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The Smart Techie was renamed Siliconindia India Edition starting Feb 2012 to continue the nearly two decade track record of excellence of our US edition.

February - 2009 - issue > Editor's Desk

Opportunities !

Harvi Sachar
Monday, February 2, 2009
Harvi Sachar
When Microsoft announces layoff of 5,000 employees and the stocks of enterprise software bellwethers like SAP and Oracle go down by 50 and 30 percent respectively, it does not look like a time to talk about opportunities in enterprise software or any other technology area. However, opportunities for entrepreneurs abound in enterprise software.

The worldwide enterprise spending in 2008 was $230 billion and as late as December 2008, Gartner projected the worldwide spending on enterprise software to rise by 6.6 percent to $244.3 billion in 2009. So it’s a big enough market and there are technology trends, shifting of enterprise needs, and buyers’ remorse at spending huge sums of money on mega projects; all these present opportunities for entrepreneurs to exploit.

As for technology trends, Enterprise software customer survey 2008 by McKinsey & Company and SandHill Group found that innovation in enterprise software has two main technology drivers, Software as a Service model (SaaS) and Service Oriented Architecture (SOA). Though SaaS and SOA have been on parallel development paths till now, they are expected to converge in future. According to this survey, a very high segment (74 percent) of enterprise customers are favorably disposed to adopting SaaS platforms.

Enterprise needs are changing due to explosion in the capabilities and volumes of mobile devices such as iPhone and Blackberry (Innovation Opportunities in Enterprise Software, page 28 in this issue). Another game changer is of course the popularity of new SaaS applications, which create a need for integrating them with existing on-premise applications.

It’s a well-known fact that large enterprise vendors make tons of money by maintenance contracts and buyers are increasingly questioning the practices and pricing for maintenance contracts. As Ray Wang of Forrester Research points out in his 2009 enterprise software predictions, lack of third party maintenance is seen as anti-competitive and customers will demand options. He also predicts that system integrators will forgo vendor “warnings” and will deliver on third party maintenance. This is a huge opportunity for India based entrepreneurs in IT services space to take on.

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