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When it comes to tech, India is a country of contradictions. It’s home to massive companies like Wipro, Infosys, and TCS, it’s responsible for educating new Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella and former Apple CEO John Sculley wants to launch a smartphone there.
At same time, however, the number of people with access to the internet in India remains relatively small. While it can now lay claim to the world’s third-largest online population, with nearly 200-million users, that number only represents a fraction of the country’s massive population. The same could be said of the its 100-million plus smartphone owners.
It’s therefore important to understand which direction the country’s headed in. It becomes even more important, notes Vishal Tripathi, principal research analyst at Gartner, when you take into account that while Indian companies may be keen to invest in new technologies, there are still roadblocks to full-scale adoption, including business readiness, a lack of capacity for organisational change and low levels of IT funding.
The technology research house has outlined 10 strategic tech trends that companies in India should be looking out for:
1. Business Intelligence (BI) and analytics
The BI, analytics and performance management segment is the hottest software market in India, fuelled by IT playing a bigger role and expanding business buying centers. A competitive business environment and economic conditions, says Gartner, are also forcing companies in India to focus on using fact-based decision-making tools to rationalise costs and time for businesses.
2. Mobility solutions
Mobility in enterprise has created a huge opportunity to reduce costs, increase productivity and enable smooth business transactions. Swift growth in the prevalence of mobile devices, a decline in their price, and falling data plan costs have the potential to completely transform some business models.
Organisations in India, the tech research house says, are using mobile to create more personal interactions with greater reach and make better real-time decisions.
3. Cloud computing
Although still in its infancy in India and other emerging markets, cloud adoption is increasing. Led by infrastructure-as-a-service engagements in the data center, disaster recovery and storage areas, there is a broad range of providers that target large and small companies.
This fast-growing adoption by a diverse range of companies has pushed people to invest in high-quality data centers and innovative cloud infrastructures, as well as a portfolio of cloud-related offerings such as security, communications and managed services.
4.Social media and computing
Social media in India has seen exponential growth in the recent past with companies using it for customer support and customers using it to offer opinions. A growing number of companies are using social media to connect with their customers and for marketing campaigns.
Social is also playing a pivotal role in Indian politics with the government and political parties increasingly using it to connect with citizens.
Much of this growth can be attributed to increasing internet penetration — which reached 198 million users (including mobile) as of June 2013 — making India one of the three most connected countries in the world.
5. Machine to Machine (M2M)
The M2M market in India is in a nascent stage but growing rapidly. Among the early adopters are companies in fields such as utilities, automotive, financial services and transport, with others like healthcare and manufacturing following closely. Gartner reckons the success of these projects should result in broad-based deployments of M2M.
6. Hosted Virtual Desktop (HVD)
In India, server-based computing, which is also referred as “hosted shared desktop” or “terminal services,” is seeing greater adoption. More than 80% of desktop virtualisation implementations are based on HVD. Organisations are only looking at desktop virtualisation from the point of cost requirement, and they overlook other benefits such as full data backup, bring-your-own-device (BYOD) support, extended hardware life cycles, security, compliance and anytime-anywhere access.
7. Personal cloud
Adoption of cloud computing in India is currently limited to the private cloud. Organisations are focused on protecting their applications located in enterprise app stores, as well as the content on employees’ personal devices used at work.
Tablets are becoming the first-choice user device and this form factor’s explosion (around 4-million tablets are expected to be sold in the country this year) is creating device ubiquity.
People are creating their own personal digital ecosystems with their own sets of apps, games and media. Content is starting to shift to the cloud but, in the future, Gartner says, the cloud will become the primary storage for personal content, and local versions of the content will exist only as staged or cached elements.
8. The Internet of Things (IoT)
In its early phase of development, companies are experimenting with the IoT across a range of sectors, applications, business models and technologies in an attempt to unlock its value. The IoT delivers tangible value to enterprises through the ability to better utilise remote assets and creates business cases in operational technology (OT), digital supply chain and customer interaction.
9. Collaboration technologies
Collaboration technologies (otherwise known as workflow management or team collaboration) consist broadly of — real-time electronic meetings, content delivery, desktop and application sharing, text chat, group document markup with electronic whiteboarding, security and remote control. More advanced features include integrated voice over IP, file sharing, videoconferencing, content archiving, media streaming, feedback and polling. Real-time collaboration technologies not included in the web conferencing category include instant messaging and stand-alone audio conferencing.
10. 3D printing
In India, interest levels in 3D printing are slowly picking up and this is reflected in the increased presence of providers in the 3D printing space. Gartner reckons that the country’s large population base, high volumes and low cost requirements, mean that 3D printing is expected to take off rapidly and revolutionise industries as diverse as aerospace, consumer goods, healthcare, retail, manufacturing and the military.