Gartner's China, India guide book

A new book from Gartner offers valuable insights into China, India and their respective and combined impact on IT.

It can hardly have escaped the attention of anyone working in IT that Indian companies have shaken up the world of technology services with astounding pace.

Nor can too many people be oblivious to China's emergence as the world's factory.

But does knowing those basic facts give you the ability to develop strategies about how to run an IT organisation in the age of China's and India's ascent to the top ranks of global commerce?

Gartner's James M. Popkin and Partha Iyengar believe that IT users and vendors alike need a deeper appreciation of both nations to understand their impact on technology, and explain why in the book IT And the East: How China And India Are Altering the Future of Technology And Innovation.

The book starts with analysis of China's IT future, with the pair suggesting that China's infrastructure construction boom makes business conditions excellent, but that its political climate still has worrying uncertainties.

Those uncertainties imperil China's ability to become an innovator instead of an implementer.

India has its own problems. While its outsourcers have done astoundingly well, the authors suggest that the Indian education system may not be capable of providing them with the graduates needed for further growth. Indian infrastructure is also a problem, as it is seldom of the standard found in international cites. The book therefore posits a "digital chasm" scenario in which indifferent policy-making sees India's IT hubs become islands of prosperity in an otherwise under-developed country.

The book concludes by suggesting that the two countries need each other. China needs India's proven understanding of how to do business in the West. India needs China's graduates and business-friendly policy environment.

Both need the other as a market to exploit.

We learned a lot reading this book, which is not surprising as we are scarcely experts on Asia. We cannot imagine, however, that even those intimate with either of the two nations under discussion will emerge from this book feeling they have learned nothing new or come away without important insights.

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