With a surge in the adoption of Cloud-based services in India, Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) is one area that is growing faster that ever before. According to a top Oracle India executive, this is because businesses -- from large to small -- have realised that SaaS solutions are scalable, agile and secure.
SaaS will be the biggest Cloud market and will double to $75 billion by 2020 globally, says Gartner. In India, the SaaS business grew at the rate of 33 per cent (year-on-year) in 2017.
"We believe that SaaS will actually meet burgeoning customer expectations in India as well as globally. We have witnessed the shift in customer mindset, primarily because of the benefits that some of the early starters have managed to achieve by implementing and rolling out SaaS-based applications," Prasad Rai, Vice President - Applications at Oracle, told IANS.
"Initially, customers used to have apprehensions about SaaS solutions, but today organisations across sectors are open to considering business applications to meet their expectations," Rai added.
According to the International Data Corporation (IDC), the SaaS segment holds nearly 69 per cent of overall Public Cloud market share globally.
From the largest firms to start-ups, everyone is looking at Cloud or at least at the Cloud-first approach.
"There are two reasons for that. One is that organisations can get their applications up and running much faster than in the past; and second is that businesses have realised that SaaS solutions are scalable, agile, extremely secure and are available all the time," Rai noted.
SaaS is perhaps a decade-old market in India and initially catered to overseas clients before Indian enterprises realised the need to adopt Cloud-based services.
"We had Cloud-based solutions about 10 years ago. Over these years, SaaS solutions have matured and early adopters have started witnessing the benefits. This has resulted in more and more companies across the spectrum joining the journey towards the Cloud," Rai emphasised.
"If you look at the R&D spend of several major software original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) in the world, you will see that a majority of their R&D spend now is focused on the Cloud," he added.
Oracle registered six per cent revenue growth ($9.6 billion) for the second quarter of fiscal 2017-2018 and Cloud SaaS revenues were up 55 per cent to $1.1 billion.
In comparison, Cloud Platform as a Service (PaaS) plus Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) revenues were up 21 per cent to $396 million. Total Cloud revenues were up 44 per cent to $1.5 billion.
"At Oracle, we firmly believe that SaaS applications deliver the best value to our customers. Our experts spend time with the customers to take them through various levels of security that we build into the SaaS solutions at our data centres so that the customer's data is secure and is accessible or visible to the customer only," Rai explained.
Not even the people working at Oracle data centres have access to the customer's data, he added.
Oracle has the entire suite of SaaS solutions, starting from traditional ERP to Fusion ERP till HCM and CRM applications.
"We have moved to an almost completely Cloud-based approach in delivering the applications. We have thousands of SaaS customers in India and more and more customers are looking at adopting these solutions," Rai said.
Start-ups are Cloud-native organisations and do not have any preference for on-premise solutions.
"For example, fashion e-commerce marketplace Myntra has deployed our service Cloud and enterprise performance management applications," Rai told IANS.
IT company Genpact has deployed Oracle's human capital management and enterprise management solutions. In the start-up space, OYO Rooms has rolled out Oracle Fusion HCM to manage their entire human capital.
"Similarly, ASK Group and Airtel have deployed our SaaS-based applications," Rai said.
In the enterprise space in India, Oracle has witnessed a rapid uptake in ITeS, hospitality, health care or any of IT services-based industries.
"Now we are seeing upswing in manufacturing organisations as they need to be able to take business decisions in lesser time and to have an agile IT infrastructure," the Oracle executive noted.
Oracle is also embedding Machine Learning (ML) and Artificial Intelligence (AI) in its applications.
"SaaS solutions have democratised the market, where organisations of every size can avail the best in world Cloud applications," Rai said.
(Nishant Arora can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org)