Business is booming for Indian ISPs – but attitudes to cloud remain cool

With demand for internet access constantly rising in India, the ISP market is witnessing tremendous growth in subscriber numbers, and as a result the demand for the network equipment and consumer premise equipments bought by ISPs is growing. Investigating the factors driving demand, Research & Markets has found that while services such as email, messaging, website browsing, tickets and e-commerce are largely responsible, the falling cost of broadband and government initiatives are also driving adoption.

Rising demand will of course spur the need for more network equipment, with DSLAM technology likely to be the most in demand in the short term. However, the increased presence of FTTH in the market will drive the adoption higher bandwidth categories such as DWDM’s, STM 64’s and GEPON.

The equipment market will likely be dominated by the current main players such as Huawei, UT Starcom, Alcatel Lucent and Tejas Networks; 75% of the market is held by the top five ISP vendors. New and smaller players should therefore attempt to capitalise on a predicted increase in demand for DSL and Cable modem technologies involving component focus, such as DSLAM and CMTS.

Recent contracts landed by Cat 5, Coaxial and DSL cable operators point towards significant growth opportunities in these segments; Radius Infratel has won a contract with Ericsson to deploy FTTH solutions aimed to serve 6, 00,000 households and businesses using GPON systems, while Sterlite also won optical Fiber contract from BSNL to lay 17,000 Km of OFC network to replace BSNL'S existing copper networks.

However, while the telecom equipment market appears to be experiencing healthy growth, a survey conducted by global IT association ISACA exposed surprising attitudes towards mobile devices amongst India’s IT specialists. Of those surveyed, more than 90% of Indian IT leaders believed that mobile devices, whether employer-provided or personal, posed a risk to enterprises, and over 50% said that their enterprises had put policies and systems in place to mitigate the risk of mobile devices use.

These security measures included controlling application installations, remote-wipe capabilities, encryptions and password requirements. 56% of respondents also noted that their enterprises do not allow installation of applications on mobile devices used for work activities. For the purposes of the survey, the term ‘mobile devices’ encompassed smart phones, flash drives, notepads, tablets and broadband cards.

Security concerns are also responsible for the slow adoption of cloud computing across the country, with only 36% of Indian enterprises adopting cloud-based services – many have cited security and privacy concerns as key factors in their decisions. Of these, just 11% used them for mission-critical services. Drivers for implementing cloud were reported to be cost optimisations and availability, centralised operations, and cost reductions.

Sandeep Godbole, member of the ISACA India Task Force, said, “Mobile devices are posing tough questions to organisations, not only about technology, but also related to intent and strategy. The results indicate a fair level of awareness about technology risk and risk management. At the same time, Indian enterprises seem to be a bit slow in adopting new technologies and practices that promise significant benefits. Risk reduction is important; however, equally important is the ability to generate value.”

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