2007 / 328 pages

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Demystifying the Global IT Services Industry
Was Rahman and Priya Kurien

In just a few decades since its birth, the global IT industry has grown to a trillion dollars. It continues to transform society and business, as perhaps no other industry has, yet remains one of the least understood industries in the world. Behind the facade of geekiness and technophobia lies a set of organisations routinely given the power to fundamentally reshape many facets of our lives, and in the process create lucrative sources of financial rewards for those investing in it. This book explains what consultants and IT services firms do. It examines the industry's surprisingly captivating history, and in doing so, explains why the industry does things the way it does and what motivates the different players within it. It offers insights into some fascinating questions, including:

  • Why do those fundamentally affected by this industry have such little idea about how it has managed to have such a hard-hitting impact globally?
  • How has this industry managed to reach the unique status it enjoys around the world today, with literally millions aspiring to enter it?
  • What is it about this industry that has caused it to evolve so differently as compared to other fields?
  • Perhaps most importantly, where could it, and the rest of us, go next


The Paradox of the IT Industry / Section One: Basics / Aspects of Today's IT Industry / What IT Service Companies Do / Realities and Perceptions / Section Two: Past / Prehistory / Early Business Computing / A Potted History of IT Services Industry / Section Three: Present / Succeeding Today / Leaders / New Influences and Challengers / Section Four: Future / How to Predict the Future / Four 'See-able' Futures / Speculation

About the authors

Was Rahman is CEO and co-founder of Dolphin Advisory. With two decades of business experience, he has had a broad and varied career that has given him a unique perspective on growing businesses globally. Was has spent his career advising business and technology executives on how best to take advantage of the changing role and potential of IT. He has held leadership positions with Infosys Technologies and Accenture and has also been the Managing Director of a European ISP. He has helped numerous blue-chip companies, including JP Morgan, Shell, Toshiba, Telstra, British Airways and Virgin, change the way they do business by exploiting new technologies and busines models. He is a Charter Member of TiE UK.

Priya Kurien
is Managing Director of Dolphin Advisory. She has enjoyed a distinguished career on the technology side of the IT services industry, including a decade at Infosys Technologies where she co-developed the firm's European Startegy and its Solutions Programme. Previously, she was with EDS where she pioneered the firm's efforts to set up outsourced services from India, well before this became the mainstream option it is today. She has many 'firsts' to her name, such as leading early Internet application projects using the global delivery model. She led some of Infosys' initial technology consulting engagements, as the firm started its move into higher value added services. She has also spent several years in SETLabs, Infosys' Innovation and R&D arm, looking at how to package and commercialise IP.


“Highly relevant read, especially because the book is boldly irreverent of the industry.”
Business Line

“Was Rahman & Priya Kurien try to piece together all the slices of the ‘least understood industry in their book . . . Refuting Thomas Friedman’s theory of a ‘flat world’, they insist ‘the last set of people who thought the world was flat thought Columbus was a fool.
Financial Express

“The ideal handbook for the average IT professional, and a collectable for those outside the industry.”

“The authors promise to provide ‘a non-technical and jargon-free view of the IT Services industry’, and they deliver . . . The global IT scene is laid out in detail, and the non-IT reader will find most of it eminently understandable. For the curious, the title of the book is from John Godrey Saxe’s poem.”

I think this is a great context-setting book for someone new to the subject of enterprise computing and I wholeheartedly recommend it.... [This book] has a tremendous amount of factual, unbiased, researched material, well synthesised and presented in a very readable manner.
Subroto Bagchi,
COO, Mind Tree Consulting

A useful, easy-to-read book for people looking to move from working in the IT Services industry to working on the industry.... The book reminds you not to ignore the fundamentals of IT Services, development and methodologies.
Maria DiGregorio
General Manager, Telstra Corporation Limited

I really do think that it is very interesting....I learnt an immense amount from having read it.
Colin Mayer
Peter Moores Dean, Said Business School, University of Oxford


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