Tuesday, 29 January 2013

Indian banks, securities companies to spend Rs 41,000 crore on IT in 2013

Banking and securities companies in the country will spend Rs 41,600 crore on IT products and services in 2013, an increase of over 12 per cent compared to Rs 37,000 crore they spent last year, research firm Gartner said.

"Indian banking and securities companies will spend Rs 416 billion on IT products and services in 2013, an increase of more than 12 per cent over 2012 revenue of Rs 370 billion," Gartner said in a statement.

The forecast includes spending by financial institutions on internal IT (including personnel), hardware, software, external IT services and telecommunications, it added.

"Most banks see expansion and increasing market share as their main priority," Gartner Research Director Vittorio D'Orazio said, adding, "As in other emerging markets, the front office gets preference over the back office in major investments."

Telecommunications remain the largest overall spending category at Rs 12,200 crore in 2013, it said.

However, software is forecast to achieve the highest growth rate amongst the top level IT spending categories - to exceed 18 per cent in 2013, Gartner said.

"A growth of 23.6 per cent is predicted for desktop software and 22.6 per cent for enterprise resource planning (ERP)/supply chain management (SCM)/customer relationship management ( CRM) and other front-office applications high on the agenda," it added.

D'Orazio said modernisation and legacy replacement remain major issues for many banks as the gap widens between front-office and back-office services.

"We see increasing adoption of packages, especially for 'lite' core banking systems to address modernisation and replacement," D'Orazio added.

Source- TOI

Sunday, 27 January 2013

Infosys: Indian IT industry to create 2.5 lakh jobs in 2013

Enthused by improving global economic scenario and a renewed wave of reforms back in India, IT giant Infosys says it is bullish over better growth prospects of IT sector in 2013 and expects greater job creation this year.

"I believe 2013 to be better than 2012 for IT sector as globally lots of uncertainties have been removed, US elections are over, Europe is not going to split and people believe that it is going to stay together," Infosys Co-founder and Executive Co-Chairman S Gopalakrishnan told PTI here.

Kris, as he is known, is here for the Annual Meeting of the World Economic Forum along with the top executives of a host of other Indian IT firms such as TCS, Wipro, HCL and Mahidra Satyam-Tech Mahindra.

"When I say 2013 is going to be better, this means that growth opportunities for Indian IT industry is going to be better and that is what I expect," he said.

"That also means that more jobs will be created by the industry. 25 lakh people are currently employed by IT industry and even if you look at 10 per cent growth, then you are looking at 2-2.5 lakh additional people being hired by the industry and that is very good.

Kris said that a clearer picture would emerge after Infosys and other IT firms announce their full fiscal results for 2012-13.

About the broader economic scenario, Kris said, "Reforms that have happened in last few months have improved the sentiments, increased the confidence, and I except the growth to reach 7 per cent or more in 2013.

"This is a right signal to the investment community saying that we continue to emphasise on economic growth and on attracting investment and continue to focus on making sure that jobs are created with economic growth.

"It's actually a very positive thing and the reaction that I am getting from the foreign investment community and the business leaders here is that they want this to be continued and sustained and I am hoping that we will see more announcements and more initiatives from the government and that will help us achieve a seven per cent growth and even more," he said.

S Gopalakrishnan, along with NR Narayana Murthy and five others, founded Infosys in 1981.

He has served as Director (Technical) and his initial responsibilities included the management of design, development, implementation, and support of information systems for clients in the consumer products industry in the US.

Before becoming the CEO and Managing Director in July 2007, Kris had served as the company's Chief Operating Officer, President and Joint Managing Director, responsible for customer services, technology, investments, and acquisitions. He took over as the Executive Co-Chairman on August 21, 2011.

Infosys on January 11, beat market expectations with its December quarter results and also raised dollar revenue guidance for the fiscal ending March 31, while country's largest software services firm TCS also beat forecasts and said it was very confident heading into the new year.

Country's third largest software services firm Wipro beat market expectations by posting 18 per cent gain in net profit at Rs 1,716 crore for October-December quarter, and HCL Technologies beat market estimates with 68.4 per cent jump in quarterly profit.

According to research firm Gartner, spending on IT services will grow 5.2 per cent to $927 billion in 2013, compared with growth of 1.8 per cent in 2012.

Source- TOI

Friday, 25 January 2013

Indian IT companies' reputation

 India's information technology sector limps out a slump, there is concern that companies may be taking shortcuts to preserve margins which have come under pressure because of increasing competitive intensity.

Indian companies, which have earned a reputation for delivering quality services at affordable rates and built a $100- billion ( Rs 5.3 lakh crore) sector, could be risking their image in pursuit of short-term gains, analysts and industry observers said.

The method they are adopting is quite simple - deploying less experienced and hence less expensive but more error-prone engineers where earlier they would put the best available resource on the job. And the main reason they are doing so is because the proportion of fixed-rate contracts in their revenue mix is rising - nearly 50% for some. At the same time, contracts where companies get paid for the number of hours an engineer works are on the decline.

From profit margins of over 30% during the outsourcing boom years that followed the Y2K crisis, profitability has now fallen to around 20% and is expected to be further dragged down by rising costs and competition. Revenue growth, too, is down substantially and will barely cross 10% in the year to March 2013.

"Service providers are left with little choice but to try and do everything to keep costs to a minimum so that they can squeeze margins out," said Sid Pai, president for Asia Pacific at outsourcing advisory ISG Information Services Group.

The changing nature of contracts is being driven by intense competition among service providers who are mainly now fighting for market share as the size of the pie is not increasing by much. New deals are mostly renewals of contracts that were signed about a decade ago and corporations in the United States and Europe are reluctant to raise spending on technology in an uncertain economic environment.

Following a recent client survey, technology analysts at BNP Paribas noted that "the quality of resources staffed by offshore India vendors on projects has significantly deteriorated recently because of margin pressures". "Some vendors appeared too eager to win business in a tough environment and may be over-committing on what they can deliver," they wrote.

Infosys and HCL Technologies, India's second and fourth-largest software companies, did not reply to emailed questions seeking their views. Wipro, the third-biggest software exporter, denied knowledge of such an issue.

The resulting fall in quality of services is raising dissatisfaction levels among large corporations, some of whom, according to industry insiders, have taken projects away from erring service providers and handed them over to a competing vendor.

"A lot of times, IT companies get the estimate wrong and are tempted to cut corners which may in turn impact the project quality," said Sanjay Dhawan , executive director at PricewaterhouseCoopers. "Repeated failed delivery by the IT vendor partner could force the client to evaluate other options."

In the recent past, a few clients have switched their IT vendors citing dissatisfaction over slow delivery or low-quality work. Aircel, for example, is believed to have discontinued its data centre services deal with Wipro while insurance firm Max New York Life parted ways with IBM for similar reasons.

Sharat Kumar, senior vice president and group delivery head for continental Europe at Mahindra Satyam, said that European clients are especially particular about quality.

Source- TOI

Sunday, 20 January 2013

How streamlined IT service operations are doing more with less

The IT ops teams of today are flexible and efficient, using technology and management to run their businesses. What’s their secret?

For better or worse, today’s IT service operations team is different from the one you joined five, 10 or 20 years ago, with fewer people and resources managing an ever-increasing number of systems.

The most obvious culprit is the economy. In 2009 and 2010, IT budgets fell sharply. According to Gartner, they shrank 8.1% in 2009, and another 1.1% the year after. And while IT budgets started growing again in 2011, they are only at the level they were in 2005.

At the same time, fewer IT staffers are managing more systems. Gone are the days of the 25:1 system-to-system-administrator ratio; today that number is closer to 250:1.

“This is the new normal,” said Mike Sargent, general manager for enterprise management at CA, the management software vendor. “The effective demands on IT are going up exponentially, and it is under massive pressure to keep costs under control.”

But most IT teams have responded with ingenuity in keeping the lights on and the hard drives spinning. How are successful IT operations teams keeping afloat?

Less Is More
On the systems and facilities side of things, IT teams have been consolidating with abandon. Virtualization has famously been the primary way for IT departments to keep up with demand while keeping a lid on costs. Likewise, large companies consolidated multiple data centers into fewer centralized ones, slashing costs while also establishing consistent standards and better availability across far-flung geographies.

All that consolidation has had serious implications for IT operations staffs. One manufacturer went from having IT staffers in all its regional facilities to a shared service center model. Festo, a global industrial automation and pneumatics manufacturer with 15,500 employees in 15 countries, eliminated most local IT ops people in the move and regrouped them in one of three company data centers.

“We operated locally for a long time, but then we worked to regionalize and centralize IT operations,” said Steve Damadeo, Festo IT operations manager for the Americas.

For example, Festo used to run mail services in 60 countries; now mail is centralized in its European, North American and Asian data centers. Festo plans to further consolidate services like file and print into these regional data centers as well. “There’s no point in having 10 systems when I can do it with two,” he said.

Enterprise IT has also learned to streamline common tasks so they can be handled by IT operations teams in less expensive parts of the world.

Mark Szynaka is a cloud architect at Network Strategies Inc., an IT consultancy in New York City, and has worked at several large Wall Street firms. There, his work consisted largely of automating network management processes so they could be handled remotely.

Using ITIL (or IT Infrastructure Library) best practices, Szynaka said the goal was to take a rules-based approach to discovering errors and correlating events and to interface with in-house ticketing systems manned by company help desk staff sitting far from headquarters.

“Most of the day-to-day care and feeding is going to Texas and India,” Szynaka said—especially tedious tasks. Under this system, only those problems that cannot be easily reconciled “bubble up” to senior, in-house IT staffers.

Indeed, tiering IT service operations tasks and teams has become increasingly common. The California health care giant Kaiser Permanente split its IT operations team in two a couple of years ago. The first is an offshore team of Kaiser IT employees focused on “red” and “green” systems availability using the IBM Tivoli Netcool/Omnibus operations management console; the second is a critical application support team in the U.S. that proactively addresses performance problems using vCenter Operations, VMware’s performance analytics suite.

Creating the two teams was “a natural consequence” of implementing performance analytics, said Ian Dodd, Kaiser Permanente’s director for service delivery management.

“Availability monitoring is by definition reactive. A ticket comes in, they react,” Dodd said. Not so with possible performance problems. “You can’t take a ticketing approach to a problem that may happen in a couple of hours; you have to give these guys time.”

But there are costs to distributing IT operations staffers around the globe. While this global village ethos makes it easier to hire for specific technical skills or language skills (to say nothing of staffing the third shift), many IT pros miss the old days.

“There are days when I think that would be much easier if everyone were in the same room,” said Festo’s Damadeo. He laments the constant video conferences, and struggles to tone down his fast-talking New Yorker style. And it’s tough to ensure that everyone is on the same page. “I spend a lot of time on communication,” he said.

Automate All Things
Ultimately, consolidation and centralization are a game of diminishing returns. Many organizations have hit a ceiling on how many systems they can virtualize or how many virtual machines (VMs) they can stuff on a server. Likewise, latency and bandwidth limitations curtail global organizations’ ability to centralize processing into a single data center facility, and staffs simply can’t get any smaller and still run effectively.

With these tactics maxed out, where does IT turn for greater efficiency?

In a word: automation. Like countless industries before it, IT operations pros are hard at work automating time-consuming and error-prone workflows in search of efficiency.

Cypress Semiconductor Corp. in San Jose, Calif., has IT service operations distributed around the world and, over the past couple of years, has worked to automate onerous IT workflows such as creating and deleting employee email accounts. Before automation, the process used to take a week or more, said Venki Sundaresan, senior IT director, but can now be accomplished in about one day, including obtaining all the necessary approvals.

Cypress uses the OpsOne IT process automation platform, a Software as a Service (SaaS) offering from Appnomic. The fact that OpsOne is delivered as SaaS makes it low maintenance for the IT team, and automating complex processes has freed the operations team for more strategic, value-added work, said Sundaresan.

But many IT operations pros are resistant to automation, fearing that it will put them out of a job. That’s a fallacy, said John Allspaw, senior vice president of technical operations at Etsy.com, an online craft marketplace. “By that measure, Google would have 50 people working for them,” Allspaw said.

In fact, Allspaw has found the opposite to be true at Etsy: “The more automation we have, the more people I hire,” he said, as more efficient workflows open up the doors for IT staffers to pursue new projects.

Further, you can’t just automate a process and send staff on their merry way. “When things go wrong with automation, which they absolutely and always will, we need to have the people that wrote the automation to introspect it and to help repair it,” Allspaw said.

In particular, configuration management and provisioning have recently benefitted from automation advances, Allspaw said. Etsy, for example, makes heavy use of Opscode Chef and Cobbler, a Linux installation server.

But automation is no silver bullet, Allspaw conceded. “When automation is your hammer, then every problem looks like a nail,” he said. But not every problem needs to have automation as its solution. “The question is: Should we automate it, how and where and why should we automate it?”

Outsourced Nation
And when all else fails, you can always outsource the IT operations grunt work.

Take network monitoring. “It’s a big commitment. A lot of firms don’t have the manpower or the expertise and aren’t interested in hiring [them],” said Craig Schotke, manager for the monitoring services team at YJT Solutions, a tech consulting firm in Chicago that offers network monitoring services using CA Nimsoft Monitor.

In recent years, YJT has seen a surge of interest in outsourced network monitoring, initially from small emerging companies, and more recently from established midsized companies. Oftentimes, they’ll have the network monitoring in-house, but will choose to outsource the management of it.

“The trend we’re seeing is of companies reducing the size of their IT staff,” Schotke said. He believes that in the next few years, the majority of companies will have outsourced their email, and “that trend is going to continue with other services.”

In organizations born in the cloud, IT operations staffs are already practically nonexistent, said cloud architect Szynaka of Network Strategies.

Szynaka counts several companies in the media and entertainment industry among his customers, whose internal IT staff consists largely of data managers and programmers—“the heart of the strategic differentiation for their business.” For infrastructure, they use Amazon Web Services extensively, combining turnkey Amazon Machine Images (AMIs) like content delivery networks (CDNs), databases and Hadoop into virtual private clouds created by Szynaka and his cohorts.

“We build [our customers] a virtual private cloud, then give them the keys and lock ourselves out,” Szynaka said. “They don’t need an operations team—they have me.”


Thursday, 17 January 2013

The End of PC era has started giving signs.

PC sales sank in the fourth quarter of 2012 due to increased competition from smartphones and tablet devices, Gartner said in a report released Monday.

Shipments totaled some 90.3 million units -- a 4.9 percent decline from the fourth quarter a year earlier, the firm found. In the U.S. market, PC shipments fell 2.1 percent from the year prior to 17.5 million units.

The decline was attributable largely to consumers purchasing tablets and smartphones rather than replacing older computers, Gartner said, which could suggest that consumers are starting to see the tablet as suitable for content creation as well as consumption.

"It is depending on how you define content creation," said Mikako Kitagawa, principal research analyst at Gartner. "If you think posting photos and comments on Facebook is content creation, then yes, a tablet can do some content creation."

However, the PC will still remain the de facto device for content creation, she added.

"When it comes to more complex activities such as working on a spreadsheet or updating a personal website -- not just a microblog or simple blog -- then PCs offer higher productivity compared to tablets," Kitagawa told the E-Commerce Times.

Tablet Market

The slowdown in PC sales could be attributable to a number of factors, including the fact that many machines running Windows 7 aren't all that old -- the operating system was introduced in 2009. Many users tried to remain on the Windows XP OS for as long as possible.

The fact that there has been little pressure to upgrade is one factor, but the surge in mobile device use can't be ruled out either.

"The Gartner and IDC Q4 PC sales numbers are an obvious disappointment, but the falloff is the result of a combination of factors, including users migrating to mobile devices and stagnant economies -- especially in Europe and parts of Asia," said Charles King, principal analyst at Pund-IT.

"Those factors also work in concert -- that is, for a relatively modest investment, a consumer can purchase a low-end laptop PC, a good quality tablet or a high-end smartphone," he observed.

"The bottom line is that smartphones and tablets, either separately or in concert, can deliver a literally better bang for the buck than many PCs," said King.

Broken Windows

It wasn't supposed to be this way. Microsoft had pegged its strategy on its new Windows 8 OS, which would mimic the tablet experience on a laptop -- and potentially even a desktop.

"The lack of Win 8 uptake suggests that even while most users continue to use conventional PCs, they're not upgrading them. The fact is that without touch-enablement, Win8 is not a compelling product," King told the E-Commerce Times.

"That's lousy news for PC makers," King noted, "but things could pick up during the coming year as larger numbers of touch-enabled Win8 laptops, tablets and all-in-one PCs become available, along with next-gen Intel CPUs -- by Q4 -- which will deliver significantly better battery life and system performance."

The window thus isn't closed for Windows 8, and in the long run the OS could gain steam and traction. Still, it hasn't been the breakaway hit that Microsoft no doubt wanted it to be.

"Not many PCs had fully taken advantage of Windows 8 yet. There was still lots of confusion around W8 from the vendor perspective; thus, consumers did not get the right messaging," said Kitagawa.

"The industry needs to develop more intuitive touch-based PCs in order to take advantage of Windows 8 and have better communication with consumers," she said, but noted that it's too early to call it a success or a disappointment.

In some quarters, though, it is never too early to cast blame.

"Windows 8 had a nasty problem. Most of the hardware that was to have launched with 8 was delayed until this quarter because of a severe shortage of touchscreen displays," said Rob Enderle, principal analyst at the Enderle Group.

There's been "a lot of finger pointing as to who screwed this up," he told the E-Commerce Times, "but given that Sinofsky had to step down, my guess is that most pointed to him."

Mac Picks Up

An interesting twist on this is that Apple's Mac has seen a surge while Windows-powered machines have slid. Are people actually "thinking differently," or is something else at play?

"The Apple Store draw helps sales, and Apple had decent store draw in the fourth quarter," said Enderle.

However, closer examination must be paid to these reports, he added.

"PC shipments from Gartner come from the vendors, and Apple really doesn't share these things officially," Enderle added. "With all the pressure downward on their stock price, the likelihood that they may overinflate this number goes up."

This could explain why the numbers from competing analyst firms don't exactly show the same thing. While Gartner noted that Mac sales increased, IDC's numbers suggest otherwise and actually indicate a drop in sales. If Apple did see a bump, could it have resulted from iPad owners looking differently at the Mac?

"The news for Apple was a bit confusing, since while Gartner showed a dramatic surge in Mac sales, IDC showed a slight decline," noted King. "There does seem to be a connection between Apple's iPhone/iPad leadership and Mac sales."

It is also worth noting that Apple has experienced wild success in smartphones and tablets but only mild improvements, at best, in Mac sales.

"It simply demonstrates that the company is not immune to economic factors," King pointed out. "That is, tens of millions of consumers who have adopted the iPhone and iPad aren't willing to pay the premium to become Mac owners."

Source- http://www.technewsworld.com/story/77081.html

Wednesday, 16 January 2013

Using 2 Monitors in a Windows 8 Environment

There are a number of reasons for using a dual-monitor setup. In the office, you may want to have a productivity app open on one screen and email on the other. At home, you might want to duplicate the content on a tiny laptop screen on your giant flat-screen TV. Taking advantage of multiple-monitor functionality is a little different with Windows 8, but the advantages make it well worth the effort.

With screen real estate, as with the dirt version, more is generally better.

Like earlier incarnations of the OS, Windows 8 has external monitor functionality that lets you spread out. However, there are Windows 8-specific features -- like the snapping of apps that lets you use apps side-by-side to do two tasks at once; and communications like Skype video calls -- that especially benefit from having more screens.

You may find it convenient to have an email box always open on one desk-based monitor, with another displaying apps. That way you're not repeatedly minimizing proper work to see who's pinging -- just glance over.

I use a dedicated Dell Inspiron Mini laptop with a 10.1-inch screen for television services like Slingbox and Hulu. Piping directly into a television's HDMI port, the laptop acts as a remote control.

Following is a guide to using multiple monitors in Windows 8.

Step 1

Identify the available ports on the PC and monitor or TV. Look for HDMI (High Definition Multimedia Interface) ports, and use them if available.

HDMI technology carries audio and video in the same cable, and it is smart enough to know when the cable is connected and when it isn't. Most recent laptops, monitors and televisions feature HDMI.

Older alternatives are VGA and DVI technologies. You can buy a DVI to HDMI adapter. Desktop PCs sometimes have a combination of serial ports -- DVI and HDMI -- as do some monitors and TVs. In that case, just match the cables.

Tip: Avoid docking stations that use USB. There can be graphics-rendering issues, because you're adding a layer of complexity that can limit the ability of the video card and monitor to work responsively together. You can get them to work, but it can be a lot of trouble.

Step 2

Plug the HDMI or other cable into the PC and secondary television or monitor. Then turn the devices on.

Windows 8 will automatically detect the second screen.

Step 3

Point to the upper-right or bottom-right corner of the first screen and select the Devices charm. Then click the Second Screen link.

Select Duplicate to replicate the same image on both screens; Extend to spread out; or Second Screen Only to blank the primary screen and use only the secondary screen.

Tip: Duplicate works well for multimedia when you want to source video with a laptop and stream the results on a television. Extend works well in a desk environment when you want to spread out across screen real-estate.

Step 4

Press the Windows keyboard button in conjunction with Page Up to toggle screens when in the Extend screen mode.

The Windows button plus Page Up moves the current app to the left monitor. The Windows button plus Page Down moves the current app to the right monitor.

Tip: The Start page appears on one screen only. If you want to use an app obtained from the Windows Store, first open it, and then flip it to the screen you want it on using the Windows keyboard button along with the Page Up or Down procedure.

Classic desktop-based apps -- those that used to be called "programs" -- don't have this anomaly. They can appear on both screens.

Step 5

Tweak the screen resolution if prompted when running apps. Windows 8 should automatically figure out the correct resolution for both screens. However, sometimes you may get error messages telling you resolution isn't correct when you run certain apps -- particularly with televisions.

Place the mouse in the bottom-right corner and choose Search. Enter the term Control Panel and click on the result.

Select Adjust Screen resolution from within the Appearance and Personalization subhead.

You'll see the two screens represented graphically as icons in a likely more familiar Windows 7 or earlier type interface. Make resolution drop-down changes, choose Apply, and try the app again.

Source- Technewsworld

Thursday, 10 January 2013

Federal Agencies to Slash Number of Data Centers

As technology improves, the federal government's need for numerous data centers decreases. The U.S government has a plan for dealing with this change: the Federal Data Center Consolidation Initiative, which is expected to reduce the number of data centers it uses by about 40 percent.

As a result of the Federal Data Center Consolidation Initiative (FDCCI), the number of government data centers will shrink sharply from its current level of about 3,000 centers to about 1,800 by 2015 -- a reduction rate of 40 percent. Eventual savings could be in the range of US$5 billion. The ability to implement a change of that magnitude is largely the result of a confluence of IT developments that have matured at about the same time.

"Once every 20 years or so, significant technology shifts occur, which cause a ripple effect -- deeply affecting business processes across organizations. The end result of all of these changes is that government data centers are entering a period of radical change," according to a recent IDC report on the future of government data center deployment.

Consolidation, of course, doesn't mean elimination: instead, agencies will continue and even significantly expand data management activities -- but in a more efficient way by eliminating under-performing and redundant data centers and combining capabilities with others to maximize utilization and economies of scale.

"Understand that it's not, in reality, full data centers that will be consolidating. Some data centers have closed immediately, but the real goal is that applications will be consolidating, leading toward a situation where less data center space will be needed. As that happens, the remaining data centers will become more high-tech in nature," the report said.

That leaves the question of where does the consolidation occur? Some agencies will simply combine operations within facilities they continue to own and manage. Some will collaborate with other agencies, but will still utilize government facilities.

A third option has been highlighted by a recent decision and contract award from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). The agency has selected eight contractors to help it create a virtual data center (VDC) to handle an array of agency IT and data-management tasks. One of the goals is to meet the requirements of the FDCCI. CMS is looking eventually to establish a group of "geographically dispersed, world-class data centers owned and operated by a broad pool of industry partners but under the control of a single procurement vehicle."

The near privatization of data center activities envisioned by CMS, however, may not fit other agencies. "It's one trend, but it's not the only trend," McCarthy told the E-Commerce Times. "The end result of this evolution will be fewer dedicated government data centers."

Regardless of the options, the IDC report concluded that the federal data center landscape will change in various ways, including the following:

There will be fewer dedicated data centers, but the remaining facilities will be quite large, serving multiple customers.
Software solutions will consolidate around specific business functions, with organizations making those functions available as hundreds of discreet services that can be tapped into, via the cloud, by multiple applications and multiple agencies.
Hardware will be increasingly rack based, hot-swappable, progressively powerful and standardized, and designed to support heavily virtualized software.
Data center buildings will be located in regions where real estate prices and the costs of electricity are lower, and they will be designed to maximize passive cooling and heating. Energy efficiency will be boosted greatly while tapping into alternative energy resources such as wind, solar, nuclear, wave energy, and geothermal solutions.

Financial and Operational Goals

From a financial perspective, the IDC report concluded that currently the general IT trend is that most government agencies want to curtail depreciation associated with their IT investments. Machines and software usually decline in value after purchase, while facilities need long-term maintenance and investment.

"The new data center trend leverages the concept of avoiding the purchase of things that depreciate," the report said. This approach already is having an impact on government computing. Shared services and cloud solutions take government IT away from capital investments and toward operational investments.

On the functional side, the IDC analysis said that consolidation of data center operations will also require that agencies focus on broad-based enterprise IT architecture that incorporates department-wide missions and functions. As a corollary, "no major IT overhaul should be done without also examining and refining current business processes," IDC said. When an organization's mission evolves or changes, such processes can become stale, with unnecessary steps and layers. If agency IT managers take the time to visualize current business processes with a flowchart, and consider how those processes can be streamlined as part of long-term changes to an enterprise IT architecture, the business impact can be improved.

Change Poses IT Challenges

However, the evolution to more productive data center utilization, while potentially beneficial, poses some challenges. The federal data center consolidation program "is an ambitious goal by the federal government and holds great promise tied to other enabling technologies, including virtualization and cloud computing," Ed Meehan, managing director, Accenture Federal Services, told the E-Commerce Times. Accenture is one of the companies eligible for participating in the CMS virtual data center project.

Implementing the CMS contract, and similar federal agency projects, won't be easy. "Top challenges facing our clients include developing effective migration strategies and developing frameworks and methods to effectively measure the value created through consolidation as it relates to business outcomes," Meehan said.

Lockheed Martin, is another CMS project participant, as well as the lead contractor for a recently awarded data center consolidation contract from the Department of Labor. "Lockheed Martin is focused on implementing all aspects of consolidation. We not only bring important virtualization, enterprise security and governance foundations to the table but also crucial systems engineering, architecture, training, and implementation capabilities," Glenn Kurowski, vice president of the health and life sciences group at Lockheed Martin, told the E-Commerce Times. "All of these are needed to achieve efficiency at the level our customers need."

Security is another major challenge in all federal IT deployments. Regulations covering data security and use will limit government IT organizations from using many well-known service provider data centers, such as hosters and public cloud capabilities.

"The large data, storage, and information sharing requirements of government entities, however, will spur a significant build-out of government-targeted mega-data centers in the next five years," IDC said.


Tuesday, 8 January 2013

Nano-material to revolutionize the future computing- TOI

A two-dimensional nano-material could usher in nano-transistors and help revolutionise electronics, including ultra fast computing, says an Australian research.

The new material - made up of layers of crystal known as molybdenum oxides - has unique properties that encourage the free flow of electrons at ultra-high speeds.

Researchers from Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) explain how they adapted a revolutionary material known as graphene to create a new conductive nano-material, the journal Advanced Materials reports.

Graphene created by scientists in Britain won its inventors a Nobel Prize in 2010. While the new material supports high speed electrons, its physical properties stump high-speed electronics, according to a CSIRO statement.

Serge Zhuiykov from the CSIRO said the new nano-material was made up of layered sheets - similar to graphite layers that make up a pencil's core.

"Within these layers, electrons are able to zip through at high speeds with minimal scattering," Zhuiykov said.

"The importance of our breakthrough is how quickly and fluently electrons - which conduct electricity - are able to flow through the new material," he added. Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology (RMIT) doctoral researcher Sivacarendran Balendhran led the study.

Kourosh Kalantar-zadeh, professor at the RMIT, said the researchers were able to remove "road blocks" that could obstruct the electrons, an essential step for the development of high-speed electronics.

"While more work needs to be done before we can develop actual gadgets using this new 2D nano-material, this breakthrough lays the foundation for a new electronics revolution and we look forward to exploring its potential," he adds.

Source- http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/tech/enterprise-it/infrastructure/Nano-material-to-revolutionise-computing/articleshow/17926219.cms

Monday, 7 January 2013

6 hottest job profiles for IT pros in 2013


Reason: Recent developments in hardware and networking technologies have made it cheap to not only gather large volumes of data, but also to store it and retrieve it with ease.

"The ability to analyse the data and make business sense out of it is a skill that is fast gaining prominence," says Ajit Isaac, MD and CEO at Ikya Human Capital Solutions, who projects 12,000-15,000 openings next year.

Sectors :Banks, consumer goods, retail, IT & IT consulting, business consulting, & e-commerce/online.

Skills: Training/experience in statistics or financial analysis; familiarity with statistical techniques, and software such as SAS and SPSS.


Entry level (Graduate/PG): Rs 4.5-8 lakh (p.a)

(Five years of experience): Rs 8-12 lakh

For IITs & Premier Schools: Rs 15 lakh

Chief operating officers

Reason: 2013 will be a year of greater competition, says E Balaji, MD & CEO, Randstad India. "So, as CEOs and business heads focus on increasing their market share, COOs would be focussing on cost control, cash flows and inventory management." The demand for COOs is expected to grow 30% in the next few years.

Sectors: IT and IT-enabled services, engineering, procurement and construction.

Skills: Ability to multitask, make decisions under stress, motivate pros.


Large organisations: Rs 1-2crore (p.a)

SMEs and start-ups: Rs 60-90 lakh

IT & Mobile product development

Reason: With the internet becoming an ubiquitous part of more and more lives, a lot of economic activity has moved online as well.

"A smooth, seamless user experience and a robust technical platform are key elements of a successful web presence," says Ikya's Isaac. "Firms recognise this, and, hence, people who can build such platforms are in great demand."

Sectors: IT product, e-commerce, IT consulting and mobile application.

Skills: Knowledge of the latest tech and an eye for consumer insights.


Entry level: Rs 12-18 lakh per annum

With 5 years of experience: Rs 35-40 lakh

R&D professionals

Reason: According to Mercer, India is being seen as an R&D hub; several organisations are investing in R&D centres across industries. The current requirement is for niche skills at the junior management level.

Sectors: Auto, chemical, consumer, pharma, healthcare and IT.

Skills: Ability to conduct research to create new products.


Entry level: Rs 5-6 lakh (p.a)

Mid level: Rs 12-15 lakh

Social media buffs

Reason: Brands are going social, and customers and stakeholders are taking their conversations online. "Consumers are taking peer reviews seriously and basing their purchase decisions on them," says Balaji of Randstad India.

Sectors: Technology, media, e-commerce, auto, FMCG and lifestyle product companies.

Skills: Tech-savvy; certifications from Google, Yahoo and MS ad platforms will help.


Mid-level (as it is still a nascent segment): Rs 4-6 lakh (p.a)

Junior engineers

Reason: Mercer's Anand says most organisations that employ engineers are planning to expand. Maximum openings are at the junior level, including IT engineers & process engineers, product and design engineers.

Sectors: IT, telecom, auto, manufacturing, engineering & chemical.

Skills: Engineering and project management.


Entry to mid-level: Rs 3.75-16 lakh (p.a)

Source- http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/itslideshow/17924376.cms

Sunday, 6 January 2013

Workday- Is it a replacement for the available HR software ?

What is Workday?

Workday is the leader in SaaS-based enterprise solutions for human resources, payroll and financial management, providing new levels of business agility for a fraction of the cost of buying, deploying and maintaining legacy on-premise systems. More than 130 customers, spanning mid-sized organizations to global Fortune 500 businesses, have selected Workday. Workday Human Capital Management and Workday Financial Management use modern, standards-based technologies to provide an unparalleled level of agility, ease-of-use, and integration capability.

Workday has taken over, Oracle's peoplesoft and is doing a great job in the global business. And the matter of fact is, the founder father of both is same- Mr. Dave Duffield and Mr. Anil Bhusri.

Why workday, when peoplesoft is there?

With the advance of technology and introduction of cloud computing, everything is changing and technology is entering into each and every functions of a business.

Peoplesoft was doing well but still businesses are going for Workday- here are the comparisons between both Peoplesoft and Workday. This comparisons will make you more clear why Workday is replacing Peoplesoft.  

     Points of comparisons-:
  • To run PeopleSoft will cost you several hundred dollars per year per user − Workday will cost you a fraction of that.
  • PeopleSoft is based on a technology that is 30 years old - Workday has the most modern object-oriented technology found in enterprise software.
  • You buy PeopleSoft − you rent Workday.
  • You install PeopleSoft on your computers − you access Workday over the internet.**
  • To meet your requirements you can (and sometimes have to) customize PeopleSoft to your heart’s content - and your system integrator’s great financial satisfaction − Configuring Workday may be enough.***
  • PeopleSoft, which covers all industries, has a strong offering for, and a large customer base in, the public sector  −  Workday so far is targeting mainly private businesses****
  • You upgrade PeopleSoft every three and a half years *****  − you get a regular update from Workday several times a year.
  • PeopleSoft HCM is part of an ERP offering itself just another of several other business applications belonging to Oracle whose sprawling portfolio includes hardware and its flagship database system − Workday is first and foremost an HCM system branching out into the ERP world.
So we can see that, Workday is not only a replacement of Peoplesoft but also much more than that. It not only take cares of  your people but also your finance upto some extent and that also at a lesser cost than other similar softwares. 

Saturday, 5 January 2013

Banned from Facebook, pre-teen creates own social network

A tech-savvy 11-year-old from Florida has developed a kid-friendly social network, after his parents banned him from logging onto Facebook, fearing that he was using the site inappropriately.

Zachary Marks had lied about his age when he signed up on the social network, which requires a user to be at least 13-years-old to set up an account.

According to NBC's 'Today,' looking for an outlet for his social media needs, the now 12-year-old boy rejected other kid-oriented networks, deeming them as "childish," the New York Daily News reported.

Instead, Marks turned to his five siblings and together they created Grom Social.

According to KDSK-TV, his father, Darren, quickly realised the potential of the kid-oriented network, which requires children to get parental consent before they sign up.

Darren registered Grom Social as a company back in March and since launching this fall, about 6,800 members have signed up on the website. The site now gets about 6,000 page views daily.


Wednesday, 2 January 2013

Indian enterprises cautious on tech spending: IDC

As Indian enterprises grapple to make most of the economic slowdown, their spending in the information and communication technology (ICT) would be cautious in 2013, says a study by global research and advisory firm International Data Corporation (IDC).

"As Indian enterprises will take a cautionary stance on tech spending during the new year, ICT vendors will have to invest in changing their mindset to focus on strategic investments like geo expansion, mid-market focus and cloud enablement," IDC research director Venu Reddy said in the report India ICT 2013.

Although new technologies like virtualisation, cloud and mobility would enable enterprises to enhance their IT infrastructure in a phased manner, Reddy said the investments would be determined by priorities like customer satisfaction, employee productivity and faster global traffic manager (GTM).

"With technology becoming the lifeline of any enterprise across verticals, especially retail, manufacturing, energy and finance, investments will be driven by the ability to delivery value and reduce cost of ownership in the long term," Reddy pointed out.

In the retail sector, investment in optimisation and customer engagement is expected to grow revenue by at least three percent, while the manufacturing sector will focus on driving productivity through social business, big data, cloud and mobility.

Investments in the energy sector will be on extended B2B networks, product optimisation, visibility and responsibility.

"In the banking, financial services and insurance (BFSI) sector, investments will be in the enterprise data management to comply with regulations and lower operating costs without compromising on service levels.

"Similarly, financial institutions will be depending on analytics solutions to improve operational performance," Reddy noted.

The report predicts that IT vendors will continue to target tier-two and tier-three cities for expanding their presence in the tertiary market, while enterprise applications and business processes will shift to the cloud to link devices and users.

Similarly, telecom providers will focus on customised data plans based on usage pattern analysis and enterprises will look for an integrated IT infrastructure management.

"Many enterprises that have been holding back on hardware and software investments will partially reopen their purse strings this year," Reddy added.

IDC helps IT professionals, business executives, and the investment community to make fact-based decisions on technology purchases and business strategy.

Source- Times of India

Tuesday, 1 January 2013

What will drive IT Inc's growth in 2013

Globalisation and market expansion advisory firm Zinnov has said 'regeneration' will be the next growth frontier for captive centres in India, as it is getting exponentially difficult to derive further efficiencies in the current form and manner of setting up captive centres. For the last seven to eight years, the captive centres of large BFSI and retail players as well as some large engineering R&D captive centres have been delivering a wide range of services. But the only way to derive further efficiencies is by outsourcing to a partner.

Service providers are out on a shopping spree and a viable captive centre is something that will interest them. Given that the economic pressures are expected to continue into 2013, divesting a portion of a mature captive operation that commands a good premium could also be a definite booster to the financial statements, Zinnov has said.

According to the firm, there will be a spike in engineering R&D and overall solutioning demand for affordable products - especially in housing, cars, medical devices and internet mobile devices like tablets and smartphones. "With shrinking wallets and increasing budget cuts all around, customer choices across both the developed and emerging markets are likely to shift to function over form. Service providers can now channelise frugal engineering, open source capabilities and predictive analytics to create compelling industry-specific solutions," Zinnov has said.

Big Data and analytics are changing how traditional companies serve their customers and are opening up great possibilities for the future. Zinnov chief executive officer Pari Natarajan said, "Today the Indian technology industry is at an inflection point where innovation must have transformative rather than incremental impact. The Indian technology ecosystem has matured to a point where multinational organisations across verticals are looking to leverage our knowledge, skill sets and capabilities in new technologies and frugal engineering. In 2013, service providers can capitalise on this interest with customised, affordable product offerings, while multinationals will look at developing differentiated, technology-enabled products that address local problems."

Andrew Till, senior vice-president of smartphones and consumer electronics, Symphony Teleca, said, "The new year will see a fundamental reshaping in the way commercial software and software-related products are built and deployed in a rapidly merging environment of the cloud, mobility and analytics. Software manufacturers will move towards verticalisation, building software for niche segments and specialised application areas. The Indian economy is irrevocably shifting from services to product engineering, with near field communication and mobilisation leading the trend."

Symphony Teleca has predicted major shifts in the market in 2013, such as computing becoming task-centric, increased emphasis on voice recognition enablement technologies, consumers demanding federated control of their identities across platforms and devices and growth in the number of consumers using their mobile devices to perform impulse or opportunity-driven purchases.

According to the firm's report, there will be continued growth in use of tablets in the enterprise and more enterprise apps would be developed for tablets in particular. "Companies will start to consider the devices and technologies necessary for increased collaboration, where employees can not only access material via the tablet but can also use it as a mutual working station," the report has said