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Cloud computing: India beats Malaysia, Singapore

The Times of India:  December, 2010

The proportion of Asia Pacific enterprises viewing cloud computing as relevant to their businesses has doubled to 83 percent over the last 18 months, reveals a survey by VMware Inc.

According to the survey results, 76% in India want to virtualize and adopt cloud computing in the next 18 months, which is the highest percentage as compared to other cloud positive countries in the region like Japan and Australia. India scored higher than both Singapore and Malaysia in current Cloud understanding levels.

The September survey of 6,953 respondents, conducted by Springboard Research under VMware's sponsorship, also indicated that cloud adoption has accelerated across seven Asia Pacific markets over the last 18 months, particularly among larger firms.

Today, 59 percent of regional firms are either using or planning cloud computing initiatives compared to 45 percent six months ago and 22 percent in 2009. India and China lead the region in terms of adoption plans, with 43 percent and 39 percent of organisations respectively planning to implement cloud computing. Organisations in Japan and Australia lead in cloud adoption, with 36 percent and 31 percent respectively already running a cloud-related initiative.

India had 693 respondents across various sectors. Highest adoption is anticipated from the IT/ITES infrastructure   manufacturing sectors. The survey reveals that India's understanding of virtualization and cloud computing has risen dramatically over the last couple of months and VMware has a 50 percent perceived mindshare when it comes to cloud computing in India.

Dynamic provisioning / capacity on demand, automated management, pay-per-use model, and applications that can scale on demand were considered the essential building blocks for Cloud Computing as far as the Indian audience is concerned.

Cloud associated with IT as a Service

The highest proportion of organizations in Japan (86 percent), Singapore (84 percent) and Thailand (74 percent) associate cloud computing primarily with IT as a Service, while in Australia, Malaysia and India, most firms (80 percent, 78 percent and 75 percent respectively) associate cloud mainly with applications-on-demand. In China, 80 percent of respondents look to cloud for on-demand provision of storage and network.

Sanchit Vir Gogia,Associate Research Manager, Software Springboard Research, said: "For most survey respondents in Asia Pacific, IT as a Service is the biggest theme of the day. These companies are looking for vendors and consultants that can help them enjoy serviced-based IT, particularly in the areas of cloud infrastructure and management."

Most organizations (60 percent) want to adopt cloud for scalability-on-demand to meet business needs, followed by drivers such as reduced hardware infrastructure costs and simplified resource/server provisioning.

Cost saving

Saving cost is the immediate incentive for adopting cloud computing for 57 percent of Asia Pacific firms. Only 37 percent, many of which are large firms with more than 10,000 employees, adopted or planned to adopt cloud as a long-term strategic investment.

Some 66% considered scalability on demand to meet business needs while 67% considered reduced hardware infrastructure and 43% considered simplified resource/server provisioning as some of the key factors that drive cloud adoption. 83 % said that they expect cloud investments to reduce hardware their spending while 74% would like reduction in their software spend.

Hybrid clouds on the rise

Companies wanting to deploy both public and private clouds were represented by the 38 percent of respondents, while a roughly equal amount - 37 percent - said they will only consider a private cloud. Preference for private cloud is more prevalent in banking and government sectors, with public cloud continuing to meet with the greatest resistance. Preference for hybrid cloud is higher in ASEAN, at more than four percentage points above the Asia Pacific average. In fact, even Japan – the most cloud-positive country in the survey – gave rise to survey findings suggesting that no more than 15 percent of organizations want to use public clouds. The mind set in India is changing and private cloud is slowly overtaking public cloud.

Storage (58 percent) represents the region's No.1 workload for private clouds, with Japan (62 percent) and China (61 percent) most likely to deploy storage in a private cloud. Cloud-based enterprise applications are the second most identified category across Asia Pacific at 49 percent.

In terms of deployment plans, 93 percent of respondents said their upcoming cloud deployments will revolve round web conferencing, IM, collaboration and email.

Andrew Dutton, SVP and GM, VMware Asia Pacific Japan, said: "It is clear that industry has great interest in the hybrid cloud model. The ability for enterprises to obtain a common cloud infrastructure platform, as well as a common management model and application services that bridge private and public clouds to deliver interoperable clouds allowing data and application portability, will be critical."

Integration concerns now match security worries as obstacles to cloud adoption

Integration with existing systems has caught up with traditional security concerns as a barrier to cloud adoption, with 46 percent of respondents identifying them equally as obstructions.

In emerging markets, the key factor holding back cloud adoption is lack of understanding among enterprises, according to 44 percent of respondents in China, 40 percent in Malaysia and 40 percent in Thailand, compared with a regional average of 36 percent.

These results strongly suggest that use of standards-based cloud solutions and education remain as significant cloud adoption drivers across Asia Pacific.

Virtualization seen as the foundation of cloud computing

Organizations across Asia Pacific (59 percent) consistently cited virtualization infrastructure as a primary building block for cloud computing. Awareness about virtualization is widespread in India, with 94% of the respondents either leveraging or planning to adopt virtualization technology.

Explaining the link between the two technologies, Dutton said: "Virtualization lets organizations decouple critical business applications and information from underlying physical hardware, and in turn, provides a fast and cost effective way to the cloud. More and more Asia Pacific organizations are realizing this and are moving to unlock more value from their virtualization investments."

Virtualization adoption in Asia Pacific is highest in Australia (87 percent) and Japan (82 percent). Among verticals, virtualization adoption is highest in insurance (82 percent) and banking/financial services (76 percent).

Thailand (67 percent), Singapore (65 percent) and Malaysia (65 percent) all lag Australia and Japan in current adoption, while virtualization penetration stands at about 30 percent across ASEAN.

Most Asia Pacific firms use virtualization for servers and data centres, with many organisations focused on leveraging virtualization to drive business continuity/disaster recovery initiatives. In India, server virtualization has grown in importance, compared to 12 months ago, as it is the bedrock to cloud.

The biggest growth opportunity for virtualization in Asia Pacific is in the end-user computing space, although most organisations rank desktop virtualization as low in their list of priorities.

However, significant advantages can be gained from a new approach to end-user computing that virtualizes the desktop by de-coupling the operating system, user persona and applications, thereby enabling great flexibility in delivering applications and data to end-users when and where they need them and regardless of access device. There is more focus in India on Desktop Virtualization at 68% when compared to China and Japan

Dutton said, "By enabling large-scale end-user self-service, desktop virtualization is really the final piece of the puzzle in making the modern enterprise flexible, scalable and ultimately responsive to business needs."