Software giant IFS to hire 1,000 more in Sri Lanka


Well-known member
  • May 7, 2007

    IFS CEO Mark Moffat - Pic by Lasantha Kumara

    • Vies to double global sales to $ 2 b next year; says SL talent stand to benefit
    • New CEO Mark Moffat commits additional investment; says SL is IFS engine with 2,500 employees at present and responsible R&D, unified support functions, consulting business as well as Cloud operations
    By Nisthar Cassim

    Leading software company IFS is expanding its operations in Sri Lanka with the employee base tipped to top the 3,500 mark this year.

    At present IFS has over 6,000 employees globally of which over 2,500 at present are in Sri Lanka.

    Mark Moffat, was promoted to the role of CEO at IFS in early January from Chief Customer Officer and given its importance picked Sri Lanka as the place to visit as CEO. Moffat’s predecessor Darren Roos was appointed as the Chairman of IFS Board of Directors. IFS develops and delivers cloud enterprise software for companies around the world who manufacture and distribute goods, build and maintain assets, and manage service-focused operations.

    In Sri Lanka, the IFS has its R&D, the unified support functions, the consulting business as well as Cloud operations.

    In fact Moffat describes Sri Lankan operations as IFS’ engine. “It’s very much our second home and in some ways our primary home with IFS being founded in Sri Lanka. It’s all of our capabilities, which is amazing,” said Moffat. “We are very much focused on continuing our investment in Sri Lanka,” he added.

    IFS operates from two sites – Orion City at Colombo 9 and Access Towers 2 in Colombo 2. According to Moffat the company is evaluating options for a third site.

    He said IFS’s global plan is to become a $ 2 billion company by next year. For the calendar year 2023, IFS increased its net revenue by 30% to $ 1.06 billion. Software revenue grew by 33% to $ 933 million. Cloud revenue up 46% as new and existing customers accelerate the move to IFS Cloud, a market leading single cloud platform, allowing customers to access the latest Industrial AI capabilities most critical to our focus industries. IFS said it is consistently recognised internationally as a market leader in field sales management, enterprise asset management, enterprise resource planning, and enterprise service management.

    To realise the $ 2 billion goal, IFS has committed to deliver 20% growth this year and 25% growth in 2025 and also have a customer satisfaction of 80% from 77% at present.

    “A lot of people in Sri Lanka contribute to our customer satisfaction, support maintenance, cloud operation, consulting etc.,” Moffat added. Other goals include tripling the IFS brand awareness and an employee advocacy score averaging 8 out of 10.

    Moffat credits the success of ISF to being focused on its core six industries - manufacturing, service industries, construction and engineering, energy utilities and resources, telecommunications and aerospace and defence.

    IFS also will invest in its partner ecosystem. Last year the IFS partner Ecosystem delivered some equally strong results with a 10% growth YoY in partner contribution to 41%. The impact was seen in IFS’ Net New business as well as in pipeline growth and number of deals closed by partners with North America and Asia Pacific and Japan, Middle East and Africa regions leading across multiple KPIs.

    Moffat said IFS will pursue growth via mergers and acquisitions as well, a strategy which creates opportunities for Sri Lanka as well. In June last year, IFS acquired Poka, the market-leading Quebec, Canada-based provider of a connected worker platform. Moffat said Poka is being supported by the Sri Lankan operation.

    IFS also hopes to expand and invest in its consulting business which Moffat said will bring in new talent into the operation in Sri Lanka.

    Moffat welcomed the return to stability and early signs of growth in Sri Lanka following very challenging 2022 and 2023. Like in Sri Lanka, he expects a return to spending in IT in all major markets of IFS.

    Mofftat said Sri Lanka can and should help companies like IFS to continue expanding. “Sri Lanka can encourage long -term investment via long-term partnerships with investors and collaborations. Whilst not sounding opportunistic, Sri Lanka can lure more investors with long-term incentives. Clearly, it would all benefit us as an organisation and our commitment to the country. Sri Lanka,” the new IFS CEO emphasised.

    North America is IFS’ biggest market growing at over 40%. Second is Europe including the Nordics followed by Asia Pacific and Japan as well as the Middle East.

    In Asia, Moffat said IFS is seeing Chief Information Officers (CIOs) and technology executives being under real challenge to deliver more with less resources. “We are seeing legacy technologies reaching out of life and we are seeing a need for CIOs to deliver better performance, more operational efficiency and examples of how AI can make a real difference,” the IFS CEO said.

    “Every CIO, every CTO is now looking at their technology landscape thinking how do I take advantage of new innovation, new technology and clearly that’s what is important for us to be in the conversation,” Moffat added.

    The new CEO also said partners engage with IFS customers as “they conceive what we bring to customer success, and they develop delivery resources as well.”

    A key part of IFS success is to focus on having a robust recurrent-business. Moffat links it to the fact that “right from the very top of the organisation everyone has formed a list of making sure they’re very hands -on customers. We have an extremely customer-obsessed management and sales team and more importantly being available and listening to customers which really helps us to deliver what customers want and be ahead of the competition. As Chief Executive, I plan to spend over 50% of my time with customers.” Since assuming office Moffat has set himself the target of meeting 100 customers in 100 days.

    IFS’ Artificial Intelligence prowess

    Further investments will be made in IFS’s AI roadmap as well as in more “lighthouse” customers or big recognised multinational companies. “In a market where often customers need to make a choice between best of breed or best of suite, IFS Cloud gives the best of all worlds because it’s a single cloud platform that has composability,” explains Moffat.

    “So our customers can scale up their requirements or scale down their costs. They can take finance first, then move on to projects, asset management, to service management etc.,” he said adding IFS Cloud gives customers a lot of choice and functionality.

    Commenting on AI, Moffat said IFS has AI capability following investment in the past five years. “For example IFS’ Planning, Scheduling and Optimisation (PSO) solution uses AI to provide predictive analytics, scalability to handle scheduling tens of thousands of resources in real time. On average, we find that customers can save 25% of their operating cost by using PSO, which has a well-adopted AI capability,” he added.

    In the AI roadmap, IFS will focus on AI applications across verticals of six core industries it serves. IFS is also building a specific AI capability that can help at the point of need for customers.

    “For example we know intimately what the manufacturing cycle looks like. We are able to say at any particular point be in the project delivery, or during an uptime of an asset or in the manufacturing assembly line, how AI capability can help,” Moffat said.

    Whilst AI is evolving at a rapid pace and benefits are far reaching, IFS is aware that some customers aren’t ready or aware of the benefits whilst skills and capacity issues are another challenge. “If companies are on the path of digital transformation IFS can complement and help them achieve goals.”

    “In IFS we have what is called the ‘success offering’. IFS sits alongside the partner and the customer and makes sure that at every stage from design, building and deployment is being done successfully with the right solutions. We do this also by sharing experiences of customers who were at the same stage of an automation or digital transformation and how they progressed with what we call perpetual ROI (return on investment),” explained Moffat.

    Talent development

    Attrition at IFS is less than 10% and the company is working with several academic institutions on the talent development aspects in addition to continuous investment in internships. Moffat said IFS over the past two decades has remained a great place for a progressive career. Being an employer of choice, IFS has managed to attract excellent talent, which is an integral part of its success locally and globally.

    In January IFS became a Patron of the world-renowned MIT Centre for Information Systems Research (CISR). Being invited to become a patron of this prestigious organisation reflects IFS’s growth and technology industry leadership and reinforces the company’s commitment to maximising value from digital transformation and data.

    IFS will work with MIT CISR to apply and integrate research with a focus on making advancements in key technology areas – particularly Industrial AI – to research transformational impact in asset-intensive industries: manufacturing, telecommunications, aerospace and defence, energy, utilities and resources, construction and engineering, and service industries.