Religion-driven IT to create $40bn market

Gartner says services like equity trading, Islamic banking and Dharma Global Index require new applications and heavy software customization, thus creating a role for religion domain experts.

Religion-driven IT to create $40bn market

Mumbai : On the back of growth in emerging markets, religion-driven IT will generate more than $40 billion in software and service opportunities by 2017, research firm Gartner said.

It added that commercial activities related to religions, like banking, rise of emerging markets with high religiosity and emergence of new business opportunities around religion are the three themes whose convergence form the foundation of religion-driven IT.

“Religion has a great influence on high-growth regions such as Latin America, Africa, the Arab world and South Asia, thus compelling new entrants and incumbent IT providers to seek new opportunities with religious entities,” Gartner principal research analyst Asheesh Raina said in a statement.

He added that religion-based banking, equity trading, mutual funds, financial services and so forth (including Islamic banking, takaful insurance and the Dharma Global Index) require new applications, products and heavy software customization, thus creating a role for religion domain experts. “The number of people visiting religious places (such as temples and shrines during Haj and other religious pilgrimages/tours) is growing and hence increasing the need for religious bodies to attain automation through IT to provide safe, secure and faster religious services.”

Gartner said the dynamic of IT and religion will create a new industry, generating software and service opportunities.

Gartner said the high religiosity index in emerging markets, IT becoming mainstream, and increased spend on religion due to economic development will all lead to a gradual shift toward religion-driven IT.

In the next five years, the list of emerging markets will include Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Poland, Turkey and Argentina (all with high religiosity), and IT providers’ successful execution of this model within the current set of emerging markets is key for a sustainable presence, Gartner said.

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