One of the most radical IT solutions - cloud computing is growing at a fast pace in India. However, doubts and challenges should be immediately addressedPrerna Raturi / January 25, 2012, 0:59 IST
Most times, you won’t even know it’s there. But then, that is the beauty of cloud computing – you just concentrate on your core competency and stop worrying about the operating system, the traffic your IT system or website faces or about resources lying waste. This is especially true for a place and market such as India, where the IT literacy is low, but growing. How companies will manage to leverage the numbers to their advantage is the question. Not just that, start-ups and smaller companies also stand to gain through cloud computing since it helps them do away with a significant amount of investments on IT infrastructure and resources.
The IT industry itself is slated to grow to $225 billion by 2020. Industry figures predictthat digital information in India will grow from 40,000 petabytes to 2.3 million petabytes by the end of the decade, which is actually more than double the worldwide rate! A McKinsey estimate states that data will grow no less than 44 times between 2009 and 2020!To accommodate data of this magnitude, experts advise companies to look beyond servers and in-house storage systems. At the same time, there need to be enough resources to accommodate the surge in data. Mavericks, on the other hand, throw the question back, saying there is no predicting how and when the data surge happens and holding back resources for additional data is only locking up capital that could have been used elsewhere. A study by Nasscom and Deloitte speculates the Indian cloud computing market to teach $16 billion by 2020. In 2010, a report by consulting firm Zinnov Management Consulting estimated that the cloud computing market will touch $4.5 billion by 2015.
The report pegs the current cloud computing market at more than $110 million. Of this, $66 million is the SaaS (software as a service), while the other $44 million is made of PaaS (platform as a service) and IaaS (infrastructure as a service). The report predicts that by 2015, the Indian cloud computing market will reach $1 billion, with SaaS making for $650 million. Experts point out that apps such as CRM and ERP are greatly popular, as are Google apps. The Zinnov report also outlines the sectors where the IT service will be used extensively – banking and financial sectors, government, manufacturing and telecom. Cloud computing takes on a more important role in today’s times when the world has gone through a gloomy phase of recession. Most companies have wizened up and better understand the growing importance of rationalising their costs and keeping the capital flowing.
While universities such as Manipal use cloud computing for online admission and announcements of results, sports channels such as ESPN used it to stream the T20 World Cup to millions over their laptops or mobile phones. Stock broking companies such as India Infoline use it to share data with their clients, while several prominent advertising agencies use the cloud technology for online campaigns. After being wounded sore by crashing due to a surge in traffic, websites are looking at moving to the cloud space. There are companies that are completely on cloud computing when it comes to communicating with their offices all over the world.
But it’s no cakewalk either, as there are a number of challenges standing in the way for the concept to reach its optimal expectation. For instance, the Indian government and sceptics in the sector are still wary of the trend and cite security issues and various transactional and service level issues as major concerns. Insufficient development of apps as well as lack of enough study on the returns on investment in cloud computing are coming in the way of sceptics turning believers. To include these sceptics into the circle, stakeholders need to not only have open-ended discussions about drivers and challenges in the sector, but also look at how problems can be ironed out for a platform that seem to a perfect solution for the burgeoning data, apps and services times we live in.