Software Industries In India


Software Industry in India.
Introducing Software Industry.
Success Strategy.
Marketing and Development Procedures.

Software Industry in India

The software industry has become the driving force in the IT industry. It is ideally suited to India as it demands highly skilled manpower, it has no undesirable environmental side effects, it has grown rapidly and unlike "capital intensive and low skilled industries", investment in this industry is not easily displaceable.

It was in the 70's that the computer as a productivity tool started proliferating in the Indian industries scene. But it was only by mid 80's that the forecasters, analysts and Indian government policy planners began to understand the potential of the Indian talent in computer software. The realization led to the formulation of the computer software policy in 1986. The economists began to analyze the potential of the Indian software industry. It would they said, be one of the fastest growing sectors of the economy and provide high quality employment for young people. It would earn significant revenue from exports and would be a highly desirable industry, as it required skilled manpower, few raw materials and was not any way damaging to the environment.

Over the past years a number of trends have emerged in the software industry worldwide. On the technical side, the use of
Graphical User Interface (GUI's), the Object Oriented Programming (OOPs) techniques, the Client/Server computing has grown in packaged software and the use of software development methodologies.

The rise of Object Oriented Programming stems from the complexity of old systems. These demand a new approach to be taken to their development process, rather than building one giant block. It is more manageable and more secure to build a series of smaller modules and then link them together. This approach simplifies both the development and maintenance of systems but it demands languages that are suited to this module building concept. Suitable Object Oriented Programming languages such as VC++, Visual Basic, Java etc. have gained widespread acceptance.

computing is a technique in which application is shared between a desktop "client" and one or more network attached "servers". The power of today's desktop computer allow them to be used for corporate information processing, particularly when they are networked together.

For India, with its burgeoning population, software is a silver lining on an economic cloud.
India today has the second-largest English speaking scientific manpower pool in the world and this status is second only to the U.S. For many activities, a large population i
s a negative factor. However, for the software industry, the large population is an advantage. It is this which provides the base for what is considered to be the second largest pool of scientific and technical manpower in the world.

Passengers travelling by many international airlines, including American Airlines, Swissair or Singapore Airlines may not realize it but they have software companies in India to thank for the fact that these aircrafts run anything like on time. Commuters on the London underground similarly need to thank the train service efficiently. Millions of people holding bank accounts in various banks including Citibank, American Express, Deutsche Bank and Hong Kong & Shanghai Bank need to thank many Indian software companies. Software companies from India are no doubt the new stars on the horizon, stars who confer a competitive edge to their partners!


Introducing Software Industry.

Just as coal and steel were the essential ingredients in the Industrial revolution, Information Technology drives the modern economy. It is necessary for every sector: for agriculture, manufacturing, for services. It pervades our lives: microprocessor controlled domestic appliances, telecommunications, air traffic control, computer controlled traffic lights and train reservation, banking and financial services, business administration, education, health care, entertainment etc.

The information Services industry cannot therefore be considered as a separate sector, in isolation from the rest of the economy. It forms a strategically important part of the national infrastructure which is disproportionate to that suggested by the absolute numbers employed. Our Information Services or Information Technology capability is both a measure and also a determinant of our economic health and future prospects.

The software industry has become the driving force in the IT Industry. It is ideally suited to India as it is people intensive, it demands highly skilled young people, it has no undesirable environmental side effects, it is growing rapidly and unlike capital intensive - low skilled industries, investment in this industry is not easily displaced.


Success Strategy

For software companies to be successful, either in the export market or the domestic segment, the four critical factors for success are: Money, Marketing, Management and Manpower.

All developed countries are facing shortage of trained computer manpower. This shortage is becoming acute due to continuous changes in technology and the advent of newer trends in software development such as client/server architecture, object oriented programming etc. This is therefore, an opportunity for India, not only to create the numbers but also quality of people experienced and trained in these technologies.

Most software companies find it extremely difficult to source seed money or venture capital, In the past years, the position has been getting progressively worse. The result is that most companies start off undercapitalized and have to rely on loans or overdraft facilities to provide working capital. This approach forces them to generate revenue in the short term, rather than investing in product development. The day-to-day realities of the companies is dominant by the need to generate cash and the entire development strategy of the companies may be compromised to satisfy the bank's requirements.

The issue of growth in the software industry is worth of much greater study. Certainly, the mismanagement of growth has contributed to the demise of most companies mushroomed since last few years. There are many issues involved but the fact that most managers come from a technological background is significant as is the difficulty of growing and mastering a company beyond its entrepreneurial phase. Both of these are exacerbated by the reluctance of software companies to buy in general management talent and use non-executive directors. It is evident that the software companies are more susceptible to stagnation and at an earlier stage than companies in other industries. This may be due to a gradual decrease of dynamic qualities, loss of competitive edge, inability to adapt new technologies, losing technical competence due to a promotion into managerial position etc.

Marketing is the most critical issue for the development of the Indian software industry. The size of the Indian software export industry is very small compared to the world market. To emerge as a major player in the world software market, there has to be a significant expenditure on marketing. Changes need to be made both within individual companies and within the support infrastructure. Global trends indicate that the cost of marketing a product can be much higher than the cost of developing the technology. The cost of initial product launch, service support, preparation of user manuals, training on software etc could be as much as three to five times the cost of developing the product itself.


Marketing and Development Procedures.

Marketing Procedures: Collection of users data, Contact suspected users, Analyze suspected users data, make a prospect list, finalize work order, Lead work orders to the development team.

Development life cycle: Project management, configuration management, data collection.

Development Process:
Requirement analysis, Specification analysis, System & software design, Implement and testing, Operation and maintenance.

Requirement phase:
A through study of the user is needed in order to confirm that the proposed development of a software entirely meets the user requirements. No coding, drafting or designing exists at the initial stage. When an user must be treated like a king, in a way users helps developers to understand the requirements perfectly. Then make sure that the user requirements are properly understood, analyzed and documented during software requirement specification (SRS) phase. An experienced person must accompany the development team to share his judgmental views. If requirement specification is not properly understood, documented incorrectly or inadequately, crucial requirements may get omitted during the analysis process, it might cause defects in the requirement analysis test that might cause frustration during development process or after the software has been delivered. As a result such
misunderstandings must increase the production cost, wastage, bad will etc. A standard format must be prepared to understand the software requirement specification phase.


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