by June 1, 2011 0 comments

Anil Chopra, Abhijit Ahaskar, Gurjot S Sachdeva, PatanjaliPahwa, Rahul Sah, Shikhar Mohan Gupta, and Shumpy Saini

­­If during an economic downturn, companies can deploy lots of IT projects, then one would naturally expect a lot more in a good year. And that’s exactly what’s happened. Last year, when the economy was down, we received 200+ IT project nominations. This year, we crossed a record 270+ IT project nominations, which are the highest so far in eight years of the awards’ existence! Here are a few interesting trends we observed from the project nominations received.

Indian SMEs wake up to ERP

ERP is nothing new, in fact a lot of large organizations have already deployed it and are now in the process of enhancing it further, deploying BI on top of it, and much more. But it seems that the Indian SME sector is still struggling with the basics. This time, nearly a fifth of the IT project nominations we received were by SMEs (companies with < 500 employees). Of these, nearly a quarter, i.e. 23% of the IT projects were ERP deployments. All other types of projects were in the <10% range. It clearly indicates that Indian SMEs have understood that they need to move beyond basic accounting packages and into something more powerful that can automate their internal processes. Possibly the cost of deploying ERP has also come down, making it more affordable. Plus of course, the SME sector in India is on a steady growth path, and requires technology to support their growth and expansion plans.

BPM projects lead overall

This time also, the largest number of projects deployed by organizations were for business process management and automation. This has been the trend for the past 3 years now, and is likely to remain on top in the future also, because companies would continue to find areas and business processes to automate. As a majority of project nominations that we received this time were from large enterprises (companies with >500 employees), the IT deployment trends for them were similar to the overall trend.

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BI surpasses ERP by a whisker

The interesting trend lies in the second highest type of project deployment. This time, it has gone to business intelligence solutions. It’s an area that has been steadily gaining momentum over the years, especially among larger organizations. Four years ago in 2008, we hardly heard of BI solutions. That’s because at that time and even before that, companies were busy building their IT infrastructure or deploying business apps like ERP and CRM. Today however, things have changed. A lot of companies have already deployed a lot of business apps. Now they need something to integrate them, and make sense of all the data they generate. Deploying a Business Intelligence solution therefore seems like a natural progression.

The third highest type of IT solutions being deployed by organizations is ERP, which is just a hair behind BI. What it obviously means is that lots of companies have already deployed ERP, and there are plenty more who’re left and are therefore deploying (especially in the SME space). The remaining projects can be seen from the graphs.

The awards process

This year too, we used our standard four tier process for choosing the winners, and the whole process takes about four months. In the first stage, w­­­­­e invite participation from companies through an online public nomination process. At this stage, we only ask for broad details about their projects, so as to encourage maximum participation. Here, we also encourage companies to nominate as many projects as they like. Projects being nominated have to fulfill a certain criteria, i.e. they should have been deployed and delivering results in the last financial year, they should not be software projects deployed for companies abroad, benefits of the project have to come to India, etc. Large projects that have multiple phases can nominate the phases that have been completed and are delivering results, so long as they’re not in a pilot stage.

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In the second stage, we filter the IT projects received through the public nominations using our selection criteria, some of which we’ve explained above. Many entries get knocked off at this stage. We then clean up the nominations of redundant entries. The remaining projects are then invited for phase II, wherein they’re required to fill up a detailed audit form. Many companies drop out at this stage, and those who submit the audit form then qualify to move to phase III, which involves a detailed audit by the PCQuest team. In the last stage, projects are shortlisted and presented to a panel of jury members, who then decide winners.

Presented here are all the projects we’ve received in the first two phases of the awards process. Those who submitted their audit forms have been covered as half page write-ups, while the rest have gone into tables.

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