According to the International Data Corporation (IDC), the India cloud-computing market is expected to grow from its $688 million value in 2012 to $3.5 billion by 2016. Ricky Kapur, Google Enterprise Asia’s managing director, sees huge opportunities for growth in the Indian market, saying that “India is home to around 47 million small businesses, yet only 1 percent [is] online.” An IDC survey showed a huge willingness among small businesses to adopt the cloud technology, and the 70 percent growth rate of Google Apps users last year is only one of many signs that cloud computing is set to explode.
According to Kapur, “Historically, small companies had poor tech choices – they could either use expensive software designed for large companies or inexpensive software lacking functionality. Today, cloud is leveling the playing field,” and Google isn’t its only player.
Microsoft, an established player in the Indian market, is using some innovative initiatives to tap the small business segment.”Our biggest advantage is that most businesses in India have grown up working on one or many Microsoft products and have a degree of comfort with us,” said Meetul Patel, general manager at Microsoft India.
The most important challenge is that of security, which has been exacerbated by recent global security breaches such as the heartbleed problem in the United States. Protecting sensitive information that sits on a public cloud remains a sticking point for cloud adoption.
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