Public cloud on increase in India – in line with wider trends?

The past few days have seen a variety of cloud-oriented news come from the Indian market and reveal some intriguing trends. What are the highlights?

  • The cloud market in India is on the verge of being worth $1bn, according to consultants Zinnov
  • Public cloud – a hitherto nascent market in India – has increased significantly and should only go higher
  • Small and medium enterprises (SMEs) “have started taking advantage of the cloud” in terms of economic benefit yet exercises caution overall

The report from Zinnov, entitled “Public Cloud Opportunity in India”, has found that cloud services overall in India hit their highest value of between $860m and $912m at the end of 2011.

Zinnov elaborates on why the market has significantly expanded since 2009.

They cite reasons such as an increase in using local infrastructures, increased outsourcing leading to greater cloud adoption and adoption from both large companies and SMEs, leading to what the report calls the “market evolving from concept to reality”.

Public cloud usage gaining all the time

But the most intriguing statistics lay within the different sectors. Public cloud, whilst still in the shadow of its private counterpart, has a 20-22% share in the Indian cloud market, at a value of approximately $160-$192m. The private cloud, of course, accounts for the remainder.

Going further into the public cloud, there has been “significant traction” across Software as a Service (SaaS), Platform as a Service (PaaS) and Infrastructure as a Service (Iaas) since 2009.

SaaS is still the biggest sector, currently standing at $123-$143m, and a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 46% over two years. IaaS and PaaS had CAGRs of 84% and 75% respectively.

But is this increased public cloud usage in line with wider trends? It would appear so. Cisco’s annual CloudWatch report, published last month, hailed similar figures in the UK.

Public cloud usage was up 11% over the course of one year – 29% of UK IT professionals said they used a public cloud, up from 18% in 2011.

Praveen Bhadada, market expansion director of Zinnov, said of his company's findings: “Public cloud market is expected to grow at 55% CAGR in the near future and will become the new default choice for new IT investments, especially in the SMB [small and medium business] segment.

“We will not be surprised if cloud takes up more than 20% of the total Indian IT spend in the next couple of years”, he added.

Indian SMEs adapting but also struggling

Elsewhere, according to the SME Times, small and medium-sized businesses in India are increasingly utilising the cloud for various reasons, yet exercise caution because of the challenges they have to face.

These challenges include the continued need for quality maintenance, as well as network connectivity issues and difficulty in having readily available bandwidth.

Dr Chandan Chowdhury, managing director of 3D designers Dassault Systemes India, said: “If you look at the developed economies you will see that they have strong bandwidth. Bandwidth is very affordable and is available for them.

“In India, it is expensive and not readily available. There are several projects in India directed towards making bandwidth available to the remote places.

“We still have a wide gap”, Dr Chowdhury concluded.

Ian Moyse, writing for CloudTech, described a variety of trends that would impact SMEs. These included simplification of cloud services, more education on the cloud and more cloud specialists to assist smaller businesses in running their IT cloud.

According to Moyse, given time new applications will hit the market – without the enterprise moniker – and in turn this will give SMEs a better grounding as it will be “more affordable and palatable to adopt”.

But evidently, the less developed market in India brings its own problems – is it difficult to assess worldwide trends based on this material, therefore? Or would you expect a higher leap in figures as India catches up?

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