08 December 2019

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Cloud Computing: The Beginning of a New Tech Era

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Industry experts believe that notion of perceiving cloud computing as a new technology trend,  is all set to grow. Cost factor is the biggest driver for its expected growth. Where does SMEs fit into the picture, How relevant are the cloud solutions for today’s Indian SMEs, and how they fit into the picture? Faiz Askari, Editor-Technology, Small Enterprise India looks into these aspects.

While cost saving is the buzz word across business verticals, and across geographies, cloud computing seems to woo customers largely. An IT research firm IDC stated that the cloud computing market in India is expected to grow at a CAGR of 40% by 2014, from an estimated $66.7 million in 2009. The technology is going to be driven by cost and performance, hence it will be a hot pitch for the Indian SMEs.

According to IDC’s  India Cloud Computing Market: Current State and Future Roadmap Study 2010, the Indian public cloud computing market was estimated to be $66.7 million in 2009.
Cloud computing is an internet-based facility to share technological resources, software and digital information. This technological methodology can save a lot of infrastructure cost and pay-as-you-use model can also be offered through the cloud computing solutions. The above mentioned utilities can help small and mid-sized companies to bring down their operational costs.

In the backdrop of the global economic slowdown, cloud computing has gained wide interest. IDC India lead analyst (software and services research), Kamal Vohra stated, “The most attractive feature of this new technology is the prospect of converting large, upfront capital investments in IT infrastructure into smaller, manageable ‘pay-per-use´ annuity payments.”

This feature has sparked a high degree of interest and debate among technology vendors, users and channel partners alike, he added.

The study mapped the current adoption levels and preferences of Indian enterprises based on interviews with nearly 700 medium and large enterprises.

The study noted that since cloud computing is at a nascent stage, there is an issue of lack of awareness, which affects the overall adoption of cloud computing in India.
“A significant segment of the market is aware of the concept, but do not really understand what it actually means or how it can benefit them,” IDC India lead analyst (user research) Indranil Dutta said.

As the market matures and more industry vertical specific applications become available, we expect that more and more Indian enterprises to see the benefit of adopting cloud computing. The study clearly authenticates that cloud computing technology makes a promising factor mid sized business segment.
Relevance of Cloud for SMBs.

Most IT solution providers and system integrators across the country are seeing increasing demand for cloud computing solutions from enterprise customers and are not very bullish in their outlook for the SMB segment. But there are few believers in the IT business community who consider that cloud based solutions are not far away from the SMBs.

Elaborating about cloud computing solutions, Devendra Taneja, Managing Director of PC Solutions says, "There are two types of cloud services, private and public cloud. The former normally deals with large enterprises at one location and the other is more useful for a company with multi-geographic locations. Cloud here in this country is definitely a buzzword but there is still time left before we see a mass shift of companies to the cloud environment. In India, I feel private cloud will gain more momentum than public cloud.”

However, cloud computing is gaining good amount of momentum from the Indian market. There are some partners who believe that SMBs are ready for cloud environment already. Ranjan Chopra managing director of Delhi based Team Computers is one of them. "I feel SMBs are ready to be on cloud right away as it makes perfect commercial sense. Currently, we are seeing both enterprises and SMBs adopting cloud because of lower costs per transaction. I think the key factors which will drive growth especially in the SMB sector would be lower costs and innovation and lower risks," Chopra said.

"As far as cost saving on cloud is concerned, I think the delivery costs are much lower. In my view, in the coming year, about 20 percent of the infrastructure business will move to cloud and this will only pick in the times to come. In fact, for most new businesses which will be set up in the future, cloud makes a lot of sense," added Chopra.

Moreover, most of the industry experts also feel that in the coming years everything would be on cloud and they foresee good growth potential from cloud solutions. For instance, Microsoft has started offering e-mail on the cloud at a fee of Rs 100. Similarly Microsoft BPOS which is essentially MS Exchange is also offered on the cloud.

Cloud computing is undoubtedly the new era of computing and it is here to stay for at least for the next 10 years. Notwithstanding, cloud computing has been touted as the next big thing and by all means it is, but as far as the Indian market is concerned while there is a lot of hype and interest generated around this technology the ground realities reflect a more sobering truth: that SMBs in India are still some way off from shifting to the cloud in a big way and that the initial vendor push is more oriented to the enterprise customer.

With better infrastructure coming into reality, technology trends like 3G and affordability of technology is becoming live, the stage is getting set for newer technologies like cloud computing. Lets look forward to have Indian SMEs better than the rest, Indian SMEs getting the best possible infrastructure so that they can grow in best way possible


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