India may be embracing latest technologies like mobility and cloud, but factors like privacy concerns and cultural fabric could restrain social media growth in the country as compared to other nations, a report by research firm Gartner today said.
The report suggests that four significant forces that will shape businesses during the next five years are IT, mobile, cloud and social media.
These pivotal technologies include the explosive use of media tablets, mobile applications, context-aware computing, Internet, analytics and in-memory computing (IMC), it added.
"India is poised to become one of the world's biggest consumer economies in the coming five years. By 2014, it is expected to have more than one billion mobile subscribers and will also see significant roll-out of new IT infrastructure in both public and private sectors," Gartner Research VP Rakesh Kumar said.
The youthful, increasingly well-educated and technically sophisticated population will drive the adoption of new technologies in the country, he said.
However, the use of social media during the next five years may be at lower levels in India compared with other countries.
"Although it's easy to see how social media could grow rapidly during the next few years, privacy concerns and the cultural fabric of the country may suggest otherwise," Kumar said.
India with over 25 million users is one of the major markets for social networking site Facebook. Apart from Google's Orkut and professional networking site LinkedIn, there are smaller networking sites operating too.
Companies, especially in sectors like FMCG, consumer durables, auto and telecom are leveraging social media to connect with consumers to get feedback.
"This will lead to a further engagement of brands with customers and helps the economy as well," he said.
Besides, India has gained a substantial position for application development, maintenance, support and innovation globally and the same now needs to be used domestically.
"A sense of entrepreneurship is embedded into the Indian psyche which is beginning to lead to startups exploring areas such as pattern mapping. What will now be important is that the same is deployed in the domestic market as well," he added.