Local opportunity for IMS is lucrative

Establishing an in-house IT team has its pros and cons, but these days the pros outweigh the cons.

So, do you want to have full-time staff on your roles tending to routine tasks like patch management, printing services, deploying and maintaining desktops; managing software updates, service desk, security auditing & enforcement, asset inventory, and such? Or would you instead have a lean team that spends much of its time thinking about, and supporting innovation? The rest of the time could be spent on significant tasks such as planning, monitoring SLAs, compliance and such. By outsourcing the management of routine tasks, one can focus on innovation, transformation, and the core business. That’s what the most successful businesses are doing today.

While companies in the West have for long outsourced the management of its infrastructure to countries like India, this trend is also catching on within India itself; companies based in India are increasingly outsourcing their infrastructure management. Here are a few examples.

Tata AIG outsourced 80 percent of its IT operations to Wipro’s Global Service Management Centre, enabling centralized remote management. This resulted in flexible cost structures by aligning costs of IT operations and management to business requirement.

Back in 2009, Max Healthcare chose Perot Systems (now part of Dell) to manage its various IT operations, including infrastructure management, data center hosting, applications portfolio management, project management office, clinical transformation, and implementation of Electronic Health Records (EHR). As you can see, the outsourced partner would essentially need to have strong domain expertise (healthcare business) to manage Max Healthcare’s operations to this extent.
And organizations like LG Electronics and Maruti Suzuki have accepted the fact that managing IT infrastructure should not be their core focus. LG Electronics outsources 90 percent of its IT operations. It has a Group company that manages the applications; its infrastructure management is outsourced to various partners. Even its in-house data center is managed by partners. So while the infrastructure is owned by these companies, the operations are managed by partners.

The market for Infrastructure Management Services (IMS) in India is poised for growth. According to a  recent survey by Forrester Research, the IT Managed Services market in India is expected to reach USD 3.8 billion by 2013, growing at a CAGR of 23 percent. And Nasscom has projected this opportunity to be USD 13 – 15 billion by 2013. So while India has proven global expertise in managing infrastructure, the local opportunity is also lucrative.

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The writer has been tracking consumer and enterprise technologies for the past 18 years.

SMAC is the new buzzword

The tech community and tech savvy business users are now talking about the latest buzzword, abbreviated SMAC (Social, Mobility, Analytics and Cloud). Here is a lowdown on SMAC and how it is impacting business today.

Business models are changing and the pace of decision making has increased. Executives across the ranks need instant access to the latest and most relevant business information. And they need to have this information on their personal devices. Remember how push email revolutionized business communications? Well, the same thing is now happening for business data.

Ten years ago, all business information resided on-premise, in a centralized database and accessed using enterprise applications through a client server model. Employees had to use desktop computers to log in to an ERP, CRM or SCM system. Before that, they had to go through a training process to familiarize themselves with complicated interfaces, processes and workflows (remember all those SAP training sessions?)

Today, the dull battleship grey interfaces in ERP are making way for colorful interfaces with data visualization tools. ISVs are building customized, industry-specific templates, layered on top of those dull ERP interfaces. This improves the user experience, and enables executives to quickly access the latest business information. With analytics capabilities integrated, one can access the most relevant and updated business information — to make spot decisions. Using social or collaborative tools on the cloud, groups of users can review this information and collaborate on those decisions. And since this information is also accessible on mobile devices, one need not be in the office (or behind a desktop) to access it. This combination of Social, Mobility, Analytics and Cloud technologies (abbreviated SMAC) is what businesses are adopting today, for the cutting edge.

Just look at how SAP, Oracle, Microsoft, IBM and others are spending billions of dollars, acquiring companies or developing applications to address the demand for SMAC.

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The writer has been tracking consumer and enterprise technologies for the past 18 years.