Ten actions to boost productivity in 2010

CIOL Bureau
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BANGALORE, INDIA: After a period of recession, followed by a period of near-recovery, it is now a period of action. Especially in the infocomms sector. Here are ten ideas:


Be sweet to SMEs: SMEs are the lifeblood of any economy. As studies in the US have shown, the recession wont lift, and employment wont rise, unless banks re-open credit lines to SMEs. No stimulus plan will work unless SMEs are back in force in the economy. SMEs (companies with up to 999 staff) in the financial sector alone in India are on track to invest $1.3 bn on their IT infrastructure this year, says AMI Partners.

Secure your space: Security is a hot button issue in India. That includes physical, virtual and data security. Indian companies should now take the lead in bringing innovative technologies and processes in data security space to vow the world. India has the skills, it now needs the will.

Arrive in Africa: If the 1990s was the decade of Asia, the 2010s will be the decade of Africa. Botswana is the least corrupt country in Africa, but the undiscovered gem is Rwanda, which is the least corrupt in East Africa, according to Transparency International. China, South Korea, and even Singapore have scouts sniffing out ICT opportunities in Africa. What Africa needs is what India has to offer: ITeS and  BPO, training and education, and out-of-the-box thinking. The dark continent can become a diamond continent for Indian ICT.


Go hyperband: Indias size and low broadband penetration are challenges. However, can the government and business work together to synergize IP MPLS at the core of the network and cable connectivity at the last mile to jumpstart Indias NGBN initiative?

Dote on the data center (DC): At the heart of large enterprises like banks is the DC, which pumps data without stopping, without missing a heartbeat of a financial transaction. Europe will see a 25 per cent growth in DCs and launch four large IPOs from DC-centric companies in 2010. Asias DC growth is estimated at 33%, with India leading at 48 per cent. One key question: isn't it time for India to consider redundant DCs with BC/DR (business continuity and disaster recovery) built in, at a remote location, such as Singapore?

Seed the Clouds: Despite promises of anytime, anywhere computing at low end-user prices, neither SMEs nor large businesses have coasted the clouds. Should the government seed the clouds by showcasing some proof of concept? Will open source seed the cloud? Indias cloud computing potential is estimated at about $1 bn.


Push lean, not green: Like cloud computing, green IT is going through a gusty hype cycle. But unlike the cloud, no one has a clear definition of what constitutes green IT. The key to going green is to push the get lean message. Use tech to cut costs, boost process productivity and achieve a spectacular RoI. That message should resonate well with companies anywhere, especially in India.

Move from SaaS to KaaS: Software as a service (SaaS) was the bread; the butter will be knowledge as a service (KaaS). KaaS will extend the SaaS delivery model by adding intellectual property related to a particular horizontal process or industry to the SaaS offering, says IDC. Both run on a cloud infrastructure. KaaS as a concept will take root in 2010. India can well take a global lead in KaaS.

Tackle financial fraud: Fraudsters can now raid user accounts by beating two-factor authentication methods based on one-time passwords delivered via tokens and cellphones, says Gartner. Whats the solution? One, set up server-based fraud detection procedures. Two, use tech to disallow call forwarding to previously unspecified user cellphones. Three, educate end-users about security risks.


Watch out for Avatar: Avatar, the 3D movie, is about humans having a virtual reality experience. The real Avatar is where machines lead a virtual existence without the need for humans. By 2020, there will be 10 e-enabled machines to every human in Asia. Thats 20 bn machines potentially talking to each other, without human intervention. On the positive side, that promises M2M apps such as surveillance, smart electric grids, emergency services and environmental sensors, says IDC. On the negative side, will cellphones band together to target and control us humans? Thats something to think of for 2011.

The writer is a former DQ editor and currently managing director of TechTrenders Asia, based in Singapore