There is no denying that digitisation of India has not yielded the anticipated outcome and often the words such as ‘trust deficit’ and ‘failure of PPP’ were used to described the government’s relations with the industry.
However, with renewed focus of government to use technology for improving the social and physical infrastructure under the Digital India, Smart Cities and Make in India programmes, things are changing now.
Tech industry is of the view that both government and the industry need to come together and collaborate through robust public private partnerships like never before.
In fact, US-based VMware sees huge potential in providing good IT architecture for compute, data storage and networking for government’s Smart Cities and Digital India projects.
“I believe that Digital India programme holds great potential for the growth of the private sector by creating opportunities for greater training and development for the youth, a less convoluted regulatory environment to do business and by providing easier access to finances for entrepreneurs,” Arun Parameswaran, managing director, VMware India told FE.
VMware is keenly eying e-governance projects. “We are looking at the next wave of the National e-Governance Plan—e-Kranti, that clearly lays out the road map by the government for e-governance.
There are 10-12 projects that are being defined under e-Kranti in terms of what the government will do.Our approach is to work with these customers and help them understand the power of what VMware brings to the table from a software defined data centre standpoint,” said Parameswaran.
The Palo Alto, California headquartered company recently helped the government of Maharashtra inlowering the cost of hosting, improving the management of the state data centres infrastructure, and reducing the time required to provision infrastructure for various state departments under the MahaGov Cloud initiative.
This offers infrastructure as a service, platform as a service and software as a service to state departments for their e-governance initiatives. Also, the company claims that National Informatics Centre, which presently works as a prime builder of e-governance projects across the country runs its IT infrastructure on VMware solutions.
When asked about the optimism of VMware, despite the fact that key drivers of the Digital India projects such as National Optical Fibre Network (NOFN), the National Knowledge Network and the e-governance initiatives, have many yet to be addressed issues. Parameswaran said, “There have been issues with both NOFN and NKN but neither are completely catastrophic and can be worked around.”
He explained that the major problem that NOFN faces is the delay in laying the fibre optic cables.
The current rate is 500 km per day versus the required rate of 30,000 km per day which is essential for accomplishing the target date of June, 2016. According to him, the technology is also unaffordable for the rural Indians and to counter this, the government will have to enable a secure and cost effective technologies.
On the effective coordination among stakeholders for Digital India, he said that the Digital India project is functioning at a very huge scale. The scope of this program goes way beyond just the Department of Electronics and Information Technology.
“There must be superior coordination efforts between all the involved departments and the industry,” he added. He also suggested that as result of this initiatives there needs to be a restructuring in terms of the financial resources to make space for the new programs to be undertaken along with the existing ones.
Recently in a report titled ‘Tremendous Growth of IT Market in India’ research firm Zinnov said that there would be about 600 million internet users, 100 smart cities and $19 billion digital investments by the government by 2020. And, report also projected India to become the second largest IT market in the Asia-Pacific region by 2018.
According to Parameswaran, the Digital India campaign is aiding this extraordinary development and key verticals like education, healthcare and telecom are also gravitating towards a more technological approach. “For The IT sector, investment in digitisation of India, can only mean greater growth and success for the IT companies,” he added.