Sometime back, we’d written about how wise men are building their businesses on devotion and said that there is truckloads of money to be made in the religion and spirituality business. How much? $40 billion for starters. Religion-driven IT will generate more than $40 Billion in software and service opportunities by 2017, says Gartner.
Religion is positioned to fuel IT innovation and growth in emerging markets. The dynamic of IT and religion will create a new industry, generating software and service opportunities, says the researcher.
According to Gartner, the convergence of religion and IT will present completely new ways of doing business and unconventional opportunities for IT entrepreneurs and innovators over an extended period of time. Some of the forces that compel IT as an industry to embrace religion are:
- Commercialization of religion
- Rise of emerging markets with high religiosity
- Emergence of new business opportunities around religion
- Convergence of these three themes forming the foundation of “religion-driven IT”
- Role of religion in driving IT — opportunities in major market segments
Asheesh Raina, principal research analyst at Gartner says
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 hajj 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.
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.
Recommended read: From the new new testament: Wise men build their businesses on devotion.