India will be a cloud-first IT market, says Google India Managing Director Rajan Anandan. Essentially, because traditional IT infrastructure isn’t all that prevalent in India, the infrastructure that will emerge to support the growing Internet ecosystem in India will begin with cloud computing.
Currently the web sector is still pretty nascent in India, despite that it’s now finally cool to be a web entrepreneur in India. The country will have 120 million Internet users by the end of 2011 out of its population of 1.2 billion, and the number of Internet users in India is supposed to grow to 300 million to 400 million by 2015. Those users spend as well–e-commerce was a $7-billion market this year.
To put that in perspective, out of those 120 million current Internet users a lot of them connect to the Internet at cafes and the office, and only 37 percent of them access the web from home. There are also currently 50 million mobile data subscribers in India.
But eventually as the Internet ecosystem emerges, Internet companies and enterprises will start building out their IT infrastructure and Anandan says that they will turn to cloud computing first. Cloud computing will be a $4.5 billion market by 2015 in India, rising from $400 million in 2011, he estimates.
Currently a lot of Indian companies that already have in-house IT say they aren’t prepared for a transition to the cloud because of lack of experience and concerns about security. Symantec did a survey of 300 companies in India and 70 percent of the respondents said their IT staff aren’t ready to move to the cloud yet. But those are companies that currently have IT infrastructure, and that doesn’t adequately account for emerging companies.
Google is making a bet on the cloud emerging in India. The search engine giant is pushing its Google Apps for businesses in India, which enable Indian companies to avoid setting up their own servers and use Google for enterprise management needs. Google’s cloud apps customers in India include the Indian Youth Congress, Neelkamal, Indiamart and Punj Lloyd.