Cloud is no longer a trend it’s a reality and enterprise IT organizations across the world are riding this disruption and reimagining the way IT has been consumed and delivered. With the escalation of the cloud, experts believe that it signals the beginning of the end of conventional IT paradigms and practices that were in vogue in managing enterprise IT through an asset-driven ‘on-premise’ IT model rooted in periodical CAPEX influxes via software and hardware refresh cycles.
Setting the tone and context, Atul Sareen, Vice President and Head of Cloud Sales, SAP Indian Subcontinent says, “ Cloud has quickly become the mainstream of business technology, and an increasing number of companies are moving their core functions to the cloud. From start-ups to large enterprises, across all industries, everyone has or is joining the bandwagon and working towards their cloud strategy. Companies are now leveraging the cloud as a platform for continuous business innovation - as a way to engage employees, customers and partners in new ways, unleash new operating models and gain new insights that drive growth, profitability and accelerate competitive advantage in today’s ultra-competitive marketplace.”
So clearly cloud is no longer a trend. It’s a necessity. Reflecting on this, Shailender Kumar, Regional Managing Director, Oracle India says, “Absolutely. As a technology concept, cloud has been in existence for more than a decade, but it is only now that you see it permeate and power businesses and governments the world over.
Clearly, the migration to the cloud is happening faster than we expected and India is on a high with more and more customers implementing cloud solutions. Companies have realized the need to invest in IT to promote innovation unlike simply utilizing it to maintain their IT systems.”
As per a joint report titled “Unlocking the economic impact of digital transformation” by Microsoft and IDC, digital transformation will add close to $154 billion to India’s GDP by 2021 and increase the growth rate by one percent annually. About four percent of India’s GDP was derived from digital products and services created directly through the use of digital technologies such as mobility,
Cloud, Internet of Things (IoT) and Artificial Intelligence (AI). India is clearly on the fast-track towards digital transformation. Within the next four years, it is estimated that nearly 60 percent of India’s GDP will have a strong connection to the digital transformation trends. Putting this thought in the backdrop, Meetul Patel, Chief Operating Officer, Microsoft India says, “Today, cloud adoption in India is like the telephone revolution – how mobile phones completely bypassed wired telephony. India has the scope to go straight to the cloud as a large part of the SMBs still do not use cloud technologies.”
Of lowering the cost of infrastructure is often the primary motivator for moving to the cloud, but in fact, most companies quickly derive even more significant benefits of cloud - agility, and innovation. Moving to the cloud enables a company to move faster, and approach things in a different way.
In line with this thinking, Bikram Bedi, Head of India Region, Amazon Internet Services India says, “ In short, cloud has become the “new normal”, as companies of every size are now deploying new applications to the cloud by default, and looking to migrate as many of their existing applications, as quickly as possible. For enterprises, the question isn’t “if” anymore; it’s really just “How fast can we move?” and, “What are we going to move first?”. A few years ago, if you’d asked engineering teams how long it might take them to get a server up and running, they would have firmly said 10-18 weeks. However, today, not only can a company spin up thousands of servers in minutes and pay only for what they use, but they also have access to a very robust, fully fledged technology offering that lets them go from idea to launch in record time.
Agrees Amit Kumar, Cloud Leader, IBM India/South Asia, “Today, Cloud is not looked at as only a storage solution but as a platform for innovation. Its computing capability is delivering higher values to multiple enterprises across sectors. This transition of the cloud platform is courtesy the emerging technologies that are being leveraged on the cloud such as AI, ML, IoT, blockchain. Enterprises and startups are tapping into these newer capabilities to bring forth cloud-enabled solutions that are customized according to their needs. The public and private cloud are gaining a great traction in the industry, given the fact that government organizations have also started looking towards leveraging cloud technology to bring in efficiency and growth prospects.
According to a Gartner observation, it said, “ In its first decade, cloud computing was disruptive to IT, but looking into the second decade, it is becoming mature and an expected part of most disruptions. For the past 10 years, cloud computing changed the expectations and capabilities of the IT department, but now it is a necessary catalyst for innovation across the company.”
Going into further details, Gartner said that the India public cloud services revenue is projected to grow 37.5 percent in 2018 to total US$2.5 billion, up from US$1.8 billion in 2017, according to Gartner, Inc. While the public cloud revenue market in India exhibits solid growth in 2018, the growth rate is expected to flatten, which is indicative of a maturing market,” said Sid Nag, research director at Gartner.
In 2018, Gartner estimates the fastest-growing segment of the public cloud market will be infrastructure as a service (IaaS). IaaS in India is forecast to total US$1 billion, an increase of 46 percent from 2017 (see Table 1). This growth is being driven by organizations refraining from pursuing data center build-outs and consolidation among data center vendors.
“While IaaS enables efficiencies and cost benefits, organizations need to be cautious about IaaS providers potentially gaining unchecked influence over customers and the market,” said Nag. “In response to multi-cloud adoption trends, organizations in India are also increasingly demanding a simpler way to move workloads, applications, and data, across cloud providers’ IaaS offerings without penalties.”
In regions such as India, pricing will be a major factor in organizations’ decision making and selection of public cloud providers. “This means that some providers will be at risk if they fail to align their pricing,” added Nag. If we take the adoption models into consideration, Gartner further said that: Software as a service (SaaS) remains the largest segment of the public cloud market in India, with revenue expected to reach US$932 million in 2018, an increase of 34 percent year over year.
“Organizations continue the move toward applications and workloads to the cloud locally, as opposed to running them on-premises. Today, SaaS users are increasingly demanding more purpose-built offerings engineered to deliver specific business outcomes,” observed Nag.
Platform as a service (PaaS), in this category, database PaaS (dbPaaS) is set to be the fastest-growing segment over the next four years. The dbPaas segment is on pace to total US$32 million in 2018, an increase of 50 percent from 2017. Gartner expects the segment to reach almost US$113 million by 2022. This presents a great opportunity for hyper-scale cloud providers to include dbPaaS in their service offerings to grow their user numbers.
The rapid growth of dbPaaS is indicative of organizations in India moving away from traditional on-premises, license-based database consumption models to cloud based “as a service” models, which are generally more price-competitive.
So one can say that the ‘Cloud Juggernaut’ has started, while India might be emerging market in the APAC region, but it shows tremendous traction in the days ahead as enterprises ramp up their digital transformation initiatives.
Shailender Kumar of Oracle cites some cloud adoption dynamics in this part of the world. Some of the reasons he cites are: as a hub for technology innovation (look at the number of startups emerging in India), the sheer size of the market (look at the addressable market available to modernize government and business and digitize citizens) and the breadth and depth of skills available through its youth or future workforce or partner organisations.
“With the cloud, rapidly emerging economies like India can remove barriers to costly technology, open opportunities for new services and products, encourage small businesses, start-ups and new entrepreneurs, non-profit organizations and academia, and farmers to collaborate and share knowledge.”
“Much of the current momentum is partly due to the adoption of digital technologies like cloud, and its underlying applications and platforms. We are already witnessing how “Digital India” programs are adopting cloud and other digital disruptors, to help build a modern and inclusive nation.
As the biggest enterprise in India’s digital ecosystem, the government is also leading from the front spending billions of dollars in IT and modernization,” adds Kumar. Commenting on the cloud evolution at this point in time, Microsoft’s Meetul Patel says, “ However, cloud computing has moved towards the next step in computing, called edge computing with real-world impact and a clear path for growth in this field. Edge computing is arguably the natural evolution of remote computing in the intelligent cloud and local computing on the Internet of Things (IoT) devices and consumer electronics.
“At present, the Indian market is on the cusp of the cloud revolution. With an increase in the amount of connectivity, devises, and applications, diverse sectors are witnessing the rapid transformation. This has occurred due to change in expectations of consumers, which has reformed the way business is expected to grow. Gartner predicts that cloud adoption in India will continue through 2019, as Indian enterprises now consider cloud to be the strong catalyst they need, they look to jump-start their digital transformation journey.
However, in India, data security, privacy, compliance, and governance continues to be the biggest barrier to cloud adoption. This can be changed with cloud infrastructure providers/vendors taking a proactive initiative to educate the consumer on the benefits and providing solutions to its challenges”, says Sunil Mahale, VP & MD, Nutanix India.
The cloud market is huge and cuts across platform and services players and whole lot hardware and software vendors contributing to the ecosystem.
According to Amit Kumar, he says IBM’s strategy is to become the undisputed leader in enterprise cloud. IBM’s approach meets the needs of born on the cloud providers to enterprise hybrid cloud deployments (VMware) where clients can’t move everything to the cloud due to data and industry regulations.
This year, IBM has announced multiple new innovations on IBM Cloud that will help enterprises further derive value from their cloud. It launched IBM Cloud Private (ICP) as an offering to help organizations looking at a multi-cloud strategy. It provides a secure, enterprisegrade, compliance-ready and open platform with PaaS and developer services behind their firewall. A Additionally, with the new Cloud Private for Data, an integrated data science, data engineering and app building platform companies can exploit event-driven applications capable of analyzing the torrents of data from things like IoT sensors, online commerce, mobile devices, and more. It also has ‘IBM Cloud Object Storage’ (COS) solution addresses the weaknesses of traditional storage options available today by offering a solution that helps enterprises manage data storage requirements while ensuring that productivity and cost considerations are optimally balanced.
Oracle is the fastest growing major cloud company in the world. The company says that it is delivering a complete portfolio across all three layers of the cloud: SaaS, PaaS, and IaaS. Says Shailender Kumar, “ We’ve built a complete, open, and secure platform that provides choice and access to innovation for all. We are not the same company we were 40 years ago. Cloud is our new mantra and it’s working. We spent 10 years rewriting our applications and middleware for the cloud. We invest $5.5 billion in R&D annually to deliver the most innovative cloud products.”
Oracle sources say that it is fully committed to the cloud and that’s going to be its main growth engine to propel it to succeed and accelerate success for its customers.
“Oracle is also transforming some part of its sales design with the launch of the Oracle Digital Sales team (this is one of its biggest transformations). These teams will focus on delivering a unique customer experience to all new customers. It’s targeted at the SME sector. The company says that it wants to democratize access to the Oracle Cloud and help ensure the most simple, personalized and effective sales experience for its customers and future customers.
According to Shailender Kumar, talking about Oracle’s success, the key reasons are: First is our unmatched portfolio of world-class, industry- aligned technology and solutions including cloud solutions that are available to customers. Two, is our strong sales team and our focus on hiring the right talent to help us on our journey to become the #1 cloud player in the industry – this is the ‘Digital Sales’ that comprises experienced sales consultants whose job is mainly to reach out those midsize firms and help them as they get on their cloud journeys. Third, is our growing partner ecosystem that continues to fuel a large part of our growth , And fourth is ur growing customer base – alike in the enterprise segment and midsize sectors.
“Our strategy is to dramatically simplify IT and business by delivering best-in-class business applications on a single, real-time platform – SAP HANA. And, regardless of deployment model, SAP Cloud Platform serves as an extension platform and agility layer making it possible to build specific capabilities to extend the scope of all of SAP’s applications,” says Sareen.
The company says that it has the broadest portfolio of business applications in the industry today with a variety of deployment options – private cloud, public cloud, on-premise – to meet the needs of each customer. Our cloud solutions span digital transformation of a company across the wide range of stakeholders such as Employees (SAP Success Factors), Suppliers, partners, and business network (SAP Ariba. Concur) and most critical area of digital transformation across front office through SAP Hybris.
Sources say that its cloud business continued to grow rapidly with our revenue accelerates to be up 18% (IFRS) and up 31% (Non-IFRS at Constant Currencies), and exceeded €1 Billion for the first time in a quarter during our Q1 2018 results.
Amazon Internet Services
Quips Bikram Bedi, “ Since the launch of the AWS Asia Pacific (Mumbai) Region in June 2016, we have seen accelerated customer momentum, with AWS Cloud being used by customers for a broad range of applications including running website hosting, big data analytics, social games, mobile applications, e-commerce platforms, mission- critical business applications such as SAP, Oracle, and Microsoft, Machine Learning, IoT, and many more.”“
Our single biggest differentiator is that, at Amazon, we are obsessed with customers. About 90-95% of our road map is based on customer requests, and the rest is based on the strategic interpretation of what customers tell us they want. With AWS, we pioneered the cloud computing space, and we continue to rapidly introduce new services and capabilities. As part of our long-term oriented approach, we’re trying to build relationships with our customers that outlast us all.”
“We are pioneers in the startup segment and have established considerable market share and built significant momentum in this space. In fact, a recent report confirmed that over 90 of the top 100 start-ups in India run on AWS. This includes companies like Haptik, Zeta,
Gupshup, etc. We are equally focused on the enterprise space where customers are realizing the business benefits and flexibility that the cloud brings, and then move fast to build a 12-to-24-month migration plan. In this space, we’re working with a lot of customers who are migrating mission-critical apps and workloads; retiring legacy debt; accelerating their pace of innovation and speed to market, and better leveraging their data through analytics. This is across Media & Entertainment, BFSI, Telecom - every imaginable business segment is using AWS in a very meaningful way.
A CtrlS company, Cloud4C is the world’s 1st Tier-4 Cloud Player and a ‘Made in India Cloud’ offering public cloud services on a 4 copy architecture providing ‘Zero Data Loss’ solution with built-in DR and backup. The company, which launched the public cloud in India way back in 2014, has spread the footprint across 20 countries and 40 locations including USA, Europe, ANZ, Middle East, South East Asia and Indian Ocean region and powers over 2,500 enterprises on its public cloud and another 500 across private, hybrid and community cloud platforms through its robust IAAS infrastructure combined with managed services. It has also enabled 16 Indian and global banks on its Banking Community Cloud.
Cloud4C powers SAP in India and worldwide through its SAP HEC (HANA Enterprise Cloud) through its SAP community cloud. While the company competes with major world players such as AWS, Microsoft, Google and IBM Softlayer, it also provides cloud managed services across all major public cloud platforms (AWS, Azure, Google, Cloud4C etc) through its dedicated centers of excellence (CoEs) manned by certified and skilled cloud architects, seasoned cloud experts. It’s key customers include World Bank, leading Indian/Global banks, SAP, India’s leading enterprises like Tata Group, Jindal Group, Hindustan Lever, Nagarjuna Group, Sterlite Group, Shriram Group, Birla Group, Government of India etc. The company plans to be present in 40 countries and 80 plus locations by March 2019.
According to The foundation of cloud computing — infrastructure as a service (IaaS) — has several big players in the enterprise market. While a few established tech providers are competing for the IaaS market share, 70 of the BSE top 100 companies are on Microsoft Cloud; top 20 public and private sector banks, top 14 core sector companies (oil & gas, power, infrastructure), the top 7 automotive companies and top 5 pharma companies – all are using the Microsoft Cloud, as per company sources.
Company sources say that “ Microsoft has succeeded in carving a niche for itself by always ensuring its product availability to the users in the traditional license model. Microsoft cloud platform, Azure is a paradigm shift for offering in this space, providing software (SaaS) and infrastructure as a service (IaaS) and also a platform to develop new applications on a pay-per-use model.”
“Our strategic decisions since the launch of our three Data Centers here in India have brought the entire power of our technological abilities in developing services on Azure for Indian enterprises, SMBs and governments to help accelerate India’s digital transformation story. Having been a partner-focused and driven organization, we work with our partner ecosystem with over 9000 partners across 250 cities to help our customers to enable themselves to sell and innovate new businesses in our Cloud.”
Microsoft Azure has helped businesses empower different industries, including financial services, manufacturing, public sector, health, travel & hospitality, insurance, retail, etc. to achieve their goals.
Sify has emerged in the market as a new age ICT solutions and services provider with a sharp focus on Cloud and Datacenter , Network and Security Services with an emerging focus on application and platform services. Company sources say that it is one of the very few service providers in India who has significant investments in both Cloud Datacenters as well as network infrastructures suited for the Cloud model. Interestingly in India, Sify is the only Service Provider who has Systems Integration as well as Applications experience with capabilities to deliver large projects. Clearly the company has blended competencies: it’s a Datacenter Hosting Provider, Hybrid (Public and Private) Cloud Provider, Security and Managed Services Provider and Network Services Provider. This makes it not only to provide Infrastructure and Platform solutions, but also to undertake transformation driven projects around Datacenters including workload migration and cloud management.
The company has forged partnerships with leading Global Cloud Providers like AWS and Azure for providing Hybrid Cloud solutions to its clients. Moreover, it offers multiple choices to its customers on the commercial models such as component aligned, usage aligned and business outcome based. The company feels that its business outcome-based models provide significant flexibility to its clients in their digital transformation journey.
The company is very bullish about the potential of India market and has invested significantly in Datacenters, Cloud and Network infrastructure. Sources say that more than 95% of its revenue is generated from the India market. The ongoing shift from On-premise DC to Cloud model triggered by the need for digital transformation has opened up significant opportunities for service providers like Sify in India.
According to Sunil Gupta, Executive Director & President – Netmagic (An NTT Communications Company), " Netmagic has its unique identity, position play and specialization in Hybrid IT – the management of complex IT environments including multi-cloud scenarios by a single solution provider. The Company is the only end-to-end infrastructure Solution Provider who can act as a one-stop shop for needs pertaining to Multi- Clouds. Netmagic’s multicloud infrastructure allows you to run your business as you please. You can run all your workloads on a variety of clouds including our public cloud (SimpliCloud), third-party public clouds, hosted private clouds, and colocation servers while managing them through a single pane of glass – Netmagic’s Cloud Management Portal (CMP)."
What gave Netmagic Solutions a fillip was the investment from NTT Communications a subsidiary of the Japanese telecom giant NTT Corporation. The investment by NTT has only added to these, expanded our vision both in terms of reach and profits, and increased customer confidence in us. Although NTT has a major stake in Netmagic, we still operate autonomously as an Indian entity.
" In addition to the seven existing data centers in India, we are looking at building two more data centers: one is a 300,000 square foot data center in Mumbai. The second will be 250,000 square feet, located at Whitefield, Bengaluru. Both will be launched in 2018. So, we are doubling our existing capacity", says Sunil Gupta.
THE ROAD AHEAD
Experts see a steady adoption of cloud in India as we move ahead, as Meetul Patel of Microsoft sums it up, “Adoption of cloud technologies in India, as in other geographies, has come in many ways. One is pure-play infrastructure, which comes from startups as well as companies that already have large private clouds and are therefore migrating to the public cloud. A key area in which the cloud picks up in a big way is the migration of business applications like CRM, ERP, etc. to the cloud platform. With GST in place, that will only get more enabled because every business, small and big, will need to connect with the cloud either directly or indirectly to get the benefit of this connected transaction framework that we’re putting in place.”