Is the Emerging Cloud Market Heading Away From North America?
Outsourcing is hardly a new idea in the technology industry, and the burgeoning tech market in India has seen the rise of everything from call centers to IT administration and now, cloud computing. Predictions show the emerging cloud market in India reaching significant financial milestones over the next decade, and while many North American companies think they will be at the forefront of this evolution, there's some data to indicate cloud computing's real gains may come in the East.
A recent InformationWeek article talks about the numbers surrounding this growing cloud market, particularly when it comes to spending and employment. Nasscom and Deloitte predict that the cloud in India will be worth $16 billion by 2020, and Zinnov Management Consulting estimates that by 2015, it will have already reached $4.5 billion. Microsoft, in conjunction with IDC, sees over 2 million jobs created in India in that same three-year period.
Not everything's rosy in the world of Indian cloud computing, however, despite predictions about the market's growing strength. An article in The Economic Times notes that of the 24 countries which make up 80 percent of the global IT market, India is ranked 19th, ahead of places like China and Brazil but well below nations like Japan and the United States. So what's the bottom line? Is the cloud boom or bust in India?
Changing of the Guard
Just as companies have been forced to evolve and alter the way in which they do business, thanks to competition in the emerging cloud market, so too must countries be prepared to alter their strategies in order to make way for cloud computing advancements, and this is nowhere more evident than in India.
Take the example provided by a Reuters article that talks about Microsoft's decision to offer its Live@edu software free of charge to the All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE). This is an odd move for the company, which is built on a foundation of selling software for personal and business use, but it's a sign of the times that they need to compete with large providers like Google and Amazon.
Similarly, midsized businesses looking to make the move to their cloud in their home country are faced with the challenge of changing how they look at data handling, security, and the integration (or removal) of legacy systems. Despite India's ranking near the bottom of the cloud readiness list when it comes to things like data protection and broadband infrastructure, its lack of existing software and procedural hang-ups put it in a unique position when it comes to the cloud: Starting with essentially a blank slate gives the country freedom to define its cloud industry without costly redesigns or issues concerning "how its always been done."
The emerging cloud market represents a new way of doing business, one disconnected in many ways from the tradition roles of IT and desktop computing. India's share of this market is predicted to be substantial, in large part because of its ability to assimilate new technology without hurdling over existing systems. For midsized businesses in North America, India is a valuable example when considering a move to the cloud. It's not about forcing this technology to conform, but rather embracing the change it represents in order to see actionable results.
This post was written as part of the IBM for Midsize Business program, which provides midsize businesses with the tools, expertise and solutions they need to become engines of a smarter planet. Like us on Facebook. Follow us on Twitter.