Last evening I was reading the new book by Ram Charan and some phrases/passages in the book got me thinking about the IT Services industry more specifically the Indian IT Services Industry.
Today I read this post by Stephen Lane at the Infosys Think Flat blog which was for lack of better word defending India's top position in the global sourcing pecking order. And was an effort to counter some of the recent predictions that India as a location is losing its charm.
Well Infosys and other Indian IT Service providers has a lot of to do/say about where India stays on the ranking. And as expected these companies have a lot to loose or gain on that account. Of course the counter to that is that these companies are becoming global/MNC's , but nevertheless their reliance on India and the Indian promise is very high.
In this post I am going to highlight couple of themes of thoughts on the above topic:
1. What Value do "Indian IT services companies" deliver? It might be a stupid question but I think it is worth some amount of thought. One of the problems in the industry currently is that lot of the Indian IT Services companies are still in the business of providing "Technically Sound/Well trained Bodies", I know this is a gross generalization and lots of companies are doing some relatively cool stuff. But when you look at the broad stroke this statement still holds true. Of course it is an advantage that Indian IT Services companies provide technically sound/well trained people at a fraction of the cost. Also since these people are IT people and not technical people working in a manufacturing company they bring additional technical prowess to the table, but lose out on the knowledge of the functional aspects of the businesses. Companies are doing a lot in this space, but its time companies stepped back and evaluated what their value proposition is ? And How best it should be delivered? These should be arrived at looking into the windshield and not in the rear view mirror.
2. Outsourcing / Offshoring industry is undergoing fundamental changes. I don't think there is going to be a raise of another India , And the model that exists currently which is titled geographically is going to change. I think a good vision of the future was captured well by Frank D Souza of CTS "Intellectual Arbitrage" - Which means getting the best minds to work on a given problem no matter which part of the globe they are in.
3. Employees - Can you be independent?, I think its important for the employees of the large IT Services companies to stop getting comfortable and introspect deep and hard. I think they should specifically evaluate their productivity, knowledge growth and skill building and track progress in these 3 areas very closely. Employees or resources should feel / work towards adding value to the project / assignment and should not be just looked at as hands to execute the job, but should have their intellect challenged as well. I remember the quote from "Straight from the gut", They were paying me from my hands, they could have used my brains for free. Employees/Resources should build a level of knowledge technical/functional/process, where they can market themselves as an independent consultant even within the boundaries of large organizations.
I am going to focus a lot more on these 3 topics in the month to come, Would love to hear your views on this topic.