THE IT COSTING IMBROGLIO
Talk to any buyer, seller, intermediary, advertiser or anybody in whatever trade, there is a complete unison of opinion that the Indian market primarily is extremely price sensitive. Price has remained the most critical component coming in way our desire to buy. The birth of IT and its endless ascendency has beaten this model. Leave aside the costly software, the hardware, come to think the nation remains IT unserviced even today. We boast being the back office of the world and the prima donna of the IT service industry.
This is only industry where the price of everything is unknown. Everything is calculated on effort and its cost. The benchmarking of the effort also remains unknown. The price of the body shopped professional in your office also remains unknown. The labour contractor is on the Shylock mode. There are times when the software engineer and the company ascribe different figures to his salary. Twice, thrice, four times or even more is the fat which the salaries carry.
If still there were to be sanity in delivery the customer would have taken a sigh of relief. That has never happened, it will never happen. The scope, change request and concomitant bounty is the operational mode of any company. When the software professional sees all this happening all around him, what does he feel? Can he deliver? The hyped expertise and the price both get unstuck, but what does the customer do. Catch 22 situation.
The MNCs have another fascinating story. They pay the Indian salaries but do the Silicon Valley costing. The channel partner does does the same job at one-fourth, one-fifth of the price. How do you hire him? Everybody needs a certificate in this country and not the project. Then you have fixed cost projects, where the customer has no right to know the financials. With all these the fate of the projects God only can save. In one project one MNC did not have a subject matter expert for six years and in the second one SME got created on the job. The consultants have another story.
THE CUSTOMER SERVES AS THE GREASE IN THE IT CORPORATE MACHINE.