Over the years, cloud computing has gone through a remarkable evolution, worldwide. According to International Data Corporation (IDC), by the end of 2018, 75 per cent of Indian developers will include cloud-based cognitive or AI functionalities in one or more services. Rishu Sharma, associate research manager, IDC India, shares important information about this dynamic market with Sreemoyee Chatterjee of Open Source For You magazine published by EFY
Q. Where does India stand in the list of cloud-adopting regions?
A. As per IDC Worldwide Semi-annual Public Cloud Services Tracker, in the first half of 2017, India was the third largest public cloud market in the Asia-Pacific excluding Japan (APeJ) region, reaching a value of about US$ 658 million.
Q. Which sectors are promising for the cloud computing market in India?
A. Telecom, banking and discrete manufacturing lead the pack in spending on public cloud services as these look for greater scalability, higher performance and faster access to new technologies. Among these, telecom leads in terms of public cloud spending in India. These industries are now looking at the cloud for SaaS offerings like collaborative applications, customer relationship management and enterprise risk management.
Q. What other industries are adopting cloud computing in India?
A. Professional, security, investment and insurance services, along with non-conventional sectors like the media industry, are adopting cloud computing. In these sectors, cloud-based platforms have helped reduce manual effort, thereby empowering these to invest more man hours for higher value-added tasks.
Q. What upgradations are likely to hit cloud computing functionalities in India?
A. Several enterprise software companies have already adopted cognitive and artificial intelligence (AI) components and functionalities to provide predictions, assistance, recommendations and guidance on tasks within software. India will soon see a new era of cloud computing functionalities, with upgradations and new versions of software that will include machine learning analytic techniques or much broader cognitive/AI functionalities. So, the cloud service providers in the country will have to upgrade their service providing platforms accordingly.
Q. What challenges are faced by cloud service providers in India?
A. The major challenge is security. Other challenges include those associated with adhering to regulatory or compliance issues in accordance with RBI guidelines regarding data storage, vendor and price lock-ins, upgradation and providing solutions that allow for multi-cloud setups, as well as meeting the growing demand and penetrating the government sector. Despite PM Narendra Modi’s Digital India programme, foreign vendors find it difficult to enter the public sector.
Q. Of the existing cloud vendors, how many of them are India based?
A. The top seven cloud vendors in India are MNCs like Amazon, Microsoft and Google. Indian vendors have a smaller share, due to smaller scales of operations.
Q. How profitable is the Indian cloud market for vendors?
A. Profitability depends on the scale of operations. As and when end users realise that the cloud is the way forward, profitability of cloud vendors will also increase.
Q. What role do cloud service providers play in terms of providing AI/IoT based solutions?
A. The top cloud vendors in the country have begun launching solutions with cognitive and AI components. The cloud and AI go hand-in-hand. Due to increasing demands from users, vendors are talking about Internet of Things (IoT) solutions connected to the cloud, enabling users to generate real-time data across the globe.
Q. Is there any blue ocean space in cloud computing in the country?
A. It may not be blue ocean space exactly, but multi-cloud management needs attention. Since multi-cloud setups are the way forward, vendors need to understand end-to-end management for multi-cloud platforms and look at ways of utilising the infrastructure to its maximum capacity. It is estimated that by 2020, over 90 per cent of global enterprises.