India presents a unique opportunity for technology powered growth. This region has remained remarkably unaffected by geopolitical tensions in Europe and the resulting supply chain disruptions, energy crisis, and the global economic crisis. And its economy is recovering from the impact of the pandemic and registering robust growth. In fact, it is unlikely to experience a recession in 2023 and is set to become the third largest economy in the world in a few years. It has overtaken China to become the most populated country in the world which also means that there is no shortage of IT talent in the region. Any visitor to India will tell you that the rapid pace of technology driven development and progress is palpable – from Government initiatives down to applications used by the common man on the street. And there is a growing demand for technological innovations and a deep understanding of emerging trends that can drive India's bid to become an economic superpower. Bringing VMware’s flagship event VMware Explore to India in April 2023 was only logical. It provided the perfect platform to engage with customers and partners in person after three years of virtual meetings. But more importantly, it provided a common platform for the industry to come together to understand the future of Indian technology innovation.
The Indian digital transformation journey began late when compared to markets like Japan and Singapore. But what it lost in terms of time, it made up for by way of an unwavering focus on innovation, technology talent, and a concerted Government push for building a robust digital foundation for innovation at scale. For me personally, the truly impressive part of the Indian digital transformation story is the scale at which applications and platforms work in the country. UPI, with its 8.7 billion transactions in March 2023 alone is an example of an application that is operating at incredible scale and driving financial inclusion across this vast and diverse nation. The government’s commitment to delivering digital citizen services across the country is also commendable. Of course, 4G and 5G connectivity stand at the core of India’s digital transformation story and will continue to play a critical role, especially as more workloads move to the edge.
The late digital start is an opportunity as Indian organizations don’t have to contend with any infrastructure debts – either outdated mainframe apps debt or cloud debt. They can leapfrog directly into cloud smart strategies. But in my opinion, it still has to contend with private cloud chaos caused by existing point products and integration chaos on one hand and the platform approach that most Indian organizations are aspiring to now. For over 25 years, VMware has always worked with customers across the world in accordance with regional requirements and demands. To become cloud smart, Indian organizations must adopt a well-planned and architected approach to digital transformation by choosing the right cloud for the right applications. A cloud smart approach delivers a unified developer experience, enhances development productivity, and provides consistent infrastructure across the data center, cloud and the edge. With a cloud smart approach, they can also improve employee experience in a digital workspace.
In all my interactions with Indian customers the two things that stand out are their digital maturity, and intent to capture new technology such as AI. There is also growing interest in the edge and the potential it holds for sectors such as manufacturing, and retail. My advice to Indian enterprises would be to begin their post pandemic digitization endeavours by focussing on optimizing their multi cloud strategies for better scalability and agility, operational efficiency, and reduced costs. 71 percent of organizations believe that multi cloud is essential for business growth. Now is the time to adopt a strategic approach to the cloud to fastrack growth.
The challenge to achieving a cloud smart approach lies in the execution. Fragmented efforts with point solutions and siloed teams and multiple partners only add to the chaos. The focus now must be on building holistic software architecture and integrated software stacks. And this focussed approach is not limited to technology only, but it extends to the wider enterprise culture as well. It is important to build a cohesive cloud engineering organization as well as a focussed, unified ecosystem that is prepared to operate efficiently in a cloud smart environment.
In India, there are concerns around data sovereignty – the requirement for the country’s laws to be applicable to data that is stored outside the organization’s host country. VMware’s Sovereign Cloud can help organizations in the country ensure compliance with data sovereignty laws. It is a secure regional client that helps organizations stay in control of their data. We work with validated partners based on VMware Cloud Infrastructure to ensure security, data privacy, and compliance while enabling the organization to leverage data efficiently.
We believe that the race to become digital smart begins with a robust digital foundation. Our customers across India have been focussed on building this robust digital foundation and accelerating their journey to digital smart. We recognized their progress and their technology innovation at VMware Explore India with the 2023 APJ Customer Excellence Awards. The winners included Pine Labs (Weathering the Change Hero), Odisha Computer Application Center (Customer Experiences Hero), IndusInd Bank (Hero for Good), Wipro (Cloud Transformation Innovator), State Bank of India (Modern Application Innovator), LTIMindtree (Anywhere Workspace Innovator) and HDFC Bank (Security Transformation Innovator).
21 percent of companies in the Asia Pacific region are leading the transition to cloud smart. This is higher than any other region in the world. India, with its enviable digital foundation and appetite for digital innovation is well placed to seize the cloud smart advantage. I am excited to see how the technology landscape in the region evolves over the next few years.