Driving recovery in the UK
Collaboration between business is more important than ever – TCS is building on its 45-year history to support UK recovery
If the COVID-19 pandemic has taught us anything, it's that partnerships and collaboration are vital in keeping businesses up and running. Technology has meant that organisations have been able to stay connected throughout lockdowns and keep workforces functioning. In the UK, this resilience has been supported by tech companies helping businesses through their (sometimes accelerated) digital transformation journeys. These partners will be vital as the UK continues its recovery, builds on its tech infrastructure and tackles the ongoing challenges faced by the sector.
One such partner is global IT services and consulting company TCS, whose 45-year history in the UK makes it a long-standing contributor to the sector. For TCS, a particular area of focus is tackling the digital skills gap by developing a sustainable talent pipeline to bring qualified workers into the tech industry. A 2020 Ofcom survey found that 9% of UK households had children with no access to laptops, desktop PCs or tablets, while the pandemic has widened the divide and disproportionately affected children from disadvantaged backgrounds.
TCS is helping to close this digital divide by investing heavily in the UK and its tech talent. In February it announced a plan to create 1,500 jobs for tech professionals over the next 12 months, following a meeting between UK Secretary of State for International Trade, Liz Truss, and TCS's Mumbai-based CEO Rajesh Gopinathan.
It's estimated that 90% of all jobs will require some form of digital skills within 20 years, so introducing young people to STEM subjects at a younger age will be vital. TCS is looking to extend its reach through a newly-announced headline sponsorship of the London Marathon. For the last five years, TCS has served as technology partner for the event, and in 2022 it will pick up the title sponsorship from Virgin Money.
"The London Marathon was founded on the core belief that the family of mankind can be united. TCS is building innovative and impactful technology solutions to help realize this belief, and inspire people to believe in themselves," said Amit Kapur, Country Head, TCS UK & Ireland. "We are pleased to take on the role of title partner and lead the way in driving the future success of physical and virtual London Marathons."
"We are delighted to welcome TCS as the new title partner of the London Marathon from 2022. This is a landmark day in our history, and we look forward to working with TCS to evolve and grow our digital reach, inspire millions more to become active and develop opportunities to raise even more for charities. TCS has been an integral part of the Marathon for the past five years, delivering the latest technology to enhance the marathon experience for participants and spectators. This new title partnership marks the dawning of a new era in what we can achieve together," commented Hugh Brasher, Event Director of the London Marathon.
Continuing its role as London Marathon's tech partner, TCS will make bridging the digital divide a core focus of the partnership. Through community engagement programmes, TCS will showcase how technology can help power health, wellbeing and create lifelong learners across STEM subjects. With almost every aspect of our lives now intertwined with technology, the partnership aims to leave a long-lasting and positive impact on local communities. This marries with TCS's wider ethos: any work done will not just impact immediate customers but wider society, too.
Working with UK business
TCS's support for long-standing partner Virgin Atlantic is also undergoing an expansion at a critical time for the aviation and travel industry.
At the height of the pandemic in April 2020, monthly air passenger arrivals to the UK fell to 112,300 – a 98.3% drop from the 6.8 million registered in February 2020. The number of arrivals hit 630,000 in January 2021, and with vaccination numbers rising globally the travel industry is making tentative steps to recovery.
A new TCS and Virgin Atlantic partnership will help navigate these challenges with the creation of an integrated team consisting of staff from both companies to run and transform the airline's end-to-end technology operations. Virgin will transfer 70 IT staff members over to TCS to help form the new unit. This enhanced partnership builds on a 17-year relationship between the two organisations, and will see TCS enable Virgin Atlantic to leverage cloud computing service Microsoft Azure through a series of technology and business transformation initiatives.
The pace of digital change shows no sign of slowing down, with organisations striving to use technology to grow and gain a competitive edge. However, ensuring a business's internal stakeholders are fully aligned and know what they want from a digital transformation project is critical. According to an IDC study, 70% of all digital transformation initiatives do not reach their intended goals. Of the $1.3 trillion that was spent on projects in 2018, more than $900 billion went to waste.
TCS is helping to combat this with a new integrated consulting-led framework called TCS Enterprise Navigator. This will support C-suite and executive leaders in getting value from their transformation initiatives and driving business growth. The Navigator service also has a keen eye on how enterprises can take a more holistic approach to modernisation, emphasising wider business value and not just digital capability.
Driving innovation quickly and efficiently is key to helping UK enterprises on the road to recovery. Through partnerships and investments, such as those with London Marathon and Virgin Atlantic, TCS is helping steer UK businesses towards a positive future.
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