Ben Trowbridge

Cloud Services in India a Bit Nebulous?

Posted by Ben Trowbridge on Wednesday, 16 February 2011 22:58
Categories: Strategy

India-based IT services companies, especially the giants such as TCS and Wipro, provide unquestionable value as outsourcing partners for U.S. clients, and will continue to do so for a long time to come. Their globalized services delivery model is well established and is designed to offer the best combination of value, quality and reliability. But does their edge in the sourcing marketplace hold up when it comes to the delivery of cloud services?

Over the last several months, Alsbridge has conducted research on the capabilities and aspirations of cloud service providers. Our research shows U.S. providers are currently the big players in offering cloud services and platforms for U.S. clients.  But we have also noted that Indian providers are making significant investments in new capabilities, delivery models, and partnerships to enable them to continue to compete aggressively against the U.S.-based providers for market share. Large Indian providers have recently announced Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) and Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) offerings based on their existing globalized delivery capabilities, which they hope will put them in a matching position against even the US-based giants.

Due to technical reasons, such as latency and reliability, as well as regulatory reasons, such as security, compliance, and laws governing the physical location of data, it is recognized that the infrastructure support services layer of the cloud needs to be close to the point of service delivery in the U.S. India-based providers recognize that this part of cloud computing is data location dependant.  But these providers have, in the past, measured their growth by headcount, and not by square footage of data centers. They will cede this portion of market-advantage to their locally-based competition. However, to offer end-to-end experiences for their clients, they will continue to leverage partnerships that deliver beneficial synergies. Nevertheless, we are also seeing Indian providers strengthening their data center hosting capabilities in the U.S.  A leading example of this is Wipro’s acquisition of the U.S. data center provider, Infocrossing, a couple of years ago. There has been a greater appetite among Indian providers to acquire U.S. data centers, such as those they take off the hands of some of their traditional outsourcing clients.

But the established strength of these Indian providers will continue to offer greater advantages in the cloud layers above infrastructure.  They will leverage the availability and cost of technical resources into the provision of standardized and shareable applications and business-process platforms – continuing to offer such services at competitive prices.  They will also focus on all the services opportunities that present themselves as clients decide to undertake the cloud journey.  This will result in the rollout of new services such as solution architecture and strategic services, migration support, and ongoing deployment and management services. 

While these services will be packaged as new offerings, they will continue to be built on existing strengths, such as a factory approach to migration and a well-oiled applications managed services engine.  This will appeal to those clients that desire ‘full services’ capability from their partner, rather than attempt to assemble pieces of the cloud solution separately.

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