They Too Need IT

DQI Bureau
New Update

It's like talking about carrying coal to Newcastle. Surely it needs no

rocket science to realize that India's technology sector, comprising BPO shops

and traditional IT services players, would also be one of the biggest consumers

of IT. Unlike any other vertical, including heavy IT users like banking,

telecom, auto or pharma, usage of IT is the leit motif of the existence of the

technology sector.


While for most other verticals, the difference between a CIO and a CTO would

be confined to only semantics; it is the technology industry that has re-defined

the specific roles of the two in the working of an organization. While the CTO

decides on new technology areas where the company can deliver its services, the

CIO's role is more restricted to deciding on the IT infrastructure required to

run the operations. This is a global model for the technology sector, and,

barring a few countries, is followed everywhere. It, therefore, makes the CTO

more of an external interface to the company's technology paradigm, while the

CIO remains the internal back-room boy. Most Indian IT services companies

broadly follow this model, though it is slightly different for the BPO


Unlike any other vertical, IT is the leit motif of the existence of the technology sector

The BPO industry requires a more stringent IT infrastructure-nothing short

of a five nines uptime could wipe them out of business altogether. In order to

conform to the stringent SLAs the BPO companies sign with their clients, their

CIOs too need to chalk out water-tight deliverables from their vendors. Even in

the case of IT services companies, CIOs deliberate over a stringent set of SLAs

with their local vendors, as most time and material billing models now include

reward and penalty clauses.

For the entire technology sector, more crucially the BPO companies, the

absolute vital usage of IT has been a support to the telecom infrastructure.

With voice-based BPOs still ruling the roost, no one can deny the importance of

software solutions that integrate with the telecom network backbone. A number of

integrated call center solutions are now available-while those from Avaya/Nice/Witness

are still popular; more and more vendors are coming into the fray in larger

numbers. Even applications like workforce management and predictive dialing for

telemarketing are becoming mainstream.

A trend witnessed in this sector, in recent times, has been the emergence of

online employee portals that are closely integrated with the ERP. These portals

normally collate information from all sources into a homogenous MIS but presents

only specific information to permitted users. This architecture, therefore,

helps in development of user specific dashboards for several role players.

Another key area has been security-especially the brouhaha caused by lack of

sufficient data privacy laws in India. Enforcement of a holistic security policy

has therefore become de rigueur for virtually every Indian player involved in

this off shoring game. Regulatory compliances have also enhanced their usage of

security and storage technologies-Sarbannes-Oxley Act, the BASEL II

compliance, the HIPAA compliance or the NH7 have ensured that the IT juggernaut

moves on for the Indian technology sector.