IN the first significant wave towards de-linking manpower addition and revenues, a number of large Indian and multinational IT services firms have developed software that can be used to automate a particular business process or aspect of product development and where 30% to 70% of the code can be reused across clients, according to findings documented by a Forrester Research study.
The firms include major Indian vendors such as Tata Consultancy Services (TCS), Infosys Technologies, HCL Technologies and Wipro, and multinational providers such as IBM, Accenture and SAP. IBM, for instance, has committed an investment of $ 300 million towards building such software at its Global Business Solutions Centre in Bangalore. So far, it has developed around 120 such software solutions across 14 industry segments, including financial services, media and entertainment, retail, pharma and utilities.
Similarly, Indian major Infosys Technologies has build around 70 such software solutions and has over 500 people involved in the effort at its Bangalore and Pune centres. For manufacturing and pharma industries, it has built a software that captures reusable components to the tune of 30%-40% and saves at least 30% of the time taken to deploy an application built from scratch.
According to Forrester, these software are more business-issue focussed and different from packaged applications, which can sometimes be long and painful to implement. Terming them “solution accelerators” it says they are more agile and are more agile than software products, and also deliver more than tools or a set of guidelines or frameworks. “A leading Indian service provider analysed P&L accounts of Fortune 500 firms to identify value addition at each step as raw material gets converted to finished goods and then to cash. Then the provider identified the underlying pains as well as the technologies to solve them,” study author Sudin Apte said. The average time savings obtained by using solutions accelerators was 25% - 30%, and savings in project cost around 12%-15%, according to Forrester’s findings.
India’s fifth largest IT exporter, HCL Technologies, which has worked with several car manufacturers to build rear-view electronic displays, has also built a solution accelerator that captures rear images from multiple cameras and stitches them together to get a panoramic view. This helped to show obstacle details and three leading car manufacturers benefitted from it, deploying an advanced rear-view feature in 8-10 less less weeks than it would’ve otherwise taken.
Forrester predicts that as these solution accelerators gains momentum and start to win key client relationships, competition will heat up by 2012-15.