COVID-19 has changed the dynamics of the IT environment in India and has provided an evolutionary roadmap for the future digital workplace. The pandemic has brought forward the necessity of remote working, which has increased the demand for bandwidth requirement with minimal downtime through virtual private networks (VPN) and remote accessing capabilities for enterprises. With a significant portion of the employee base operating and collaborating remotely, providing zero-downtime and supporting digital capabilities will foster the growth of VPNs across the country, says GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company.
GlobalData had estimated in March 2020 that the overall VPN spending in India to witness a year-on-year (y-o-y) growth of 7.8% to reach approximately US$1.2bn in 2020. However, this trend is likely to be significantly higher owing to the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent lockdown that has shaken the country since then.
Kaipa Shashank, Senior Technology Analyst at GlobalData, says: “Networks have always been the backbone of the organizations for connectivity and to enable data transfer amongst cloud, datacenter and edge, thereby providing remote access to employees. However, in the current digitalization era, enterprises are in dire need of solutions through which they can access their networks remotely, and VPN is a strong fit for their needs. The rising cyber-attacks and data breaches in the country fueled by the ongoing pandemic have paved the way for the demand for VPN solutions as never before.”
Prolonged COVID-19 over the next few months could be a revenue encashing opportunity for telcos as well. Owing to the preventive measures announced and adherence to the government guidelines, companies need their staff to work from home, resulting in high demand for broadband connections and VPN requirement fulfilment by enterprises.
For instance, in India, more than 1,700 tax officers of different states/union territories were permitted by Goods and Services Network (GSTN) to work from home during the lockdown period, by leveraging VPN until 3 April 2020. Even non-technology companies like Pidilite Industries, Voltas and Croma have relied on enterprise VPN access for seamless functioning during the lock period.
Shashank continues: “The ongoing need for remote working, increasing Internet penetration and organizations’ requirements for the remote and agile workforce to provide secure access through corporate intranet across multiple locations have pushed organizations towards adopting VPN solutions on a large scale. Moreover, data sharing through computing devices across private networks has reduced the risk of intense malware attacks which reduced the cost of infrastructure and security breaches.”
Advancement in cloud technologies, easy installations and secured remote access to client/server applications, web applications, and internal network connections amid the COVID-19 pandemic will significantly contribute for the overall growth of VPN market in India.
Shashank concludes: “The need for virtual networks in the wake of increasing cyber-attacks and advancements in cloud technologies has increased the need for secured VPN networks across organizations. The adoption is greater in SMEs when compared to large enterprises owing to low IT infrastructure costs, reduced office spaces, increased cost of security mechanism installations and the extent of impact due to unauthorized access of data. Globalization, digitalization and increasing investments by organizations in cloud and digital technologies to minimize human touchpoints will create huge opportunities for vendors offering VPN solutions in India.”