“Cloud Adoption in India Is Happening At A Fascinating Rate”

“Cloud Adoption in India Is Happening At A Fascinating Rate”

Amidst the ever increasing competitiveness in the market, organizations are focusing on increasing their agility and improving customer experience. It helps organizations to grow faster and take lead upon their counterparts. In line with this, the organizations across all sectors are migrating to cloud solutions and experiencing increased efficiency. In the last few years, the cloud ecosystem has significantly grown in India. Businesses are transforming their operations with cloud and aiming at robust growth in days to come. However, there are still some challenges related to migrating to cloud that organizations face very often. Companies like AWS have helped such organizations in managing their workloads via cloud. In a recently held interaction, Rajeev Ranjan, Editor, Digital Terminal discussed crucial aspects of the cloud with Murat Yanar, Managing Director, Migration Workloads and Foundational Services, Amazon Web Services Worldwide Specialist Organization. Read below the excerpts below:

Rajeev: How do you see the role of cloud for any business in this competitive world?

Murat: It has become necessary for organisations globally to undergo digital transformation to sustain their growth. One of the biggest pillars of enabling digital transformation is the cloud. A Gartner report has forecasted that the spending on public cloud services will reach $495 billion in 2022. Migrating and modernising in the cloud allows customers to innovate faster because they can focus highly valuable IT resources on developing applications that differentiate their business and transform their customer experiences. 

AWS is at the forefront of this transformation. For example, we have enabled Axis Bank to deploy over 25 mission-critical applications on AWS. Axis Bank plans to migrate 70% of its on-premises data centre infrastructure to the cloud. This will improve agility, reduce cost, and enhance customer experience. Since the implementation of SAP on AWS, L&T IDPL has seen significant productivity improvements with the integration of its multiple systems, thanks to the continuous, automated data monitoring and real time visibility of transactional data. L&T IDPL can now implement system or infrastructure changes, or new requirements in less than 3 days, compared to 7-14 days or longer before. This has allowed L&T IDPL to quickly adapt to evolving regulations and technological advancements. Cloud has thus become integral in offering competitive and customer-oriented solutions for a digital age.

Rajeev: What are the key fuelling factors which helped this market to grow in India in recent times?

Murat: Cloud adoption in India is happening at a fascinating rate. We have seen four common threads across business which have propelled cloud growth in India. The first is that there is a clear realization across enterprises, digital native businesses, SMBs and startups that those who were thinking deeply about cloud technology pre-pandemic have emerged stronger in the last couple of years because they can rapidly scale resources up and down as needed, which also reduces business cost, and improves their ability to meet customer demands. The second is that digital is no longer optional, it is essential for survival and a critical channel for businesses to reach their customers. Customers want to automate their digital journeys, digitize their channels, and make sure their processes are automated internally so that their employees can access them and be productive. Third, the speed at which our customers are moving is quite unlike anything seen before. Digital roadmaps that used to be built in months or years are now being built and delivered in days and weeks. This is happening because of the accelerated shift in consumer behaviour towards digital channels. From households to entertainment in India, there is a 10 to 50% uptick in digital channel adoption, which has significant implications for businesses and cloud adoption.

Furthermore, companies have begun to understand the value of data to make better decisions, respond better to the unexpected, enhance the customer experience, uncover new opportunities, and improve efficiency. A great example of a data-driven organization is DTDC who have deployed applications like SAP Billing and Revenue Innovation Management (SAP BRIM) and SAP ECC, today have implemented an automated revenue recognition model using Amazon Redshift snapshots to streamline month-end closing. DTDC recently engaged the AWS Data Lab to evaluate its architecture to scale cost-effectively.

Rajeev: What are the key challenges related to cloud migration?

Murat: The biggest challenges for large organizations to move to the cloud can be categorized as either technical or cultural. On the technical side, modernizing legacy applications to drive changes is a non-trivial task, that can take years. The lock into legacy license contracts often constrains the ability to unlock innovation and move rapidly. AWS helps companies modernize their legacy applications, and in the process reduce the costs and remove constraints due to legacy license contracts.

On the people and culture side, four key changes are critical to address the obstacles.

  • First, the senior leadership team needs to be aligned towards why they must move to the cloud and need to set clear directions and expectations for the rest of the organization.
  • Second, bringing in people who are builders by nature and are willing to challenge the status quo are critical.
  • Third, it is important to equip them with the right tools and training and give them the freedom to build, and innovate.
  • Fourth, it is vital to have a feedback loop to be data driven by measuring the impact, and reporting back to the leadership and course correcting where required.

At AWS, we enable customers to overcome these challenges and successfully migrate to the cloud. In the case of Tata CLiQ, SAP enterprise resource planning (ERP) applications were among the first workloads migrated to AWS. For its customer care operations, the company uses SAP ECC, which is integrated with the Tata CLiQ marketplace. The operation also relies on SAP hybris as a mission-critical component. Before migrating to AWS, Tata CLiQ faced teething challenges in ensuring sufficient capacity of its SAP hybris nodes to handle peak traffic during sale periods. Its Oracle Real Application Cluster (RAC), which stores more than 30 TB of data, was also subject to frequent downtime. Now the business uses Amazon Relational Database Service (Amazon RDS) for Oracle and SAP on AWS, both of which feature automation tooling to scale on demand. It’s really important that organizations are trained on the cloud and comfortable with the concepts as part of the whole process. We train hundreds of thousands of people a year for that purpose.

Rajeev: Which sectors are observing very high demand for cloud solutions in India? What are AWS’s key strategies for these sectors?

Murat: The COVID-19 pandemic accelerated the pace of digitization for firms and almost every sector had to adapt to the changes. Some sectors in India that are witnessing this tremendous growth are:

  • Gaming - Most of India’s leading gaming Startups like Dream11, FanFight, and MPL are on AWS.  One of India’s biggest game streaming Startups, RooterSports, is using Amazon IVS for low latency, interactivity, scalability, cost, and ease in managing the services.
  • Financial services - The growth in this sector is mainly driven by the increasing need for digital banking services, new payment modes, and evolving consumer and business needs. We enable customers like (a) RBL Bank shift to a managed and secure remote work solution, (b) IndusInd Bank launch an artificial intelligence-based voice assistant, and (c) Axis Bank deploy over 25 mission-critical applications on AWS, including a Buy Now Pay Later product, a Video-Know Your Customer (V-KYC), and WhatsApp Banking.
  • Media and entertainment - AWS is creating unique and seamless customer experiences for customers like Hotstar, Dish TV, YuppTV, and Discovery and is helping OTT platforms develop and bring solutions faster to market.
  • Healthcare - Digitization in healthcare technology has increased during the pandemic. AWS works with several healthcare organizations and start-ups in India such as Innovaccer, HealthifyMe, 1MG, Dozee and others for innovative solutions in diagnostics, patient care, telemedicine, and vaccination drives.
  • Automotive – This is another sector that has been positively impacted by the cloud and we see customers like Apollo Tyres and CEAT Tyres innovating with AWS. For example, to digitize its manufacturing processes, which require 250 raw materials, CEAT connected production machines, like curing presses, to the cloud and built a data lake on Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3). This data lake securely stores CEAT’s structured and unstructured data from across its operations at scale, improving CEAT’s view of factory operations and helping line managers closely monitor factory operations. For example, CEAT uses Amazon SageMaker, for building, training, and deploying machine learning models quickly in the cloud and at the edge to predict leaks in tyre-curing presses. This prediction decreases tyre waste by reducing factory line stoppages and improving tyre quality.

Rajeev: How do you sell your solutions in India? Please explain about your distribution model and current channel network strength for Indian market.

Murat: Partners are the force multiplier to accelerate cloud transformation in India. AWS has a wide and engaged cloud partner ecosystem in India who are building future-ready companies in India by helping businesses adapt and modernize for the cloud, expedite digital transformation, and solve complex business challenges.

We provide our customers the widest selection of consulting partners and software products, and independent software vendors. We start with the customer first, then work backwards from their needs to design our strategies to enable AWS Partners to deliver high-quality AWS solutions and services to joint customers. For example, AWS has worked closely with WorkApps to help Indian banks and financial services providers drive remote customer engagement and verification through their Video KYC solution. AWS supported WorkApps to enable reduction of cost and time by 90% while enabling scaling up of customer engagements to a million monthly customer verifications. AWS and WorkApps jointly have created and secured deals across 10 Indian banks and financial services firms in 2020 and are doing about 1 million KYCs a month in India today.

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