to SWBS and the management stated that till 2025 up to 75% of their global workforce will continue to work from home. Chandrasekaran said that 25% employees on premise is just an estimate and the number may change but they have ensured that all procedures are ready to handle it. SWBS has not just enabled remote access but also calibrated project management framework and security posture so that work can be properly allocated, governed and reported while maintaining stringent security controls, the company said.
“TCS does not see work from home as a temporary measure or stop gap arrangement. We made significant investments for it beyond just device connectivity to rewire and secure processes, data and access. It has not been done for cost reasons as we have long term leases so currently these (SWBS) initiatives involve additional expenses," said Chandrasekaran.
The TCS management said that while the pandemic had come as a stumbling block to the positive momentum the company had at the beginning of the year, the company's strong order book over the past few quarters will help to maintain momentum.
Chandrasekaran added that client discussions and order bookings in the past two months has been “intense".
While shareholder queries and concerns did not change much from other years in terms of employee management and expenses as well as global business performance, the virtual AGM allowed for shareholders from across the country to raise queries with the management. Shareholders have also been increasingly questioning TCS on acquisition plans given the stressed nature of a lot of clients and companies in the current scenario which Chandrasekaran said continues to be analysed by the company