I was happy to be a part of a panel discussion on “Cloud Opportunities in Emerging Markets” with Karthik Anand (Director, Zinnov), Rahul Kulkarni (Product Manager, Google) and Anand Ramakrishnan (General Manager & Head — Cloud Computing Services, Wipro Infotech).
The audience was mostly comprised technical folks from large enterprises (McAfee, Cisco, IBM, Manhattan Associates, Intel etc.) who wanted to see if there was an opportunity in the Cloud (from India) and if so, then how big.
The points we discussed (and that I remember) were…
There is a huge opportunity in the Cloud today. Businesses can operate efficiently by not owning the software but by renting it out. Capital expenses can be converted into operational expenses. Emerging markets are rapidly growing and need to do more with less resources.
Speed for Cloud services is a huge factor. Google tests it’s app’s latency and the overall experience it delivers to the end users.
Marketing to the Indian customer is much different. Deriving value from a non-tanglible source (software) is a tough sell.
Companies need to deliver the product to their customers faster. Act like a startup and get your product out there before your competitor does.
Democratization of IT. Anyone in your company can try and recommend a Cloud service. Earlier, the key decision makers were the tech guys. Today, Cloud service providers need to learn to sell to the business team.
Bandwidth and Internet penetration has improved in India. Things are just going to get better.
Data security is a battle every Cloud/SaaS vendor is going to go through. Your data is much more secure with the SaaS/Cloud vendor than your office.
India is a huge market for mobile-driven Cloud services.
In order to compete agility will count more than how big you are.
Key partnerships with SI’s, ISV’s will be crucial in succeeding in these markets — especially to cover the last mile.