E FOR ENTERPRISE: The `Colonies' Strike Back at the Empire

By Clive Holtham And David Longworth | The Independent (London, England), May 13, 2001 | Go to article overview
Save to active project

E FOR ENTERPRISE: The `Colonies' Strike Back at the Empire

Clive Holtham And David Longworth, The Independent (London, England)

When ICL revealed last week that it would be reporting a second consecutive annual loss for the year 2000, questions were asked about how much more its Japanese parent would take. The announcement came only months after its acting chief executive had pledged to turn round what was once one of Europe's proudest IT service companies.

Owner Fujitsu had given ICL the chance to start again after last year's abortive flotation. But since then, a catalogue of disasters has ended with it turning over its once core government business to Anite for a paltry pounds 13m.

The European-owned hardware industry's loss of competitive advantage over the past 50 years has been well documented. But the movement now is into a "knowledge economy", where brains matter more than brawn, software more than hardware. This should suggest that Europe can regain its lost advantage via software and services, especially for e-business.

Most European countries have long-standing engineering and design traditions, and Europe has a good track record of managing large and complex projects.

In addition, computers were quick to be adopted in Europe, a trend that should really have spawned a vibrant software industry by the beginning of the 21st century.

There is certainly a large European software industry, but a significant proportion of this is merely acting as an outlet for reselling American products. There is also a large software services sector, again mainly based on US software, or dependent on consultancies with their headquarters in the US.

Put bluntly, with a small number of notable exceptions, such as SAP and Autonomy, Europe is barely represented at the top table of software.

But this is far from being the end of the story. In the Far East, and especially in India, there are significant numbers of well- educated software engineers. Some 18,000 of these were legal - and welcome - immigrants to the UK last year.

And, of course, a growing amount of British software development is now being outsourced to the Indian subcontinent.

I like to think of this as "the revenge of the colonies".

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
Loading One moment ...
Project items
Cite this article

Cited article

Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited article

E FOR ENTERPRISE: The `Colonies' Strike Back at the Empire


Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

While we understand printed pages are helpful to our users, this limitation is necessary to help protect our publishers' copyrighted material and prevent its unlawful distribution. We are sorry for any inconvenience.
Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.

Are you sure you want to delete this highlight?