My top technology prediction for next decade..

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

I would say this decade (2001 to 2010) saw some great technology innovation which made common man life much easier. If some one had asked me in year 1998 whether ATM, mobile technology, online banking etc would be used by common man or people of developing nation, I would have had my own doubts at that point of time.

Moving on, what are going to be such technological advance by turn of next decade, I mean by 2020, would be used by a common man without costing a fortune?. To be within the reach of a common man's budget, the technology has to be mass produced or mass used in case of services, may be in millions.

The top of my list is smart phone. Feature enrichment or the next generation happens every six months, the next one which is due is the video phone. By this time, we are in 2020, this device might even have features toward personal identification (touch screen combined with thumb impression scanner), enabler in bank transaction & credit cards.

The last two years saw growth towards 'Cloud' computing. It is predicted that, there is bound to be a decrease in IT asset ownership in the next few years and it would be pay per usage or Saas (software as service) licence. Similar to Cloud computing, IT services could well be 'remotely' driven. 90's was a time when software services were provided as "Onsite", 2000's was based on "Offshore" services and the decades towards 2020 can be remotely driven, which means project team can be located across geographies with server at a different location.

In next few years, key boards could well become history, touch screen would be the answer for key boards. We would also see common usage of tablet PC with touch screen key board. The paper based magazine and newspaper might lose it sheen in circulation due to reduction in advertisement and cost involved in physical distribution. Advertisement would become more online and may become more related to the topic viewed.

TV and Laptop could be integrated. Also, alternative energy like solar, wind power energy devices would be on increase.

Interestingly, as I step into my 3rd year of blogging, I am just pondering whether I would be in a position to review my prediction through my blog in 2019 :-) ...

Good luck and a very happy new year to all!

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Small is beautiful -- E-commerce way! - Part 2

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

I had earlier written about innovative E-commerce ventures Part 1. I now thought of providing few other innovative ventures which I came across.

Food court at Home: In fact, few years before couple of my colleagues, discussed about this e-commerce venture, a website which can provide detailed listing about restaurants in a particular city like Bangalore or Chennai and even we went ahead discussing about a door delivery process by collecting at the restaurant and making a door delivery. But, unfortunately, we never went ahead with implementation plan. So when I found Foodiebay, it was our thoughts into action, which was a clear reflection of "future belongs to whom, dare to do things". The concept was quite good, it has list of most of the restaurants in a cities like Mumbai, Bangalore, Calcutta & Pune along with Menu details and review provided by customers. Outlook business had also carried out an article about Foodiebay.

Deals for you:

Normally, if you open our new papers daily morning, you will find, small bit of advertisement papers, illegally inserted in new paper about various deals. Since news paper advertisement are often costly the sellers resort to these type of advertisement. Instead of this, the sellers can think about advertising their deals at snap deals. From seller perspective, it has a clear advantage that its saves printing cost, distribution cost and on top of it would save trees being cut and for the customer logging into the site would help them to know about the deals happening around the city. This would also avoid unneccessary "bit" advertisement inserts into news papers.

The venture on cinema ticket booking looked impressive as well.

With penetration of broadband and usage of Internet on increase, such innovative venture are bound to grow. With India offering huge market due to its population, no more one need to look at developed countries to promote innovative ventures or offerings.
There might still be more such innovative e-commerce site, which I might missed and I wish to bring it across in my blog, if it catches my attention.
Great work and good luck to the innovators !

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Telecommute OR WFH being promoted...

Sunday, December 19, 2010

I had written about "WFH" (Work from Home) or telecommute Way of life few days back.

It was interesting to see department of transportation promoting 'telecommute' or WFH at connecticut, US. They have an exclusive website towards telecommute. The website provides details as how to get the same started from employer, employee perspective and the benefits, challenges.

As I had indicated in my post on Way of life, its matter of time before India IT company promotes the same. May be, they has to build up a suitable process towards successful implementation.

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Let's contribute prize money to Akshya Patra.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

As part of indiblogger (network of bloggers) social network, I came across a note about blog contest towards Akshya Patra foundation which feed poor children. On going through the contest details, couple of thoughts cropped up in my mind and hence thought of sharing it.

  • The 2 contest winner along with partner, will be flown to Jaipur on all expenses paid trip for a weekend. As a rough estimate this would be Rs 1,00,000 as prize money, so if at all I win the contest, I wish to pledge this prize money to Akshya Patra themselves, this would enable them to feed 1000's of more children. Providing two square meals a day is more satisfying than visiting Jaipur as a tourist. Like minded bloggers might take the same oath like me and may wish to promote this post, if they like my thought.

  • The other one being, Akshaya Tritiya day symbolises with Akshaya Patra, according to hindu mythology Akshya Patra refers to a vessels which keep producing food when you keep giving. So this ideally means, on Akshaya Tritiya day, one have to offer help or offer food or give to others towards prosperity, however this has been completed twisted for the benefit of the sellers. Now, there is a trend in India, that on Akshaya Tritiya day one has to buy towards prosperity, which sounds crazy to me.

Last, but not the least Akshaya Patra foundation will feed 50 children for each valid blog post, the thought of this made me write a post on Akshaya Patra. You may also wish to contribute to Akshaya Patra by going through the link as well.

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Way of life .....

Saturday, December 11, 2010

I was recollecting as how a normal weekday would start about a decade ago, would wake up at 6.30 AM, take a walk and get ready to office and leave to office by 9.00 AM, it would take about 45 minutes to travel to my office, park my vehicle and then complete my register signing formalities and by the time I get to my desk and start my work it would have taken about an hour since I left home. On my way back home it takes about one hour to be get back home from office. But in the last 10 years, traffic has increased by leaps and bounds and travel time has increased to more than one hour, if I had been to travel to same office place. Well, the situation has changed now.......

I no more travel to office on certain days, in fact, my main office is in different city and I live in a different city, I go to office whenever its a absolute necessity ... well, I am talking about WFH...WFH!!?!!..., whats that?. For people in IT industry, it quite common, WFH means 'working from home'. If you are wondering how is that possible?... hold on and read through....

I still remember the early days of Internet about a decade back, when browsing speed of 64 kbps, but still cost of Internet bills would be in range of Rs 3000. Apart from slow browsing at most you can do check yahoo mail, which take few minutes to open up. Compared to that, now I got 2 mbps speed at home for just about Rs 1,500 and have VPN (virtual private network), which allows me to access office network. Due to this speed, I do not find difference in work, whether I at home or office. I can really plan my work, no more impacted by traffic jam and fear of getting late each and every day. My work productivity has really increased, not just because I save my travel time, but also the frustration one is bound to get , when you drive through Indian road. All these was possible due to Internet, it has been a real boon.

Coffee break, lunch breaks are short, so on an average, I save about 3~4 hours a day, on days when I work from home, added to this with IP telephony, mobile phone & teleconference and I am reachable anytime to my peers, project members, client & to my managers and I can do the same as well. As personal social responsibility, I not burning fuel on day's, when I 'WFH' , by not using vehicle, thereby saving myself on fuel cost and foreign exchange reserve for the country.

Internet has changed the way of life, geographical location is not a constraint any more, client can work across the globe, the project team can be at stationed at different locations and so can be the hardware server location, still one can work or operate a virtual office through Internet and get the work planned and executed.

Sincerity, commitment on part of employee and trust on part of employers would be required for virtual office to succeed. With 3G phone on the way, virtual office are bound to succeed further.

Before, I sign off on this topic, in the last one decade, in India the real estate prices has gone up by more than 4~5 times and in the same time Internet speed has gone up by 20 times for the same cost paid about decade ago. Due to Internet and 3G, we are well on the way to use virtual office through which, improved productivity and quite a big cost saving can be acheived, since real estate based office cost a fortune these days in India.

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Salaried class investment.

As we approach, the final quarter in the financial year, investment proof are to be produced. I used to ponder over, the reason behind asking for some of the investment declaration and associated proof required for them, always felt it can be made much more simpler.

  • There is no proof required for conveyance allowance of Rs 800/- per month, total deduct able being Rs 9600/- per year, whereas medical expenses up to Rs 15,000 is are considered reimbursable and we need to collect, save & produce bills otherwise its taxable. Any human being is bound get some kind of ailment from time to time, I do not find a reason to produce bills towards reimbursement, can medical expenses also be made as allowance upto limit of Rs 15,000?. At least, I can avoid collecting, producing bills and submitting them for verification.

  • The other one is use of food coupons per months such as Sodexo or ticket restaurant. Lets consider the amount of efforts that goes in towards this exemption, printing of these coupons, the distribution, usage of it and coupons getting converted into cash by food retail outlets, finally used coupons are turned useless and coupon paper re-cycled again. Instead of these food coupons, can it not be made as a allowance for deduction? At least by doing it government can save some trees used for printing these coupons.

  • I tried a google search "home loan exemption", the results were all related India, as far as I am aware of only India has this exemption. Home loan exemption seems to benefit builders more than salaried class.

Interestingly, most of the developed countries have exemption, if there are dependents on the salary individual, like unemployed spouse or children, however one may not find such exemption in India.

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