Life on the other side of the table: Changing IT horizon in Indian Corporations

My organisation agreed to be a reference for the BPM system that we have implemented. In the last couple of months we provided reference to two of this vendor’s prospects. The first one was a retail lending financial services organization based in North America and the second one, a diversified business conglomerate in South America.

I find this interesting as now corporations in the developed and emerging economies are being referred to Indian corporations for their technology and system implementations. About a decade back, India was at least 15 years behind the developed economies when it came to technology adoption. If the West started deploying ERPs in 80s, Indian corporations started ERP implementations in the second half of 1990s. However, the times have changed now. Indian corporations have not only bridged the technology gap but also are now early adopters of newer technologies and solutions.

This is not a surprising trend though. Technologies that enable growth, efficiency, and flexibility have become critical to the success of Indian organizations as shareholders expect businesses to demonstrate growth, and efficiency. I remember about 2 years back, I was involved in a system evaluation exercise for the last company (BFSI) I worked for. The total cost of ownership for this project was about USD 2 million. The payback we calculated was 5 years plus against our benchmark period of 3 years. After going through our proposal, our CFO, whose previous stint was with a cement manufacturer remarked that such pay back could only be acceptable for environment projects. However, this is not the case always. Information Technology initiatives are now seen as a necessary enabler and foundation.

All is not well on India’s IT horizon though. The area where there is huge potential for improvement is IT Governance. Unfortunately, structures, policies, methodologies are still being seen as bureaucracy and dirty documentation. Results are seen as an alternative to process rather than the outcome of the process. However, I am sure that as corporate IT investments grow, as successful implementation of business strategy and business operations depend heavily on IT, as the complexity of IT environments increase, Indian corporation will feel the need for bringing method to the madness.

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