TECH TALK: A New Mass Market (Part 4)

The first of the new WWW elements mentioned by Kevin Werbach comes in: Web Services is what can be used to build the next generation software. The thick server in the enterprise needs to run all the software. Software for the thick server has to be architected using the standards of XML, SOAP, WSDL and UDDI. Make the software as Lego blocks which can be combined together from different vendors and even across the network. Instead of developing monoliths, developers can do what they are good at, based on their domain knowledge Web Services, for the first time, fulfills the vision of interchangeable software components.

From the enterprise point of view, this means that if there is a better accounting component, it should be possible to replace it. Think of it like going to a restaurant. For Rs 250, you get a full complement of food (basic enterprise applications). But, it is possible to replace the roti with a naan or order the chefs special for a small incremental charge for those who want to do so.

Software developers in India should start putting together the building blocks based on the Web Services standards. Do what one is good at, publish the interfaces, so others can leverage them. This is akin to what Google has done by publishing its API so that developers can write applications to leverage its huge database of documents.

Think of the East Asian economies and their manufacturing prowess. India can become the software factory to the world. The opportunity here is to not just create the components which can be branded by others, but as some companies in China like Huawei are doing, to actually go out and build their own brands.

A similar revolution can be enabled in Communications using the second of the W elements WiFi. The 2.4 Ghz and 5.7 Ghz bands can unleash innovation, provided we are willing to let it happen. The government in India needs to allow the use of these open spectrum bands without restrictions. This will spur their use for the creation of public community wireless networks. India did a similar thing a decade ago with the cable industry. By not regulating it substantially, we have now created a base of nearly a hundred television channels and over 30 million cable households. In just a decade, TV has had a huge impact on the society and the economy. Our evenings are no longer the same (and for many of us, neither are our lifestyles!).

Parts 1, 2, 3 | Part 5 will be published tomorrow.

Published by

Rajesh Jain

An Entrepreneur based in Mumbai, India.