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.

Monday 8 October 2012

Main Applications of Enterprise Data Warehousing in Business Applications

Enterprise data warehousing is used in a wide variety of business applications that deal with processes and info used in decision support, logistics and inventory management, forecasts in the field of financial data analysis, and trend analysis across virtually all and every business sector. Data warehouses are used to generate reports and analyze certain data, and although this is a very broad definition of data warehousing in the context of business software applications the nature of those databases can easily be described in a broader context since business data is only bits of information stored in digital format.

Business data, actually any data, is stored in those databases with the aim to catalogue information that may come from different sources and to transform it into data that can be processed for later use by managers at any level. Decision making is a process where data warehousing may be of great importance when at stake is to take a decision that could affect the overall business strategy of an organization, for example. Market research is another field where enterprise data warehousing is widely used. Enterprise resource planning systems (ERP) are good example of business software that rely heavily on principles and methods used to store and analyze through the means of data warehouses. Those systems have to deal with large volumes of information that have to be retrieved from a database, processes in a specific manner, and then loaded into an analytical software module.

Actually, enterprise data warehouses have to deal also with meta-data, or data on other data, which is quite a challenging task to perform in the framework of large and complex business systems which may contain tones of information on different topics or myriads of items. A large multinational organization usually have data repository containing millions of records which have to be catalogued thus creating quite a complex meta-data object.

Business intelligence tools are considered crucial instrument for designing successful organizational strategies and rarely a high-class business intelligence application will lack functionality to connect to a data warehouse and get data from such a system. Consequently, software developers and software vendors have to design and implement complex software architecture to cope with the challenges offered by enterprise data warehousing. One of the main challenges is related to data coming from a variety of sources, often times in different formats, while the outcome should be data that can be used for analytical and reporting purposes.

As far as business intelligence is concerned, data warehouses will always play an important role in the overall process of creating a reliable business software application. Enterprise data warehousing is not simply a market niche where only large corporations can be considered as prospect customers but a must have tool that should be incorporated into applications used by small and medium sized businesses that do not want to see their competitiveness decrease. Naturally, the use of data warehouses is not limited to business intelligence but most market analysts agree that this is the segment where deployment of complex data warehouses will be crucial for eventual business development.

Bearing in mind that decision making has always needed adequate support by business intelligence the vast majority of market analysts are of opinion that future enterprise software applications will not be viable without a sort of enterprise data warehousing functionality. Business software solutions that feature such functionality are not necessarily cheap but investing in a software system that is enabled to take advantage of enterprise data warehousing will pay off in the long term through improved decision making process which in turn will boost overall performance of the organization.

Monday 24 September 2012

How To Choose Customized Software Development Company

The process of selecting customized software and development company that is able to provide acceptable time frame for software development and implementation can turn into a messy undertaking unless some simple are followed.

At first place, one should bear in mind that custom-made software usually requires a certain period of development and tailoring of the application even if the software developer have released similar products in the past. Organizations may have very similar requirements toward a business software application, nevertheless the use of different software and hardware platforms and third-party applications that form the corporate software environment may result in totally different approaches toward the implementation of a custom software solution. For example, an open-source application can be relatively painlessly customized to inter-operate and be compatible with other open-source solutions, while off the shelf applications rarely allow for change in their programming code for such purposes.

Thus, the implementation process depends on multiple factors that include software developer's professional background as well as the company's experience in dealing with various software and hardware platforms. Furthermore, a very complex process of determining the real needs and requirements toward a custom business software solution should take place before even thinking to start the implementation process. Therefore, one should look for a software development company that is capable to perform such a thorough test and come out with in-depth analysis of the respective customizations to be applied. For example, an applications that is customized to provide reliable service and handle company's book-keeping may for a particular firm, may not be working properly in different business environment where other accounting standards are used. The same applies to any software module which deals with data that may vary from company to company, or across various industries and regions.

The implementation of a custom-made software solutions requires not only proper due diligence and software development but also significant software testing efforts to make sure the applications is running smoothly and produces the desired outcome. Therefore, a customer should look at past software solutions released by the software vendor and conduct research on the customer feedback regarding those software applications. Of course, one should be aware that not all negative comments on the reliability and other aspects of an application’s performance should be taken seriously, and most reviews, both positive and negative must be taken with a pinch of salt. Nevertheless, the feedback from past and present customers is always helpful in the process of choosing a reliable software developer that specializes in the field of customized software solutions.

The cost of a solution is considered an essential factor when the matter in hand is to operate within a certain budget, which is a very common situation. The budget factor can be complex because the very nature of custom-made software solutions is to be more costly than their ready to use counterparts. A mass production solution is always cheaper, the basic axiom of economics says, therefore one should not compare the price of a tailored software applications and the price of a product intended for a broader audience, at first place. It makes sense, however, to compare the pricing of various software vendors before choosing one that provides the best price to quality ratio.

One have to explore as many options as are available in the market, bearing in mind that the cheapest solution available might prove costly in the long term due to additional customizations or other further software tweaks. Thus, a perfect choice would be a customized software development company that has both the experience in dealing with this particular type of software, which in addition provides affordable prices and enjoys good reputation among customers.

Friday 7 September 2012

Why Portal Intranet Workflow Is Widely Used in Today's Business Systems

Web portals, both public and private, the latter often referred to as corporate or intranet portals, are now so sophisticated that workflow management is considered a must-have feature used to organize, manage, and track portal intranet workflow. In fact, public web portals also rely on intranet workflows for organizing the entire operation of a portal, with those actions not visible to website visitors.
In brief, portal intranet workflow should be organized and managed in a fashion allowing certain outcomes to be produced, depending on predefined tasks to be performed. Thus, portal intranet workflow is basically about managing different tasks and the underlying processes that take place within an organization. One should bear in mind that a software system is also a type of organization from software developer's point of view.

Thus, intranet workflow, namely those tasks and processes that are performed within an organization, and whose only visible to outsiders part is their respective outcome, deals with tasks and their statuses. Hence, when the status of a task or a process that comprises multiple tasks changes, the respective task or process is assigned to another individual or group of individuals whose responsibility is to process in further until a certain goal, or status, is achieved.

Web portals and websites rely on workflow management to automate various processes and tasks usually performed in relation to content management and other processes which require high-automation level. For example, a document that is in draft status would be automatically assigned to an editor for further polishing and then scheduled for publication, according to preset rules. On the other hand, all those procedures are inter-dependent, therefore a document would be checked for revision by an editor prior to publication i.e. a document that is not edited cannot be published. Such basic functionality of content management systems is widely used in today's online environment, where automation plays an important role in the overall optimization of processes and procedures used in day-to-day activities.

In addition, portal intranet workflow requires a certain level of interoperability between different software applications because modern-day business systems usually interact with external devices and third-party software, often in real-time. Therefore, reliable portal intranet workflow depends not only on software compatibility and interoperability but also on system's overall ability to communicate with different hardware platforms and devices of various types. For example, the workflow scheme of a web portal may require email messages to be sent to users, or other means of communication to be used, subsequently those messages should be readable by any hardware device that may be used to receive notifications.

In addition, workflow management process applied in public and intranet (corporate) portals should allow for creation of a set of rules, defining steps to be completed within all and every process before it produces the desired outcome. Thus, an administrator can also define user roles and user permissions that provide the framework for completing a task without omitting a step in the process.

In the context of a complex system, portal intranet workflow management is as important as the processes and tasks it is intended to manage. Software vendors, realizing the huge potential of workflow management and under constant pressure by demanding users, now incorporate software tools for workflow management even in free web content management systems. Evidently, licensed software applications feature more powerful tools for managing portal intranet workflow, while the number of affordable solutions in this field has been growing rapidly in the past few years. Thus, reliable and affordable tools for managing portal intranet workflow are now available to both individual and business customers all over the world.

Saturday 25 August 2012

India Is Well-positioned to Win the Race in the Field of Custom Application Development

The boom of custom application development is a relatively new phenomenon, which occurred only after computer manufacturers have switched to non-embed software solutions and open-source software platforms gained popularity. Originally, software developers in emerging markets like India, the former Soviet Union and Eastern Europe, Latin and South America, have no access to software documentation required to develop a reliable custom-made solution based on licensed software. Following a series of court battles and overall change in market philosophy, however, today's software market allows for creation of virtually unlimited number of customized software solutions in every field of life.

These markets developments, for their part, allowed software developers and vendors across the world to compete on equal terms with large multinationals, with custom application developing now considered a major software market segment. New software development centers emerged, mainly in Asia/Pacific region and Central and Eastern Europe, where scores of gifted and well-educated software developers started making custom software to meet requirements of local markets, originally, before setting foot in new markets abroad. Thus, today's custom application development is often outsourced to software firms in these regions, with India leading the pack in the sphere of software outsourcing.
This is the big picture in the field of custom application development and it is well-documented in numerous reports and market research papers. A good number of analysts, however, tend to focus on obvious economic drivers that have led to this market situation, apparently underestimating other factors which influence today's market for custom-made software applications.

First of all, major educational hubs in the field are no more concentrated in Europe and the United States; India has managed to build a network of reputable educational institutions in the sphere of computer hardware and software, while Eastern Europe and former Soviet Union traditionally produce well-educated professionals in the field. Secondly, all and every student now has access to myriads of open-source software solutions from which to borrow ideas and functionality, or on the basis of which to build a customized software application. Free and open-source operating systems compete on equal terms with licensed rivals, thus opening the gate to creation of entirely custom-made solutions, from the underlying operating system to business software to applications for individual users. This, combined with lower labor costs in Asia/Pacific, Eastern Europe, and Latin America, made these regions major suppliers of customized software.

Some economic experts blame software outsourcing for loss of jobs in their respective country, urging adoption of legislation to protect local software developers. On the surface, there is sound economic logic in such an approach. An in-depth market analysis, however, would reveal that adoption of such restrictions shall only decrease competitiveness, resulting in higher business expenditures and regulated labor market, which does not stimulate positive economic development in the long run.
For example, India is leading world provider of custom application development services through outsourcing thanks to a combination of factors that are natural for a free-market economy; namely, well-educated software experts, lower labor costs, access to and investment into technologies, and development of research and development hubs, where large-scale projects can be completed on time. These are factors quite similar to the competitive advantages provided by the Silicon Valley in the early days of the software industry, minus the lower payroll costs.

Anyway, custom application development market cannot be re-shaped through administrative measures for good reasons; businesses around the world have need for reliable tailored applications and need them cheap. Thus, development of custom-made software is driven by the very same market forces that drive any other industry and outsourcing of custom application development to countries like India is an inevitable process whose roots can be traced to the basics of entrepreneurship: buy cheap, sell dear. To put it simply, custom application development is destined to flourish and countries like India are well positioned to grab even bigger market share in this lucrative market.

Monday 6 August 2012

How India Software Consulting Firm Can Help Reduce Costs

Most businesses need software consultancy assistance at some stage of their development, and hiring India software consulting firm can provide additional benefits, if the IT consultant is carefully selected.  Not so long ago India has been considered a developing nation that can hardly be ranked among leading world nations in terms of technological advancement and availability of well-educated and well-trained IT staff. Within the lifespan of a generation, however, India emerged as leading power in the field of software development and outsourcing of research and development activities, developing also a very competitive software consultancy sector.

As we have already mentioned, most successful businesses require software consultancy services to enhance their efficiency and implement the best software fit for their business operations. Obviously, one could hire a local consultant who is well-acquainted with local market conditions and specifics; nevertheless, such an approach is not mandatory in many scenarios. Enterprises in the West witness continuously growing charges for IT consultancy services, even in stagnating economy, while those services very often do not require any specific in-depth knowledge of the local market. For example, the implementation of a customer relationship management (CRM) system does not require such knowledge, while expertise in the field of custom-made software applications and reasonable pricing policy can be of advantage to the business customer.

In fact, India is the leading world exporter of software products, mainly software applications whose development have been outsourced to Indian software developers, and local software experts have gained invaluable knowledge in the field of software development, implementation and adoption. Furthermore, local software industry enjoys lower payroll costs which can translate into lower costs for end-customers who look for consultancy services in India. In a supply and demand driven economy India-based software consultancies have the advantage of providing cheaper yet reliable service in business environment where demand is continuously growing.

The price of a service is not the most important single factor to assess, though. Access to technology, staff preparedness to cope with complex tasks and projects, ability to innovate are essential factors in the world of software consulting services, and the price for such qualities is high in the West. In contrast, India now possesses both the human and the technological resource to provide world class IT software consultancy services at the price of a regular service, affordable to anyone who is running a business. And since distance is no longer a factor that has negative effect on a business project, remote software consultancy projects are growing in numbers.

On the other hand, India software consulting firms are under constant pressure to deliver because rival companies in Latin America and Eastern Europe are similarly well-equipped to provide reliable and reasonably priced IT consultancy services. Which in turn results in better service and even lower costs for business customers who have decided to hire India-based IT consultant. A good number of market-leading multinationals now rely on India's software consulting companies for taking both strategic and everyday decisions in the field of IT, an approach that allows corporations to save markedly on IT personnel and get reliable advice in the same time.

A growing number of enterprises located in Europe, the US and elsewhere have realized that hiring an India-based software consultant pays back, and, to surprise for many, can result in access to know-how inaccessible through other businesses channels. This is because India's software developers and vendors work on projects that increasingly involve cutting edge technologies, thus gaining knowledge previously available only to researchers and software developers in the West. And since knowledge has always been the most precious commodity, hiring a reputable India software consulting firm can prove to be a very wise decision from strategic point of view.

Sunday 22 July 2012

Corporate Training Should Be Part of Any Long-term Business Strategy

Corporate training and IT training can help businesses markedly reduce costs in the long-haul and set aside funds to be invested in continuous improvement of staff professional qualifications thus boosting overall competitiveness of an enterprise. Evidently, most employers expect their employees to be familiar with business software suites that include word processing applications, spreadsheets software, and solutions to design presentations. Modern business software, however, include software systems that vary from content management systems (CMS) to customer relationship management (CRM) applications to complex enterprise resource planning (ERP) solutions, while these software solutions require extensive training to familiarize with the overall concept of the respective software and get best results.

Implementation of an ERP system can take months, even years, to complete and there is no reason to believe that even the most devoted employee will be able to familiarize with such a complex software application only by experimenting with various built-in functions. Corporate training is integral part of best industry practices when the matter in hand is implementation and adoption of new business software, while ongoing IT courses are a good method to keep employees in touch with newest technologies in a particular field of business. There is a good reason for such a continuous IT training, with the main driver being the ever changing business environment where enterprises increasingly rely on software solutions to take competitive advantage over their rivals. Modern-day businesses rely heavily on cutting-edge technologies, of which many are real-time or close to real-time technologies, and the lack of expertise in this field can have bad consequences for the business as a whole.

Usually, companies socializing in the field of software development and implementation of business software systems, also provide training courses that can be performed both on the premises of the customer or in a specialized facility as part of the software adoption process. Nevertheless, businesses can make a step further and invest in continuous education of their employees, achieving a higher level of faultless operation and enhancing overall business performance and productivity, which in turn results in better overall financial results. Furthermore, IT training can be performed in a manner to incorporate the overall corporate virtues, thus evolving into a broader corporate training whose aim is boost loyalty, strengthen inter-departmental and personal relationships across the entire organization, and, in the end, create a better work environment.

Self-confidence matters and it is counterproductive not to invest in training of employees who have difficulties dealing with a software system. Modern-day business software can be a thorn in the ass even for an experienced software developer, so the average employee should undergo proper corporate training before one would expect him or her to produce acceptable results and perform according to established corporate standards. An untrained employee lacks self-confidence and in turn the entire organization would suffer.

Advocates and critics of ongoing corporate training differ mainly on topics like what should corporate training cover, agreeing that corporate training is a best industry practice per se. That said organizations that have adopted corporate training and ongoing IT courses as a best practice are considered generally more competitive and prepared to meet the requirements imposed by an increasingly technology-bound business environment. Of course, investing in such programs should be financially justified but it is worth taking a look at reports revealing that a better educated employee is generally happier, more productive and less prone to look for a job elsewhere.

Various training programs can be used to increase employees’ motivation, which is an important factor to consider when assessing whether an organization is set to succeed or fail in the long-run. Love it or hate it but corporate training should be a major element of a successful business development strategy.

Monday 16 July 2012

Mobile Challenges that Web Portal Development Is Facing

The general concept of how a web portal should look like and what it would incorporate evolved markedly within lees than a couple of decades, with web portal development now including approaches previously considered integral part of application development only. Those involved in development of web portals have also deal with a very different concept of how things work in an online environment and how software applications and hardware devices interact, thus re-shaping the entire concept of web portal development.

A good number of popular public web portals have disappeared in the course of only a decade, while new players have set foot in the market, introducing new approaches and vision that seem to work, for now. At stake is a huge market niche worth billions of dollars in annual revenues, generated mainly through ads and commissions on mercantile deals. Thus, web portal development is more about design and implementation of successful business ideas rather than simple aggregation of content from numerous diverse sources. Obviously, content aggregation will never lose its primary role in the context of web portals; nevertheless, entrepreneurs and software developers alike are increasingly looking for lightening business ideas rather than methods to implement the idea in practice.

On the other hand, web portal development has never been so a challenging task in the light of new technologies emerging on a daily basis, as well as a booming market for mobile devices. In the space of a few years, web portal developers have been forced to enter into the uncharted waters of software solutions running on a wide range of mobile devices, all of them capable of connecting to the Internet. Thus, the market for web portals suddenly expanded to cover billions of mobile users, with increasing number of these users browsing the Internet mainly on their mobile devices that may include smartphones, tablets, netbooks or any mobile devices that is Internet-enabled.

Consequently, web portal developers and web portal owners re-focused their efforts to enhance a wide variety of services provided by web portals to run smoothly on mobile devices, which in turn operate on different operating systems and use different web browsers. Reliability is a key success factor in the online world, and since web portals are intended to provide services to large audiences, web portal development must cope with the challenges of maintaining the faultless operation of web portals that deal with vast volumes of data on mobile devices and in real-time environment.

For example, a good number of web portals include tender modules, where individuals and corporations can post offers and strike deals. Design and implementation of underlying algorithms for such a software module can be a challenge itself, but the real challenge lies with the implementation of such a module to support various operating systems running on different hardware, including mobile gadgets, while interacting with all other modules that make a reliable web portal.

Other mobile factors that influence web portal development are related to the general design of a web portal that is intended to be accessed through a mobile device. Display resolution and display size, availability of touch screen functionality, colors scheme, and available memory all are essential factors that a web portal developer should have in mind in the process of developing reliable software to run on mobile devices. Evidently, design and functionality are inter-dependent, but in the context of mobile devices design and interface issues can cast shadow over an otherwise full-functional software application.

It is still unclear in what direction mobile device evolution will head, but it is quite evident that hundreds of millions of people around the globe now use mobile hardware to access online services, including various web portals. As far as the general concept of web portals is well-defined, or at least is defined to a reasonable extent, web portal development is destined to focus on mobile devices in the foreseeable future.

Monday 9 July 2012

Where in the World Leading IT Software Consulting Firms Reside?

Traditionally, Silicon Valley is considered the place where everything newsworthy in the world of information technologies, subsequently in the field of IT software consulting, happens. Myths aside, California is still the area where numerous leading technology firms are headquartered but, like it or not, an evident trend is that an increasing number of world-leading software consultancies are located not only outside California, but outside the United States and Europe, thus re-shaping the world software industry map.

In the course of only couple of decades, Asia/Pacific region emerged as an alternative hub for software research and development, giving birth to numerous reputable companies involved in software design and development, software implementation, and IT consulting. India is the leader of the pack in the region, thanks to years of smart investment in knowledge-based economy and development of locally-grown hardware and software experts who, despite the brain drain, are well equipped to provide reliable software consultancy service to both mid-sized businesses and leading world multinationals.

In fact, North America is no longer a world leader in the sphere of IT consulting, following several decades of massive software development outsourcing to countries like India and the Philippines, as well as regions like Eastern Europe and, to a lesser extent, Latin America. This massive and lasting wave of software development off shoring helped create several generations of well-prepared software experts at every level in those countries, professionals who are able to produce results and give valuable advice even to world-leading software vendors. For example, India's metropolitan areas like New Delhi are topping the list of the world's best places to outsource software development and research, as well as to take advantage of affordable yet world-class software consulting services.

Evidently, other world regions like Central and Eastern Europe also offer less expensive skilled labor force in the sphere of information technology; nevertheless, India cannot be beaten when the matter in question is to get competitive pricing on high quality software consulting. The only indicator that casts shadow on India's reputation as the new world center of reliable IT and software consulting services is the relatively low number of hardware and software specialists holding master's degrees, although a recent trend shows that Indian students who have graduated abroad return home more often than a few years ago, thanks to better overall work conditions and career growth opportunities provided by local IT companies and IT consultancies. Thus, the country is now experiencing an inflow of foreign educated specialists that are able to boost further India's positions as the newly emerged leader in the field of outsourced software research and development.

Local software experts, gaining valuable knowledge through taking part in projects led by world-leading software vendors, now have the expertise to provide consultancy services that previously have been available only through Western software consultants. In addition, India-based consultancies are able to offer price to quality ratio that is practically unachievable to their US- and Europe-based counterparts, due to significantly lower payroll costs coupled with access to cutting edge technologies and advanced infrastructure.

Some authors in the United States and Europe claim that their respective governments should take Draconian measures to prevent local businesses from outsourcing software development and IT consulting to countries like India, in order to encourage local growth and help create jobs. Obviously, it is a highly politicized issue and common sense hints that businesses will always seek to minimize expenditures, including through outsourcing activities like IT software consulting to third-parties that are better prepared to complete the job with acceptable quality and are able to offer a price that is lower than the one to perform the task in-house. That said, unbiased observers tend to agree that the world center of IT software consulting moved eastwards for good reasons, and there are no signs this will change in the years to come.

Monday 2 July 2012

Why IT Software Consulting is Flourishing?

By any account, IT software consulting is a flourishing business even in times when other industries are shrinking and many sectors are losing jobs. What are the drivers behind such a continuous growth in hard times for the global economy?

First, a growing number of enterprises worldwide need to focus of their core business and cannot afford to maintain on their payroll IT consultants who are usually amongst the most highly paid experts. In time when corporations are obsessed with cost savings and cost reduction, only large multinationals can afford to retain expensive IT consultants as full-time employers, while a growing number of mid-sized and small-sized businesses prefer to hire third party IT and software consultants should a need arise.

Even small family businesses are actually forced to rely on external IT software consulting for good reasons; reputable technology blogs can offer valuable free advice but one would need expert assistance when solving issues that occur during implementation and use of business software. Thus, IT and software consultants can rely on a broad, and growing, customer base worldwide, fuelled by the rising adoption rates of various business software.

On the other hand, the growing demand for IT and software consulting services has resulted in the emergence of myriads of IT consultants, independent and corporate, who offer on-premise or online consultancy services. This in turn has made the IT consulting services more affordable to both large and small-scale businesses.

The process of corporate restructuring and organizational optimization that is taking place globally aims to improve corporations’ efficiency also through access to knowledge and intellectual property provided by IT and software consultants. Hiring third party consultants or outsourcing an entire service to external consultants is no more considered an extravagant, and to some extent unsecure step but is regarded as a necessary move in the wider context of transition to a knowledge-based economy where intellectual property plays an important competitive role. Thus, the World Wide Web is now flooded with technology blogs offering advice how to cope with the challenges of ever-developing information technology, while IT consultants enjoy steady growth of their business.

Obviously, the shift to more technology oriented business practices can be a painful process, while many common mistakes can be avoided through hiring a reputable IT consultant. One would find useful readings regarding the adoption, configuration, and support of particular software on the Internet but only a reputable IT consultant can provide the required expertise to perform the software implementation in the best possible fashion, for example. Therefore, the demand for IT consultancy services is growing while the service price is going down on average.

Today’s risk management practices often require the use of IT consultancy services as well. As a rule, an IT or software consultant is better prepared to manage and successfully complete a procedure of business software implementation or upgrade to a more advanced solution. One should also bear in mind that the specific knowledge on the best practices regarding the implementation, support, and upgrade of business software is among the well-kept industry secrets and rarely an IT consultant is going to make it public and available online.

The expanding sector of IT and software consulting now provides more than consulting services, with IT consultants offering outsourcing, restructuring and optimization services, as well as services in the field of software development previously provided by software vendors only. The evolution of the IT consultancy can result in the emergence of brand new products and services based on cutting-edge technologies, while other IT consultants would prefer to stick to traditional software implementation and optimization services. In both scenarios, IT software consulting is going to play a crucial role in the knowledge-based economies that create more wealth.

Wednesday 27 June 2012

Client Server Application Development Is Prospering Business in India

Development of client server applications witnessed highs and lows during the years, and while it has been of the competence of software vendors based mainly in the West, a growing number of such applications are now developed in locations in Asia/Pacific region, mainly in India. India has emerged as world leader in the field of software outsourcing, or software off-shoring, including in the field of client server application development, which requires in-depth knowledge in the field of developing technologically advanced applications.

In the course of a few decades, India managed to develop highly effective educational institutions where future India's software developers are graduating and built impressive infrastructure to support the growth of the local IT industry. Thus, India's software developers are now able to provide world-class service, competing on equal terms with reputable software vendors in the West, which, however, are less competitive in terms of pricing, labor costs, and even preparedness to deal with large complex projects.

Client server applications are not necessarily programs that feature millions rows of software code; nevertheless software vendors outside the United States and Europe rarely took part in development of more advanced applications of this kind only a decade ago. The times have changed, however, and growing number of business customers outsource software applicationdevelopment to India-based companies, looking for a reliable yet affordable service. Local firms, in turn, gained invaluable knowledge in the process, allowing India's software vendors to claim contracts that previously have been won mostly by multinational software developers, mainly US-based.

In fact, India-based experts are behind some of the most technologically advanced R&D projects, enabling local software industry to gain first-hand experience in collaboration with world-leading universities, private and public organizations. In a continuous process of labor skill enhancement, local software developers and consultants reached a new stage in their business development, competing on equal terms with, or providing assistance to software behemoths that are behind some major operating systems or business software suites. Thus, India's software developing industry is not seeking recognition by the outside world, but is looking to set foot in new markets that now span the entire world.

India's strategic geographic location aside, the country successfully educated more than one generation of well-trained software specialists and concurrently developed the respective infrastructure to support their efforts to gain world dominance in the field of software outsourcing. Numerous start-ups grew into well-established enterprises in the course of a decade or so, creating the backbone of a flourishing software development and software consulting industry that is now able to produce viable results in virtually every niche, including client server application development.

India's major software development centers are located in New Delhi, Mumbai, and Pune, but smaller local IT hubs are developed across the country to support development of diversified software industry in other parts of India. The results of such a policy are easily visible, with growing number of foreign companies outsourcing software development or other IT activities to India-based firms, while the local market software market is also considered as underdeveloped, thus bearing huge growth potential. That said, the market for client server application development in India, both outsourced projects and applications intended for the booming local market, is to witness marked growth in the foreseeable future.

Sunday 17 June 2012

Major Factors Making Outsourcing of IT Application Development to India a Wise Move

Outsourcing of IT application development to India is becoming widespread among Western organizations looking for reliable service at affordable price, while local software developers and vendors now have reputation as providers of world-class service. In fact, India invested heavily in education, infrastructure, and development of software research facilities before local companies, and India's economy as a whole, have become able to benefit from development of software under contracts signed with customers based abroad. It took years, probably decades, to build the necessary infrastructure allowing for uninterrupted Internet access, to develop educational institutions capable to train well-educated software experts and those professionals to gain the first-hand experience required to take part in complex and sophisticated projects on equal terms.

At present, Asia/Pacific region is leader in the field of software outsourcing services, also called software off-shoring, while India is the world's undisputed leader in this industry, accounting for more than a third of all software outsourcing contracts. There are good reasons for foreign firms to select India as their primary choice of IT application development outsourcing, including the aforementioned presence of well-developed infrastructure, but a major fundamental factor is the lower cost of software development due mainly to lower labor costs. Actually, remunerations of India's professionals involved in development of software are going up, but at slower pace compared to wage increases in the West, while local standard of living allows for far more flexible pricing.

The gradual increase of the average remuneration for a software developer in India resulted in a recent wave of foreign-educated experts who prefer to return and pursue a career in India rather than in the West, thus boosting the number of master's degree and PhD holders involved in software development. This in turn led to a sharp increase in the number of software research and development contacts heading to India from major private and public organizations abroad.

One should not underestimate the quality of locally educated software experts, though. India have poured money into higher and tertiary education for decades, creating a well-developed network of public and private educational institutions in the field of technology. The country lacks world-leading universities and institutes but the average computer expert graduated in India can easily find a decent job abroad, which means that local software firms are able to hire well-trained personnel and provide very competitive service in terms of quality and affordability.

Another major factor in India's success story is closely related to the ongoing process of technology proliferation in an inter-connected world. Educational institutions and individual researchers are able to share knowledge instantly, while the very nature of software outsourcing results in a situation where the software developers gain knowledge and familiarize with cutting edge technologies that are otherwise difficult to access. In this mutually beneficial process, the customers benefit from lower costs of software development, while software developers and software vendors to whom such projects are outsourced gain invaluable knowledge, which further boosts their competitive advantage.

Locations like Mumbai, New Delhi, and Pune are topping the list of the world cities considered to be the best places to outsource software development, research, and consulting, while the country continues to invest in order to achieve sustainable growth of these industries, choosing to bet on knowledge-based economy. It is hard to foresee whether this will be a long-lasting process in a stagnating world economy, but India's wise investments in technologically advanced education and industries can only fuel further inflow of software outsourcing contracts from abroad. In fact, thanks to thoroughly planned long-term economic development, foreign business customers are not wondering whether outsourcing of IT application development to India is advantageous but how to choose the best fit for their respective project among numerous reputable service providers.

Tuesday 22 May 2012

Benefits of Outsourcing to Software Consulting Firm in India

Software consulting has many faces, making it hard to provide a universal suggestion whether a particular project should be outsourced, but a consulting firm in India can offer to benefits that rivals based in the United States and Western Europe can hardly afford to provide to their customers. Service price is a fundamental factor in evaluation of all and every service, and India’s IT consultants are well known for their very competitive pricing and first class service based on first hand experience with both large scale and niche projects in the field of software development, customization, and implementation.

Traditionally, India’s software developers and vendors have been a major force in the region of Asia/Pacific, which in turn resulted in a flourishing software consultancy industry that provides advisory services domestically and abroad. According to various reports, local market for software consulting services is set to grow markedly within the next decade, while a steadily increasing number of foreign companies outsource projects and services requiring software consulting coverage to India-based consultants. In fact, India is the leading world power in the field of software outsourcing service, mainly offshore software development and research and development services, but also software consulting covering all and every aspect of the multifaceted software development and implementation process.

The country competes with behemoths like China and Canada to attract foreign-based companies, but virtually all reports by market analysts position India as a leading world power in the sphere of offshore software consulting, along with the Philippines. The two countries jointly hold over 50 percent of the world market for outsourced software development and consultancy services, with India leading the pack by a marked margin.

This development is result of wisely planned government policy of investing into knowledge-based services and industries like software and hardware research and development, with cities like Mumbai, New Delhi, and Pune cited as world-leading destinations for software outsourcing and software consultancy services thanks to global connectivity, developed infrastructure, and availability of well-trained software professionals. Thus a software consulting firm in India, especially one positioned in the above mentioned R&D centers, can rely on underlying infrastructure similar to those in the West while enjoying significantly lower payroll expenditures, for example.

Software consultancies based in Europe and the United States have to deal with highly regulated domestic labor markets, strict legislation in the field of human resource protection, and traditionally higher remuneration packages within the IT industry, and all those factors combined result in loss of competitive advantage compared with India-based software consultants. In contrast, India’s software consultancies enjoy a liberal market, where a combination of relatively low wages in the IT sector and availability of highly educated professionals in the field creates unparalleled market growth potential. Even the brain drain of domestically educated IT professionals to companies and universities abroad does not harm noticeably India’s ability to provide unrivalled software consulting services in terms of quality to price ratio, which signals further steady development of those services in India.

Software development and consulting outsourcing is mutually advantageous process, in which the service provider gains access to technology and particular know-how it would not be allowed to access otherwise. Thus, India-based software consultants gradually gained experience in fields that were previously restricted to U.S.- and Europe-based companies only, which in turn gave a marked boost to their competitiveness in terms of possession and access to cutting edge technologies.

Finally, a software consulting firm in India can benefit from the country’s unique location in the very heart of Asia/Pacific region, making India a preferred place for hiring a software consultancy firm to deal with regional software and hardware developers and vendors.

Monday 7 May 2012

Optimize Organization’s Performance through Automation of Portal Intranet Workflow

Intranet portals are widespread systems to manage various business applications and data used in day-to-day activities of a corporation, specifically designed to improve the overall performance of an enterprise through the means of different tools like portal intranet workflow. Workflows and intranet workflows in a corporate context consist of a number of steps aimed at improving the technical aspects of task performance, in addition to better organizing the overall process of job communication, collaboration, and completion of tasks. Thus, the corporate portal intranet workflow is an invaluable tool to automate various processes and procedures, while tracking the progress of a particular task, a project, or a set of projects.

Evidently, intranet workflow is where planned and actual performances of tasks meet, and where automated procedures can be applied in order to better the outcome of a particular task. Hence, an intranet portal serves as a primary hub for not only exchange of information and collaboration, but also as a tool to improve corporations’ efficiency, providing room for application of numerous automated procedures in the field of corporate reporting, scheduling, and many others.

Communication and interactions between both business software applications and users within an intranet portal is performed in a more secure way compared to open systems that allow third-party users to access the system. An intranet portal usually also provides access control functionality and user or group based security that prevents or allows access to particular intranet resources and data. Furthermore, a user or a group might be prevented from accessing outside networks, as well as to get automatic denial when attempting to get remote access to the system, while enabling system administrators to create strong hierarchical user trees.

Another dimension of intranet portals is their ability to utilize templates that automate particular tasks or even trigger actions depending on the state of a task or a project. For example, a template can be used to distribute mass-messages to groups or individual users when a certain event, like scheduled appointment, occurs. Other tools to manage workflow can also be incorporated into an intranet portal, enabling managers to keep close eye on internal work processes.

Workflow depends on data and information that is used within an enterprise as well as data and information coming from outside sources like contractors, clients, and suppliers. Therefore, an intranet portal is usually equipped with software modules to process, handle, and transfer such data in various formats that allow for interoperability between enterprises and within the company. Portal intranet workflow may comprise prices of information originating from different business applications thus creating a working environment that should cope with the challenge of various data formats, standards, and procedures. The automation of such processes can relieve employees of duties related to manual exchange and re-formatting of data and provide secure medium for inter-departmental communication and collaboration.

While many people think of portal intranet workflow mainly in terms of calendaring and scheduling optimization, a full-fledged intranet portal can feature modules that optimize and automate the work process across all departments and cover virtually every aspect of running a business. The functionality allowing for triggering scheduled and accidental actions is unparalleled in terms of organizing and optimizing performance, while providing early warnings and reminders caused by the occurrence of a particular event or lack of action.

Furthermore, the entire corporate paperwork can be regarded as an element of the portal intranet workflow and managed according to preset corporate policies and procedures. Overall, a reliable intranet portal provides unlimited opportunity to automate myriads of processes involved in the portal intranet workflow that would otherwise require manual actions, thus improving efficiency and boosting performance.

Tuesday 1 May 2012

What Drives the Success of Web Portal Development in India?

Whether it is a personal or a corporate portal, a growing number of customers worldwide look for services related to web portal development in India to get first-class yet affordable product. Web portal development is still a rapidly growing business, with huge potential for further expansion, despite that the first web portals have emerged a few decades ago. The inevitable need to collect and present data from various sources at one site, to place offers and make trades online, to communicate with individuals and businesses gave birth to different types of web portals: from personal to corporate to governmental to tender portals.

Equipped with features like free or paid email services, stock quotes, news, and research tools, web portals are considered a major driver of the Internet’s progress as a whole, while organizations, both private and governmental, are eager to promote their own personalized web portals that might be public or not. Thus, fueled by excessive demand, web portal development evolved into a lucrative business, while the affordability of portal development services soared, especially quality services provided by reputable software developers and vendors. This undesired development, from customer’s point of view, had happened mainly because of the concentration of web portal development services in the West where market fundamentals presuppose higher costs of web and software development as well as higher payroll costs.

Gradually, this Western hegemony in the field of software development, including web development and portal development, has faded away, after new market players from Asia, Central and Eastern Europe, and Latin America unveiled products and services featuring high quality and reasonable pricing. Today’s market for web portal development is much more customer friendly in terms of pricing, customization, implementation and support services available to customers as well as in terms of number of providers to choose from internationally. Moreover, the emergence of advanced online collaboration technologies has largely eliminated the obstacles preventing enterprises from adopting solutions developed abroad and installed or hosted internally through the means of remote assistance.

Web portal development in India is a relatively new phenomenon; nevertheless, the market is growing at tremendous pace, powered by rapidly expanding demand for outsourced software and web development services, mainly in the West. At present, even large multinationals outsource web portal development, implementation, and support to India-based vendors, looking for external expertise, optimization of costs and more affordable service. While the costs of web portal development in the Western hemisphere have plummeted markedly in the past decade, software developers in Asia/Pacific region are still unequaled in terms of price/quality ratio, giving them notable competitive advantage over rivals.

This is of particular interest to medium- and small-sized business looking for affordable solutions to design and implement an organizational web portal. Such an organizational web portal may feature advanced capabilities like online collaboration tools, workflow management, content management, as well as ability to connect to the system remotely and safely through a module designed to controls user access. In fact, those types of systems are widely adopted across virtually all industries and within enterprises of all sizes, which in turn means that India’s software developers can apply their skills in many different spheres where website portals are used.

The recent emergence of cloud computing as the next big thing raised questions whether the Cloud is to put an end to locally hosted and administered web portals, both public and private, while offering even greater opportunities for those involved in web portal development. As far as the cloud is considered a growingly safe environment, software developers and customers alike can take advantage of advanced third party software and hardware infrastructure to develop, host, manage, and administer web portals, which also greatly reduces the overall cost of running a public or a private web portal. Thus, web portal development in India is now trying to expand into the territory of cloud computing, where promising opportunities are hiding.