Software for creating the Intelligent Enterprise is an emerging area. There is an opportunity for Indian companies to create Enterprise Application. We need to create factories which can construct this new class of software:
- Begin by identifying verticals in the e-business space which are likely to have a USD 1 billion plus market in 3 years. Also, create a process for development and marketing which can be leveraged from one vertical to another.
- Put together teams of engineers in each vertical to create these products: the 80-20 rule (80% of the functionality at 20% or less of the cost in resources, people and time).
- Leverage new technology like Java, XML to speed up development: many of the current applications have been written with legacy and may not be the most efficient from a software point of view. Companies should also use a common core software platform which goes across multiple verticals for speedy development – like databases, messaging, etc. XML should be used for enabling exchange of information allowing us to integrate with other applications, like pieces of a jigsaw puzzle.
- Build a marketing keiretsu internationally. A company selling one single vertical application may find it hard to build scale from India. What is needed is to aggregate the entire set of applications in one suite to give scale and clout in marketing. This is what Microsoft did with its Office suite, and what Infospace did with content and merchants.
- Leverage India’s service capabilities: Most applications require ongoing maintenance and management, and this is where India’s strength is services can be used to our advantage.
To become the software fab for enterprise applications and services, we can imagine how Japan began in the 1950s or for that what how Taiwan would have started. We may begin as “functionality replicators” but over time we must aim to be the leaders in innovation.
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