Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Indian IT Services–Grow or Shrink?

My routine scan of technology related headlines today threw two pieces of reportage that pronounced diametrically opposite end states for the Indian IT Services industry.

imageOne was quoting Narayana Murthy, founder and former chairman of Infosys predicting that the Indian IT industry is poised to touch US $300 billion by 2020.

 

The other was from a leading Forrester analyst, Ellen Daley, who imagepredicted the death of traditional IT outsourcing.

 

While Mr. Murthy support his claim with areas that need to see development and progress like IT moving to 2nd Tier Indian cities, reduction in the friction that policies cause and others, Ms Daley claims that shift in innovation and emergence of cloud computing are delivering a death blow to IT outsourcing.

One, I am inclined to agree with Mr. Murthy given the rate at which Indian IT companies are continuing to make progress.

Two,.I disagree with Ms Daley chiefly because both shifts in innovation and Cloud computing are being embraced by the Indian IT companies. As companies shift gears in innovation, Indian IT companies are responding by

  1. Research and Patent Filing
  2. Opening co-innovation hubs for major R&D players

Even when it comes to cloud adoption, Indian companies are helping carve out new outsource-able business by helping companies assess clouds, migrate apps to clouds, support cloud apps via maintenance teams.

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Sunday, July 17, 2011

Google creating Virtual World akin Second Life?

I was browsing Google Earth. Happened to be hovering over New York. I was reminded of the 3D terrain viewing that was possible through Google Earth. I did so and went around New York's skyscrapers in 3D mode. Man, it was just amazing the way Google has rendered the buildings. It makes you feel as though you are physically present in the City of Sky Scrapers. One advantage though...I can be at Times Square one moment and fly across the landscape through some amazing buildings right over to Liberty island to view the Statue of Liberty in full glory within a span of few seconds.
My mind then raced to see what might be the implications of a 3D rendering of the entire planet. How about Google allowing you the possibility of extending your Google Earth account to create an avatar and roam about this virtual 3D replica of our planet. You can roam across the most inaccessible places of the planet without constraints or inconveniences. No worries about
  1. visas - You can tour US even if you are denied a tourist visa,
  2. hostile governments - North Korea and Cuba are no more mysterious places,
  3. affordability - Holidays in Switzerland can be with all your extended family members,
  4. seasonality - Visit Niagara falls come summer or winter
Google can even allow big and small corporations to advertise in this virtual world. Visitors visiting New York are shown ads on the Times Square digital ad-boards just as in real life. You can travel across the world in real time to witness live events as they happen. Formula 1 racing at Sepang, Malaysia or the Kumbha Mela in India...Nothing is out of reach. The best part. You needn't plan for a trip. No booking of air tickets, No packing, No hotel booking.....Just click and go..... Is Google listening? Second Life people definitely wouldn't like it ...

 

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Sunday, July 10, 2011

India’s 2nd moment of reckoning…

Zinnov, the analyst group, revealed something promising today. They report that the rate at which technology startups are springing up in India is back to pre-recession levels. That translates to about 25-26 startups every quarter.

Currently India has about 2020 startups concentrated in the Bangalore and NCR region, a figure slated to go up by another 150 by year end.

All this augurs well and Zinnov even goes on to mention that these startups could provide the much needed impetus to turn India into an innovation hub.

I personally feel that these start-ups could also define India’s second moment of reckoning after the IT services boom that Indian companies capitalized back in the 1990’s and continue to reap benefits from.

Several factors lend credence to this belief of mine.

1. India is a proven story when it comes to IT services: The likes of TCS, Infosys, Wipro, HCL, Patni, MindTree and hundreds more have proved beyond an iota of doubt the ability of Indian companies to take on multi-geography, multi-year, multi-domain IT deals and execute them to world class standards.india-IT-servicesBe it RTB (Run the Business) and CTB (Change the Business) deals, Indian companies have proved their mettle bagging orders from Fortune 500 customers world over. These companies will be a hot bed of innovation as they embark on scaling the next level of value – Services to Solutions to Software Products. Be it Infosys with their Flypp and Finacle products, TCS with its iON Cloud offering, HCL with its AGORA SaaS platform you can see the transformation these companies have started institutionalizing within them.

2. Reverse Brain Drain: Lot of Indian talent that moved away from the country’s shores in search of better opportunities back in the 70s, 80s and right till the middle of 90s.The World Bank in 2005 estimated that there were 1.04m Indian-born people, educated past secondary school, living in the 30 relatively rich countries of the OECD in 2000. brain-drainThis largely successful diaspora today is yearning to get back to roots given the recession that has hit the OECD countries. Its members are a source of know-how and money, and provide valuable entr√©es into foreign markets and supply chains. Given the changing economic and investment climate back home and the captive market of 1 billion strong Indians to cater to, this reverse brain drain will be the second big hot bed of innovation coming in the form of startups

3. Innovation spurs innovation: A small trickle is how it all starts, but then it does not take long for the trickle to swell into a stream. innovation birthProven innovation will draw more companies to tap Indian talent for innovation. Be it Tata’s Nano, IISc’s Simputer, Chennai based Zoho or ThoughtWorks, Hyderabad based NotionInk, all these startups have proven one common thing. Indigenous talent can if given chance, develop world class innovations. This raises the confidence bar for Global R&D power houses like IBM, Microsoft, Google, Xerox, Samsung, etc to start looking at India as a hub to power their innovation fronts. The R&D labs that these enterprises setup would be 3rd hotbed for innovation.

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