Spices, India and Outsourcing
NILF 2013:What is keeping the new age CIO excited and Awake
When one thinks of India, the aroma of spices is a natural association. Spices are not just about flavorsome food. It's also about the spice route that connected countries for trade in medieval times, often played a major role in the exchange of culture and art among the major civilizations of Europe and Asia. In fact, Vasco da Gama, the famous explorer, connected India with Portugal in 1498 via sea-route, in his search for spices that could preserve meat better! This became a game-changer in many ways as he found the maritime route connecting East with the West and this was to lead to a dramatic surge in commercial activities. This maritime innovation was a great shot in the arm for trade.
Today, we see a Vasco da Gama effect in IT services outsourcing. It all started with the GDM (Global Delivery Model), that digitally connected the West with the East to address the growing shortage of skilled programmers and escalating expenses of IT services. However, subsequent economic challenges, rapid technology changes and growing social unrest led to further innovation. Today, the forerunners in the industry are reinventing themselves. Exploring new sourcing destinations, moving from labor arbitrage cost saving options to business value delivery; shifting from data center operations to platform-based process outsourcing and engaging with the newer generation digitally - they are impacting business favorably.
Destination plays a crucial role in the outsourcing world. Various social, economic, technology and political factors trigger shifts in both "from where" services are offered and "to where" services are delivered. This is forcing outsourcing partners to quickly adapt and embrace near-shoring, global-shoring, captive-shoring or other models that benefit clients. Putting the client at the center of every decision is key. We see this phenomenon extending to user-centric application development through responsive web design, and in focus shifting to the business problems (rather than the technology challenge) and the associated business value in resolving these. In fact, clients are increasingly sourcing for measurable business success and outcome. And IT partners are evolving continuously to align with these expectations. In fact, business platforms do precisely that - deliver pre-agreed business results. Build-buy-rent options of applications are giving way to the assembly-of-components paradigm; the simple form of time and material pricing is shifting to outcome based pricing; IT SLAs are increasingly being replaced by business SLAs; so the race is on - not just to build and run - but modernize and revolutionize!
While IT chases cost savings, business is crying for faster time-to-market, end-users are looking for an "Apple-like" experience and the outsourcer must deliver all this, while delivering maximum value for IT investments.
At one time, the spice route had India at its center. Today it's IT services. And, even today those spices and curries continue to add pleasure to the business luncheon discussions - globally!