By Ramesh Loganathan, Vice President & Managing Director, Progress Software
Progress Software (NASDAQ: PRGS) is a 1981 founded global software company offering enterprise integration, data interoperability and application development. The Massachusetts headquartered company has a current market capitalization of $1.30 billion.
Over the years, India has rapidly converged and aligned with global tech trends. Both as technology provider, building and managing technology solutions for enterprises across the globe, and as a consumer of technology within the country. 2015 promises to enhance this convergence even more strongly with solutions for domestic consumers, businesses and governments leveraging the same trending technologies emerging across the world.
With Internet penetration in India now being the second largest in the world with the majority coming from mobile devices, an opportunity arises for a new class of solutions. Starting with location-based mobile apps for the enterprise embraced by supply chains and small businesses, continuing with devices and IoT actively being embraced by manufacturing and distribution which results in low cost IoT solution providers expanding in all cities, to 3D printing solutions and software defined applications and infrastructure becoming mainstream even in the developing world.
Taking advantage of the latest technology trend, startups are actively embracing wearables, developing leading edge solutions targeting the developing world. The healthcare sector, for example, is benefiting widely from low cost medical sensors, remote diagnostics for eye care, diabetic care and pre-natal care. These are just some areas where these products are beginning to make an impact. Other interesting examples of how wearables are changing the world we live in are finger-ring devices and ear-plug devices that control gesture-based interfaces with software systems and shoes that vibrate based on location to help the visually impaired navigate. India-specific health and wellness solutions using custom made low-cost wearable sensors are coming up with interesting analytics tied in.
While wearables, still in the early stages of adoption, are now beginning to penetrate the market in India, IoT is a much more mainstream concept. According to Gartner, "India is experiencing increased activity surrounding the digitalization of businesses at home and across markets worldwide, resulting in the spawning of startup firms focusing on digital business and the IoT". Large software companies, on the other hand, are actively working on IoT platforms and IoT solutions that enable smart solutions in buildings, businesses and shop floors. According to Gartner, "By 2020, at least two-thirds of large Indian enterprises will have established an IoT center of excellence to drive adoption of efficiency-centric technologies and applications".
Ibeacon-based location aware consumer solutions for retail businesses have also come of age, with these solutions now seamlessly integrated into back-office systems. They deliver a pleasant user experience in drawing them into the store, delivering value at the store and after. Technology companies are developing cloud based IoT platforms and gateways for IoT sensors and devices and using them to build point solutions around fleet tracking, employee safety, small scale industry automation and more.
While enterprises are thriving to be on the verge of technology trends, academic research is not far behind. Modern manufacturing techniques leveraging 3D printing are actively being explored and prototyped. 3D printing has clearly gone farther beyond simple prototyping of use cases. A research lab in Hyderabad has developed an 'open source' solution which is a "word and object learning game" for visually impaired people that can be 3D printed by anyone, anywhere in the world. Software defined systems and infrastructure are being evolved, taking the cloud to the next level. Cloud security systems are being developed that secure enterprise data when it is saved on the cloud and accessed off the cloud.
Local government-sponsored initiatives are among the key drivers that increase and accelerate IoT penetration. According to Gartner, "The government of India recently announced a budget allocation of $12 billion to build 100 smartcities across the country. As part of a long-term strategy, the government plans to establish two smart cities in each Indian state. This wide-ranging project aims to inject smart technology into the homes of between 500,000 and one million people".
2015 promises to be a year of achievement as we stride towards the leading edge of technology evolution. The large software houses are building and using technology for corporations and governments across the globe. And startups are rapidly innovating to develop new technology and products for both Indian markets and the world.