Ever gone through the experience of staying up a couple of nights to resolve a crisis situation due to a problem that was 'known' ?! Doesn't feel good does it, yet we keep on making the same mistake. An open discussion on best practices in the area of IT systems management, quality, prevention of crisis, etc.
Friday, May 2, 2008
A good article from Alok Mahajan & Nikhil Sharma from Infosys ! Am quite stunned to be frank.
A good presentation of reality. Nikhil and Alok have done a good job.
Also, I share your feeling. I am stunned too.
As far as this article goes, Alok and Nikhil have not mentioned where they have worked before working with Infosys nor have they mentioned where they got this experience from. Maybe they were with Accenture, TechM, Satyam, Wipro, Cognizant or HCL when they got this experience. Also, it is purely upto an individual to make the best out of a given situation and it is clear that Nikhil and Alok have put in their best. This cannot be credited to a specific company.
So, attributing their experience, skill and good insights to Infosys would be a little incorrect. I would have given this credit to Infosys only if it was Infosys IPR. These two good folks only happen to be with Infosys.
Maybe your comment should have been "A great article" or a "Must read".
Therefore, I support your feeling. I too am stunned that such good people are still with Infosys. It may seem that I am anti-Infosys but that is not so. It’s just that you comment made me think/feel that Infosys had offered something and was a little misleading.
BTW, Infosys has some good people left but because of their aggressive growth plans the percentage of such people has gone down to a very great extent and they are not doing anything to stop such attrition.
I would also like to mention here that I read your blogs because you are a clear person with excellent insights. I am waiting to read your thoughts.
I think the issue is more about what a company does with its 'few good people' in spreading this knowledge and experience.
This is not a simple problem especially when a company is growing by 10K people / year.
IT work in India has to evolve from its current stereotype of 'cheap labour' doing grunt work. The next three years will be a defining period for the IT industry in India. The inflection point is now (see what the weakening $ has done). Either, the Indian IT industry will remain in current mode or evolve into a model of greater accountability and effectiveness.
This isn't just an Infosys problem.
There are two very interesting points that you have brought out in your response.
Knowledge sharing and the impact of growth. Let me address these in mutually exclusive manner and it’s inter dependencies thereafter.
1. MAKE awards are used as benchmarks. Infosys and Wipro are two companies that are listed for 2007 but they are way below in the list. Companies like Accenture and CapGemeni are way ahead of these players. At least in Asia Infosys should have been listed but even that is not the case. Well, that’s what the benchmarks say.
Ok, lets looks at other sources of Information.
According to PC Pro Wipro has the highest number of papers and artifacts submitted and not Infosys and Infosys does not even feature in KMworld. At least, I did not find its name. Maybe it chose not to pay and or participate. That is fine.
Now, let’s say that we do not trust these assessments, reports and awards and from that point of view let us look at the data. IBM (off-shoring) has the most of its knowledge base available. BTW, even this article refers to IBM material. Accenture has the most elaborate framework for KM that I have ever come across. The openness in the culture is unprecedented. Infosys is no match to this. (Again, I am being very objective in my assessment. I like Infosys as an investor).
So clearly, it is the initiative that these two individuals have taken and the company should not be given the credit for such articles. If it was the company culture then it would have been evident in many ways. Like in the case of Accenture, IBM, GapGemeni. I am including these companies because now it is a Flat world. This is what Infosys says and not me. :) And also these companies have spanned the IT value chain and have their Offshore centers, BPO operations and are in direct competition to Infosys. So, clearly Infosys is no match for these companies in the Knowledge Sharing space at the least.
I can give lot of data to support this stand but you might look at me as a Infosys basher and that is not the case.
Now, the growth story. NR Narayan Murthy in his interview with Mr. Pranoy Roy in 7th December 2005 had said that scalability was his worst nightmare. Truly, they have not been able to scale up the way they should have. Clearly, a great story has messed up and soon will be an equal to lesser known companies in the flatter world. They lack leadership. If one is asked to name some top leaders from Infosys. No one will be able to answer it. They are surviving on the process engine that was built by the leader early on in its childhood.
Nonetheless, there are other companies which are growing at a rapid pace and are much better poised to take up leadership roles in years to come. They are what Infosys was to IT services companies 5 years back. Fundamentally strong and agile.
Next 3 years as you rightly stated are going to be game changing for the Indian IT services companies. The supply of IT engineers (commodity) is the bottle neck. It is natural that the equilibrium will be reached. The margins will be normalized and soon the business model would define a steady state. I am sure that the management of this company understands such a progression of the market but is seemingly doing very little to address this issue. If Infosys had to maintain its leadership position then they would have seriously looked at discontinuing the “pay per body” revenue model. They have very recently learnt it and implementing this would take ages because of its rigid organization structure.
Hence you will only find some pockets of hardworking individuals in this organization and they too would be gone once they understand their true value in the Flat world.
Milan, I truly appreciate your view but still feel that you should give credit to the Individuals and not the company. I like you for your openness and ethical approach to things and knowing the just person that you are, I am sure you will make the necessary changes to your post.
Thanks for reading my views.
Stu Feldman, creator of "make", makes the following rueful observation about app performance:
"I never worry about a factor of 2.
The problem is that neither do nine of my friends."
(Hint: 2**10 = 1024!)
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