It is time for Indian companies to make sustained investment in research and development to develop intellectual capital in the slowdown period to lead the world in the future, says KB Chandrasekhar, CEO and Founder of US-based Jamcracker Inc. He was speaking on the impact of the US downturn on technology companies at Tidel Park organized by The Indus Entrepreneurs- Chennai chapter.Â
The slowdown marks a paradigm shift in enterprise's focus from 'owning assets' to allowing 'privileged access' to assets. One of the key trends that are emerging is that of Information Technology as a service model, and that is growing. It is expected to grow from $26 billion in 2001 to $102 billion in 2002.Â
"There is huge opportunity in Web services as it provides consumers the unparalleled flexibility of combining applications as and how they need it. It mitigates the risk for the consumers by offloading capital costs and also allows current systems to co-exist with Web-based applications. That is why Microsoft is pumping billions into its .Net strategy and IBM is betting on the idea of Web services. And India is a prime candidate to be the end-point integrator for the consumers," says
IT Enabled Services such as Customer Relation Management and Business Process Oriented services also hold immense opportunities for Indian companies. Within a networked economy, remote delivery of services will be feasible and accepted. But India needs to improve the connectivity and investment is happening there already, he said. IT influenced services such as Bioinformatics will also open up new vistas for India.
According to him, the slowdown resulted as a combination of many factors such as eight years of economic expansion, excess capacity due to cheap capital, high investment in hi-tech and slower PC industry upgrades. The downturn resulted in cuts in discretionary expenses, no hiring and lay-off and enterprises delayed replacing legacy systems. It is expected that enterprises would go for cost-saving measures such as e-procurement and hosted software solutions such as e-market places rather than in-house solutions.