Global It Trends and The Indian Scenario for 2015 and Beyond

By April 14, 2016 Technology

Gartner, Inc., the world’s leading information technology research and advisory company, has begun staging the Gartner Symposium/ITxpo 2014 event around the world. The Gartner Symposium/ITxpo is a place where CIOs and senior IT executives meet “to gain insight into how their organizations can use IT to address business challenges and improve operational efficiency.”

A press release from the Gartner Symposium/ITxpo 2014 held in Orlando, Florida USA (October 5-9, 2014), titled Gartner Identifies the Top 10 Strategic Technology Trends for 2015 (published on the Gartner website), outlines the Top 10 Industry Trends which all of us have been keenly awaiting. According to the press release dated October 8, 2014,“Gartner, Inc. today highlighted the top 10 technology trends that will be strategic for most organizations in 2015. Analysts presented their findings during the sold out Gartner Symposium/ITxpo, which is taking place here through Thursday.

Gartner defines a strategic technology trend as one with the potential for significant impact on the organization in the next three years. Factors that denote significant impact include a high potential for disruption to the business, end users or IT, the need for a major investment, or the risk of being late to adopt. These technologies impact the organization’s long-term plans, programs and initiatives.

“We have identified the top 10 technology trends that organizations cannot afford to ignore in their strategic planning processes,” said David Cearley, vice president & Gartner Fellow. “This does not necessarily mean adoption and investment in all of the trends at the same rate, but companies should look to make deliberate decisions about them during the next two years.”

Mr. Cearley said the top trends for 2015 cover three themes: the merging of the real and virtual worlds, the advent of intelligence everywhere, and the technology impact of the digital business shift.

The top 10 strategic technology trends for 2015 are:

  • Computing Everywhere
  • The Internet of Things
  • 3D Printing
  • Advanced, Pervasive and Invisible Analytics
  • Context-Rich Systems
  • Smart Machines
  • Cloud/Client Computing
  • Software-Defined Applications and Infrastructure
  • Web-Scale IT
  • Risk-Based Security and Self-Protection”

The theme for the Gartner Symposium/ITxpo 2014 held in Goa India (October 14-17, 2014) was Driving Digital Business, although the symposium (which was attended by over 900 CIOs and IT leaders) did cover topics such as high-priority IT trends, roles and skills in the digital world, and how IT can demonstrate business value, among others. A press release dated October 15, 2014 and titled Gartner Says India IT Spending To Reach $73.3 Billion in 2015 announces “India To Be The Third Largest IT market In Asia/Pacific by 2016.”

Here are some excerpts from the same press release:

IT spending in India is projected to total $73.3 billion in 2015, a 9.4 percent increase from the $67.1 billion forecast for 2014, according to Gartner, Inc.

“India is forecast to be the third largest IT market within the Asia/Pacific region by the end of 2016 and will further progress to become the second largest market for IT by the end of 2018,” said Peter Sondergaard, senior vice president at Gartner and global head of Research. “Much of the growth from being the number four market in Asia/Pacific to number three is likely to happen in 2015.”

IT services will record the strongest revenue growth at 15.7 percent in 2015; software will grow at 14 percent. Devices will continue to account for the second largest part of the market with 33 percent share of revenue and will grow 12.6 percent in 2015. The telecommunication services segment will account for 39.3 percent of the Indian ICT market and it is set to grow at 4.2 percent revenue growth in 2015

“IT spending in India is on pace to increase 2.9 percent this year, primarily on the back of strong growth within the IT services and software, which will grow 10.5 percent and 9.6 percent,” said Partha Iyengar, distinguished analyst and Gartner India head of research.

“The impact that the digital business economy is having on the IT industry is dramatic. Since 2013 650 million new physical objects have come online. 3D printers became a billion dollar market; 10 percent of automobiles became connected; and the number of Chief Data Officers and Chief Digital Officer positions have doubled. In 2015, all of these things will double again,” said Mr. Sondergaard.

“This year enterprises will spend over $40 billion designing, implementing and operating the Internet of Things,” Mr. Sondergaard said. “Every piece of equipment, anything of value, will have embedded sensors. This means leading asset-intensive enterprises will have over half a million IP addressable objects in 2020.”

These macro-level announcements paint a fabulous picture of the Indian IT sector. To get an on-ground and an insider’s point of view on what’s happening in the Indian IT sector, we connected with Miten Parekh, an accomplished business technology consultant.

Miten Parekh has donned the hat of a CIO for many years, much of it for advertising and marketing-communications businesses. Now he plays a dual role as CTO of Aletheia Technologies (heading the IT Infrastructure Solutions vertical) and as CEO of his own company Klarity TechnoConsult Pvt Ltd, which is into IT Consulting, software applications, Web applications, Mobile Applications, Websites, etc.

YPP Advisors:   Thanks for giving us this interview, Miten. As an IT thought leader, how would you describe your IT philosophy?

Miten Parekh:  My philosophy has always been “Keep it Simple”, and “Horses for courses”. The IT industry is always buzzing with newer technologies, not all of which are necessarily relevant to all businesses. The role of a CIO is to separate the wheat from the chaff, and find the right technology solutions that suit the business. That “IT is an enabler to business” has been said innumerable times, by all and sundry. But, the idea is to live by it, all the time.

YPPA:   Can you tell us something about your work at present with reference to a few major projects you are involved in (or have been involved with recently)?

MP:  I currently am attached to a couple of organisations as their “CIO-on-Hire” or consulting CIO, and along with the management and IT teams there, we have been going about streamlining and rationalising their respective IT infrastructures. Apart from that, Klarity has delivered a few software applications, mobile apps and web apps for customers, in the past year and a half. At Aletheia, we have worked with customers, and delivered various IT Infra solutions over the past couple of years – Data Centre solutions, Servers, Storage, Zero Client Computing Solutions, et al. That apart, Klarity has invested in a software application product called “Tich” – a workflow automation and knowledge management application for the Marketing Communications industry. The first phase of this application is ready for launch, while the second phase is under development. This product is going to be offered on a SaaS model / Pay-per-use basis, hosted on the cloud. There is another software application product in the making as well.

YPPA:  If we were to go back, say, 10 years in the Indian IT industry, what have been some of the major forces which have governed the Indian IT industry since then?

MP:  The past 10 years have seen 2-3 cycles of new technologies – both, in terms of hardware and software. There has been a clear move to mobile computing – smartphones, tablets, phablets, notebooks, netbooks, ultrabooks, with touchscreen interfaces. Mobile Apps, Android and Apple iOS have taken over the end-user’s mindspace. Besides, computing power and data storage is getting bigger and better, and more affordable. The other big development is Cloud Computing, which has been growing in the past few years, and is only going to get bigger over the coming years. Internet connectivity is all pervasive now.

YPPA:   Which IT trends and technologies are currently making waves for corporates and large business houses in India?

MP:  Cloud, Mobile Apps, Web Apps, Open Source Apps on the Application side; Tablets, Phablets and Ultrabooks on user device side; and Server and Desktop Virtualisation on the Server side.

YPPA:   Are Indian corporates / business houses fully aware of current IT trends, technologies and best practices? How easy or difficult is it to strike a balance between what they need to adopt in IT to improve their business performance and their approach to IT at the moment?

MP:  Most Corporate / Business Houses employ CIOs/CTOs now, whose job it is to be aware of what’s going on in the IT world. These people, along with their teams, become the advisors to the business owners. Over the years, the overall quality of the IT think-tank has improved substantially. There are a lot of avenues for them to imbibe knowledge from – peer groups, forums, courses, et al. Also, organisations today are more open to bringing in consultants to advise them on various aspects of their IT. Even business folks are becoming more aware now than before, about IT. All this brings in a more evolved thought process about IT across the organisation, and hence it is becoming easier now to strike a balance, so to say.

YPPA:   In your experience, is there such a thing as an Indian IT culture or philosophy which is prevalent in Indian corporates / business houses? If yes, is it unique in any way? How would you describe it?

MP:  There is, indeed, an “Indian” IT culture which is quite unique. Globally, lifecycles for IT hardware and software are much shorter. But, out here in India, IT folks manage to find ways to reuse and recycle their IT inventories to make them last longer. Indian IT professionals are, by default, very cost conscious, and that is the major difference. When profit margins are getting squeezed, the onus of saving costs falls on cost centre heads, and IT is generally the biggest cost centre in most organisations. This is where the innate cost consciousness comes in handy. For example, Indian IT heads / CIOs have taken to Open Source Software, Cloud Computing, Virtualization, and such cost saving initiatives, a bit better than their counterparts in the West.

YPPA:   India is a hot bed of IT talent. How qualified, trained and suited is India’s IT talent in terms of what Indian corporates / business houses need? Is hiring quality IT talent an issue with Indian corporates / business houses?

MP:  India’s IT talent pool is arguably the best in the world. The quality and depth of IT education in the country is top of the line. Also, since the past few years, the trend of “Do your IIT and get a job in USA” has tapered off. Now, the opportunities and pay-scales on offer in India, are almost on par with anywhere else in the world. Finding the right talent is hardly a problem for companies these days.

YPPA:   As far as Indian IT talent goes, what is your take on the demand and supply situation? Can India meet its IT talent demands, in 2015 and in the next 10 years?

MP:  Oh yes. Easily. If anything, there is a minor worry that the supply might outstrip the demand! What with every third (or even second) student wanting to do an IT course.

YPPA:   What steps are Indian corporates / business houses taking to ensure their IT talent is best suited to the requirements of their company / business needs?

MP:  Like I mentioned above, today’s senior management cadre is far more aware of IT than before. They know what kind of IT professionals are right for their organisation. In fact, hiring to an extent is governed by whether the candidate has adequate exposure to the organisation’s line of business beforehand, apart from the right qualifications. For example, when a Pharma company is looking for an IT professional for themselves, they typically prefer to pick someone who has been in Pharma before. At least, they try to. Today, I know of CIOs who have made a career out of just one business segment or industry over 2-3 decades. I was an example myself, having spent almost 2 decades running IT in Advertising / Marketing Communications. Similarly, I know of a lot of CIOs who have mastered some industry or the other, through their career.

YPPA:   Thanks, Miten, for sharing your thoughts and philosophy on the Indian IT industry with us.

Citation: Miten Parekh is an accomplished business technology consultant, having been a career CIO with over 2 decades behind him. He happens to be one of the seniormost IT professionals from the Marketing Communications industry in India, having strategized, run and managed IT Infrastructures at leading advertising agency groups over 18 plus years.

He is currently CEO of Klarity TechnoConsult Pvt Ltd, which, as the name suggests, is a technology consulting firm that specialises in giving smart and practical advice to SMEs, acting as CIO-on-Hire. Klarity, besides having invested in a cloud based software application for workflow automation and knowledge management for the advertising business, also does project management for a variety of software, web and mobile applications. The name Klarity was born out of Miten’s passion for simplifying technology for lay people, and giving them absolute clarity on what technology can do for their business, using the knowledge acquired over his exemplary career. Knowledge providing Clarity!

Miten also spearheads the IT Infrastructure solutions vertical at Aletheia Technologies Pvt Ltd, in his role as the CTO. Aletheia is a pure play IT firm into Managed IT services, IT Infra solutions and IT staffing solutions. He also looks after strategic alliances with technology vendors and principals.

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