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A cloud of opportunity

Aparna Dutt Sharma, Chief Executive Officer, IBEF

Nov 17, 2014 17:23

Cloud computing, which is essentially the use of remote servers to store, manage and access data and run programmes with the help of the web, is gaining prominence as a high growth sunrise segment in India's IT landscape. The latent potential of the Indian market with respect to cloud computing is attracting a number of leading multinationals to make investments into this space.

In a recent development, Microsoft has taken a decision to invest Rs 14 billion towards setting up three cloud data centres in India, where it sees the addressable opportunity for cloud computing at around US$ 2 trillion. Work has already commenced on them as per a filing by the company and they will be located in Mumbai, Pune and Chennai. Microsoft has taken this decision to gain further traction in the Indian market and in particular cater to customers in banking and telecom sectors where data sovereignty is a critical issue. India is already one of the fastest growing cloud markets for Microsoft, with 2,000 new customers being added on an average every month. Among other MNCs vying for this space, IBM has established a data centre in Mumbai and plans to set up one more centre soon.

India offers huge opportunities for scale in both the public and private domains. The country is home to over 50 million small businesses and start-ups that are increasingly migrating to the cloud, since it enables them to fulfil their IT needs more effectively and with far lower cost of ownership. Similarly, cloud is expected to play a catalytic role in the growing thrust towards e-governance. Moreover, the presence of a huge talent pool in India in the IT sector is of immense value to companies. According to Gartner estimates, the public cloud services market in India is projected to reach US$ 1.3 billion in 2017 from US$ 423 million in 2013. The research firm expects India to exhibit the fastest growth globally in terms of cloud adoption. In fact, with technology being increasingly provided as a service in the current milieu, industry experts believe that India can become a hub for global cloud computing in the coming years.