Enterprises must choose the best multi-cloud and hybrid cloud options for their workloads

For businesses, the government, and consumers alike, cloud computing has become a mission-critical technology. It is not only the technology that supports digital transformation, but it also fosters innovation and teamwork among ecosystem players. The shared digital infrastructure we refer to as the cloud is now an urgent issue that the entire C-suite needs to prioritise. It is no longer just a topic for tech teams to address. You run the danger of losing out if you miss this wave.

In an interview Shailender Kumar, Sr. Vice President – Regional Managing Director India and NetSuite JAPAC, tells us more. Excerpts:

The cloud market has grown exponentially over the last decade; where do you see it going this year and beyond?

The world is changing. Businesses and workloads are getting more complex and with that the way we use technology is different. The efficacy and demand for multiple clouds will only increase as agility and optimization retain top business priorities among customers. Gartner forecasts worldwide end-user spending on public cloud services to grow 20.7% to total $591.8 billion in 2023, up from $490.3 billion in 2022. This is higher than the 18.8% growth forecast for 2022. Infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) is forecast to experience the highest end-user spending growth in 2023 at 29.8% (see Table 1). All segments are expected see growth in 2023.

Closer here in India, IDC predicts the overall India public cloud services market to reach $13.0 billion by 2026, growing at a CAGR of 23.1% for 2021-26. Even NASSCOM highlights the expanding ecosystem of digital enterprises: 53% of enterprises have increased their cloud adoption over the last one year; 84% of large organizations have adopted SaaS.

There is a lot of innovation happening with embedded technologies such as AI, analytics, and blockchain. There is tremendous opportunity for cloud in India – the market is growing fast, but I must also acknowledge that businesses and governments are also more forthcoming, now, in embracing new and emerging technologies. Organisations will increasingly demand that their cloud solution providers work well together so they can establish operational efficiency and deliver the ultimate customer service. 

How important is the Indian market to Oracle? What key industries are you betting on?

Oracle celebrates 30 years of operations in India in 2023. This is a proud milestone for us. India is a startegic market for us both from the opportunity and growth perspective. The business here has been a solid growth engine with the Oracle Cloud Infrastructure (OCI) unit clocking over 100% growth for the third year in succession. Our SaaS business also witnessed exceptional momentum and the portfolio continues to be on high demand, be it ERP or HCM or CX solutions. Oracle has recently onboarded IFFCO eBazar, India’s leading agricultural retail and e-commerce as their customer. As part of the partnership, IFFCO eBazar will unify its finance operations and drive greater efficiency and productivity.

Last year, we had some game-changing wins in the telecom, public sector, and BFSI sectors. For example, our recent partnership with Bharti Airtel is a significant milestone. Oracle has expanded its cloud region capacity in India with Nxtra by Airtel to meet the growing demand for cloud services in the country. The telecom giant has also implemented Oracle Fusion Cloud HCM to centralize HR operations on a single platform and improve the experience it provides to its employees. 

We are witnessing unprecedented growth across industries such as BFSI, Manufacturing, E-commerce/Retail, Telco, Healthcare, EduTech, Startups, and Public Sector (be it banks or insurance firms or oil & gas or central & state government projects). We will focus on delivering to our customers in these sectors. Our existing customers continue to entrust us with their business operations and workloads, and we are experiencing demand from new customers. 

Environmental, social, and governance (ESG) has emerged as a critical priority for businesses across industries. How is Oracle assisting businesses in dealing with ESG preparedness and supply chain disruptions?

Businesses today require a comprehensive performance management solution that provides transparency to all stakeholders and regulators, with environment, social, and governance (ESG) reporting at the top of organisational agendas. At Oracle, sustainability is a serious business and therefore our innovations extend across sustainable cloud operations and cloud applications that help our customers run their own businesses at lower costs and with less energy use. Several Oracle solutions contribute to organisations becoming more sustainable. We have always delivered innovations that foster tangible change and enable the world’s largest corporations to play a role in protecting our planet.

Our specialised cloud applications assist businesses in addressing specific organisational needs through a customised set of embedded solutions. Businesses of all sizes, including Unilever, Apollo Tyres, Safexpress, Benzlers and Radicon among others, use Oracle Cloud Applications to promote economic and sustainable development.

In recent years, cloud environments such as multi-cloud and hybrid cloud have grown in popularity among business leaders. What is your strategy for competing in these areas with other hyperscalers?

Enterprises must choose the best multi-cloud and hybrid cloud options for their workloads, and none should lock them into a technological island. Recently, at the Oracle Cloud Summit Mumbai 2023, we announced the findings for India of our multi-cloud survey, a study aimed at understanding how IT leaders think about and use multicloud in their IT strategies. The study revealed that IT leaders use multiple cloud providers to save money and gain more control over their data. Our research findings for that multicloud is here to stay. The study revealed that 98 percent of enterprises surveyed in India are using or plan to use at least two cloud infrastructure providers, while 33 percent are already using four or more. Further, the survey found that the top two drivers of multicloud strategies for Indian enterprises are data sovereignty (53 percent) and cost optimization (37 percent). 

Oracle invests heavily in product and service innovation to provide customers with the variety and flexibility they require. Giving our partners and customers more choice has long been a primary focus for OCI. Enterprises must pick the best multicloud and hybrid options for their particular workloads—and none of them should lock them into a tech island. Oracle has worked hard to innovate its products and services to deliver new solutions and partnerships to provide the choice and flexibility that customers need to become more modern, efficient and productive.

How does Oracle ensure that its customers have access to the most secure cloud offerings across Cloud Tech and Apps, and what key features do you have embedded in your offerings to support data security and privacy?

We don’t look at security in silos; we integrate technology into every layer of our offerings. As a global technology player serving organisations around the world with varying compliance, security, and data privacy requirements, it is critical for us to incorporate security into each layer of our offerings. We understand that privacy and security are critical components for businesses, so Oracle rebuilt our architecture for OCI which is our Gen 2 cloud.

OCI security helps organizations reduce the risk of security threats for cloud workloads. With simple, prescriptive, and integrated security capabilities built into the OCI platform, Oracle helps customers easily adopt and secure their cloud infrastructure, data, and applications.

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