Microsoft’s cloud offerings bring together industry-data models and customisations, specific components, and standards to help customers improve time to value, increase agility, and lower costs with enhanced adaptability and functionality. Stressing that industry-specific capabilities are the key to accelerating innovation, Irina Ghose, chief operating officer, Microsoft India, tells Sudhir Chowdhary the company’s industry clouds include healthcare, manufacturing, retail, financial services, non-profits, and sustainability.
How do you see the cloud market growing in India in the next two years ? What does this mean for Microsoft?
It’s not just digital natives like startups and unicorns that are adopting a cloud-first strategy. We are seeing cloud accelerate digital transformation across the board, from governments to enterprises to startups, in industry verticals such as BFSI, healthcare, manufacturing, and retail. We expect this to continue over the next two years as multicloud or hybrid cloud is mainstreamed. This trend will also be impacted by growing hybrid work scenarios as well as low code no code technologies coming into play. According to IDC, India’s public cloud market is expected to reach $10.8 bn by 2025, growing at a CAGR of 24% over 2020-2025.
We will continue to innovate, allowing Microsoft Cloud to help organisations, their employees and customers navigate the major emerging trends, from optimising for hybrid work to building hyperconnected
businesses to going digital.
Could you share some insights on the Indian data centre market?
India is one of the fastest growing markets for cloud services, since proximity to cloud infrastructure with data centres helps firms drive growth. As enterprises expedite their digital transformation and increasingly adopt emerging technologies, they are expected to be more open to engaging with hyperscalers and managed cloud service providers for their cloud needs, with investment from local and international players expected to touch $4.6 bn per annum by 2025, according to a Nasscom report.
What impact will the new data centre you recently launched have on customers?
In our experience, local data centre infrastructure supports and stimulates growth for customers and partners alike, enabling firms, governments, and regulated industries to realise the benefits of the cloud for innovation and new projects, as well as bolstering the technology ecosystem that supports such projects. Our new data centre is likely to create job opportunities and lead to higher spending to build and operate the facilities, as well as tax revenues for local communities. It will also provide highly available, scalable, and secure cloud services for our customers across India with the option of improved latency in the country.
How is Microsoft helping in terms of skilling initiatives in the country?
Given the sustained momentum in the cloud market, meeting demand for skilled professionals will require combined efforts from government bodies, educational/skilling institutions, and technology providers. Microsoft is actively involved in growing the skilling ecosystem in India. Among our initiatives are:
Future Ready Talent programme: A collaboration with AICTE and partners, it is an internship programme that aims to impact over 1,50,000 higher education students who will join the workforce between 2022 and 2024.
DigiSaksham: It’s a partnership with the ministry of labour and employment for a collaborative digital skills training initiative to empower jobseekers.
TechSaksham: It is a joint skilling programme between Microsoft India and SAP to empower women students from underserved communities with the objective of skilling more than 60,000 of them in artificial intelligence, cloud computing, web designing and digital marketing.