TechBizz India: What's really driving your ICT environment? [full video]

While jumping on the cloud bandwagon might help save on upfront expenditure, the ZDNet Techbizz panel in Mumbai discusses whether the cost of additional licenses when scaling up can outweigh the benefits.
Written by Ryan Huang, Contributor

MUMBAI, INDIA--Leveraging software-as-as-service (SaaS) might be a popular way for companies to address cashflow concerns when starting out, but there could be a point when the total cost of ownership could outweigh the savings.

According to Mihir Karkare, vice president of startup Social Wavelength, it was an easy decision to jump on the pay-per-use model at first to free up capital. His company grew to 150 staff in four years and is expected to double that in three years.

However, Karkare noted he was at a crossroads where the cost of additional licenses meant it was feasible to consider bringing some systems in house.

"The challenge is now that the total cost of going with so many users over so many years is actually probably going to be larger than a solution that's going to be deployed on my site. That's something we need to figure out," said the vice president.

On the other hand fellow panelist Venkatesh Babu S, head of MIS at Cafe Coffee Day, noted his company favored the SaaS model where possible. He explained that was easily scalable and allowed Cafe Coffee Day to focus on its core competencies rather than IT solutions.

Babu noted Cafe Coffee Day had over 1,500 outlets and was opening at a rate of 20 stores per month. "For us it's important how fast we can roll out our solutions to our point-of-sales systems (POS), which has been on a SaaS model for 10 years now."

The panel discussion moderated by ZDNet editor Ryan Huang, also touched on issues such as mobility and BYOD strategies, how analytics was key to changing IT's cost center image, and what CIOs need to do in order to better demonstrate the value of the IT they are bringing in.
Video highlights of the panel discussion will be out later this week or read our report covering other key points from the TechBizz dialogue. The Mumbai edition concludes the discussion series which kicked off in Singapore, after being held in Australia.

TechBizz India panelists:

  • Venkatesh Babu S, head of MIS, Cafe Coffee Day
  • Manish Bahl, country manager for India, Forrester
  • Yagnesh Parikh, CTO, ICICI Securities
  • Raghupathi C.N., head for India, Infosys
  • Mihir Karkare, vice president, Social Wavelength
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