Nadella's quantum computing drive gets mixed reactions from India's IT channels

By Mansi Joshi Nov 7th 2017
Nadella's quantum computing drive gets mixed reactions from India's IT channels

Microsoft CEO says the future belongs to AI, mixed reality and quantum computing but India’s slow appetite for change is a dead end for now, reveal channel partners in India. 

When the Microsoft CEO talks about the future, he means something beyond artificial intelligence, machine learning and IoT. Speaking at the India Today Conclave Next in New Delhi, Satya Nadella said technology is yet to solve the world’s hardest challenges.

What he means is this: Microsoft’s hyperscale Azure datacenters lack the compute power to solve world’s hunger problem by modelling enzymes, and neither can it save the environment by eradicating carbon from the atmosphere.

How can quantum computing do things that classical computers have failed at? A quantum bit, called qubit, stores information in multiple states. Unlike its classical counterpart, bit, which can either mean 0 or 1, a qubit can hold more information. This means massive compute power to solve huge challenges.

 

Quantum computing can work for the US market, but it is premature for Indian customers. Microsoft cloud Azure has not picked up steam in tier-2 cities yet, so quantum computing has a long way to go.

 

                                                  Jitesh Chauhan, MD at Rubik Infotech  

Microsoft wants to do big things in tech, which is expected from the giant; but what about markets like India? India is only now catching up with other markets in cloud adoption. ChannelWorld India spoke to partners about the Indian customer’s appetite for change and where it is headed.

Hits and misses: Compliance woes

“The concept of quantum computing can work for the US market, but it is premature for Indian customers. Microsoft cloud Azure has not picked up steam in tier-2 cities yet; so quantum computing has a long way to go,” says Jitesh Chauhan, MD at Rubik Infotech.

“The Indian customer’s mindset revolves around compliance,” he says. Microsoft has been slowly turning the heat up with internal compliance checks, which has made the Indian CIO wary of using Microsoft’s cloud services, Chauhan explains. Office 365, Sharepoint and Windows OS are doing well, but compliance pitfalls have started to irk enterprises.

Whether it is Microsoft, SAP or Oracle, they are all getting bullish about anti-privacy. In some situations, this can scar a customer to an extent that they don’t want to deal with the tech provider, thinking that the other one is better. But the point is, they are all the same, and each one of them is fighting for their pound of flesh.

 

Pankaj Ratra, Director, Business Development, Path Infotech

Into the future

Despite these hiccups, cloud adoption is slowly but surely growing in India. According to Gartner, the public cloud services market in India will witness a 43 percent growth in 2017, dominated by hyperscale providers.

“I’ve not come across a customer who doesn’t want anything to do with the cloud,” says Pankaj Ratra, Director of Business Development at Path Infotech. Speaking about the compliance pitfalls, he says, “As tech consumers, all of us have our own experiences, which can create biases for and against a company. In the cloud context, all companies are now having to deal with their past.

 

Customers have a fear of compliance issues. To avoid this, they are building private clouds. With hyperconvergence it has become easier for customers to manage everything with just two boxes.

 

                            Murtuza Sutarwala, Director at Swan Solutions

"Whether it is Microsoft, or SAP, or Oracle, they are all getting bullish about anti-privacy. In some situations, this can scar a customer to an extent that they don’t want to deal with that tech provider, thinking that the other one is better. But the point is, they are all the same; and each one of them is fighting for their pound of flesh,” explains Ratra.

Is quantum computing a real opportunity for the Indian market? No, says Ratra. “But, these conversations are happening around the world. Customers outside India want to have these conversations today,” he is quick to point out.

According to Microsoft, the shift from mobile-first and cloud-first to intelligent edge and intelligent cloud has already happened. But has it happened in India?

“The concept of intelligent cloud that Satya is talking about has a long way to go in India, says Devesh Aggarwal, CEO at Compusoft Advisors.  Indian customers still have to take the first few steps of going to the cloud – and they are doing it. They are taking their own time, but it is happening. Today, I would not be surprised if cloud adoption is slow in tier-2 or tier-3 cities. But this will change within the next few years,” he says.  

PARTNERS’ WOES

·        Compliance

·        Data security on public cloud

·        Bandwidth

·        Vendors’ anti-piracy stance

“The biggest bottlenecks are bandwidth and legal framework. The cloud story will click with better bandwidth. Customers have a fear of compliance issues leading to infringement and want to avoid the trap of litigation," says Murtuza Sutarwala, Director at Swan Solutions. "To avoid this, they are building private clouds. With hyperconvergence it has become easier for customers to manage everything with just two boxes.

"There is a fear among customers that even if they are doing everything right, vendor compliance checks might reveal the opposite,” he adds.

Quantum computing is the future according to Microsoft. But India is still taking the first steps towards cloud; and that too, cautiously. 

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