Most of us are aware cloud computing has changed the way IT services are provisioned and used. Cloud’s potential of scalability and pay-as-you-go pricing models is the primary benefit extended by cloud services to organizations in order to achieve effectiveness through technology. In case of SMBs, cloud services minimize barriers to their growth by reducing infrastructure costs and upfront investments. During the last few years, IT professionals in many different organizations in India have witnessed and accustomed themselves to cloud adoption. Cloud computing usage is gaining momentum in India mainly because of government support, vendor offerings, and proven best practices, which have resulted in many organizations in India planning to move to the cloud on priority.
Research studies done during the last 5 years indicate that Indian businesses are willing to spend over 36% of their IT costs on public cloud services due to its business flexibility and low costs. The study made by Gartner explains that public cloud service sales are worth 24.54 billion INR in 2013, which is a 36% increase compared to 2010 figures. Gartner predicts that growth is constant at compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 33.2%. Smaller companies are more willing and quick to adopt public clouds because it reduces their upfront costs associated with new hardware, software implementations and maintenance costs. The Gartner study also predicts that the business potential of cloud computing in India will touch 89 billion INR by 2017. This statistical data is quite likely to change soon, but first let us have a look into cloud adoption across a few sectors.
Cloud Services in government: The Government of India is embracing cloud computing technology for expanding its e-governance initiatives throughout the country. In India, the focus of e-governance is to reduce corruption and ensure the government schemes are reaching people living in rural areas of the country. Further, e-governance services ensure quicker service delivery and eliminate the involvement of middlemen who tend to capitalize on loopholes for quick money by means of exploiting people. To mention one initiative, the Department of Electronics and Information Technology under the Ministry of Communications and IT is highly optimistic of adopting cloud computing in governance and has made plans for the creation of IT enabled services, applications and policies towards achieving full benefits in different government initiatives. The department plans to offer solutions by electronic means, promote R & D initiatives, solutions for cyber-security and National Information Infrastructure, develop IT policies and so on, where cloud computing will be used extensively.
Cloud adoption in manufacturing: Indian manufacturing sector has come a long way and the use of IT in manufacturing can be found since last over 2 decades. Since 2010, CIOs in Indian manufacturing have started adopting cloud models and this is highlighted in many research studies and industry circles. Some of the most notable application areas in manufacturing suited for cloud are CRM and supply chain applications which provide better connectivity to external stakeholders and customers. The area of business intelligence (BI) and business analytics (BA) is highly important for manufacturing sector because of large amounts of data generated in manufacturing which is a challenge for CIOs. For instance analytics will help the organization to better forecast products range and provide analysis for future investments in different business areas. BI helps to understand customer demands and provide inputs for demand shaping. Human machine interface (HMI) is another area where companies such as Jindal Steel have adopted cloud model for their HMI applications to quickly recover their ROI. HMI refers to interfacing IT systems like ERP with manufacturing executing systems (MES) and plant automation. In addition to the above applications, the other areas where cloud enhances manufacturing effectiveness are in data warehousing, information security, green IT, and many others.
Cloud adoption in Indian IT industry: The research by IDC titled “Indian Cloud Market Overview 2011-2016” provides estimates that Indian cloud market will grow over 70% from 2014. The cloud is transforming Indian IT industry and some of the highlights include,
- With increased number of IT companies and ISPs in India, cloud IaaS model is helping SMEs to have access to latest infrastructure thus reducing their in-house infrastructure costs.
- PaaS model provides immense advantages for software companies. PaaS supports developers with different development platforms and in turn providing savings to the company from heavy capital expenditure.
- Organizations big and small are having advantages by adopting SaaS model. For example, Indian companies by implementing applications such as SAP Business, Office 365, etc. tend to benefit greatly from the hassles of maintaining IT applications to result in cost savings.
In addition to the above highlighted sectors, cloud service models are used in other industry domains such as finance and banking, advertising, health care, etc., slowly but steadily. The slow pace can be attributed to certain barriers such as inadequate knowledge of cloud technologies, connectivity issues and customer awareness in terms of ROI in cloud adoption.
The key drivers for IT growth in India is highlighted by the growing acceptance of cloud based solutions, embracing merging technologies like Internet of Things (IoT), Big Data, mobile technologies (3G, 4G) and fuelled by Indian government’s initiatives for a digital India. In a recent research done by Zinnov Management Consulting titled “India’s Domestic IT Market Landscape 2015”, the estimated Indian IT market is at $36 billion in 2015 with 14% growth to reach $65 billion in 2020. The report explains that,
- The Indian government’s Digital India project provides potential opportunities for cloud adoption at a cost of $19 billion between 2014-2018
- The estimated growth of public cloud market is pegged at $7.4-7.6 billion and private cloud at the rate of $7 billion by 2020
The above studies and data indicate that cloud adoption is fast catching up in India and transforming IT services to provide a new direction. In addition to this, new mobile technologies like SMAC (Social Mobile Analytics Cloud) are used by business organizations to gain competitive advantage and growth. NASSCOM’s “Perspective 2020” report is highly optimistic about India’s progress in mobility, broadband and internet connectivity over the next 2 years and beyond. From the above, it is more apparent that, cloud offers the most ideal infrastructure for operating a variety of IT applications across all types of organizations in India.