Microsoft Corporation feels India will play a major role in cloud computing and foresee India as a global hub in cloud services that has taken the technology world by storm.
“India will not only see a surge in cloud computing services but companies all over the world will look to India to support their transition to cloud computing,’’ Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer said.
Microsoft is among a handful of companies betting big on cloud services, aiming to convince enterprises to give up building and managing data centres and switch to their computer capacity instead; competing against rivals such as Amazon, Google and AT&T as well as smaller firms like Rackspace and Terremark.
The transition that India will champion will seed 3 lakh jobs in five years, during which the business is estimated to grow to $70 billion, Microsoft said, quoting a study by Zinnov Management Consulting. Jobs will be generated in areas like cloud consulting, enabling software as a service, integrating offerings like Azure with IBM’s Blue Cloud or salesforce.com’s customer applications on cloud, and creating new applications.
For Indian businesses too, there is great potential, given that 30%, or $7 billion, of the global cloud computing work is to be offshored, said the Zinnov study.
Microsoft already has more than 600 customers for its cloud services, but wants a deeper head start over rivals after catcalls of playing catch-up in other tech fields have been growing louder by the day. The company is, therefore, sparing no efforts in making its cloud computing push a success in India, a market that is “developing very nicely”, where “piracy is reducing and intellectual property protection is better than in China”.
Microsoft said cloud is important in India as it is a catalyst for IT adoption. “We are successful at exporting IT services and talent. But when it comes to using technology domestically, we are quite poor,’’ says Microsoft India chairman Ravi Venkatesan.
There isn’t much use of computers and technology in schools, homes, government offices or by the more than 4 million small and medium businesses.
Even so “this is changing and cloud will be a huge catalyst in enabling this wave of IT adoption”, Mr Venkatesan said, because of the affordability factor.
Microsoft must also be pleased with some of the changes in the segment are taking off from its platform. Companies such as Cognizant, NIIT, CDC Software and Indian Institute of Sciences, Bangalore, besides a host of independent software vendors, have developed training modules to applications on Azure. NIIT plans to train 1-lakh students on Azure in three years. Likewise, Cognizant has more than 400 engineers who have developed applications for healthcare and oil and gas sectors on the same platform.