Thursday 15 November 2012

A Not Really Fictitious Success Story of An India Software Consulting Firm

There are many examples of IT start ups that achieved multimillion market capitalization overnight, and while one can relatively rarely invest in an India software consulting firm listed on a Western stock exchange, smart foreign investors injected billions of dollars into India-based enterprises that are involved in IT-related businesses.

The story of a fictional software consulting company established in India, can be tracked to a couple of decades ago when a wave of well-educated professionals started providing outsourced services to foreign-based enterprises. The global economy was on the rise, Western corporations sat on bags of cash, and entrepreneurs realized that the future lies with a set of new technologies that include computing, mobile devices, and emerging online opportunities. Leading universities and research centers in the Western world set the stage for the outbreak of technologies that were destined to change the shape of entire markets, to wipe out old business practices and introduce a brave new world where technology is king.

So, an India-based company has been established in, say, New Delhi, to provide software consulting services to a growing number of local enterprises which rapidly realized that in order to survive in this new reality they have to invest first in knowledge-based economical endeavors and then to look for foreign investors and customers that are in need of high-tech services but cannot afford to spend heavily on their respective home market.

The problem is that IT consulting and software development services require beforehand investment as well as patience and continuous efforts to build and develop relevant infrastructure, gain knowledge, and sustain an acceptable quality to pricing ratio in the mean time. The solution was to compete for outsourced projects that initially did not require advanced skills but helped India-based software consultants in gaining the required experience and know-how that enabled those firms to further advance their service portfolio and start providing services to complex software consulting projects. In the course of a decade, India's software consultancies established themselves as a leading market maker in the region, gradually setting foot in foreign markets through a constant flow of research and development projects which, at the end, resulted in the establishing of R&D facilities and centers that are now amongst the world-leading.

Indirectly backed by government investment programs in the field of technology infrastructure and technologies as a whole, the India software consulting firm we follow gained local reputation and then moved on to seek cooperation with multinational corporations. At that time, the world economy was shrinking, and enterprises was eager to outsource costly services overseas to reduce the burden of investment in technology, software consulting services including. Thus, our India-based company was fortunate to gain access to technologies and IT projects that have been previously available mainly to Western software consultants.

Like it or not, but the above developments resulted in an India software consulting firm being able to compete on equal terms with foreign counterparts and provide world-class service in the field of IT consulting.

Enterprise Data Warehousing and The Future of Business Software Systems

Enterprise data warehousing, a technology that powers organizational databases that are used mainly for reporting and analysis purposes, is not among those technologies that fuel media gossip but its importance for the future development of business software applications is nonetheless considered essential by all and every industry expert. Organizations, both government agencies and private enterprises need business software tools to analyze data and take insightful strategic decisions, while business intelligence tools largely rely on data warehouses to provide the necessary data integration and data access layers that make it possible for raw data to be transformed into readable reports in the application's interface.

To put it simply, data warehousing is an important element of all and every business software application in a global business environment where information is collected from numerous sources in real-time and where vast amounts of data must be stored, processed, and analyzed before taking an informed managerial decision. The technical details concerning this method and technology to store information in a reliable way and retrieve data for further reporting and analysis are not that important, but the main point is that data warehousing is now considered a must-have technology when the matter in question is to design and implement a reliable business application like an enterprise resource planning (ERP) system and other kinds of enterprise-level software tools.

Usually, a large organization would deploy different source systems while enterprise data warehouses allow for integration of data from multiple sources, thus enabling managerial staff to get access to all data involved in strategic decision making. A great part of the functionality of business software systems like ERPs and customer relationship management (CRM) applications involves dealing with databases on top of which complex reports are produced. Therefore, all those systems incorporate data warehousing functionality to store, catalog, and retrieve data and meta-data.

All those business intelligence tools, like any other similar tool in the past, are essential in running a successful business, business analysts agree. Systems that feature enterprise data warehousing functionality are still evolving, adding collaboration and industry-specific capabilities, while analytical software applications are now provided both as standalone solutions and software-as-a-service tools. Nevertheless, the core functionality of those systems is all the same and enterprise data warehousing is the technology that allows those business intelligence tools to operate as intended.

Analytical processing and market research are so important in a global business framework that business intelligence is more decisive than ever before. In a fast-changing online environment it is not only about storing data in a reliable fashion but to process those data fast and produce trustworthy reports and analysis. Modern organizations simply cannot afford to save on data warehousing technologies and tools for enterprise data warehousing as a technology and a method provides one of those competitive advantages that would be decisive for the overall success of an organization in the years to come.

Thursday 8 November 2012

Factors Determining Success of a Software Consulting Firm in India

Some authors and industry analysts in the West tend to oversimplify the factors that determine a software consulting firms in India success, constructing their argumentation solely on the basis of advantageous pricing provided to foreign customers by local software consultants and IT service providers as a whole. While this statement has valid grounds, the price of a service is never the sole, nor the primary factor influencing a major business decision to entrust a foreign-based service provider with IT auditing or contract an India-based firm to consult the implementation of a business software solution that may cost millions of dollars.

Like it or not, but India's software consultancies have grown not only in numbers, which results in additional pressure to lower prices, but have gained the necessary business and technology know-how to compete on equal terms with rival IT consultants in the West. While the pricing of a service might be a decisive factor for small businesses seeking software consulting services abroad, medium sized and large corporations pursue a certain level of reliability, professional background, and in-depth knowledge. Therefore, a large multinational corporation would rarely pick a software consultant that is not well-prepared to perform the task whatever the price of its service might be.

Evidently, India's software consulting firms are in position to offer advantageous pricing due to the local labor market specifics; nonetheless, they have fought hard to attract business customers and have set foot in the world markets only following a period of knowledge gaining, where local companies provided service as contractors to foreign-based entities. Western-based business customers started outsourcing small software projects to India some two decades ago but since then the local IT industry, backed by heavy government investment in education and infrastructure, have gradually grow into a world leader in the field of software outsourcing, which gave a marked boost to related services like software consulting.

India's software consultants are now well-equipped to perform complex tasks and successfully complete sophisticated projects, and even started hiring foreign-educated professionals attracted by the career growth opportunities offered by local IT consultancies. This is even more remarkable bearing in mind that only a few years ago India experienced a brain drain of IT professionals.

One should also be aware that a software consulting firm in India is destined to perform in a highly competitive marketplace; therefore local companies cannot afford to lose customers due to poor service because one should not leave India to find another reliable service provider. Furthermore, working in the foreign markets, India-based software consulting firms have gained both technology and industry best practices knowledge that now allow those companies to meet the requirements of leading multinationals. 

Thus, a software consulting firm in India is no more only an advantageous source of affordable services in the field of software consulting but a major player when the matter in question is to find the right price to quality ratio.

Tuesday 6 November 2012

IT Software Consulting and Effects of Globalization

A number of businesses, all of a sudden, found they have to compete in a global playground where the rules of the game are quite different from those market practices they have been used to, IT software consulting a good example of such an industry. Software consultants were forced to adapt to the challenges of a fast-paced industry where customers do not feel any obligation to get services on the local market nor there are any technical difficulties to get a reliable and more affordable service based abroad.

Unlike other businesses that are heavily influenced by effects of globalization, IT software consulting should bet on proper infrastructure and know-how rather than on mobility and country-specific offers that characterize other industries trying to adapt to a global economic system. In fact, it is quite likely that two corporate customers would require the same quality and affordability of service regardless of their location or annual turnover.

In the world of business corporations based in developed economies are not likely to be happy to pay more for a service that is based in their home country only to support local providers, instead numerous enterprises look for services abroad if they can get the same quality provided at more advantageous terms. Therefore, software consulting is in the forefront of a new phenomenon, software development and consulting outsourcing, which gradually gains strength along with the widening globalization of the world economy.

The not so unlikely winners of such outsourcing are countries in the regions of Asia/Pacific and Latin America, along with a few countries in Central and Eastern Europe, which have managed to invest in knowledge-based industries, with India leading the pack in terms of software development and consulting projects outsourced to local service providers and software developers. Market analysts have predicted such development ever since India emerged as a major player within the group of BRIC countries: Brazil, Russia, India, and China, whose pace of economic growth exceeds by far the pace of growth reported within the group of so called developed nations, including the United States, Canada, and leading European economies.

Thus, India have managed to create a vivid IT software consulting industry, backed by government investment in infrastructure and technological development, higher education including. Software consulting business is a rare mix of advanced technological knowledge and traditional pricing methods heavily influenced, however, by modern means of communication and other technologies that allow for successfully performing certain tasks remotely. India's high-tech centers in Mumbai, New Delhi, and Pune are considered among the world's leading, thus giving a boost not only to local software developers and projects in the field of software and hardware research, but also to reliable IT software consulting services that are able to compete on equal terms with industry market makers.

Obviously, globalization affects much more aspects of IT software consulting business, but India's success in the field is a good sample how an entire industry can be built from scratch but with eventual benefits that will be provided by globalization in mind.

Monday 29 October 2012

Major Benefits Provided by Enterprise Data Warehousing

Enterprise data warehousing is a topic rarely discussed in non-specialized mass media simply because the subject is not very attractive to inexperienced writers, not because the very method to store, process, and analyze data is not business-critical to a great number of enterprises worldwide. As its name suggests, data warehousing deals with enterprise databases that are used primarily to store essential business data and generate reliable reports based on these data. As a rule, most enterprise data warehouses use a software architecture layer where information is transformed into data that can be further processed to produce comprehensive reports provided to managerial staff within an organization.

The most obvious benefit of enterprise data warehousing is that data is cataloged and cleaned to to create a uniform database where business information is stored and retrieved when a report is generated. Creation of metadata provides great advantages when the matter in question is to make compatible different databases, for example following a corporate merger. In addition to metadata creation, enterprise data warehousing functionality includes methods to maintain data history, which is a crucial functionality since a good number of source transaction systems do not support such functionality.
Software developers and software vendors often take advantage of data warehouses, incorporating the above functionality into operational business applications to increase their added value. Those business applications may include customer relationship management (CRM) systems, while enterprise data warehousing is widely used in enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems used across a variety of industries. Business software applications that deal with databases usually require consistent codes to be assigned to every piece of information, which is made through migration to an enterprise data warehouse.

In the long-term, all and every functionality listed above adds to the benefits provided by data warehouses used in business by presenting the information belonging to an organization in a consistent fashion. Many industries, both manufacturing businesses and financial institutions, cannot operate smoothly without such databases and an extremely reliable method to process the information contained in these data warehouses. The same applies to a single common data model required by large businesses and government agencies across the world, while data warehousing as a method is able to provide the required functionality to all interested parties.

Another advantage, often underestimated, is that data warehouses are the main tool used to restructure information stored by organizations into data that can be easily read and understood by users. That said, data warehousing is really business-critical when under scrutiny is the ability of a business application  to present data in a way that makes sense to users, both novice and experienced customers. Data restructuring requires serious software development efforts to provide reliable results and secure the flawless operation of the respective business software system, thus those systems can be a costly investment, which, of course, depends on the size of the business and the complexity of the databases to be covered by the software.

Last but not least, data restructuring methods applied in enterprise data warehousing give a marked boost to query performance when analytic queries are performed, this is a common operation that sometimes causes corporate servers to go down. Those computer crashes often occur at operating system level, while data warehouses are designed to reduce operating system load usually experienced when computers process large volumes of database data. Therefore, enterprise data warehousing is undoubtedly a major factor in securing a business system's uninterrupted operation while the data warehouse itself deals with the zillions of bits of information a large organization usually stores on its servers, thus providing marked benefits to both businesses and their respective customers.

Wednesday 24 October 2012

Why It's Worth Looking Abroad for A Reliable Software Consulting Firm

Contracting a software consulting firm that is located round the corner is not the smartest business move one would make although good number enterprises do not pay enough attention to the process of selecting the best fit for their software projects. A popular fallacy is that local software consulting companies are best equipped to meet the requirements of enterprises that are situated in the same vicinity. In fact, modern-day technological solutions require a lot more than in-depth knowledge of regional specifics although it is an important factor to consider when looking for a reliable software consultant.

The world of technology has changed markedly in the past decade, with countries previously not considered technology leaders now enjoying strong positions in the markets for technology related services like hardware and software consulting. Nations in Latin America and Asia/Pacific have emerged as world leaders in the field of software consulting through outsourcing of technology projects, while India has established herself as world leader in terms of software consultancy projects outsourced to local firms.

India now has a long tradition in software development and software consulting, given that the widespread use of software solutions in business and households is a young market, and the country continues to invest in infrastructure required to boost development of local technological hubs. At present, such world class centers are located in New Delhi, Mumbai, Pune, and other large cities across India, thus providing the basis for further rapid development of software-related services.

Business across the economically developed nations started moving their software research and development departments eastwards, while others outsourced software consultancy to foreign-based firms, looking not only for more affordable service cost but for quality those companies in Asia/Pacific now can provide. Slowly but steadily, world economy is recovering but those foreign businesses that benefited from software consultancy services provided by India-based companies are very unlikely to start looking to replace those service providers with local ones. Of course, no business in the this world would replace a beneficial service or product with a less affordable one that does not provide better service quality unless it is forced to do so by external factors like government regulations or regional hostilities.

Thus, most industry analysts agree that India is set to retain its world-leading position in the field of software outsourcing, software consulting services including. Whether the country will be able to widen further its market share is debatable and depends on a number of internal and external factors like continuous investment in proper infrastructure and sustainable development of local educational institutions in the sphere of technology. Nevertheless, there are no signs that foreign-based companies should be careful when hiring an Indian software consulting firm for long-term projects.

Government regulations in the United States and within the European Union may influence the future of outbound software outsourcing in these huge markets but adoption of strict regulations in this field is unlikely, market analysts agree. Both Washington and Brussels advocate free market economy which does not bode well with restrictive measures that can reshape an entire industry, therefore local enterprises will continue to look abroad in search of advantageous software consulting services.

In fact, a business in, say, Europe, might experience more difficulties selecting a software consultancy based in India due to the wide choice of reliable and experienced consultants in the region. How this came to happen is an interesting topic but undoubtedly one should bet that a software consulting firm in India can give good ride for the money to a software consultant based in the US or Europe which are traditionally considered strongholds where technological advancements are made.

Tuesday 23 October 2012

Why A Software Consulting Firm in India Can Provide Better Service at Competitive Price

During the past decade software development outsourcing has become a widespread business activity and a software consulting firm in India is far better positioned to get a business contract from abroad and for good reasons. Global economic downturn has played a role in India's emergence as leading world provider of software development services within outsourced projects but other factors like government-backed investments in appropriate infrastructure and education have been the major drivers of such a development.

India inherited a relatively well developed educational system based on a British system that has a proven record in the course of centuries. The country managed to expand its reach nationwide and meanwhile created a number of technological educational centers that served as the stepping stone for development of modern research and development centers in the field of software and hardware engineering. Later on, India invested heavily in modern infrastructure required to maintain those facilities and attract foreign investors interested in outsourcing in part or in whole their software development and software support services abroad.

In the course of a couple of decades, software consulting companies in India gained enough professional experience to compete on equal terms with counterparts in leading technological nations in the West, backed also by the rapid expansion of local software development industry and the growth of India's economy as a whole. As the number of outsourced projects grew, local software consultancies gained not only valuable experience but got access to cutting edge technologies that are rarely accessible even to leading Western software consultants. Within a few years major world software vendors and hardware manufacturers set foot in India through local consulting firms or through direct investment in regional research and development facilities which hire local software experts. A good number of software professionals later moved to locally-owned software companies or established new software consulting firms that possess both the required professional know-how and cheaper labor resource to provide extremely competitive service.

India's software consulting firms are much better positioned when it comes to payroll expenses due to some specifics of the country's economy which provides great opportunities for career development of locally-grown software expenses but still can offer more affordable services in terms of labor costs involved in a technological project. Local software consultancies have been forced to increase remunerations due to prevent brain-drain of well-trained experts but are still able to prevent India-educated software engineers and consultants from fleeing the country, while providing decent standard of living to them.

Local companies involved in computer hardware and software industry have enjoyed a stable rate of growth for more than a decade, a growth rate much higher than the industry average across the world, thus they piled significant strategic financial reserve that can be used for further service enhancement and strategic investments in infrastructure development and continuous employee training programs. During a very short period of only a few years, foreign-educated Indian software experts started to flow back to India, attracted by markedly improved work environment, more lucrative remuneration packages, and last but not least possibility to work on complex projects that involve latest technological developments in the field of hardware and software research.

That said, a software consulting firm in India is better positioned to attract projects from abroad compared with peers in the region or any other country in the world. In fact, a software consulting firm in India can afford to lower the price of its service without sacrificing quality, backed by a combination of strategic reserves piled in the past and smart investment in locally-grown experts who are well-prepared to provide world class service to customers at home and abroad.