India's IT firms are fighting to get a bigger share of an emerging pie in cloud computing - the business of renting software, storage and infrastructure facilities over high bandwidth linkages, with the Internet as a key platform. The business, which is just taking off, is set to grow into a $29-billion (Rs 129,050-crore) industry globally by 2015.
Cloud computing, with a model that resembles current utilities such as electricity and water, involve services for installation, back-up, maintenance and support and provide service companies new business opportunities.
Tata Consultancy Services, Infosys and Wipro are focussing on cloud computing to drive growth in the next few years. They will soon face competition from unfamiliar rivals - mostly from clients in the telecom and power sectors.
"In the current scenario, telecom companies are the largest threat to IT firms. Some of the key examples are Tata Communications, Airtel, etc," said Nitin Khanapurkar, executive director, performance and technology, KPMG.
IT service provider Tech Mahindra, which specialises in servicing telecom firms, has already been approached by 30-50 operators to set up a cloud service providing system for them.
Hospitals and power firms are also eyeing the cloud computing market. "The single-biggest expense in hosting cloud services is power. It accounts for as much as 40% of the total cost. Power companies thus can easily set up a cloud computing facility at very low costs," said Avneesh Saxena, group vice-president, domain research, IDC.