Srinivas Reddy’s Weblog

My Tech Rants

India as a Content Innovation Center

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In a world that is seeing rapid technology convergence its in content area India can play a key role with its huge human resources.  In fact its already doing this with the BPO wave. We need to better understand content and need for a framework to plugin this content for different consumers in there ecosystems!!.  This content can be consumer content (games, movies, music, news, portals, ..) or business content (sap, oracle,…). This content can be related to different domains (healthcare, govt, retail, manufacturing, banking, ……….) and can be consumed by different media (tv, films, internet, mobile,……..). At one level there is a need to understand processes (be it business or personal) of different consumers and improve them disruptively using IT.  Think of what mobile phones have done to telecom industry!.  While the content requirements of different domains are different the infrastructure requirements to provide the content will be same.  While the digital infrastructure is still emerging in a few areas (mobile computing,…) its maturing in other areas (client/server systems,….). If we compare this with the automobile industry it provides vehicles for different consumers (bikes, cars, trucks,…) but the engineering behind its construction is mature/standardised/industrialised. When we talk about IT platforms (be it J2EE / .NET / LAMP) there is a similar trend emerging.  The IT industry is getting mature and getting industrialised. There is no better proof of this then the enmasse outsourcing of IT work to India.  Like all matured/ maturing industries there will always be areas where innovation  will continue to happen, this is true even in case of IT.  Innovation is everywhere (be it in steps of the software development life cycle or for any other industry).

While at one level in IT we can innovate on the tools and other IT infrastructure (be it managing datacenters autonomously, grids,………) a mass market for content innovation exists.  It is this area that we need to focus for leveraging the huge IT workforce in India. Even as individual efforts to target new content markets occour (be it in emerging areas of games development, animation … or in more mundane tasks like call center credit card processing……..) no coordinated effort exists to target the global content development. While most developers in India are involved in coding for supporting different application domain content, they need to understand the strategic importance of domain content expertise.  The knowledge power we talk about making India is all about creating content experts in all key domains who understand the industries inside out and can create new innovations.  Make no mistake even as we enter the era of software factories the abstraction levels are being raised which makes domain expertise even more critical. While we need people with domain expertise in IT infrastructure (be it in networks, storage, management,…) the need for application domain experts can never be over emphasised. Yes, a good number of IT staff in India is involved in the support of applications (be it call centers of Dell, GE,….).  If they have to move up the value chain to do research, design and development of next generation applications, they have to leverage the domain process skills  gained from application support.  Even the Japanese manufactured cheap cars before going up the auto industry value chain. While its true that managements in IT industry need to drive this innovation up the chain, we as developers need to understand the industry value chain and raise the bar of competition.  Our neighbours (chinese) are only in a striking distance from taking our only crown jewel.

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Written by srinivasreddy

August 18, 2005 at 5:29 pm

Posted in Technology

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