Google is slowly spreading their wings across the globe and they have recently partnered with Indian telecommunications giant, Tata Communications, to push Google Apps to Indian businesses. Even though the consumer adoption of Google products is pretty decent, the same cannot be said about business adoption. However, there is considerable interest among the businesses in India and this partnership is well suited to tap that interest. I am a partner with a consulting firm in India which is advising Indian businesses to move their IT to the cloud and we are seeing businesses of all sizes showing interest in Google Apps, especially the collaborative features it offers. By partnering with a telecom giant, Google can go deep in the Indian market.
Google Apps will help the Indian businesses with considerable cost savings and improve collaboration with their distributed workforce. With smartphones creeping into India slowly and a very vibrant mobile communications market, it only makes sense for these enterprises to move to cloud. While Google handles the hosting and management of the SaaS applications, Tata Communications will help the Indian enterprise IT migrate their existing data to Google servers.
I am wondering what Google will do if the Indian government goes ahead with a requirement that all the business data of companies operating from India to stay inside the borders. Well, it is not farfetched. When I wrote against a possibility for handful of monopoly players in the cloud market, I pointed out to a discussion inside the Indian government circles.
Recently, Indian government was considering regulations that will force all the businesses in India to store their data on the servers inside the country, to avoid tax evasion and other types of fraud.
The concept, known as cloud computing, allows a customer to use distant servers to store and manage data. The service is cost-effective and increasingly becoming popular. However, the Finance Minister has formed a high-level committee to study the Information Technology Act (IT) and suggest amendments that will make it compulsory for firms and individuals to maintain mirror servers in India.
Even though this is not entirely related to the emergence of cloud computing as the article implies and it could have happened in the traditional hosting world too, the movement to cloud has the potential to increase such concerns. It is quite natural that governments will impose inward looking regulations to protect their bases.
I wonder if Google will offer to host the data inside the country as they have a significant presence there. Anyhow, this is a pretty interesting move from the point of view of Indian market.