Indian enterprises, small and medium businesses (SMBs) and startups are looking to embrace intelligent, scalable, agile and fast Cloud on their digital journey and global players like Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft and Google have ramped up efforts to woo customers by offering cheaper services with local data storage.
Although Cloud computing with Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) capabilities have brought in new players, the market is more or less dominated by AWS with its wide array of services and Microsoft Azure as Indian businesses shift their strategies from "Cloud first" to a "Cloud only".
When businesses are looking to adopt multi-Cloud approach where they are not dependent on one vendor for their Cloud needs, the Google Cloud Platform (GCP) has somehow left behind and has struggled to sell its services to enterprises in India as effectively as AWS and Microsoft have done.
According to Ashutosh Sharma, Vice President and Research Director, Forrester, while AWS had the first-mover advantage, being an incumbent player in almost all organisations across the globe helped Microsoft.
"This is one of the key reasons why they hired Thomas Kurien (an Oracle veteran) to run their enterprise business. Google also suffers from a brand disadvantage when it comes to it being an enterprise IT vendor. They are considered provider of very niche services unlike AWS and Microsoft," Sharma told IANS.
Globally, Amazon's Cloud arm AWS registered revenues of $7.7 billion in the first quarter of 2019 with 41 per cent growth. Microsoft reported that the Commercial Cloud business grew 41 per cent in the first three months of 2019 to $9.6 billion. Azure business grew a massive 73 per cent.
Like Microsoft, Google also does not provide specific revenue numbers for its Cloud business. Google Cloud Platform (GCP) revenue was included in "other" revenue category (alongside G Suite, Google Play and hardware such as Nest) that reported revenue of $5.45 billion for the quarter.
In India, Public Cloud services revenue is projected to hit $2.4 billion in 2019 -- an increase of 24.3 per cent from 2018, according to Gartner.
India ranks among the nine countries whose growth rate in Cloud adoption will be higher than the global average growth rate (16 per cent).
Cloud application services (Software-as-a-service) is on pace to be the fastest-growing market segment in India in 2019. SaaS revenue is estimated to grow 23 per cent in 2019 to reach $1.15 billion. It is followed by Infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) spending, which is estimated to grow 22 per cent in the country in 2019.
The move to digital is also forcing Indian organisations to increase their spending on security as well.
Realising that it has to fast ramp up its offerings, Google has certain ideas up its sleeves.
"In the last 12-18 months, Google has been improving their enterprise narrative and mindshare, which has led to better traction in India. Investment in partner ecosystem is another focus area for Google," Gartner Research Director Naveen Mishra told IANS.
Under Kurian, Google Cloud is on an acquisition spree and has just bought Elastifile, a provider of scalable enterprise storage for the Cloud, for an undisclosed sum.
Last month, Google announced to acquire data analytics company Looker for $2.6 billion.
"We believe it is the right strategy. Google needs to build a wider portfolio of services quickly and catch up with its peers who currently have more services and partners on-board their platforms. Hence such acquisitions become key part of their plans to get there," Sharma elaborated.
"The acquisition of Elastifile by Google is targeted towards file storage specialisation. The gain of market share will be determined by how well the integration between these two companies happen. Execution is often the most challenging part," added Mishra.
(Nishant Arora can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org)