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Issue of June 2005 

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Beyond technology

Economy does not lie in sparing money, but in spending it wisely.

- Thomas Henry Huxley (1825-95)

Every year we do a survey to find out what the IT heads of India Inc. are planning with regard to IT budgets and this year's no different except that the scope of the survey has broadened. This time we polled 340 respondents of whom a third were the final authority on IT investments with the rest being key members of the team that called the shots on how the IT rupee is spent.

More than half the respondents see their role as being responsible for ensuring reliable and cost-effective IT services. The companies polled ranged from those with less than 500 employees (30%) to the giants with over 2,500 employees (29%).

In terms of PC penetration, the average survey respondent had over a thousand machines. The average turnover was a not inconsiderable Rs 1,801 crore up from Rs 1,697 crore in the previous edition of this survey. Along with swelling revenues, India Inc. is also spending more on IT this fiscal. The average annual IT budget for 2005-06 is Rs 8.07 crore. That's up from Rs 5.94 crore in 2004-05.

So, what else has changed? For one, we are tracking technologies such as RFID for the first time in IS. Last year, we evaluated the CIO's changing role; this time around we look at how the IT department as a whole has evolved.

In terms of technology, some interesting things did turn up. For one, India Inc. is piloting cutting edge stuff such as SOA with the intention of redoing its IT architecture. For another, RFID's picking up. That said, ERP remains the bread and butter application for more than half the respondents. Outsourcing is cooling, but only because almost everybody who wants to do it already is.

Until next year, this issue is going to be the authoritative word on IT spending in India. So hang on to your copy.

Prashant L Rao
Head of Editorial Operations

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Indian Express - Business Publications Division

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