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信息技术已经被定义为“研究，设计，开发，实施，基于计算机的信息系统的支持和管理，特别是应用软件和计算机硬件”由美国信息技术协会（IITA）定义。信息技术已经成为过去三年中增长最快的行业之一。在20世纪80年代的产业，从一个几百万的产业以5.6%的增长率增加着，至今信息技术部门现在超过1600000000000美元（Nasscom）。今天，几乎所有的电子设备都有一个芯片编程运行设备。信息技术不只是支持互联网和计算机；它已发展到几乎每个部门，从电脑到手机，从银行到汽车，从教育系统到业务流程，信息技术是提高系统性能的各个地方。Information Technology has been defined as “the study, design, development, implementation, support or management of computer-based information systems, particularly software applications and computer hardware” by the Information Technology Association of America (IITA). Information Technology has been one of the fastest growing industries in the last three decades. With a growth rate of 5.6%, information technology sector is now more than a $1.6 trillion (Nasscom) industry from what was merely an industry of few millions in 1980s. Today almost all electronic devices have a chip programmed to run the device efficiently. Information technology does not just support the internet and computers; it has grown to almost every sector today, from computers to mobile phones, from banking to automobiles, from education systems to Business process, information technology is involved in improving the system performance everywhere.
Information technology played an important role in improving process and performance of businesses. Globalisation had an important role in kicking off the demand for information technology. But this was not the only reason for high demand of software products and services, strong technological advances were being pursued in all sectors. Heeks and Nicholson (2004) identified that
According to them the developed economies had significant growth in the sector since the 1970 after which the world saw rise of three countries, Israel, Ireland and India, who were then called the ‘first followers' in the industry and later came to be known as world leaders (Heeks and Nicholson, 2004).
Outsourcing has been an important mode of business in information technology industry and most developed countries today outsource, from low level work to business process, to developing countries where the cost of labour is low. Internet and the fast growing communication network made outsourcing quite easy. In the new information economy, the shift of main inputs from land labour and capital to knowledge and information has presented both opportunities and challenges to developing countries (Kambhampati, 2002). India gained the first mover advantage by utilizing this opportunity earlier in 1970s and is now a world leader in IT services. However, there were also certain challenges involved with these opportunities. There were certain initial requirements in IT like high-speed datacom links through which firms communicate with their clients, and the basic infrastructure in buildings and telephone lines. The software industry being a service industry is both labour- and skill-intensive. Though the skills in this industry are relatively easy to acquire in some areas, such as data-entry, the initial requirements of a reasonably well-educated labour force remain (Kambhampati, 2002).
India being one of the first ‘follower' nations has now become a world leader in providing IT services with the highest turnover of $61 billion in IT services sector. Many Reports suggested that India did not have the infrastructure to support IT related services but still it has made great success in this industry. Is the growth and development of the Indian IT industry similar to many other emerging economies and comparable to the East Asian Late Comer Model is a rather important question. We can use this model to identify if Indian IT industry has followed a similar pattern based on which its current and future strategies can be examined. .
East Asian Late Comer Model东亚模型
Since the 1980s, East Asian countries like Hong Kong, China, Taiwan, and Korea etc. experienced fast economic growth and remarkable industrial development. Such growth was a result of major economic policy measures like import substitution, export promotion, incentives for foreign and domestic investments. As a consequence, countries that emphasised on low cost labour gradually moved towards High Tech industries (Chang Woon Nam, 2006). In his paper, Chang Woon Nam has critically analysed Asian countries at different levels of industrialisation and identified certain pattern that the countries have followed. This pattern of economic and industrial growth is also known as the East Asian Late Comer Model.
According to the Model, there are different stages (or levels) of industrial development in a country. At the first stage, industry is based on natural resources and mostly labour driven (Chang Woon Nam, 2006). Countries offer their advantage of low cost labour to attract foreign business. At this stage they are involved in producing low-tech products and components as subcontractors for foreign firms. They gain knowledge and skills for production using shop floor experience and learning by doing (Bennett and Vaidya, 2005).
At the second stage, industry is based on capital and imported technology driven (Chang Woon Nam, 2006). Once the country gets sufficient shop floor experience they use imported technology and make capital investments to enhance their production capabilities. They are not just sub contractors now and have the ability to produce their own goods with a large amount of technology borrowed from developed countries (Bennett and Vaidya, 2005). There is little or no innovation at this stage, however firms invest in understanding the technology and start developing their capabilities at a smaller scale.
At the third stage, Firms are more R&D driven (Chang Woon Nam, 2006), and they invest considerably into research and development and are able to produce most of the products with little technology imported from developed nations. Firms at this level are able to design their product, performance features and process technology (Bennett and Vaidya, 2005).
At the fourth or the final stage, industry becomes innovation driven (Chang Woon Nam, 2006). Industry at this level is very innovative and has intensive R&D to support product development. Technology import from developed countries is negligible and firms are able to innovate new products and processes to differentiate from other countries (Bennett and Vaidya, 2005).
It is important to note that developing the capabilities through learning was also backed by good technical field-related education and capabilities of individuals in those countries. These not only include the technical skills but also entrepreneur, team effort and organisational capabilities. It was a combination of these aspects that could help Asian countries develop into what they are.
Korean Semi Conductor and Automobile Industries韩国半导体和汽车工业
Korea had an excellent economic growth in the last four decades especially in the semiconductor and automobile industry. The early economic growth was supported by the special industrial policies formed by the Korean government. Not only that, the government provided infrastructure and financial incentives to promote certain sectors. The Korean government emphasized on local production of consumption goods rather than import. In fact, post 1964 policies were pursued for promotion of export. Government also established institutions like Korea Trade and Investment Corporation and The Korea International Trade Association to support export. Korea initially had the comparative advantage of low cost labour which attracted the initial business from foreign clients. Although Korea had some experience in the light industry such as textile; it had relatively unskilled labour to support heavy and technology based industries (Mah, 2007).
In the semi-conductor industry government set targets for export production and R&D. The Korean companies learnt by replicating the Japanese model. After certain period of time they developed the capabilities of adding certain Korea-specific elements to their products. Another important factor in the development of the semi conductor industry was the unique entrepreneur leadership skills that the owners possessed. They also used strategic alliances as an important source of technology transfer; examples are Samsung-Texas Instruments, LG-Hitachi. Development of the industry attracted many well educated and experienced Koreans based in U.S to retain home (Cho et al, 1998).
It was once predicted that South Korea's automakers would never had survived the global shakeout of 1990's. Hyundai, however, was determined to become a leading automaker of the world. Hyundai entered the industry in 1987 as a latecomer and today has more than forty-five subsidiaries around the world. Being a latecomer Hyundai started as an assembling plant for ford compact car. Later Hyundai received “package” technology from ford such as blue prints, technical specifications and production manuals. Hyundai also sent its engineers for training at ford sites. Hyundai used exceptional organisational skills to set up a difficult target of manufacturing a car on its own. The government pushed Hyundai to develop its own car rather than pursuing assembling operations of foreign cars. The initial production of Korean cars was supported by technologies imported from other countries. Hyundai's next target was not just to meet the domestic demand but also compete globally. It therefore needed some differentiation in its product compared to the western countries. Hyundai, thus, made investments into Research and Development in order to improve its technological capabilities and add some innovative idea to its product. In 1994 and 1995, Hyundai had developed Accent and Avante respectively both designed and developed completely by Hyundai (Kim, 1998).
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