Local software from expectation to reality


Thursday, 01 January 1970 03:30

Local software from expectation to reality

The localization approach has long been the focus of government, policymakers, manufacturers and industry designers. Despite the efforts made in such an approach, the concept of localization seems to be far removed from what has been implemented in practice.

The localization approach has long been the focus of government, policymakers, manufacturers, and industrial designers. Despite the efforts made in such an approach, the concept of localization seems far removed from what has been implemented in practice. In computer software, projects such as national e-mail, national browser, national operating system and ..., have been limited to changes in appearance and, at best, have been able to produce a Persianized version of the original project but no added value. Thus, these projects, despite the huge costs and government support, have only been able to provide a prototype, and in less than a few months after the first version was released, they were generally out of the production and development cycle. In the private sector, due to the high cost of localization or the professional tastes of companies, not much attention has been paid to this issue, and it can be said that the process of localization has almost failed.

Reasons for failure of localization in the software industry

One of the main reasons for the failure of localized software is the nature of the industry. In the software industry, it is assumed that there is no attempt to reinvent the wheel. The open-source community has made it possible for software manufacturers to focus on innovation to develop existing products. This may not be the case in other industries. GPL, which is considered one of the current licenses in the field of free software, allows the manufacturer to use the same products instead of going through the process of product production from the beginning to optimize and make changes. Properly tailored to its needs, it should produce a product based on the original product to develop the localization process somehow. Therefore, the open-source software movement poses a serious challenge to the localization of this industry. If it is not answered properly, it will make the concept of localization meaningless with the approach currently being pursued in the country.

In the current approach, it is desirable to supply all parts of an industry, or at least important parts of it, that create dependence abroad. Regardless of whether this approach is good or bad, such an approach is practically meaningless in the software industry. An industry in which all its basic components are inseparable and cannot be produced separately, the cost/benefit of reproducing it is by no means justified. But to localize the software industry, we cannot reproduce its basic components such as operating systems, compilers, hardware, and ... at home, because the production and development of these items abroad are done with great speed and is reproduced. Ideally, these components keep the domestic software industry up to 50 years behind modern technology.

With these explanations, questions arise that need to be answered:

  • If there is a need to have a definition of the nature of the industry and the localization approach, How should this definition be defined?
  • Does the concept of localization need to be redefined given the nature of the software industry?
  • Is there any need to localize the software industry in the country?

The correct and realistic answer to these questions can show a certain perspective and direction for the country's software industry. Given the huge cost of providing different software, especially in the country's infrastructure, Naturally, the answer to the need to localize software products will be positive. Withdrawal of capital, dependence on foreign companies, reduction of the security factor of information is only a small part of the cases that justify localization.

What is the right approach to localization?

A quick look at localized software products reveals that every effort has been made to produce products that have been ultimately used by the general public. This makes unintentionally competitive products offer unequal competition with powerful foreign models, and because they do not add value to the target user, they are easily out of the competition. Saina is a local browser that is arguably the only Persianized version of the powerful Firefox browser and is a clear example.

It should also not be forgotten that the government structure, which is the main supporter of this type of product, is an important factor in the lack of proper development. The reason is very clear because the government facilitates the production and development of good and powerful industries, not the good production factor. A brief look at the industries that the government is in charge of is a clear indication of this claim. In the field of IT, it is enough to compare large and wide companies providing communication services such as the Internet with the private sector.

Therefore, in defining the localization approach, the government should not play the role of a factor of production, but should only encourage and facilitate the movement of the private sector towards localization.

Instead of producing the product, the government can be the customer of the product. The private sector should redefine the localization of the software industry. Instead of re-production, the production cycle of software products with indigenous knowledge by making it possible to produce and develop its infrastructure and strategic software products. It is the private sector with the tools, knowledge, experience, and facilities to produce the software properly, and the government can play a big role in helping this industry.

In the new definition, the government can appear as a customer or client of the private sector by identifying software products used for the country's infrastructure and encourage the private sector to meet its needs. Instead of using the country's efficient specialists in public production projects, use them as observers of government orders to the private sector.

Attracting university technical graduates as human resources for government projects will only expand the body of government. If these people are in the broad software market that the government supports, they can be attracted to private companies so that the experience and management of the private sector can use the knowledge of these people purposefully. In this way, the government can also benefit from the efficiency of this cycle, instead of using new but inexperienced people and paying for their training and equipment, which is very costly, long-term, and inefficient due to government mechanisms. Transferring these individuals to the private sector will once again receive experience, power, and innovation in the form of products that the private sector produces and sells to the government.

Meeting the government's needs as customers who can pay for large projects enables software companies to develop their resources by organizing their resources and, in the first place, presenting their valuable software products to the government. In the next step, these software products can enter the global market by adapting to international standards due to their appropriate financial and technical resources and earning money and creating jobs for the country. This approach can make a big difference in the software industry and its localization.

Therefore, instead of a software company or computer service provider spending years to localize the program and deal with all kinds of big problems and depending on the situation of the country's industry, it may be able to survive and produce products in a short period that have significant competitiveness to enter global markets.

The government has also been able to meet its domestic needs, prevent currency outflow, create capable software companies, increase production capacity, boost not only the software localization market, but also created the ability to export software products. Such an approach seems to be more realistic than it is currently being pursued and practical and efficient, given the nature of this software industry's localization.



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