IT services provider Wipro has announced a major investment in generative AI, including an estimated $1bn spend on the technology over the next three years. The consultancy will focus on boosting AI in cloud services and training its 250,000-strong workforce over the next 12 months. It becomes the latest India-based ITSP to go all in on automation, following an announcement from rival TCS that will train 25,000 employees on the use of Microsoft Azure AI tech.
Wipro says it will focus on big data, expanding enterprise use of generative AI, analytics and building a new research and development platform. It has also launched a new AI-first innovation ecosystem called Wipro ai360, which will be used to train its workforce.
The rollout of AI to the enterprise and wider IT sector has been trickling along but adoption ramped up after the release of ChatGPT by OpenAI in November last year. This led to companies like Microsoft, Google and Salesforce going all in on their generative AI plans, rolling out new products, services and certifications for IT professionals.
It has also led to those same IT professionals, and the companies providing IT services, scrabbling to find ways to meet the growing demand for AI solutions from the enterprise sector. Vantage Market Research predicts annual growth of 34% for the enterprise AI market by 2030, growing from a global revenue of $14.7bn in 2022 to $153bn by the end of the decade.
“Artificial Intelligence is a fast-moving field,” said Thierry Delaporte, Wipro CEO. “Especially with the emergence of generative AI, we expect a fundamental shift up ahead, for all industries. New business models, new ways of working, and new challenges, too.”
One of the features of the ai360 platform will be to ensure responsible AI is at the heart of operations, ensuring the talent pool is empowered to utilise the technology in a safe and ethical way for clients. Delaporte says generative AI is creating new business models, new ways of working and new issues. “This is exactly why Wipro’s ai360 ecosystem places responsible AI operations at the heart of all our AI work,” he says. “It’s meant to empower our talent pool and be ubiquitous across all our operations and processes, as well as our solutioning for clients.”
India’s IT trade body nasscom has published a series of guidelines on the responsible use and development of generative AI. They include a need for developers building AI models to demonstrate reasonable caution and foresight through evaluating potential harms. They also suggest a need for transparency and reliability, as well as accountability for errors and risk.
TCS bets on Microsoft Azure
Wipro isn’t the only Indian ITSP jumping on the AI bandwagon. Last week TCS announced an expanded deal with Microsoft to train its workforce on the tech giant’s Azure AI platform, powered by models built by OpenAI including GPT-4. The company says this will allow it to offer a range of generative AI products for clients.
Tata Consulting Services says it already has 50,000 AI-trained associates and half of those will be trained specifically on the OpenAI products through Azure with full certification. The company has also launched a new Generative AI Enterprise Adoption product that uses its own proprietary transformation framework to bring contextual knowledge and Azure tools to enterprise clients. This, according to TCS will allow companies to launch new business models, grow revenue and enhance productivity.
“Generative AI upends how enterprises can grow revenue, create new innovations, and get more work done — it’s a game-changer that has the potential to do all of this faster, better, and more cost-effectively,” said Siva Ganesan, head of the TCS Microsoft business unit.
KPMG has also announced a multibillion-dollar investment in Microsoft’s approach to AI and the use of Azure, expanding the relationship with the tech giant over a number of business-critical areas such as workforce modernisation efforts. Bill Thomas, Global Chairman and CEO of KPMG International, said the deal will allow them to ensure employees always have the right skills and tools to overcome client challenges.