SME confidence on cloud needs to develop: Research | SupportBiz

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SME confidence on cloud needs to develop: Research

‘Cloud solutions’ has become a buzz word among the SMEs of today. Several technology companies are banking upon cloud-based solutions, and are in favour of SMEs getting the best out of them. The SME entrepreneurs are not only interested in knowing more about various cloud-based solutions, but also in ensuring the security levels of the data on cloud infrastructure.

Randhir K Ahuja, Director of a Delhi-based stock broking firm, is keeping a close eye on cloud-based applications for his workforce. He manages a team of 35 people, who could be possible users of cloud-based applications like CRM, e-mail and payroll.  “I am interested in this technology, and would like to know more about the security levels of such applications. Since we deal with extremely sensitive information about our clients in our business, it is very important for me to ensure the security of my IT infrastructure before taking any decision.”

A global cloud services provider, Parallels, conducted a survey on the status of usage of cloud solutions among Indian SMEs. The report stated that the opportunity for usage of cloud services among Indian SMEs in 2013 is around Rs. 16.9 billion (USD339 million), which it is expected to grow 35 per cent year-on-year for the next three years. This market is expected to reachRs. 42 billion (USD839 million) by 2016. According to the research report, this growth will be driven by new adopters of cloud services and current users adding more applications and functionalities to their existing cloud services.

“We have observed a strong eagerness among Indian SMEs to use cloud-based solutions. This is in spite of the fact that India has low internet and broadband penetration, and the spread of cloud services moving at a gradual pace. Indian SMEs are eager to go online and consume services that will help them in reaching their target customer base, increase their productivity, and improve their IT capabilities,” stated David Dzienciol, Regional Vice President and General Manager, Parallels Asia Pacific.

Parallels SMB Cloud Insights™ for India believes that the fastest growing opportunities to deliver cloud services to SMBs lie across four key sectors: Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS), web presence and web applications, hosted communication and collaboration, and business applications. The aforementioned research report also provides specific recommendations for applications and services in these key categories. 

Leading technology companies have high hopes from the penetration of cloud-based services among SMEs. Samik Roy, Director, Microsoft India, says, “We consider SMEs as a major area for Microsoft’s business. Microsoft Dynamics’product portfolio offers unique business solutions and benefits to SMEs. This range of offerings from Microsoft has a clear roadmap towards cloud delivery on the scalable, cost-effective Windows Azure platform and building on its unique Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) architecture, to achieve new heights for cloud-delivered business software.”

It is estimated in the Parallels research report that the business applications market among Indian SMEs will reachRs. 6.9 billion (USD137 million) by 2016. This market is growing at the rate of 19 per cent year-on-year. This growth rate is much lower than that of other cloud categories in India, indicating that the value proposition of premium online applications has not yet been fully recognised by Indian SMEs.

Although security levels are stringent in cloud-based solutions, awareness levels still have a long way to go.