Why are Indian companies not venturing into next level of tech such as cloud storage, cyber security?

 In a country with the requisite expertise, it’s surprising that few have ventured into the next level of technology such as cloud storage, cyber security and software-defined networking.

But a few startups have bucked the trend and are profiting from it. Take for instance Lucidous Tech, founded by 23-year-old Saket Modi. The two-year-old company is one of the few Indian players in the cyber security space and works with companies like IBM, Microsoft and KPMG.

“The barrier to entry is very high. Even if you’re a worldclass hacker, organisations will not trust a startup,” said CEO Modi, who built credibility by giving seminars on ethical hacking and cyber forensics across India.

His cyber security firm in New Delhi works with about 415 enterprises to develop security products and hacks into their systems to detect vulnerabilities in codes. The company is soon going international and has tripled its revenue since last year.

“It’s very lucrative. Companies will pay a huge price for gaining momentum in this space,” said Ravi Gururaj, chairman of Nasscom Product Council.

With the internet of things becoming a global phenomenon, the security software makers have a chance to build software in uncharted territories. The market is pegged at $95.60 billion (.`5.8 lakh crore) in 2014 and will grow to $155.74 billion (. `9.5 lakh crore) by 2019, according to research firm MarketsandMarkets.

These core technologies power the next generation of computing and lay the foundation for enterprises. But the dearth of Indian companies is glaring.

“There are very few companies. This is the best kept secret in the industry ,” said Jay Pullur, founding member of software product thinktank iSpirt.

Pullur, also the CEO of Hyderabad-based Pramati Tehnologies, said iSpirt talks to global MNCs regularly and have been told that such companies are easy acquisition targets.

Also the market size and opportunity in these technologies have been more than validated.

Take software-defined networking as an example. In simple terms, SDN will do to networking, what cloud did to servers–eliminate physical data centres and virtualise the hardware aspects of networking, untying software from legacy hardware.

So why are there so few entrepreneurs? It is not the lack of expertise. Bangalore hosts the development centres of at least two Silicon Valley-based companies in SDN–Avni Networks and Versa Networks. “We aren’t using our India team for mundane development tasks, like maintenance and bug fixes–a big mistake of many larger companies in tech. Quite the opposite,” said Kumar Mehta, CEO of Silicon-Valley based Versa Networks. The twoyear-old company has received $14.4 million (Rs 87.5 crore) in funding from Sequoia till date.

“The India team is working on the core solution, writing code around the clock with their Silicon Valley peers,” said Mehta, a former employee of Juniper Networks.

Last year, research firm CB Insights said deal activity jumped 75% on the back of large acquisitions by Juniper Networks and VMWare. Between mid-2012 to 2013 to SDN-related startups have raised nearly $416 million (Rs 2,500 crore) across 35 deals.

Cloud storage is another largely unnoticed area.



How does greater cloud-readiness translate into higher ROI?

Pop Quiz: If your company has conquered North America and Western Europe and is now looking for the next big market, where should you go? The no-thinking, because it’s obvious, answer is of course China. But if you want low cost of entry and a rapid return on investment you might want to aim a bit further South – to Australia.

While it isn’t as big a market as China (or even India) and may have a higher cost of living, which can make establishing a beachhead there expensive, Australia has significant enough similarities to the western world a well-educated populace, a high income citizenship and desire for new technologies and innovations to make success here far easier. And if you are doing ROI calculations around this decision, it has a key advantage over its Asian peers: higher acceptance of cloud services.

How does greater cloud-readiness translate into higher ROI? Because your company can leverage cloud-based services to reach and serve Australian customers faster, cheaper, and with a better economic model that maximizes the profitability of crossing shores. And in our latest Forrester report, we show you how Australian companies are using the cloud and achieving success through this activity.

We all know that cloud computing enables new service agility and continuous customer experience improvement. Further we know that by taking advantage of pay-per-use economics we can optimize the efficiency, performance and location of the services we build in the cloud to maximize profits. And in the past two years the major multinational cloud service providers have opened Asian and Australian data centers so you can serve this market with very low latency. But it’s the readiness and hunger of the Australian consumer and business market that makes this country so attractive.

And you can see this in the use of cloud services by Australian enterprises, as shown in this report. The key factors:

A tech-forward culture – Australians were fast to jump on smart phones, SaaS and now cloud platforms. And they want their mobile moments satisfied whether from on-continent or off solutions.

A fast follower mentality – Australia has high affinities to the US and the UK but isn’t blind to its distance from these countries. But it isn’t willing to let distance be an excuse for being late to the party. On key technology trends, Australia has been very quick to move from experimentation to full-market adoption. And that pattern is playing out today with cloud services.

A highly educated citizenry – You can’t be tech savvy, especially in B2B without being able to quickly grasp the technologies that enable business innovation and Australians are all over the cloud. In fact, in our interviews with Australian cloud leaders we found a stronger understanding of the realities of cloud services that take many of their peers even in the US and Europe much longer to understand.

Several key vertical markets are the most cloud-forward and thus good immediate opportunities for partnership, early success and strong growth:

Retail banking – where investment banking has led could adoption in most markets, retail is the strongest in Australia. Credit the Age of the Customer down under as Australian citizens are very mobile-forward and open to banking this way.

Media & entertainment – a clear leader in cloud adoption in most markets, it’s no different here. A strongly competitive market facing its own digital disruption is moving quickly to leverage cloud adoption here.

Travel – If you travel the world and have’t run into Australians nearly everywhere you go, then you need to get out more. Australians take full advantage of their time off and thus local tools that help them plan the next great experience are highly sought. Qantas has embraced this trend by creating internal startups to capitalize on these opportunities leveraging cloud services.

eRetailing, local government and many others – In fact the examples of cloud-moves being taken by Australian businesses and companies reaching out to Australian consumers actually surprised us during our research.

Bottom line: If you haven’t prioritized the Australian market and incorporated the use of cloud services to reach and serve it, you may be missing out on a fast and profitable business opportunity. Other Asian countries are harder and more costly to penetrate. While you can’t just pickup your US marketing plan, drop it on Rackspace Cloud and success will follow, you can succeed by thinking local but acting cloud.


Success vs Satisfaction

Some may think these terms are synonymous. However, it occurred to me the other day, that while we might be a satisfied customer, this isn’t always elevated to a successful outcome.

There is a big difference from being satisfied at a tactical level and creating success at a strategic level.When implementing quality & risk management solutions, for example, the selection experience and usability of the technology can be very satisfying.But that doesn’t mean it will transform the success of the business.What are the ultimate possibilities of the implementation, beyond automating a process?

The premise of Operational Excellence is not only to achieve customer satisfaction, but to achieve greater success in the business.If you have created a fantastic product and wonderful brand experience that initially satisfies your customers, is that enough? What about extending that opportunity to new markets where other customers would benefit from the same? And what will happen to the life cycle of the customer’s use of the product – will their use be merely satisfying or provide some degree of success or next step? Extending satisfaction to success is the real growth opportunity.

Which brings me back to what the implementation of systems that support Operational Excellence should achieve.Costs,quality,compliance, globalization, and customer demands are forcing manufacturers to find ways to do more with less, and technology adoption is critical to satisfying these demands and also to achieving greater success.For example:

User satisfaction has been important to ensure the easy adoption of quality & risk management tools.As such, disparate and home-grown solutions satisfied immediate requirements for capturing or automating data within siloed functions. Yet, that hasn’t stopped critical quality issues and non-conformances from occurring – a result of focus on satisfaction but not success.

A maturing manufacturing software landscape continues to enable a more refined focus on metrics and KPIs.Automated data management is satisfying a deeper analysis of performance.Success depends on understanding the real-time metrics that enable proactive quality management.

Advancements in next-generation manufacturing software and technology are enabling organizations to more readily identify areas for improvement.By continuing incremental steps beyond satisfaction towards success, these advancements will be key to accelerating operational excellence.As you look to your own technology roadmap,consider not only what will satisfy your functional requirements, but also how implementation, vendor support, time-to-use, and integration amongst systems will deliver success.


India digital Security market to grow 8% in 2014

Delhi: Digital security vendor revenue (hardware, software and services) in India will grow from $882 million in 2013 to $953 million in 2014. Security spending will continue to grow to in 2015 when revenue is projected to reach $1.06 billion. Security services revenue accounted for more than 55 percent of this total revenue in 2013 and this trend will continue into the foreseeable future, says a Gartner report.

“Enterprises in India that traditionally did not focus on, or invest in, a lot of security technologies are now beginning to realise the implications that a weak security and risk posture can have on their business,” said Sid Deshpande, principal research analyst at Gartner.

Vertical markets, such as banking and financial services, that have had a strong focus on security are now preparing themselves for the next wave of digitalisation by investing in technology approaches that can enable them to grow their business securely while embracing digital business models. Though this heightened awareness is creating increased budget allocations for security, there is still a skills deficit in the security space in India, consequently driving up the market opportunity for security consulting, implementation and managed security services.

How different cloud services are competing, pushing up usage

Consumers are already using the cloud widely, even if a lot of them don’t know it. Approximately 90% of global internet users are already on the cloud in some manner, and that number will remain steady as internet usage spreads globally.

But mobile has led to explosive growth in cloud usage. Mobile consumers leverage the cloud to store and consume media, and sync their apps, files, and data across devices. BI Intelligence estimates traffic to the cloud from mobile devices will grow at a compound annual rate of 63% between 2013 and 2018.

Even as cloud usage is exploding, though, consumers remained confused about the cloud, and services specifically aimed at cloud storage still only reach a small share of U.S. internet users. That means companies like Dropbox and Google Drive have a big opportunity to grab users. To do so, they’re slashing prices and upping storage space.

The new report, provides an exclusive comparison of how the different cloud storage companies are stacking up in terms of pricing and offerings. We put this in the context of cloud adoption and traffic, and also look at how well consumers understand the cloud. There’s a big opportunity for cloud storage services that can help internet users understand the benefits of using the cloud, and create seamless services that allow people to easily access their files from any device.

Here are the key points from the report about how consumers are using the cloud:

  • Usage of services that employ cloud computing is already a mature mass market.Approximately 90% of global internet users are already on the cloud, and that number will remain steady as internet usage spreads globally.
  • Consumer cloud computing is already a mature mass market and mobile has led to explosive growth in cloud usage. Mobile consumers leverage the cloud to store and consume media, and sync their apps, files, and data across devices. We estimate traffic to the cloud from mobile devices will grow at a compound annual rate of 63% between 2013 and 2018, which is significantly faster than the 22% growth rate for overall cloud traffic.
  • Yet despite so much usage, consumer awareness of cloud services remains low.Even though most online consumers use cloud-based sites and apps, survey data shows that they’re confused about cloud computing and its value in helping organize digital services.
  • There are growing opportunities for wider penetration and usage for consumer cloud-based services. For example, consumer adoption of cloud storage apps, like Dropbox and Google Drive, remains low.
  • There is no clear worldwide leader in the consumer cloud space – yet. Apple’s iCloud held an early edge in markets where the iPhone is popular, but suites of cloud-based services from Google, Amazon, and Microsoft are catching up worldwide. More specialized cloud services like Dropbox and Evernote are trying to become platforms in their own right.

In full, the report:

  • Forecasts the total audience for cloud computing services over the next five years.
  • Quantifies the amount of global traffic to the cloud from desktop and mobile devices.
  • Compares consumer cloud awareness to current consumer adoption and usage rates.
  • Surveys the opportunity for cloud-based service companies like Google, Apple, Microsoft, Amazon, and Dropbox.
  • Analyzes which cloud-based service companies are leading the space.

Strategic Risk Management: Are Organizations Doing It Right?

Strategic Risk Management (SRM) includes the processes which can help to identify uncertainties and opportunities that can affect an organization’s strategies. SRM also supports the core Enterprise Risk Management (ERM) objective of guiding the organization’s strategic business decisions that impact business performance. However, due to lack of awareness about SRM, the capability of ERM processes is limited. The need for organizations now is to understand the important role of strategic risk as part of their overall risk management processes, and how they can leverage technology to manage and integrate SRM and ERM into key decision-making.

Many organization’s ERM frameworks have done a good job in identifying and assessing risk, developing risk treatment practices, and monitoring critical risks. However, these frameworks lack the necessary connection between risk management practices and the strategic direction of the organization. While risk management activities and corporate planning are two separate management processes, in some organizations, many of the key components within the formal risk management cycle are comparable to central elements of the strategic planning process.

Under-utilization of ERM in Strategic Planning:

An important element of the strategic planning process and risk management process is to evaluate the robustness of existing and alternative strategies within a changing risk landscape. This can be done when the ERM principles of risk identification, risk assessment, selection of risk treatment practices, and monitoring and evaluating are used in scenario planning, allowing leaders to evaluate the potential success or failure of a given strategic option.

Figure: ERM and Strategic Planning in Alignment

Case Study: LEGO Group

Lego Group sets an apt example of how an effective SRM enables the organization to consider shareholder value as well as help in risk prevention and mitigation. The explicit management of strategic risks helps the company to avoid value erosion, and drive value creation.

Hans Laessoe, Senior Director, SRM at Lego, convened a group of 30 people in the company including product developers, lawyers, and marketers and asked them three questions:

1) What comprises product development and competitive pressure?

2) What comprises the operating environment?

3) What drives consumer demand?

After a half-a-day of brainstorming aimed at risk identification, 90 critical risks were identified.

Next, Laessoe stressed the importance of driving a consistent basis for financial quantification, and involved people who were well-versed in revenue forecasting. While most of the business units had already developed their strategic plans, Laessoe walked them through these plans with a perspective on strategic risks. Post the scenario and mitigation conversation, Lego Group prioritized its risks using the ‘park, adapt, prepare, and act’ (PAPA) model. This assisted managers in prioritizing their strategic responses given a risk’s likelihood of occurring and speed of change.

Today, whenever Lego adopts a new strategy — for example opening a new factory in China — the corporate management team needs to have a new strategy documented, which includes a ‘Preparing for Uncertainties’ dimension.

The Role of Technology:

A technology solution serves as the foundation for the company’s enterprise-wide risk and control activities. An integrated risk framework ensures streamlined processes for risk assessments, risk analysis and risk mitigation. It helps in accessing structured risk information and risk intelligence, thus resulting in a better understanding of the organization’s risk profile. It assists in integrating risk management into decision-making and strategic planning. This results in a more centralized view of risk that is aligned with corporate strategy and objectives, real-time information used to guide decision making processes and robust board level reporting and reviewing processes. Moreover, an integrated GRC system approach ensures enterprise-wide visibility and control and helps build a strong risk culture.

Integrated Risk Framework

Figure: Integrated Risk Framework

Technology enables more informed decision making with the help of a structured and standardized method of reporting results. Powerful dashboards, charts and heat-maps provide real-time risk information, and strengthen transparency into the organization’s risk and control management. This also supports more effective risk monitoring, reporting, and communication.


A well-defined SRM process helps organizations to gain critical risk intelligence that is needed to protect shareholder value, drive profits, optimize costs, and tap into new opportunities. Leveraging technology highlights both key areas of uncertainty and key new areas of opportunity, and integrates it into a standard ERM process that allows the organizations to maximize profits and reduce costs.