Indian IT Service & Innovation

Over past two decades several of Indian IT companies had a good rise in their fortunes.  They inched closer to Big 5 consulting companies.  All these happened because of several factors

  • Low cost alternative
  • Global presence in several countries
  • Offering 24×7 services
  • Better and bigger talent pool

While all these helped Indian IT services to grow faster than brick and mortar business anywhere.  Along with this growth came some problems such as

  • Higher salary
  • Lower productivity due to attrition
  • No Innovation
  • No / minimum investment on newer technologies
  • Management focused on cost savings

All the above has caused profits of some of the Companies such as Sonata, Mindtree to drop.  This trend might continue for the other tier 2/3 players if they focus on openration costs as way to survive.

IT service providers need to revisit their strategy, focus on innovation and new technologies as

  • Cloud becoming dominant in SaaS, PaaS and IaaS most the IT services players will feel the pinch.  The SLA’s will be managed by cloud vendors and this might cause loss of revenue in managed services or reworking on cost for IT service providers.
  • Innovation such as iCloud, Google sync will draw customers to look at a new paradigm where Network, System and database administration are more so managed by Cloud players than IT service providers
  • With less investment in newer technologies and more focus on cost savings the management will have staff with no knowledge of latest trends and happenings in the Industry.  This might lead to retrenchment of work force.

Gone or the days where IT services will develop large applications.  Force.com, Amazon and Google Apps have applications which are ready and can be customized to needs.  There are thousands of these applications which can be used as is.  IT service providers bubble is sure to burst if they do not think of innovation, Cloud as path for transformation to their clients.

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Do you know what your CEO wants??

Recession, Downturn has forced several Organizations to rethink there IT spending and make sure Business gets all the help they need.     In my experience I have seen instances where CIO / CTO / Architects / IT Managers

  • Spend majority of implementation time on business process engineering only to realize that the ERP solution which they purchased needs millions of dollars of customizations.
  • Taking years building frameworks or standards which gets out dated everytime its used.
  • Choosing products which are so expensive and which needs consultants to do any implementation
  • Jump on to bleeding edge solutions where there is no need and no expertise.   At one of my clients as part of SOA implementation the team ended up hooking up two systems with all sorts of web services only to realize the two applications are hosted in same data center next to each other.
  • Start building a data center when there is a lack of infrastructure, unix / web administrators

 These mis steps can be avoided if  CIO/CTO & IT managers are tech savvy and look at alternatives are a snapshot of options listed below

  • Make sure there are Open source alternatives for the business issues.  There are already  ERP/CRM, IT service desk systems which  are comparable to product suites.  SugarCRM, Compiere, ofBiz, OpenTaps and IT service desk systems such as OTRS are few
  • Go in for a SAS model instead of building an infrastructure and having teams to manage your IT operations.  For example Google, SalesForce.com, Zoho offer several applications which can help your Organization
  • Buy against build.  Try out products before you start building your own application or system and once again check out on Opensource
  • Start Simple.  Do not go with big bang approaches for your SOA, Content / Portal solutions.  Try with in, use simple integration approaches such as Spring Integration, Mule, Content solutions such as Alfresco, Magnolia, LifeRay are few
  • In House vs Out Source.  Instead of building an application try to out source it, check out what free lancers can provide.  elance is an excellent site for companies 

In short this is what CEO wants from his IT leaders.  The IT leadership which can think out of box and make sure business needs

Strategy – Steps for Future

Strategy is a long term plan to achieve a particular goal — Wikipedia.

Every company needs a Strategy in place to make sure that they survive threats from their competitors, shield themselves from economic crisis.  For example   some US Car makers knew the dependence of their automobiles on oil, they still went on with usual course of manufacturing  huge cars and trucks.  Only to realize that there is no future for their automobiles.    Toyota & Honda were smart enough to explore alternate ways of reducing dependency.   The US car makers either failed to strategize or implement the strategy they had drawn up.  Other example is demise of walkman’s, CD Players.  Only Apple stands out of the rest of the crowd who started these products.  Though Sony started the revolution it did not innovate enough to stand out as a leader.

Every Organization should think on following lines

  • What should we do to make sure we stand ahead of the curve.  In short Where are we going
  • How will we get there and track if the strategy we designed is being implemented.

Listed below are some of the high level steps for developing and implementing a strategy

strategy-steps3

Please follow this post for detailed steps