DailyPost 1754

If we take the total chunk of users of MS Word, how many of them are even bothered about the red and blue lines appearing. How many of us are familiar with even a justified margin option or even use color and bold ever, might be they would not have fondled with the font size either. No idea how many would have improved their language or formatting skills. This is the fate of the most commonly used software.* We are a software nation, so we claim. Leave aside the development of software, we are just talking about its commonplace usage. How many of us use open source software or  the Linux operating system?

Which means we use proprietary software for most of our needs. Public, private, academia or research, what we look for is high end software, how it is priced all of us know and not using it to the fullest, can only be termed criminal, given the resource-scarce nature of our existence. You will find it strange that in these days of cyber insecurity, you will find users unaware of the anti-virus they are using and for what purposes. From firewall to data analytics if you were to ask both the users, managers and even the operators, it would be a wild goose chase even to find the name of the product, its version and the year. Are we competent enough to extract even to extract a reasonable output from these high end software.

Buying well known highly priced software keeps you off the prying eyes of the oversight mechanism which your organization has, public or private. The other side is the flight of fancy; we use only the best software. Licensing is a great area of concern, which the customer has no idea and keeps on buying in, completely vendor driven. There are numerous occasions where the licensing comes in way of the basic functioning of the software, it stops functioning, leaving aside its fullest utilization. Software has an ecosystem that we don’t want to understand. Even in the enterprise top notch software, there are bare features which are in operation. Most of the time it becomes a compliance issue. The tick marks are the symbols of our  existence.

There are software being installed, the best ones, which nobody knows what to do with. The interoperability is no one’s concern. Software has a decimated existence and is then shown the door for its next higher placed cousin. Software usage audit would never see the light of the day. It will bring out all the mess we are in. If it is done for some reason, the core parameters would be missing like the fairy tale audits of Satyam. Automation, data analytics, marked improvement in performance or bringing down manpower by drastic levels; none of the metrics seem to work. The best global  software is pedaled in the country by channel partners who barely have the wherewithal to handle its complexities. He is a vendor. We are in a software morass, coming out would be next to impossible.


Sanjay Sahay

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