In the past two-and-a-half weeks, we covered six themes for the future:
Information Technology and the Internet: Technology is central to business and our lives today, and will become even more so in the years to come. Wireless, Broadband and Devices will make technology and the Internet pervasive in our lives.
Low-cost Computing and Communications: Tomorrow’s technologies have to come at a lower cost for mass market usage, and to make a difference to people’s lives. Internet penetration in the world today is at about 5%. To make this increase 10x in the next few years, we need a mix of cheaper computing and communication platforms.
Business Process Re-engineering: As the Internet drives to the core of enterprises, business processes have to be redesigned not just within companies and between companies. Information can now be available across the value-chain in real-time. The falling cost of interaction between companies enables them to focus on what they do best and outsource the rest.
Software as a Utility: The technology revolution has software at its heart. Reliable, high-speed connectivity is converting software from a “parts-and-labour” business wherein it is deployed within enterprises and customized to being offered in the Internet cloud. Web services will aggregate the best offerings relevant to the enterprise and bundle it together for use on a standardised-basis and fixed-price model, offering small and medium enterprises (SMEs) the ability to also use what their bigger counterparts do.
Services Shift: Customers are what an enterprise serves. They want “whole products” which extends to service beyond the product purchase. Thus, a washing machine product now becomes a “clean clothes” service. The Internet offers companies the ability to build closer, one-to-one relationships with customers, and think not just of immediate gain, but of the lifetime value of their customers.
Emerging Markets Opportunities: Countries like China, India, Mexico, Brazil and Russia offer opportunities as the Internet integrates them more closely into the world economy. The emerging markets are where two-thirds of the world is. In the next decade, the language known to the most Internet users will not be English but Chinese. Creating products and services for these markets offers great growth opportunities.
So, how can these themes be put together, and where do the opportunities of tomorrow lie, as we look at the world from our vantage point in India?