Why India Prefers Private Clouds Over Hybrid Clouds

The Next Cloud Computing Superpower?

Some time back, I had written on the possibility of India emerging as a cloud computing superpower. (See: Is India The Next Cloud Computing Superpower?). I had based my assumption on the fact that India has a large number of software engineers available to leverage their knowledge in the emerging technology of cloud computing.

However, that assumption dealt with the intellectual knowledge India could bring to the cloud computing table, not the rate of adoption the technology will have among Indian enterprises. As far as the latter is concerned, a recent report has been a trifle discouraging. Even though 14% of enterprises are already using cloud computing, this is a relatively low figure among Asia-Pacific economies where as much as 53% are already on the cloud or actively contemplating it.

These figures were revealed in a IDC white paper “Hybrid Cloud on the Rise: A Key Strategy to Business Growth in Asia Pacific”, sponsored by information infrastructure solutions provider EMC Corp. There was another interesting bit of information revealed by the paper – the preference of Indian enterprises for private clouds over hybrid clouds.

While the study found that the hybrid cloud is the most preferred approach in the Asia-Pacific region, this was not so in India. With the hybrid cloud’s obvious advantages (See: Having The Best Of Both Worlds With Hybrid Clouds), Indian enterprise’s preference for private clouds does go against common belief.

My take on it is that this has more to do with the Indian corporate culture than business logic. Most of the large Indian companies are family-owned and family-managed, a situation where there’s little scope for independent thought and a marked preference for universal management control. Even the broader economy opened up only during the post-liberalization era since 1991, before which almost every aspect of the Indian economy functioned under official sanction.

This culture makes Indian managers loathe to hand over control of systems and data to third-party cloud service providers, as would be required if hybrid clouds were to be adopted. Consequently, while they are willing to accept new technology, they are unwilling to give up control, even if the latter made sound business sense. While this kind of thinking is gradually changing, it will take some time before Indian managers become as free-thinking as those from, say, Singapore, Vietnam and the Philippines.

While the need to effectively manage IT assets stands out as a primary reason for implementing cloud services in India, enterprises want the benefits of cloud computing in their own terms,” said Manoj Chugh, President, EMC India and SAARC.

EMC anticipates hybrid clouds will the eventual goal of customers once they have advanced on their journey to the private cloud to a point where they can choose what resources they want to manage in-house and allow others to be managed externally. Trust in the cloud will play a key part for CIOs in determining how much goes on the public cloud, and what stays in the private cloud. The reality is that private and public clouds need to work together, and this requires a converged or hybrid cloud approach,” he added.

IDC or International Data Corporation is a premier global provider of market intelligence, advisory services, and events for the information technology, telecommunications and consumer technology markets. Its reports carry a lot of weight in the IT industry.

EMC Corp. is a Massachusetts-headquartered Fortune 500 global data management firm that develops, delivers and supports information infrastructure and virtual infrastructure hardware, software, and services. It is a prominent player in the cloud computing space.

By Sourya Biswas

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