From the Elite to the Masses

By Srinivas Balasubramanian  |  Posted 2009-11-05 Print this article Print

From the elite to the masses

We've seen several examples over the years of products and services which evolved from the elite to the masses: from the production-boosting assembly line of Fords to the Dell distribution model that put a computer in every home.

IT outsourcing was once the playground of Fortune 500 companies; high-ticket consulting jobs and large-scale projects were dominated by Wipro Technologies, Tata Consultancy Services and Infosys Technologies. As has happened in most other industries, we have hit an inflection point with IT outsourcing where the majority of the market can get access to the same services to which, until recently, only an elite minority once had access.

For companies such as the optical manufacturer discussed earlier, the game-changer was the proliferation of technology, infrastructure and applications. With the world getting flatter, there's been an increase in the availability of expertise around innovative technologies. For example, open source has evolved over time to compete on functionality offered with the added cost advantage. Web 2.0 has changed the way information is shared. Web services have enabled easy interoperability between systems. And mobile applications have opened up new avenues for collaboration like location-based services leveraging the capabilities of smart phones.

All of these have enabled buyers to explore new horizons. The global software delivery model, coupled with the branding of India as a means of accessing the global labor pool, has resulted in mid-sized companies getting their IT needs fulfilled at a remarkably low cost.

Srinivas Balasubramanian is Chairman and CEO of Photon Infotech. Before Photon, Srinivas was a senior vice president at Webmethods. Prior to that, Srinivas was founder, president and CEO of Infravio. Srinivas served in various capacities at Infravio, initially responsible for raising the initial institutional venture capital round. Thereafter, Srinivas served as chief strategist of the company, driving the company to a thought leadership position in the emerging Web Services and SOA market until Infravio's ultimate sale to Webmethods, which he architected. Srinivas has an MBA from the prestigious Indian Institute of Management (IIM), Calcutta and is a graduate from Birla Institute of Technology and Science (BITS), Pilani. He can be reached at

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