The computer industry has two main sectors:
This term covers the physical elements of a computer system; the hardware sector is concerned with their design, development, assembly, manufacture and maintenance. Hardware design and development is the function of engineers and computer scientists. Manufacture involves production
and assembly of components, some of which might be locally sourced, while others are imported.
Software is a set of programmed instructions that enable a computer to perform specified functions. The versatility of the tasks undertaken by the computer depends on its sophistication and the quality and complexity of the software provided. This sector is involved in designing programs for various purposes and is further divided into:
programs that control the computer's mode of operation. System software is usually developed by
vendors and R&D institutes.
Covers user-friendly programs specially devised to comply with a customer's specific needs. Typically, this means developing programs that directly facilitate the day-to-day activities of an organization.
Are general usage programs that meet requirements common to large numbers of people. They are
developed for stock, and can be bought off the shelf. As custom-made programs are expensive and take time to develop, software packages are becoming increasingly popular.
Microcomputers are largely responsible for the growth of packaged software solutions to business problems, and have given rise to many support jobs within the industry. Software development is a continuous process that requires additions and modifications in accordance with the users changing needs.
The scope of this sector includes training in IT areas, contract services at customer locations, turnkey development, software products and processing services. The Indian computer industry has found outlets for its products at home as well as abroad.
In 1989-90, hardware and software exports together totaled Rs 400 crore. Our current export growth rate is 63 per cent. With present targets for hardware and software set at Rs 3,500 crore, 1,85,000 computer professionals are required for software development alone-an encouraging thought, considering that Indian software experts are rated among the best in the world.