IT and the East

IT and the East: How China and India are altering the future of technology. By James M. Popkin and Partha Iyengar. Harvard Business School Press. ISBN: 1422103145. Price: $35.00.

Ask anybody with even a casual eye on economic affairs to identify the most significant global shift in business today and they will have a single answer: the rise of China and India. But ask even well-informed observers about the impact this will have on Western businesses and the world as a whole, and the result can be little more than a list of educated guesses. There are so many factors at play in the economic super-growth of the world’s two most populous countries that divining likely outcomes takes real depth of understanding.

IT and the East, written by two highly respected analysts from IT industry advisory group, Gartner, is a well-timed attempt to convert some of the starry-eyed awe with which many Westerners regard China and India into a concise road-map of possible outcomes and the consequences for the global IT industry – vendors and customers alike.

The scope of the book is broad, and the insights it provides into both business cultures range from the macro-economic to the quotidian (Karaoke sessions with prospective Chinese business partners are to be avoided, we are warned). But despite the vast number of variables, the authors take a methodical approach to determining the shape of the economic futures of the two countries.

In China, for example, the world’s reaction to the 2008 Beijing Olympics will be critical in informing whether its leaders accelerate integration with the rest of the world or become more conservative over the speed of Westernisation. In India, the 2009 elections will reveal whether voters are supportive of government investment in technology, or whether they feel it is widening the gap between rich and poor. At each turn, such possibilities are related back to the book’s target audience; the Western businesses that will either be closely working with or competing fiercely against Asian companies.

Timely, well-written and impeccably researched, this book is a highly recommended read for any IT professional who wants to make sense of how the rise of the Orient will affect their industry and their life.

Pete Swabey

Pete Swabey

Pete was Editor of Information Age and head of technology research for Vitesse Media plc from 2005 to 2013, before moving on to be Senior Editor and then Editorial Director at The Economist Intelligence...

Related Topics