IT/Telecom in the US – Presidents and Blackberries

Despite the global economic turmoil, it seems that the media shall continue to create hype around President Elect, Barrack Obama’s ‘Blackberry’ (which happens to be a commercial brand), and how he may have to forego this ‘business necessity’ of his, owing to national security issues.
Instead of using this matter as an excuse for creating brand recognition around a commercial brand, the real matter that needs discussion is how Obama’s ‘technology savvy’ nature shall influence the IT and telecommunications roadmap of the US, on domestic, commercial and economic levels.
The World Bank declaration has already hinted at a change in outsourcing policies, thereby creating millions of opportunities within the US IT sector at the national level. It is also being hinted that Obama may well revolutionize government processes, so as to make them more efficient, transparent and cost effective.
Which industry spheres shall reap the maximum benefits of the Obama regime? Will we see another IT rat race from the nineties, wherein several new corporations will emerge to take over the scene/? Or will the predominant software giants stay large, and in-charge?


  • Amit Gupte

    Hi Zohaib,
    I think, the Brand America is looking to consolidate it’s economic position more aggresively than ever before. So they cannot risk cost cutting at the cost of stopping outsourcing. So least be worried.
    Yes, core sectors like Power, Healthcare, Defense, Metals and Financial services will try to get maximum local talent and reduce dependencies on overseas partners.
    IT and Telecom are infrastructure building sectors and hence will continue to rely on offshoring, rather nearpshoring now and outsourcing.
    Focus on cost to sell Ephulx solutions/products to European markets as that will indirectly get you good visibility in the US markets.
    Best Regards

  • I don’t think it’s possible for any company, software or otherwise, to permanently weild dominant market power in the USA, if for no other reason than the lilliputians will eventually gain enough politicial muscle to carve ’em up with anti-trust law, just as happened to Standard Oil and AT&T.
    As for Obama, I believe he sees the potential of a wireless, online government with extreme transparency and responsiveness. His unwillingness to surrender the smartphone confirms that a different tone is being set.
    The third question, that of what becomes of outsourcing, particularly to India is a most interesting one. Clearly there is some western bias at work in the recent setbacks dealt to the major Indian players, however I don’t think India is bereft of leverage it can employ to reshape the playing field. And of course, large U.S. companies in need of those Indian services have cards of their own to play. The World Bank may find that its influence is diminished, rather than increased, by actions it takes that are ultimately circumvented. The consequence of taking an action that others manage to neutralize is a loss of credibility with respect to your power to take the next action. The outsourcing debutante has too many suitors for daddy to lock her away again now … they’re going to be fighting each other to get a ladder up to her window.

  • American Jobs will return home when we stop giving Frankenstein economies artificial competitive advantage. A partial list of these competitive advantages is included below. 1) Our foreign competitors are not required to comply with international private property rights and can use the US patent office as an idea bank and US products as templates for building their own products. 2) US government allows competitor nations to manipulate currency. 3) US companies do not have to pay taxes on profits offshore and can write down manufacturing cost as R&D cost. 4) Spends 10 billion a year in in foreign aid to India saved by taking food out of the mouths of the children in Africa and used for the purpose of creating an artificial upper classes (castes) that can ignore the miserable conditions in which its poor live. 5) Allows implement high duties for imports in India and China. 6) Push international agreements like Kyoto that bind the US and EU environmental standards but allows China and India to pollute, air, water and earth without restriction. 7) Ignores human rights catastrophes going on in India and China. Foreign industry is built upon the cruel and inhuman treatment of workers.
    We will also soon see the appreciation of the rupee and yuan. Political unrest in China and India will imperil investment.

  • I do see changes in several industries but some of the root changes will need top be in:
    Security – There is no doubt that security will be huge moving forward but I am not simply talking about physical security, but also virtual. I don’t think that we have been any more vulnerable than it is today. We rely so much on information technology today and are so open that this scares me far more than the economy. Continued advances in computer technology coupled to large scale virus infections means that more people are able to put their hands on the power needed to break the large number based encryption schemes. More security careless\ignorant people are involved in the system so social engineering is simpler to pull off today, and with the advent of wireless, our communications can be open to anyone with an IP sniffer.
    Information Standardization – As more and more companies\government departments need to communicate we will have to be better at building standard ways of representing information. Just looking at how many different agencies store the exact same information about you today boggles the mind. Just about every agency\company that you interact with has a separate view of you. Some think this is good\better because it limits the ability to connect the dots after a breach, but it conversely can also have the opposite effect in that it leads to mistakes\inefficiencies. Right now I think we are using this decoupling as an excuse for our poor levels of security and that needs to change. We also need to look hard at how information is represented as it passed between users. IT budgets are riddled with the costs of data massaging\conversion to get information form one system to another and those costs are building at am alarming rate. Data standardization is a key to lowering IT costs, just like part standardization was to lowering the costs of the automobile.
    Communication – We need to talk. For business and society to move to the new age we need to be able to communicate to each other without barriers. This means that comm infrastructure needs to leave the way of the Dodo and get real. We need to quickly drop the use of copper and move to fiber and ubiquitous wireless access. Adding new endpoints is not the answer here; we need the infrastructure that can back it up and it needs to be reliable and as invisible as the air. It has to be there when we need it, high quality, and cheap. Until we can all walk down the street and maintain a VPN connection to our office without fear of dead spots or signing a per\hour contracts we are not going to move forward.
    Education – Technology is useless without people smart enough to use it, and willing to learn how. We need to beef up the tech education and start them earlier. We need to bring IT education at a better level into the primary grades so that our children are ready\able to understand as they leave high school, before college. Things change far too quickly to rely on a good IT education in the secondary schools. Primary education needs to be able to react faster to changes in technology.
    The schools also need to leverage all the different types of testing that can give insight into a student’s strengths\weaknesses, how their personality works and what drives their interests to fashion programs that help them grow in the ways that they are inclined from an earlier age. It also needs to leverage business relationships to help fill gaps in delivering a top quality curriculum that prepares them for entry into the job market.
    Adults also need to understand that learning never stops, and things are going to change. Like it or not so they better keep up. Govt needs to reward the ones that continue to learn and utilize the technology based segments of society like online bill paying, email, and the web. Give sizable tax rebates for their ability to leverage these services thus taking a load off of the aging existing infrastructure we currently have.

  • Toby Younis

    Whatever happens will occur at the discretion of the complex and highly competitive U. S. Federal Government Procurement Process, which our friend and colleague Mark Amtower, (as well as dozens of others in my contacts list) will tell you, “…is a tough row to hoe – but, damn, if there isn’t money to be made.”
    The U.S. Federal Government is the largest buyer of information technology in the world – hundreds of billions of dollars every year, and not one is spent without a government contract in place.
    Government contractors (meaning: the companies that WIN government contracts), regardless of the Obama technology strategy, will be very adept at the process, have the right contacts on Capitol Hill via an experienced cadre of lobbyists, spend millions on analyzing budgets and targeting procurement programs, and be very competent at the art and science of systems integration either as a lead or a sub.
    The “systems integration” component provides an opportunity for small- to medium- sized companies who may not have the resources required to market directly to the Federal Government to get their brand of technology into the Government via the major integrators – and the competent integrators have been doing business with the Fed for decades.
    My recommendation: for any company wanting to take advantage of the Obama Technology Strategy:
    1. Hire yourself a competent consultant that can help you to navigate the complexities of selling in Washington such as the aforementioned Mr. Amtower, or the experts like Jim Beaupre and Bob Dinkel at FedResults, or the folks at
    2. Make yourself familiar with the process. The GSA (Government Services Administration) website contains all the content you need to increase your knowledge.
    3. Recruit and hire specialists in Federal Business Development, Marketing and Sales and make certain they’re located in or near Washington.
    4. Find out which major systems integrators own the current integration contracts that would include your technology. There’s a free resource that enables you to search all upcoming government contracts by keyword. I’ve listed it below along with others that might be helpful.
    5. If you want a sense of the immensity of the challenge, and the opportunity, Google “U.S. Federal Procurement.”
    Good luck.

  • Greg Poulos

    As always, change is in order.
    Some of the big companies will remain, but there will other new ones to come along. Most of the big government contracts will go to existing large companies.
    Small companies will form and begin to ride coattails, etc. Serving the business environment, and offering new technologies. Soon to be gobbled up by the large IT sphere.

  • What an excellent blog, I’ve added your feed to my RSS reader. 🙂

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