Cloud computing is a significant innovation that has transformed the information technology sector. With the advent of cloud computing, accessibility, storage and portability of data has undergone a major shift. The cloud computing market in India is growing at a tremendous rate and it is predicted that the growth rate will continue in the future as well.
Potential of Cloud Computing in India
Cloud computing is believed to be the next big thing in the Indian information technology landscape. India is a global leader in IT services. But the country has always faced issues related to infrastructure. The arrival of cloud computing in India has opened up ways to reduce expenditure related to expensive hardware and software needed for data storage and maintenance. This has created excellent potential for cloud computing in India.
According to a recent report released by Gartner, the cloud market in India is predicted to reach over USD 3 billion by 2016. This figure indicates there will be an almost five-fold increase in the cloud market as compared to its value in 2012.
Sectors that can benefit from Cloud Computing in India
The adoption of cloud computing and its applications can have significant impact on all segments of Indian economy. A few of the public sectors have already adopted cloud computing and are ready to derive its benefit with the changing times. Some of the major segments that can benefit from cloud computing are:
E-governance Segment: E-governance in India can derive much benefit from cloud computing. E-governance requires gigantic storage space to save all the data. With cloud computing the cost and need of storage space can be reduced.
One of the first states in India to initiate on the path of cloud computing is the state government of Jammu & Kashmir. It has adopted cloud computing for e-governance services like ration cards, certificates of birth and death, recruitment services, etc. The Jammu & Kashmir state government was able to implement these services within a short time period of 60 days and at a very low cost. Such adoptions indicate that cloud computing holds high potential for the e-governance sector.
Education Segment: The education segment comprising of schools, colleges and universities can adopt cloud computing to reduce their burden on expensive hardware.
The Delhi Public School has taken to cloud computing in order to improve the communication between parents, teachers and school authorities. The school uses Microsoft’s Live@edu service for its messaging solutions to reach out to its huge base of parents and communicate in a faster manner. The process is very cost effective as well.
ITES Segment: Information Technology Enabled Services is another segment where cloud computing services play a major role.
India leads as the global ITES provider. Call centres in India derive tremendous benefit from cloud computing. The cloud based services enable the reduction of costs and fasten up services. The continued dominance of India in the ITES sector means cloud computing will become an essential part of this segment.
Challenges of Cloud Computing in India
Though cloud computing is a revolutionary concept, it faces some challenges for adoption in India. The main factors that provide a challenge to cloud computing in this country are:
Infrastructure: Cloud computing is a completely web-based service. India is a country where internet connectivity is still not available in all the areas. Even where it is available, the speed of connectivity is sometimes not good enough for smooth functioning. The availability of good internet connectivity is a major challenge for adoption of cloud computing in India.
Security: Privacy of data on the cloud is a serious issue for adoption of cloud computing. Established cloud service providers claim that they provide complete security of data due to their sophisticated data security systems. For small businesses that cannot afford to implement their own servers, cloud computing is a way to keep their data secure under established cloud service providers. It is essential for users to verify the security claims of the cloud service providers before they take to cloud computing.
Expense: One of the major factors to consider is the expense of cloud computing service as compared to general application based service. Before one shifts to cloud computing, one must verify whether an installed application provides the same features as cloud computing and which of the two costs less.
Lack of flexibility: Many cloud computing vendors have their specific formats. Before opting for a cloud application users must ensure that the services provided suit their business requirements. There should be enough flexibility for addition or subtraction of cloud computing users depending on the expansion and growth of business.
Lack of Legal Framework: Lack of legal framework in case of cloud computing is a major challenge for users who want to adopt cloud computing in India. If any cloud service provider loses or leaks data of clients, then there is no strong legal framework to make the service provider responsible for the act. This can be a hurdle for organizations or management who want to adopt cloud computing.
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