The future of business is projected to be cloud driven. Those who do not recognize the cloud as a critical component of their business, will find it difficult to taste success in the tech driven world of tomorrow. However, Indian businesses whether enterprises or SMEs, are taking due cognizance of the importance of the cloud.
In fact, businesses today have progressed way beyond thinking of the cloud as just an alternative IT purchasing model. In the current scenario, the cloud is not only assisting organizations to maintain their IT needs, but it’s the core component assisting them in maintaining business resiliency and in enhancing their digital transformation (DX).
To be more specific, firms are opting for a mix of solutions from public cloud service providers and traditional infrastructure software/equipment providers, to benefit from the best of both worlds. Moreover, factors including the continued pervasive disruption, digital-first approaches, the digital ecosystem, and others are propelling cloud adoption amongst Indian organizations.
“The digital-first world mandating leveraging technology and the cloud, continues to be at the forefront of all technology-associated investments. The hybrid world of today and tomorrow is resulting in increased dependence on the cloud for achieving agility, flexibility, and innovation. As the need for leveraging data is supreme, it requires access to digital technologies that are built on a cloud foundation,” says Rishu Sharma, Associate Research Director, Cloud and AI at IDC India.
This article presents a few cloud predictions relevant to India that analysts believe will have a major impact, particularly on the small businesses in 2022 and beyond.
Public cloud is hit
Currently, Indian organizations prefer hybrid or private cloud settings. The adoption of the public cloud is still lesser than the former, but this trend is changing gradually. And the pandemic has much to do with that.
A report by Flexera predicts that nearly two-thirds of SMB workloads will be in the cloud within the next 12 months.
The advent of COVID-19 brought to the fore the fact that the public cloud model can help organizations scale and adopt to changes faster than the other cloud models can. For instance, an EY-NASSCOM survey shows that the healthcare industry reported greater instances of public cloud usage. Reeling under the pressure imposed due to the crisis, the sector needed to pivot quickly to scale up and meet the demand.
The potential which the public cloud model presents is immense, especially if we consider the lower upfront and total ownership costs. Furthermore, it enables SMEs and start-ups faster time-to-market and access to more automation and DevOps based tooling. That’s why more and more MSMEs are adopting the public cloud, given its versatility.
“The true power of the public cloud was underscored in the last two years as organizations underwent cloud-led digital transformation and achieved impact at scale. As we move forward, three areas – building the future technology workforce, implementing secure technology practices, and strengthening compliance – will be the key enablers for the cloud to accelerate growth,” says Rahul Sharma, President, Public Sector – AISPL, AWS India and South Asia in a report.
Cloud spendings will skyrocket
In the new business scenario, the cloud is playing an integral role in helping enterprises to alleviate their IT infrastructure inconsistencies and is enabling them to innovate faster, thereby enhancing their speed to market, their agility, and their responsiveness.
Considering that there’s only win-win with cloud, Gartner predicts that the end-user spending on the public cloud in India is likely to reach $7.5 billion in 2022. This is a 29.3% growth from 2021.
Even better, for the end-users in India, the agency forecasts that Infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) will also be the highest spending vertical this year.
Native tooling will gain traction
Third-party tools that assist in areas such as orchestration and container management seem to be losing ground to native tooling from the cloud providers themselves.
According to survey findings by Flexera, third-party tool usage has declined from last year. Instead, SMEs were relying heavily on native cloud providers. 50 per cent of businesses invested in AWS Cloud Formation templates while the remaining businesses invested in other well-known native tooling solutions.
Capgemini in their cloud predictions for 2022 confirm this, saying, “Cloud native will transition from a supplementary enabler to a core component of a future-proof cloud strategy as enterprises look to bootstrap their digital strategies post-pandemic and reform after their transition to cloud models.”
ESG is becoming a priority
Every company is now considering Environment, Social, and Governance (ESG) as a board agenda item, with the cloud serving as a key accelerator for ESG initiatives.
To elaborate, companies tasked with reducing their carbon footprints and safeguarding their financial and social capital must have an ESG strategy. This includes complying with the requirement to disclose key data pertaining to such efforts. According to Capgemini, more companies, including smaller organizations, will make their efforts public in 2022.
Measuring and reporting the impact of ESG initiatives is a task in itself. Because of the sheer volume of data that requires accuracy and precision, there will be an increase in the demand for the specific APIs that are aimed at it.
Given the robust demand, native cloud companies have already upgraded their portfolios, providing a suite of tools to help enterprises to measure their environmental impact.
Simultaneously, there are a few more trends in the cloud sector that are significantly reshaping the landscape. According to an IDC report, by 2024, 40% of organizations will implement dedicated cloud services, either on-premises or in a service provider facility, in response to performance, security, and compliance requirements.
Cloud+Telcos is an excellent combination. IDC states that by 2026, 60% of CIOs will expect their cloud and telco partners to provide secure cloud services to edge connectivity solutions that will ensure data collection, performance and consistency.
At the same time, companies are also working on cloud sustainability. By 2026, 50% of organizations will use software and cloud-based infrastructures to increase sustainable efficiencies across workloads and data centers by 35%.