Cloud imperative: India’s unmissable cloud opportunity is here

October 15, 2021 2:52 PM

Annual cloud spends have been at an all-time high over the last few years, with an unprecedented growth momentum for India at a CAGR of 45% over the last 5 years.

cloud servicesAdditionally, cloud-native services are becoming crucial for enabling new architectures and functionalities. (Representative image)

By Abhrajit Ray, Subhro Mukherjee

The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted businesses across the globe and forced organizations to reimagine their strategy and ensure business continuity. Organizations are increasingly looking for agility and digital equity to brace themselves with economic fluctuations. Leaders are embracing uncertainties and factoring in multiple possibilities while making strategic choices. 

Industries today are facing two distinct types of disruption forces, the external forces of disruption such as environment, social, globalization, regulations, etc. and the business forces of disruption such as internal operations, use of technology, competition to name a few. Industries need to be swift and agile to quickly respond to these disruptive forces in order to stay relevant. While making these strategic choices, it is important to understand whether both these disruptive forces can be tackled together or needs to be individually accounted for one or the other. Interestingly, cloud is now looked as one of the most important levers that industries are leveraging, while answering some of the usual pertinent problems. 

Figure 1 Deloitte’s Disruption Map assessed 18 industries across APAC and developed the Deloitte Disruption map.

Business leaders across industries have recognized significant value creation by adopting a cloud first strategy. Around 80% of organizations are better prepared to address future challenges and organization’s needs by implementing cloud as per the Deloitte survey1.  From a pure numbers game and accounting perspective, cloud helps achieving financial flexibilities and cost optimization levers.

However, Organizations are increasingly looking to address other business issues like operational efficiency, productivity, and business challenges through a holistic cloud adoption strategy.

Annual cloud spends have been at an all-time high over the last few years, with an unprecedented growth momentum for India at a CAGR of 45% over the last 5 years, as more and more sectors are leveraging cloud capabilities to grow their businesses. Within APAC, TMT and financial services sectors are heavily investing and rapidly innovating by leveraging cloud services. While we expect a similar momentum in India across these sectors, we also expect a significant positive shift in cloud policies among public sector organizations. Established players are now competing with new age digital native players, small businesses and startups that are already powered by strong technological foundations and scalable cloud platforms. Businesses are increasingly realizing the benefit of differentiated technology and unique architectures built on cloud that are giving them an edge over their competition. One bad experience can turn the game upside down and it takes seconds for customers to switch from one platform to the other. Even architecting the solution properly can unlock further efficiencies which may be leveraged to solve additional problems. Hence, doing it right is even more paramount than ever.

Finding the right balance and strategy among various hyperscaler is the key to an organization’s success. As CXOs try to put their money on the right approach, there is no one answer of what is the right cloud strategy for an organization. The timing, existing landscape, coupled with the business priorities and existing technical debts shape up the right cloud story. And sometimes, it is okay to have a multi-cloud strategy provided you have the required understanding and expectation setting at the beginning of the project.

Government policies and digital India initiatives coupled with digitization of the larger PSU’s will continue to grab the headlines. Being cloud ready is table stakes, and while India is still behind few of the developed economies, Government policies could act as a catalyst to provide the thrust required to accelerate cloud adoption in public and private sectors. ‘National Digital Communication Policy 2018’ is one such initiative which envisions establishing India as a hub for cloud computing, content hosting and delivery, and data communication services and systems2. ‘MeghRaj’ (National Cloud by NIC) is another such initiative that focuses on accelerating delivery of e-services in the country while optimizing ICT spending of the Government3. It also ensures optimum utilization of the infrastructure and speeds up the development and deployment of eGov applications. These national initiatives are helping ensure success in many areas such as Swachh Bharat Mission, e-Hospital, National Scholarship, My-Gov and e-Transport. Another key area is smart cities where central and state government can leverage cloud and other technologies to provide next gen connected experience to its citizens.

As India continues to adopt its very own cloud story, organizations should brace for a dedicated change management process to be able to manage this transition better. It will be interesting to see who comes out on top in the coming times. Stay Tuned!

(Abhrajit Ray is a Partner, and Subhro Mukherjee is an Associate Director at Deloitte India. Views expressed are the author’s own)

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