Binod Singh, President and CEO, ILANTUS Technologies, believes that as more business departments start making IT purchase decisions, it's changing the way identity and access management (IAM) is built and sold. IAM will have to move from its monolithic past to a dynamic, fragmented, and user-friendly avatar.
From a services company that catered mainly to the North American market, ILANTUS has started taking the India market quite seriously. You also shifted your focus to products from services. What is the reason?
When we started off, identity and access management (IAM) was a relatively new area in markets like India. We chose the US market, because it recognized the need for IAM better, due to its strict regulatory compliance requirements. By 2010, we were doing very well in the US. At the time, we were one of the top-five IAM solution companies in the US. In 2010-11, Gartner identified us as a cool vendor. It was a turning point for the company. Our discussion with Gartner shed some light on the future of this technology. We realized that factors like the cloud, BYOD, and social media would bring a dimension to IAM. Gartner also was of the opinion that it was the right time for us to build IP. Though we were a services company in the US, we had a productized approach to services there. We delivered high-value projects, and never focused on pure-vanilla services. The capabilities around providing specialized services helped us a lot when we wanted to shift to products. India was maturing as an IAM market. Besides, our team sits here. So it was the next logical move for us to launch our products in India.
How does your understanding of the US market help you here in India? Do you think that the IT leaders in the region think differently from their western counterparts?
Indian CIOs are some of the most intelligent and tech-savvy lot in the world. In the US, a CIO does not know much about technology; he is more of an administrator. CIOs in India understand technology and are willing to place more bets with new technologies. In that sense, India is an interesting market. India is jumping a lot of technology levels. Gone are the days when trends surfaced later among Indian enterprises, than in the US. BYOD, for instance, is a reality in both markets. Cloud computing, perhaps, is one area India is lagging behind a bit, but, again, by not very much. The other big change is that IT purchase decisions are driven by business departments. In the US, the trend is sweeping across the country. Businesses demands there are more urgent; businesses say they need things today! They work in a very competitive environment and need solutions that requires IT support of a different kind. They don't have the time for IT to assess, buy, and deploy solutions — a process that can take many months. So they are bypassing IT. At one point, CIOs in the US were not very happy with that, but they eventually fell in line. I see the same thing happening in India.
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