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The ongoing Covid-19 pandemic has spurred many Indian enterprises to implement telecommuting, driving demand for bandwidth with minimal downtime through virtual private networks (VPN) and remote access capabilities.
According to GlobalData, a technology research firm, March 2020 projections of overall VPN spending in India was expected to grow by 7.8% year on year, reaching $1.2bn in 2020 – but this trend is likely to be significantly higher owing to subsequent lockdowns that have shaken the country.
“Networks have always been the backbone of the organisations for connectivity and to enable data transfer amongst cloud, datacentre and edge, thereby providing remote access to employees,” said Kaipa Shashank, senior technology analyst at GlobalData.
“However, in the current digitalisation era, enterprises are in dire need of solutions through which they can access their networks remotely, and VPN is a strong fit for their needs,” he added, noting that cyber attacks fuelled by the pandemic are paving the way for the demand for VPN solutions.
The global health crisis could also present business opportunities for telcos as companies adhere to government guidelines that mandate employees to work from home, resulting in high demand for broadband connections.
In India, for example, more than 1,700 tax officers of different state and union territories were permitted to work from home during the lockdown period by leveraging VPN access. Even non-technology companies like Pidilite Industries, Voltas and Croma have relied on enterprise VPN access to function during the lockdown.
Tata Consultancy Services, India’s largest IT service provider, also plans to allow 75% of its nearly 500,000 employees globally to work from home by 2025. Its chief operating officer, N Ganapathy Subramaniam, said in April 2020 that the company does not need more than a quarter of its employees to be in office to be fully productive.
Shashank said: “The ongoing need for remote working, increasing internet penetration and organisations’ requirements for the remote and agile workforce to provide secure access through corporate intranet across multiple locations have pushed organisations towards adopting VPN solutions on a large scale.
“Moreover, data sharing through computing devices across private networks has reduced the risk of intense malware attacks which reduced the cost of infrastructure and security breaches.”
Advancement in cloud technologies, easy installation and secured remote access to client-server applications, web applications, and internal network connections amid the pandemic will significantly contribute to the overall growth of VPN market in India.
Manoj Sukumaran, senior analyst for datacentre compute at Omdia, noted that Indian enterprises have increased their demand for cloud services, virtualisation, workforce transformation and cost reduction programmes amid the outbreak.
He said this could also create a pull for more IT services such as robotic process automation, for which Indian IT services companies have been building significant capabilities over the past few years.
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