Skip to main content
Skip to footer
We're taking you to another TCS website now.

 

Tapping into Contextual Knowledge 

 

TCS’ journey into building an intellectual reservoir of 17,000 contextual masters

In a world where every company is a software company, technology is no longer the sole differentiator: context is. When technology is applied in a specific context, distilling business, domain, technological and enterprise insights, we create meaningful and effective transformations.

With a workforce the size of a small country, Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) has the potential and ability to harness the collective power of the hive mind to support our clients in their growth and transformation journeys. This is made possible through the power of contextual knowledge.

Setting the Context for Change

During the computing era, technology was initially deployed to reduce costs and improve productivity. To succeed, businesses only needed a good understanding of the possibilities of different technologies. But with the rise of digital technologies and the widespread use of ‘as-a-service’ models, everything from processing power and access, to storage and costs was available on tap.

In order to transform themselves, companies now needed to harness the power of technology to transform their business processes – even their business models. This called for a much deeper domain and enterprise understanding than previously needed.

TCS transformed itself to respond to these needs of its customers, building on strong technology capabilities and deep domain understanding to acquire incisive insights on the context within an enterprise. This was how our journey towards contextual mastery started.

Picture
 

The Advantages of Contextual Mastery

What is contextual mastery, and how did thousands of TCS associates amass this knowledge?

The story goes back a decade, when TCS began reshaping its business into verticals. This strategic shift gave our associates the opportunity to take deep dives into the business context of their clients over long periods of time. Think of a doctor’s journey from being a generalist to a specialist, but for the software industry.   

This verticalization journey brought in the depth and experience that associates needed to gain expertise into their clients’ contexts. Over time, through interactions with the larger industry ecosystem (within and outside TCS), our associates built rich perspectives about the IT landscapes, customers, internal culture, challenges and aspirations of our clients. This also helped clients gain context into technological or industry trends.

Within TCS, an ecosystem of such associates – called Contextual Masters™ – built up over the years, creating a pool of knowledge that any of them could tap into for the growth of their clients. This collective depth of knowledge was further facilitated through interactions, engagement and peer learning.

The outcome is exemplified by the strong suite of intellectual property created by TCS’ Contextual Masters, and the over 700 patents held by this community. Their insights have also empowered TCS to deliver transformational thought leadership in the industry.

Today, more than 17,000 such associates have been identified, and stories of their impact on client organizations shared across internal platforms. TCS CEO and MD Rajesh Gopinathan noted: “The contextual knowledge we have acquired over the years working with them [TCS clients] acts as [a] bridge of continuity and brings permanence of value.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

"FOR AN ORGANIZATION, ITS CONTEXT IS MADE UP OF SPECIFICS OF ITS HISTORY, GEOGRAPHY, PROCESSES, SYSTEMS, CULTURE AND PEOPLE. IN ORDER TO MAKE NEW IDEAS OR NEW TECHNOLOGY WORK, CYCLE AFTER CYCLE, IN SUCH COMPLEX ENVIRONMENTS, A DEEP CONTEXTUAL KNOWLEDGE OF THE ENTERPRISE IS CRUCIAL", - RAJESH GOPINATHAN, CEO AND MD, TCS 

 

Picture
 

Building Insights across TCS

The benefits of contextual knowledge and mastery are not limited to TCS’ clients alone. As associates accumulate contextual knowledge while moving up the ladder in the organization, they build valuable client relationships and draw respect from client teams. Associates are also able to achieve their aspirations without restrictions.

In the traditional context of organizations, employees would hit a wall in terms of learning after a few years at their jobs. But since contextual knowledge is not locked to roles, it gives associates a chance to keep learning and become true consultants to their clients. It is also democratized, which is why anyone can aspire to contextual mastery. 

Continuing on the Path to Success

Over time, the powerful outcomes that have emerged from the experiences of TCS’ Contextual Masters have become apparent in different ways. Often, client CEOs conducting floor walks at TCS have used the opportunity to hail the efforts of our Contextual Masters. Other client leaders have gone so far as to say that TCS associates know more about their companies than themselves.

This growing community of changemakers continues to drive immense value for us, our clients and the community at large. Their insights and expertise have not just created a strategic positioning for us, but also driven business process transformation for our clients.