The Information Technology - Information Technology Enabled Services (IT-ITeS) sector is a field which is undergoing rapid evolution and is changing the shape of Indian business standards. This sector includes software development, consultancies, software management, online services and business process outsourcing (BPO).
According to an article in the Times of India, India's liberalization was possible due to its IT industry. In the 1990s, the industry started off with an export of nearly $100 million with around 5,000 employees. Now it is an industry that thrives globally and India's IT exports are now around $70 billion with 2.8 million employees working in this sector. The article states that the IT sector is one of the top two industries in the country today.
A report by Ernst & Young states that the domestic IT demand in India is expected to surpass US $90 billion in the next decade. This clearly shows that information technology is a sector which will likely be one of the emerging markets in the days to come as India's economy requires more hardware, software and other IT services. In a NASSCOM-McKinsey report, India's position in the global offshore IT industry is based on five factors - abundant talent, creation of urban infrastructure, operational excellence, conducive business environment and finally, continued growth in the domestic IT sector.
The IT industry is heavily influenced by factors like the global market and sustenance of its rate of growth. The recession in the United States also impacted the IT community in India negatively. This segment is promising and has vast potential, but there are concerns regarding the demand-supply gap, which is widening. Some challenges which the industry is facing are inadequate infrastructure, tax issues and limited preferential access for local firms. China and Taiwan are examples of low cost destinations, and India needs to change its current tax structure so that it can outdo competition from other countries.
One of the biggest benefits that the computer and IT industry provides in India is the employment it can generate. Other benefits are export and Foreign Direct Investments (FDI). New markets have opened up in the Middle East, Africa, Eastern Europe, and South and South East Asia. India is now a major destination for IT outsourcing.
Some leading firms that offer job opportunities in this field are Tata Consultancy Services (TCS), Wipro Technologies, Cognizant, Yahoo!, Google, Tech Mahindra, Infosys Technologies, HP, iGATE Patni, Accenture, L&T, EY, Convergys, MphasiS, Genpact, HCL Technologies and Godrej Infotech. Cities like Bengaluru, Delhi, Noida, Gurgaon, Hyderabad, Chennai, Bombay and Cochin are some of the key areas which have developed into potential IT hubs of the country and are key players which contribute to the growth of the Indian economy through telecommunication, software development, design, mobile commerce, e-commerce, BPO and knowledge process outsourcing (KPO).
The IT industry is one which is not limited to software development alone. Technology can be applied in libraries, hospitals, banks, shops, prisons, hotels, airports, train stations and many other places through database management systems, or through custom-made software as seen fit.
Among other sectors, the IT industry has been driving growth for the last decade and more, and has the potential to continue doing so for the next couple of years if shortcomings are met and challenges are faced.