Lahore School of Economics

A distinguished seat of learning, teaching and research

Innovation in Information Technology (IT) Industry

Aezaz Hussain, Systems Ltd, Lahore

In the mid-nineties a group of Nobel Laurates working for IBM Research Lab were asked to foretell the use of computers in the 21st century. Their thoughtful response was that this question would be best answered by a science fiction writer rather than the scientist working on improving the technology.

Innovation in the use of Information technology is driven more by the discovering new ways of using it rather than by the developments in the technology itself. Had someone with foresight foretold the current capability of smart phones 20 years ago, the computer scientist would have said that of course it is very possible as the technology does already exist.

No doubt the technology has continued to become faster, more miniaturized, and dramatically cheaper, but the key elements which allow this dramatic improvement in usage have existed for over 2-3 decades.

In Pakistan this industry has a chequered past but has in the past decade reached a mature stage of availability to users. Starting from a complete ban on import of computing equipment from the early sixties to draconically regulated communication industry, Pakistan has in the last decade moved to an enabling and encouraging environment for the IT industry. This has led to its widespread use and impact on all spheres of economic activity.

With the world’s 8th largest mobile phone user’s base, and market driven communication costs, Pakistan has created a hugely incentivized environment for innovation in application of IT. This has been recognized by investors and has started drawing FDI and corporate investments.

In addition to traditional enterprise computing aided by a dramatically improved communication network, mobile computing is potentially the most disruptive force for changing governance and economic activity in Pakistan. Key impact is being seen and will continue to grow in:
So far the government policies have been supportive of this industry but the move towards taxing it in this early stage will become a deterrent to innovation.

Key constraints in the enabling environment which need to be addressed include access to venture capital and entrepreneurial mentoring and support.


Founded Systems Limited in 1977 as the first software house and IT services company in Pakistan and led it to-date. In this capacity has been involved in evolving IT strategies for major organizations in the government, public and private sectors and overseeing software development projects. Within the organization, he has been responsible for the internal restructuring needed to respond to the shift in the company’s strategy. This has included the acquisition of Visionet Systems, Inc., in New Jersey, USA. His main role has been in the development of enterprise strategy.

Prior to starting Systems Limited, he worked with IBM World Trade Corporation as Systems Engineer. Subsequently, he was with the National Fertilizer Corporation as Head of the Planning and Systems Department.

He was a member of Pakistan’s Information Technology Commission, which advised the President of Pakistan on IT related matters and national policies. He was founding member and founding president of Pakistan Software Houses Association (P@SHA). He has been a member of a number of Committees and Advisory bodies set up by the government on information technology strategies and on the development of public sector/government information systems.

Labels: , , , ,

posted by S A J Shirazi @ 3/24/2016 01:16:00 PM,

<< Home

City Campus

104 - C, Gulberg III,

Lahore, Pakistan.

Phones: 92-42-35714936, 38474385

Fax: 92-42-36560905

Main Campus

Intersection Main Boulevard Phase VI

Burki Road

Lahore, Pakistan.

Phones: 36560935, 36560939

Like LSE on Facebook

Follow LSE on Twitter

Subscribe by Email

Web This Blog

Popular Links

Tenth Annual Conference, Ninth Annual Conference, Alumni, Convocation, Debates, Faculty, Images, Life at Campus, Publications, Pakistan Economy


Previous Posts

Powered By

Powered by Blogger