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`IT industry must focus on quality, quick delivery of solutions'

Our Bureau

Mangalore , Jan. 29

IT was an overall assessment of IT industry, its capability, strengths, and weaknesses at the Corporation Bank Endowment lecture on "IT and Indian industries" at the National Institute of Technology, Karnataka at Surathkal on Wednesday.

Speaking on the topic, Dr C.R. Muthukrishnan, Professor, Information and Software Engineering, Department of Computer Science and Engineering, IIT, Madras dwelt on every aspect of the IT industry ranging from Y2K problem, Internet as a growth driver, and the dotcom burst of 2001.

Referring to the current situation, he said that Indian companies want to deploy IT to cut costs, improve security, and integrate existing applications effectively to roll out new services to become competitive.

"The honeymoon to embrace technology religiously as a panacea is fading," he said, adding that technology investments are more thoroughly scrutinised as other investments.

Though CEOs are still interested in technology, they are also paying attention to CFOs and CIOs, Dr Muthukrishnan said.

Forced to do more with less, Linux and open source software applications are gaining prominence and growing.

These trends imply that IT industry has to live with lower profit margins and that commanding a premium will require world-class quality and faster cycle time to delivery of solutions.

Giving the example of Amazon.com, he said that an information-based economy driven by IT is largely dependent on goods and services, which are densely industrial.

Though IT-enabled services (ITES) such as BPO and call centres have emerged as the new domain of business in the world, they seem to be reaching the point of saturation in the US. However, the market for ITES is opening in Europe and Japan.

Stating that ITES forms an important segment of software export market, he said that it remains to be seen whether India will capture a significant share of this global demand.

Indian companies might face competition from foreign companies operating from India.

Referring to the emergence of companies engaged in cutting-edge technology areas such as optical networks, VLSI and ASIC design, and mobile and wireless technology, he said: "This is not surprising as Indian talent is noted for being world-class in research and development areas."

The Director of NITK, Prof S.S. Murthy, presided over the function. The General Manager of Corporation Bank, Mr M.D. Mallya, and the Deputy General Manager, Mr B.R. Bhat, were present on the occasion.

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