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IDS Infotech Limited

Providing customized digital and analytical business solutions since 1981

Interview with Imtiaz Ahmed, Technology Head - IDS Infotech Limited

Imtiaz Ahmed Interview on

Imtiaz Ahmed  linkedin

Technology Head, IDS Infotech Limited
Give us a quick overview of IDS Infotech. When and how did you begin this journey and what were your motives to be successful in app development?
IDS Infotech is one of the earliest IT services companies here in the North Region. At IDS, we provide customized software solutions and services using the latest technologies plus tools including RPA, AI/ML, etc. and business process automation services in various business verticals, thus assisting business houses in their digital transformation journey. Surpassing geographical bounds, we have an international presence with offices in the US, UK, and the Netherlands.
As far as my journey at IDS is concerned, it started back in 2013. I relocated to Chandigarh from southern India, and it was a change of epic proportions. The cultural disparity was something that I had to accustom myself to. Having worked in Chennai and Hyderabad previously, I experienced a vast distinctiveness concerning the IT sector. While Hyderabad was the IT hotspot, Chandigarh was still growing. But this contrast turned out to be mutually beneficial for me and IDS as the company gave me the perfect opportunity to incorporate my learning's and experiences from the southern IT world. This enabled me to add value and strengthen the IDS software business unit. Since the very start, we at IDS have always kept a customer-first approach, and it has enabled us to be one of the most preferred app development partners for businesses.

What is your role in the management and development of IDS Infotech?

From the very start, IDS Infotech already had incredible domain expertise. We had a team of professionals brimming with capabilities and ideas.
Channelizing this precious resource in the right direction was the going-forward strategy handed to me by the management.
Today, our primary focus remains on the strategic and operational aspects of the IDS software business. I mentor and coach the team while ensuring that we set our best foot forward at all times. We work together to build an overall effective solution.
Further, since it is imperative to adapt to emerging trends and technology, R&D is essential.
I invest in upgrading our service offerings and developing new products by steering research and development in a direction that aligns with market needs and technology trends.

Tell us about your biggest achievement in the industry.

Over the years, IDS has evolved as a tech-driven brand courtesy of the domain expertise and technology capabilities we hold. A vast majority of companies are either domain or technology-specific and render their expert services in either one of the two areas. IDS on the other contrary offers an amalgamation of both.
We have expertise in Publishing, legal, Healthcare, Environment, Health and Safety (EHS), Engineering, Intellectual Property, and advanced software capabilities. This factor enables us to provide turnkey solutions across industries and assist them in enhancing their AI readiness. Further, we boast a strong retention rate and long-term association with over 90% of our clients, making us a preferred supplier to Fortune 500 companies and AM100 law firms. We believe this is one of our key achievements so far, and we owe it to the expertise of our well-rounded team of veterans from various fields.

How do you schedule the development phases of the apps to promise the timeline to your clients?

IDS has a track record of providing the highest quality app development services within stipulated timelines and is known for inimitable customer support. Our customer-first and transparent client communication approach form the backbone of this image that we have managed to carve for ourselves. An app development process comprises multiple steps involving strategy, analysis, planning, design, development, testing, and delivery. We start with knowing the client's requirements and then advising them on the best suitable solution.
Further, advanced tools and processes like Agile, Kanban, etc., are utilized to ensure timely project delivery and fulfillment of client's expectations. We also set milestones and micro deliverables that are strategically distributed throughout the app development lifecycle.
This methodology enables us to seek client feedback and incorporate that in the app development in real-time.

How do you help your clients in choosing the right yet profitable platform for app development?

The journey to the realization of a successful mobile app starts with strategy and consulting. We invest close to 20% of the total project time in understanding the client requirements and then in analysis, conceptualization, and planning. It is only after this intensive research that we advise suitable platforms. Suggestions and platform options given by the IDS team are always in alignment with market trends.  
The platform choice largely depends upon an app's features. For example, an app for digital payments will usually be native as it requires utmost data security and multiple device permissions. On the other, an app for book reviews will be a hybrid one as it requires simple features.
To conclude, platform choice for mobile app development depends on app features and budget bandwidth.

Which would you suggest for a successful and profitable business progression, Native or hybrid apps? How do you define the factors that influenced you to make this choice?

The choice of an app cannot be generalized as it depends on the project's requirements. Both the categories of apps, native and hybrid, tend to have different specifications and criteria.

If the app has more hardware interfacing and needs more device permissions, then a native app is better suited for the job. Native apps are interactive, intuitive and comparatively more secure. They enable maximum utilization of the device potential and offer a great user experience. The advantages of native apps are aplenty, however, require multiple code bases and fall at the higher cost side.
On the other hand, hybrid apps require shorter timelines and are compatible across multiple platforms. Hybrid apps are suitable for projects where the app needs to be built quickly, or if a single app is to be used across various platforms.

How do you scheme your pricing model? How do you fix your budget?

In our experience so far, we have often experienced that clients themselves aren’t fully clear of the project scope at the time of initial discussions. Providing a bounded quote at such times is hence not mutually benefiting. We, therefore, do not adhere to any strict blueprint for pricing and rather follow a modular proposal methodology.
A quote is furnished only after thorough research. Our team understands client requirements to anticipate their exact needs and budget. The modular proposal that is provided to the client includes micro deliverables and the flexibility to improvise the project scope in between. Our services offer our clients the best ROI, and there exists no room for uncertainty over project completion.
How helpful are the mobile apps developed by your team, for enhancing your clients' business?

Businesses today are transforming rapidly, and having a dedicated mobile app that performs a particular function is essential to augment business operations. The mobile app development sector is witnessing the integration of emerging technologies.
To showcase the scenario, I can elaborate on a few projects we did at IDS.
1. Recently, we developed an AR/VR compatible app for an international retail brand. The app enabled brand’s customers to get a real-time virtual showroom experience while being in the comfort of their homes. The users could virtually visit the brand’s showroom, see the products and shortlist them. Then on visiting they could directly physically see the products at the same location in the store as viewed on the app and buy them. This allowed the brand to augment seamless shopping experience.
2. In another example, we worked with a leading publishing house in the US. The client was facing collaboration issues when it came to new project-related tasks. IDS developed a collaborative app for the client that gave access to authors, editors, and the publishing house.
3. Lastly, I would like to mention one project wherein we developed an IT ticket handling app for the client. The client used to face a lot of inefficiencies while managing IT tickets. With the deployment of our solution, the delay in resolving tickets was reduced to 80%. This was made possible as we incorporated AI into the platform that gave the tool the intelligence to sort IT issues based on criticality and the impact that they will have on the overall performance. Such methodology allowed the IT support staff to prioritize IT issues.

The apps developed by IDS are always focused to cater to client specific needs.

What according to you are the best practices to attain client satisfaction?

The digital era has altered business processes across industries. It has also modified the methods of increasing and retaining customers.

With client handling and interaction being virtual these days, transparency in communication and a seamless customer experience is one of the differentiating factors for client satisfaction.

At IDS, we aim to provide a seamless customer experience throughout any project. It acts as a control system as constant customer feedback is fetched and incorporated throughout the project lifecycle. This maintains regular communication and augments the customer experience. Besides, this also allows us to meet the project scope within stipulated timelines with the highest quality standards.

How do you update your business system to be at pace with technological advancements?
IDS constantly invest in refining the in-house talent pool. There are training programs planned and organized throughout the year. Almost 60% of our workforce undergoes short training programs each year to up skill.
Further, we have a proactive talent acquisition team that works around the year to spot potential and promising talent as we constantly upgrade our capabilities by hiring unmatched talents in emerging technologies. Besides, IDS undertakes multiple strategic partnerships with known industry leaders.

What is your motto for Business Development that has helped IDS Infotech achieve success?

IDS believes that customer satisfaction is not just a part but everything when it comes to success. We assure our customers highest quality services and uncut support.
At IDS, we follow the norm that "work speaks for itself" and spend the bare minimum on marketing and sales. We rather utilize the resources to invest back into our clients.

What are your thoughts about AR, VR, and the Internet of Things (IoT)?
These aren't just technologies but are the definitions of the near future. They have been redefining the conventional processes and are enabling innovations. Technologies like these and the 5G era hold tremendous opportunities for game-changing innovations. We have already witnessed how useful these can be during the pandemic, and even at present, these technologies are facilitating us in redefining our business processes to align with the new normal.  
IoT for example will soon be at the center stage in every industry. Be it digital health, connected cars, or connected workplaces. We are already seeing the trend of connected workplaces taking momentum. The connected worker or smart worker market is itself estimated to grow at a CAGR greater than 20%. Besides the above-listed technologies, Blockchain is another tech that will witness a boom in the coming future especially in legal and financial domains.
In a nutshell, these technologies are to look out for, and we at IDS have preparations in full swing to be ready when it is the right time to tap.

What do you think will be the future of mobile technology?

Mobiles are the new laptops. Be it work-related tasks or leisure, much of it is on the hand computer these days. Flexible screens are already a reality, and innovations like these clubbed with the 5Gconnectivity are bound to augment the space further. Samsung is already dominating the flexible display smartphone market with the Galaxy flip and fold series. Soon, a cell phone, a laptop, and a book will cease to be a single unit. This presents the app development industry with different challenges, especially in the UI aspects.
Mobile technology is hence expected to witness rapid changes in the coming future. IDS anticipated this and has already kick-started extensive R&D in the mobile tech space

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