For most enterprises, packaged
software like RDBMS, Network Operating System, and Web/Proxy/Mail
servers are essential. But one should not neglect other
equally important areas like Infrastructure/Network
Like hardware and connectivity,
Enterprise Package Software (EPS) is essential for the
functioning of an enterprise. It forms the basis for
enterprise-wide applications, communications and other
functions that are so critical for the day-to-day functioning
For instance, most businesses
have connectivity, either by way of LANs, WANs or the
Internet—so a network operating system is required.
Businesses accumulate data during transactions and this
needs to be stored electronically in databases—hence
the need for RDBMS. And almost all businesses use electronic
messaging or have a website—that's why they invest in
messaging and Web server packages.
So great is the need for EPS,
that more than half the companies in each vertical have
gone in for packaged solutions. Budget-wise and in terms
of the average percentage amount spent on technology
areas in the last one year, Enterprise Packaged Software
was the second-highest area of investment—36 percent
of the IT budget. And this trend will continue this
year—32 percent of the IT budget will be allocated for
However, during 2003-04, overall
investment in EPS will reduce. That's because enterprises
are slowly reducing their spend in this area. 42 percent
will invest in EPS this year and many of the investors
(51 percent) will be the medium-sized companies. The
verticals increasing investment in EPS this year are
Auto/Auto components, FMCG/Consumer durables, and Govt./PSU.
BFSI, which is a major investor
in most technology areas, will drastically reduce investment
in EPS this year—just 33 percent are investing during
2003-04 compared to 51 percent last year. For banks,
EPS is used in the back office. Due to centralization
and consolidation, banks are cutting down on the number
of branch offices, and are replacing these with channels
like ATM and phone banking. Hence the reduced spending
What's in the package?
Traditionally, most enterprises
considered RDBMS, Network Operating System, and Web/Proxy/Mail
server as "must-have" packaged solutions. A fair amount
of importance was also given to Infrastructure/Network
management. But other areas like Knowledge management
tools or Testing/troubleshooting applications were given
low priority. This attitude continues today with many
considering RDBMS to be the most important area within
RDBMS is essential software
for almost any business. One needs to maintain databases
of business entities like users, clients, suppliers,
and distributors. RDBMS is also the basis for enterprise
applications like CRM, SCM, and ERP.
80 percent of the companies
that use Enterprise Packaged Software have RDBMS on
their networks, making it the most-used EPS. The BFSI
and Telecom/IT/ITES verticals are the biggest users
Large companies obviously have
large amounts of business data and need to use RDBMS
more than small and medium companies. 88 percent of
large enterprises use RDBMS.
A suitable NOS (Network Operating
System) and Web/Proxy/Mail server infra-structure is
vital for any connec-ted enterprise. NOSs form the basis
on which computer devices within the organization communicate.
And Web/Proxy/ Mail servers allow the company to communicate
with the outside world.
Low usage for these packages
tools are used by 44 percent of the companies. Testing
and troubleshooting tools are used by 26 percent, and
Knowledge management tools by 19 percent. The use of
these three applications is rather low. And the planned
investment next year in these areas is even lower.
Enterprises are spending much
on databases and network operating systems, but are
not giving too much importance to network management.
It's better that they invest in Infrastructure/Network
management tools now, rather than spending big on network
integrators or consultants later, when complexity sets
When there's a lot of data created
in an organization through enterprise applications,
it should consider putting knowledge-based solutions
in place, as a natural evolutionary step.
Testing and troubleshooting
tools are mainly useful for service providers and network
integrators. Not so much for
companies in other verticals. This explains the low
use of these applications.
Planned investment next year
In the next year, the surveyed
companies have ambitious plans to invest in RDBMSs and
NOSs. 43 percent companies plan to invest in RDBMSs,
34 percent plan to invest in NOSs and a similar number
in Web/Proxy/Mail servers.
The planned high amount of investments
in RDBMS shows that businesses want to centralize their
processes. And it's also a good lookout if companies
want to deploy enterprise applications in future.
However, few companies want
to invest in Infrastructure/ Network management tools
the next year (29 percent). Fewer still are interested
in Knowledge management tools (20 percent) and Testing
and troubleshooting tools (16 percent).
It seems companies will be busy
setting up basic network software applications in place.
And this will pave the way for more complex applications
in future, which will give the CIO more control over
The next year, the companies
should carry on spending in Enterprise Packaged Software
since its use has been of positive value. 42 percent
of the companies plan to invest in Enterprise Packaged
Software during 2003-2004.
- 48 percent of the companies have already
made investments in the area of Enterprise Packaged
Software. And this is the second highest area
of spending for an enterprise in any technology
- 36 percent of the entire IT budget had been
dedicated to the purchase of packaged software
products in the last one year.
- 80 percent of the companies use RDBMSs, making
it the most-used Enterprise Packaged Software.
- 78 percent of the companies use NOSs and
77 percent use Web/Proxy/Mail servers.
- 88 percent of the large enterprises currently
- Infrastructure/network management tools are
used by 44 percent of the companies. Testing
and troubleshooting tools are used by 26 percent,
and Knowledge Management tools by 19 percent.
- In the next year, 43 percent companies plan
to invest in RDBMSs, 34 percent plan to invest
in NOSs and a similar number in Web/Proxy/Mail
- Companies, especially large enterprises should
keep up the investments in NOS, RDBMS, Web/Proxy/Mail
servers since they are the basis for business
- It is necessary to evolve as soon as possible
from an information-enabled organization into
a knowledge-enabled organization using knowledge
- Organizations with high growth levels need
to invest in infrastructure management tools
to reduce complexity.
- Organizations that need to train their staff
within short deadlines need to invest in knowledge
- Organizations like service providers and
infrastructure management companies need to
use testing tools.
Bank manages its huge, complex, dispersed computing
network across the country with Computer Associates'
S.R. Balasubramanian, Vice President, Information
Technology, HDFC Bank says, "To enable the
offering of our wide range of products and services
efficiently, in both the wholesale and retail
segments, the IT infrastructure had to be streamlined
and tightly managed."
For banks running online applications, system
downtime can severely affect business. For HDFC
Bank, it was not technically and economically
feasible to manage assets, solve problems, and
distribute and update applications on the network
across the country. The network needed to be streamlined
and managed from a common window.
It required a tool that could analyze the network,
upgrade the links and servers, and add more disk
capacity when required. "CA's Unicenter Web
Management solution provided the services the
bank's IT team was looking for," said Bala.
The modular Unicenter was implemented for better
planning of capacity, to manage the IT infrastructure,
and to secure and maintain assets centrally.
Now, using the single-window management console,
the bank can monitor and manage the entire network
without the need to visit remote locations. Explains
Bala, "Earlier if an engineer from a remote
branch faced a problem, he or she would typically
contact the regional office where the engineers
would try to solve the problem."
Instead of manually installing, managing, and
upgrading software applications, software upgrades
and maintenance are performed from a central locationwithout
having to visit the individual users desktop.
Asia, an ISO 9001 and SEI CMM Level-5 ERP systems
integrator with a workforce of over 1,200 is using
Microsoft Exchange 2000 as its messaging system.
Intelligroup was facing numerous glitches in its
earlier messaging system. There was no integration
between the OS and the mailing system, and the
administrator had to create multiple login and
e-mail IDs for every user.
Pavan Reddy B, Manager-MIS says, "Keeping
with our business philosophy and vision, and the
changing demands of the market place, distance
and technology, we realized that our messaging
solution was not serving our communication purpose.
We needed a solution that had more collaborative
applications and one that was more user-friendly."
He also added that the company needed a solution
that would integrate with the OS (Windows) and
user database, thereby reducing administrative
"All these requirements could be addressed
if we migrated to Microsoft Exchange 2000,"
The company now has a multi-server environment,
where the servers in an administrative group are
managed as a single entity. The administrator
need not open a separate window for creating the
mail ID. The integration of Exchange 2000 with
Windows 2000 Active Directory also benefits end
users by providing single sign-on capability.
The OWA (Outlook Web Access) combined with the
FE/BE (frontend/backend) architecture supported
by Exchange 2000 makes it easier for users to
access their mail-boxes over the Internet using
a simple URL.
To exploit Microsoft Exchange 2000 to its full
potential, Intelligroup is integrating a Knowledge
Management (KM) solution (which is still under
development) with Exchange as a backend. It will
use the Exchange Web storage system for document
management and build workflows around it. The
solution also includes ORMS (Operating Resource
Base : All those who have either
invested in enterprise package infrastructure or
are planning to invest
Mfg./ Engg %
Auto & Auto comps %
Chem & Pharma %
FMCG/ Consumer durables %
Telecom/ IT/ITES %
Govt./ PSU %
Health Care %
Web / Proxy / Mail server
Infrastructure / Network mgt. tools
Knowledge mgt. tools
Testing and troubleshooting applications