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India’s Appetite for Digital Innovation is Stronger than Ever: Insights from VMware Explore India 2023

Photo for Raghu RaghuramRaghu Raghuram
Xuanyu Han

Raghu Raghuram

Each time I visit India I’m impressed by the rapid pace of change. During my recent visit for the inaugural VMware Explore India, every conversation I had with customers touched on the country’s increasing appetite for digital innovation at scale.

VMware Explore India was the perfect opportunity to connect with customers, partners, and technologists in this post-pandemic economy. As in the rest of the world, the push for digital transformation continues unbated as companies recognize the need to “play offense,” lest they lose ground to the competition. But that push is now tempered by global economic uncertainty and volatility. Leaders now recognize they must “play defence” at the same time, by optimizing their spend, reducing costs, and increasing resiliency.

India in 2023 is strikingly different from a decade ago when it was just beginning its digital transformation journey. Indian CIOs are acutely aware of emerging trends and eager to explore digital solutions to solve their business challenges. Global tech leaders I meet with always speak of India’s scale – the sheer volume at which any digital infrastructure here must operate. The truth is, only a few enterprises operated at massive scale 10 years ago. That is no longer the case today.

For instance, the digital foundation laid by the India Stack – the unified software platform to bring India's population into the digital age – has completely revolutionized the payments ecosystem with the Unified Payments Interface. That’s a great example of delivering digital experiences at scale across India, while also meeting the need for resilience, 24x7 availability, and ease of use. Underlying all of this is the need for a robust, resilient, and secure cloud infrastructure, tightly coupled with a multi-cloud approach to building, running, and managing cloud-native applications.

Seventy-one percent of Indian enterprises today say a multi-cloud architecture is key to driving business success. Across the world, the use of multiple clouds spiked during the pandemic – increasing from 1.3 to 2.2 public clouds per enterprise on average over the last two years. India is no exception to this trend. Indian enterprises are keen to address multi-cloud complexity and optimize costs.  They want accelerated app development and delivery, efficient cloud migration and management at reduced costs, while ensuring zero-trust security and resilience.

The Next Wave: GenAI Apps

There is also tremendous interest in generative AI platforms and applications. In my view,  our current focus on AI apps represents the fourth great wave of app innovation in the tech industry: The first wave was all about PC apps; second was Web apps, and the third wave centered on mobile apps. Today, we’re in the early stages of the fourth big wave with explosive growth in GenAI apps. We are already seeing the emergence of vertical-industry specific AI platforms, as sectors from healthcare to education to banking increasingly invest in applications that leverage domain-specific data that provide the fuel for new AI-enabled business capabilities.

India will continue to play a central role in the rapid evolution of this next great wave of AI innovation, propelled by the country’s deep talent pool, savvy technology leadership and government investment in digitally powered growth.

For over 15 years, VMware technology has been at the heart of our Indian customers’ digital strategies, helping them drive innovation at scale. As Indian organizations seek to gain competitive advantage from the next wave of GenAI app innovation, we are ready to help them adopt a cloud-smart approach so they can build and run next-generation AI applications securely and cost-efficiently.