Cloud computing in India: Current status and future forecasts by various research firms

cloud-computingWith cloud computing market getting mature globally, including in the developing countries, the last 10 months in India this year, witnessed a lot of activities in this segment. While many brands and entrepreneurs have forayed into this category, some existing ones also attracted significant investments from the angels and VCs.

To name a few, there is a startup called Freshdesk, which provides a cloud based personal accounting solution. Bookyourtable, the online table reservation service came in news for using cloud services to provide real time booking options for restaurants. And then, there were brands like Oracle and Dell which acquired Bigmachines and Enstratius respectively, to gain technological advantage in the sector. And not to forget, even the Indian Government has recently taken an initiative to launch a national cloud, known as Meghraj.

Talking about the fundings scenario, Bangalore based Numerify raised USD 8 Mn this quarter. Chennai based IT firm, Sify Technologies has also recently announced to invest in or partner with technology startups focusing on cloud, security and managed services. This involves a major amount of INR 30 Crores for initial investments, and INR 120 crores for future investments in this field.

Some other names to be look forward for new innovations in cloud this year include BSNL, Tata Communications, British Telecom, OpenXcell, HP etc.

The scenario thus clearly demands a clear picture of the market opportunities available and the expected future of cloud in the country. To understand this, we have clubbed below a summary of a few reports from popular research analyst firms published in the last one year, with most published during the last quarter of 2013 only.

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1) Gartner: Cloud computing will become the bulk of new IT spend by 2016. From 2012 through 2017, across all segments of the cloud computing market, cloud services revenue is projected to have a CAGR of 33.2%, with SaaS and IaaS growth rates projected to be 34.4% and 39.8% respectively.

Also, with higher rates of SaaS adoption, by 2017, USD 4.2 Bn will be spent on cloud services in India, USD 1.8 Bn of which will be spent on software as a service (SaaS).

2) Cisco Consulting Services (CCS): The study surveyed 4,226 IT leaders in 18 industries across 9 key economies, including 600 from India. Wherein about 83% of respondents in India were “very satisfied” and another 13% “somewhat satisfied” with cloud, representing a total 96% positive rating.

3) VMware, Inc. Cloud index: A study, conducted by Forrester Research across 12 Asia Pacific countries, reveals that nearly 89% respondents in India believe that Cloud Computing, or ‘as-a-service’ approach, is relevant to their organisation and nearly 79% say they currently have a cloud-related initiative in place within the organisation, or are planning to implement cloud, or ‘as-a-service’ approach, in the next 12 months.

4) CII: Public cloud computing in India is forecast to grow 36% in 2013 to total USD 443 Mn, up from USD 326 Mn in 2012. The Indian IT-BPO vendors can develop their social media, mobility, analytics and cloud computing (SMAC) strategies and cross the USD 225 Bn mark by 2020.

5) Microsoft IDC study: Cloud computing will generate some 14 Mn new jobs worldwide by 2015, and India alone will create over 2 Mn jobs.

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6) EMC and Zinnov Management Consulting: India would require at least 100,000 professionals in private cloud alone by 2015

Well, everything seems quite good, right? But there’s a negative aspect too. As per, BSA Global Cloud Computing Scorecard 2013, India still lags behind developed countries (with 17th rank of the 24 countries surveyed) in policies, like data privacy, security, intellectual property rights, cybercrime etc., which are considered critical for the future of cloud computing. Also, international giants in cloud like Amazon, despite of having a wider customer base in India, are not interested in putting up data centres in the country due to riskier infrastructure and stringent data security laws.

However, industry experts have a view that India can still become a hub for global cloud computing. “Indian firms have reached a maturity in the total outsourcing space, taking away entire IT needs of large organisations end-to-end. In the cloud scenario they will take this story forward, forming new partnerships and new business models,” said Srikanth Karnakota, director of Microsoft’s server and cloud business.

Thus, it’s pretty clear that India has a high potential to offer much better opportunities in Cloud. Also, the way both the private and government players are taking initiatives, and the pace at which the IT professionals and entrepreneurs are making use of this technology, the scope in the future is going to be immense.

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