Virtual Reality In Software Services

Multi-shift BPOs and working from home is a trend, which may soon
be seen in India

interesting question came up at the recent TiE Conference in Delhi where a group
of us addressed the issue of entrepreneurial opportunities and challenges in the
IT Industry. With the trend moving towards home working and usage of high
bandwidth Internet to connect project team members across locations, are there a
whole new set of Human Resource challenges that industry CEOs will have to
contend with?

Addressing the issue,
Hema Ravichandran of Infosys fame very correctly said that the real challenges
of Virtual Delivery Centers would be that managers would have to learn to manage
outcomes rather than processes- how true in a world where managerial
capability itself is suspect and many projects suffer not on account of lack of
talent but lack of ability to get the team to work together towards a common
goal. And while the concept of home working and the usage of multi-location
teams is a great way to overcome the issues of terrible infrastructure and high
investments of building more and fancy software campuses, CEOs and HR chiefs
will have to carefully think through the new management challenges that
distributed work will definitely throw up.

The Virtual Delivery Center
model will definitely become the de facto standard for software
development in the years to come

The potential of the
Virtual Delivery Center model is so great that it will definitely overcome these
hurdles and become the de facto standard for software development in the years
to come. Vijay Saradhi who heads Zensar’s new facility in Hyderabad, which
will showcase our company’s first Virtual Global Development Center talks
excitedly about harnessing the best talent in Kakinada, Vizag, Guntur etc with
people working from small centers connected to a hub in Hyderabad for creating
innovative designs, all of which can be converted to programs at a fully
automated central Java and Dot Net code generation facility. And the true power
of the model will begin to be exploited when technical architects in Estonia,
Costa Rica, Sri Lanka, and Shenzhen provide their skills to the Indian
architecting hubs and clients all over the world are able to use an Internet
screen to feed their business problems to a large faceless developer community
all over the world-a true revolution!

There are many more
innovations coming through in IT and BPO, with the possibilities of KPO in
equity research, legal work, remote management of learning and other higher end
activities having the potential to transform the perception and reality of BPO
from India. And the opportunities for entrepreneurs in each of these areas are
immense. All it needs is a well-chosen niche with a defensible and unique value
proposition that can serve a manifest or latent need of the customer.

The old debate, of
course, continues and was played out again at the TiE panel-will India ever
develop great products or is the services focus adequate? The truth is that even
the success in services-IT and BPO will be sustainable only if new frameworks
and engagement and delivery models are developed to keep the country ahead of
competitors such as China, Vietnam, and many of the Eastern European, and Latin
American countries who have the quality if not the quantity of manpower to
complete. And as the Nasscom-McKinsey report rightly points out the $60 bn
export goal for 2010 can be exceeded if the innovative capabilities of the
Indian entrepreneur are properly channelized into discovering a new wave of
growth for the industry, something that has been pointed out in this column for
two years!

Finally, back to the human impact of distributed working;
and the social impact cannot be overlooked either. Will society accept the
regular night worker and the stay at home professional without eyebrows being
raised? It will be interesting to see how that scenario plays out!

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