We went to 428 different software-development houses located in six cities across the country, namely Hyderabad, Chennai and Bangalore in the south, Mumbai and Pune in the west and Delhi in the north. We collected demographic
informationincluding the number of employees for each organization and the number of PCs they owned. Thirty six percent of the companies we surveyed had up to 50 employees, 28 percent had more than 500, 23 percent had between 100 to 500 employees, and 13 percent had 51 to 100 employees. Most organizations had a 1:1 ratio for the number of employees and PCs owned.
We cover 10 software development categories. For each category of tools, a software development house is likely to use more than one tool. This is because they work on multiple projects, and the tools to be used depend upon the project's nature as well as customer demand. However, each software development house is likely to use one primary tool for each category.
That's why, for each category, we checked for two things: we first asked for all tools that a company uses in a particular category, and then we asked for the primary tool it uses.
|Sun Java Studio
|IBM Rational Rose
|MS Visual SourceSafe
|MS SQL Server
|MS Win 2003 Server
Areas of specialization
Apart from determining the software-development tools used, we tried to understand which areas and industry verticals they were developing for. The results were very interesting. We found that 54 percent of the organizations said that they were primarily into custom software development, which also included software-product development. This result is also possibly a reflection of the fact that today most organizations prefer software customized to their requirements. The software-product development could come from the fact that most MNCs such as Microsoft, Oracle and Novell house their software development centers in India. So, a lot of development on their products happens out of here.
Development on Web technologies, intranets and the Internet was the other key area of specialization, though it lagged far behind product development by a hefty 45 percent. This result wasn't very surprising, given the fact that most enterprise software today has a Web-browser front-end. In fact, most vendors who have their own proprietary front-ends are developing Web-based versions of the same. Products with a web front-end have in fact become a defacto standard in the IT industry, owing to their ease of use and deployment. They also help access the software from anywhere across the world.
Since a Web browser is there by default on every machine, there's no need to develop a separate proprietary client for every OS.
Companies who were into product and Web-technology development were also developing for other areas. So we also found quite a bit of overlap happening, with companies having multiple areas of specialization. In fact, there were 14 different areas of specialization where a significant number of companies were actively writing code or have business interests. Out of these, the interesting ones include software maintenance and migration, and databases, datawarehousing, and datamining.
Hot industries for software development
Most software companies were getting their business from the BFSI segment. This is not surprising, considering how quickly banks have been adopting IT for automating their business processes. It was mostly large software development houses that were getting their maximum business from BFSI. The other area for large software development companies is telecom. Besides BFSI, the other two hot areas are manufacturing and telecom, with each getting 14 percent of the votes. It was mostly smaller development houses that were active in manufacturing.
of specialization (multiple options)
maintainance and migration
education and training
source of business by vertical (multiple options)
financial services and insurance
(Small Office Home Office)
Here again, besides the primary area, we found companies getting their business from several other segments. A lot of other companies were also getting a majority of their business from BFSI, manufacturing, and telecom. The other areas of interest include education, government, and retail. There's been a lot of focus on e-learning recently, and the government has been one of the biggest IT spenders over the past year. Possibly this is what the results reflect, and we're likely to see more action in these areas next year. The retail segment is active possibly because of all the modern shopping malls cropping up in most metros.
Having said that, let's now look at what tools are these software development companies using for their development work.