Is India a significant global level IT player?
There is a prevalent sense of despondency in the Indian IT Sector. Newspaper headlines scream about the layoffs of many people and criticize the sector for being complacent and not keeping up with the times. Press has hyped modern technology areas like Data Science, Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, Internet of Things, Cloud, Digital Transformation, Information Security, Technology Infrastructure Management and High-Performance Computing. No doubt that the discourse in the press is moving in the right direction, but we also need to understand that Indian IT sector entrepreneurs have been practical, smart, tech savvy and capable of seizing the opportunity.
The Indian IT Industry has seen three major setbacks: The Y2K, dot-com bust and 2009 Economic meltdown. From a predominantly on-site model of servicing its clients the industry shifted to majorly offshore; from a T&M billing method to a fixed price model starting in the decade of 2000. India has the largest number of CMM Level 5 companies certified by Carnegie Mellon than in the US itself. Agile, Scrum, Remote Infrastructure Management and Open Systems were being adopted by the Indian organization by mid-2000s. Services like Tech and Solution Architecture is embedded in the psyche of our sector. A decade ago we used to bemoan the quality of sound project management skills in this industry. Most companies started taking solutions to their overseas customers ten years ago thus successfully competing with the Accenture and IBMs of the world for the same assignment. The Indian IT export sector has prided itself on adapting the best practices so that they could compete with the local suppliers of solutions and services in the overseas market.
The gloomy picture that is being presented in the press predicting the end of the Indian IT sector is nowhere near the reality. Even our IT export companies need to believe in this firmly. Experienced Indian Software Engineers are involved in re-educating and re-skilling themselves on the newer technologies which are evident from the fact about the mushrooming of specialized training institutes and enrollments for online learning like Coursera, Edx, etc. Even our leading institutes like IIMs have also jumped into the fray offering distance learning programs in the latest tech areas.
The resilience of the Indian social and corporate system may still not be fully understood by many:
1) Emphasis on education
2) The dream of working abroad
3) Earning well
The business structure supported by the Government is the perfect eco-system for adapting to the new realities and the rules of the global IT commerce. NASSCOM’s 10,000 start-ups, Prime Minister’s special thrust on startups in India, islands of excellence of technology and solutioning in the large and mid-sized companies are helping us take this game to the next level.
The Application Development and Maintenance space (ADM) is not going to ramp down any time soon. As the opportunities in ADM become limited and margin squeeze, Indian companies have already started ramping up Cloud, Digital, Data, Technology and Engineering services. There will be a shift in the quality of manpower required It will bring its own pains; but as an Indian IT sector we are very well poised to take this challenge. Indian IT professionals, who are ready to re-invest in themselves for upgrading their skills need not fear. Let us tell Trump: We are here to stay and have the capacity of competing well with their companies. India as a significant global IT player can’t be wished away.
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