The recent Data Center Decisions India 2011 Survey conducted by SearchDataCenter.in reveals interesting trends when it comes to cloud computing adoption in India. According to the results, around 53% of Indian organizations are either associated with a cloud computing environment or will be associated with it by the end of 2011. Of the 272 survey participants who replied to this query, 143 organizations are already on cloud environments, or in the process. Such a substantial number clearly indicates that cloud computing has arrived in India. However, there are several hidden factors associated with cloud computing that organizations do not seem to be aware of — this lack of awareness does reflect in the survey, as can be seen shortly.
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Around 47% of the respondents are neither using cloud computing, nor considering it at this point of time. Though there has been significant debate around security issues in the cloud, that’s not the chief reason why so many stay away from cloud computing environments.
Instead, the main reason for not moving to a cloud computing environment is that not enough organizations (47%) have made the leap toward virtualized infrastructure. For many, virtualized infrastructure forms the stepping stone to move toward the cloud. Security ranks second, followed by data storage integrity and compliance worries. In spite of claims from the vendors’ side that customers are not really interested in knowing where their data resides, this is not entirely true. The fact of the matter is that most organizations do want to know where their data resides, and a lot of ‘what if’ questions come along with that. Another reason why many organizations have not adopted a cloud computing environment is that business applications do not translate well to such an environment. Also, organizations do not meter or use IT chargeback for computing resource use. The chargeback system is not really prevalent among Indian organizations, though it is a widely followed practice globally. The truth is that many organizations in India still find it a complex concept to implement, and lack in-house skills to deploy and/or manage a cloud computing environment.
Around 11.40% of respondents are looking at public cloud computing utilization, whereas 12.87% are in the process of adopting private cloud computing.
Among the prime reasons for considering a public cloud computing environment, the reduction in infrastructure costs emerged as the topper with 48%. Obviously, a lot of money is saved by not investing in infrastructure (which might remain unused for a long period of time) and therefore not having to maintain it. A cloud computing environment certainly scores here. Another major reason is that organizations want to reduce their in-house IT staff costs. (One surprise: Around 2% of top executives are encouraging their IT staff to explore the cloud computing environment and learn about it.)
The principal reason for considering a private cloud computing environment was to leverage the investment in existing infrastructure; this was followed by the desire to leverage the disaster recovery and business continuity benefits of the cloud.
Organizations are looking at leveraging cloud computing environment for disaster recovery and BCP, since such arrangements are more viable than the set up of an entire new data center just for these requirements.
Though a private cloud offers more security, this did not come across as the main reason for adopting it. Other reasons for considering its adoption was to provide self-service and automation of computing resources, and to keep IT in-house where it could be controlled and monitored.
Not all applications are meant for a cloud computing environment, and organizations do understand this. Over 57% of the Data Center Decisions India 2011 respondents would prefer to adopt a cloud computing environment for testing and development. Other preferred applications for the cloud were Web application hosting, business intelligence/data analytics, disaster recovery and email. A cloud computing environment for disaster recovery purposes is being looked at as a very likely option, and this is giving a boost to IaaS (infrastructure as a service) cloud computing among Indian organizations. Businesses like India Infoline Ltd and Hungama Digital are amongst the organizations already leveraging IaaS type of cloud computing environments. This trend is likely to enjoy rapid growth since IaaS offerings are already on the portfolio of most cloud vendors like Microsoft, Tata and Netmagic. Last on the list is the idea of putting ERP and network services on the cloud.
The way that people associate certain traditional IT vendors with the cloud computing environment shows that well-known names typically enjoy top of mind recall for the end user. The Data Center Decisions India 2011 survey clearly indicates that IBM (29.49%), Cisco (28.21%), Microsoft (25.64%), HP (21.79%) and Dell (19.23%) as the top vendors that Indian business immediately associates with the cloud computing environment. Google (16.67%), Amazon (15.38%), AT&T (10.26%), VMware (8.97%), Oracle/Sun Microsystems (5.13%), Citrix, EMC, Rackspace, Salesforce.com and Savvis come to mind later.