“Govt, SMBs are early adopters of SaaS”

by Darinia Khongwir    Jan 30, 2013

Shamyo Chatterjee Software as a Service, or SaaS has seen much uptake in the past few years as it is a much cheaper option for many a CIO. According to Gartner the worldwide IT spending is projected to total $3.7 trillion in 2013, a 4.2 percent increase from 2012 spending of $3.6 trillion, which will include cloud services as well. CXOtoday spoke to Shamyo Chatterjee, CIO, CallidusCloud, on the emergence of SaaS market in India and its growth prospects. Excerpts: How do you see the SaaS market developing in India? How has the SaaS market evolved in India? What are the growth drivers? SaaS market is gaining momentum in big way with BFSI (Banking, Financial Services and Insurance), Government and SMBs being early adopters. With the BFSI and Government/ PSU also looking out options to roll out user-friendly services on cloud-based platforms, the SaaS market is poised for a big growth. The relative ease of accessing applications over mobile devices also is making small as well as big enterprises to roll out services either from private or public cloud. SMBs with a high level of IT maturity and a focus on reducing costs were the early adopters of SaaS offerings. Enterprises are also taking a serious look at the SaaS model as concerns about security ease. Verticals like healthcare, manufacturing have been the earliest adopters of SaaS offerings. The overall growth in SaaS has been fuelled by an increase in bandwidth and the wide spread adoption of Mobile devices Are Indian enterprises ready to adopt SaaS despite security concerns? What are the applications that CIOs are putting on the cloud? Have concerns around cloud security subsided? What are the new concerns? Security concerns are subsiding significantly with over 94% of the fortune 100 adopting SaaS solutions. The shift has been away from traditional IT-lead company projects to departmental applications like marketing automation which rarely involves anyone outside of the marketing organization. Some traditional on premise back office applications have been slower to move to the cloud, but internal apps like CRM, Marketing Automation and Configure Price Quote are seeing widespread adoption as the reliability and total cost of ownership (TCO) make the case for the cloud more compelling. SaaS is primarily looked at a solution for SMBs as they lack huge resources to set up datacenters. If that is so, then what does SaaS have in store for the larger enterprises? Will SMEs and large enterprises perceive SaaS alike? If not how long before they share a similar perception? SME’s have jumped on to the cloud as it represents a much lower adoption cost for value-adding technology that has less impact on CAPEX. Enterprises have often already invested in datacenters but they see SaaS as a way of reducing further investment as the physical infrastructure is not the only cost – the management, support and upgrading of the applications deployed are time and resource consuming. Outsourcing the running of applications to the experts that build and deliver them, is seen as a the most profitable way of executing non-core activities. How does mobility fit in? Is Cloud driving BYOD or is it the other way around? The proliferation of mobile devices and the need to connect to services seamlessly from them has driven both BYOD and cloud. Social clouds and collaborative apps were the triggers of a BYOD revolution. What are the few things CIOs should keep in mind while embarking on a collaboration/ productivity suite journey? What kind of homework do CIOs need to do before they embark on the cloud journey? Collaboration and productive suite journeys are ending at many good public SaaS offerings public cloud. e.g. Google Docs. This is leading to BYOA into enterprises which CIO has to foresee from a security standpoint. Better the IT/security teams analyze the services and layout best practice/preferred apps in each category as well as ones to avoid. After BYOD garnering major news space last year, now the world is abuzz with BYOA (Bring your Own Application). Do you think it will make as huge an impact for enterprise IT? The BYOA and BYOD movements are having a good synergy in the current scenario. There are not many mobile apps which are platform agnostic. Each platform has a version of a popular app. Even if apps become platform agnostic there seems to be a strong synergy between BYOA and BYOD. Enterprise IT will be impacted by the way they cannot ignore BYOA once they have allowed BYOD. But this will bring out the next wave of data security concerns around SaaS What are the future IT trends that you forsee, especially in the Cloud computing domain? How do you foresee the uptake of SaaS in India? Adoption of SaaS will be getting into Enterprise territory with companies testing out mission critical apps in hybrid model. Social cloud and Collaborative apps will spur BYOD as well as BYOA. Enterprises small as well as Large will harness the power of Public cloud infrastructure.