In a sea of studies that claim small and medium sized businesses are adopting cloud services at unprecedented rates, a new research paper by CII-IMRB tells a different story, at least for SMBs in India. According to the study released on Tuesday, overall awareness of the cloud among micro small and medium sized enterprises (MSMEs) in India is only 2 percent.
CII-IMRB surveyed 8,000 Indian SMBs across 22 cities, and found that only 4 percent of these companies are adopting cloud services.
According to the Ministry of Micro Small and Medium Enterprises website, there are currently 59.7 million people working in SMBs in India. The MSME sector accounts for about 45 percent of the manufacturing output and around 40 percent of the total export of the country. The report finds that the manufacturing vertical is leading cloud services adoption in India.
Earlier this month, at the ResellerClub Hosting Summit in India, VeriSign said that 37 percent of SMBs in India are in manufacturing, while 41 percent are retail businesses.
MSMEs in India that have already adopted cloud have typically used it for technical operational data that is non-sensitive in nature. HR related data has also been moved to the cloud among MSMEs with 1-10 employees. Data security in the cloud is still a major concern for these types of businesses, according to the report.
“MSMEs offer significantly large headroom for growth to the cloud service providers. However, for this to happen, it is important for the service providers to offer a complete solution designed for the MSMEs, which makes the offer more tangible and actionable for the business,” Puneet Avasthi, VP and head, BIRD Business Unit, IMRB International said. “This is currently lacking in the market which does not give the MSMEs the confidence to invest. There are several successful cases of cloud solutions being leveraged effectively by MSMEs to further their business. Several MSMEs have already moved some of their non-core functions to the cloud and are reaping benefits of lower CAPEX and higher uptime, which is helping them focus on their business growth.”
The report recommends a five-step approach that Indian MSMEs should take in adopting cloud, the first step being adopting a public cloud web hosting service. After that they should evaluate the cloud services for a short period of time (around 4-5 months), migrate their email and collaboration services, evaluate the services and the vendor, and then migrate non-mission critical data to public cloud.
The report also urges MSMEs to look for a vendor that offers bundled services, so businesses can help consolidate their IT process while also addressing different business needs.
Offering attractive bundles for SMBs can be lucrative for service providers. A report by Parallels released last year found that three quarters of SMBs bought their current web apps bundled with their website at checkout, and 30 percent of global SMBs would like to purchase cloud services in bundles.