Thursday, November 30, 2023

Cloud computing technology implementation in India and its future


By Gurprit Singh

Gone are the days when physical hard discs or storage devices used to be our favourite. Cloud computing technology or virtual storage has replaced physical storage. Cloud computing technology is evidently capable of making things smooth, efficient and transparent across different applications, be it domestic or industrial, small-scale or large-scale.

A study from Gartner says, by the end of 2021, the end-user spending on the public cloud services in India will reach a total valuation of US$4.4 billion. It has grown 31.4% since last year. Of course, the Covid-19 pandemic, with lockdowns and social distancing has driven traditional and conventional sectors like education, healthcare and manufacturing towards faster cloud adoption to ensure business continuity. Other factors that contributed to the growth of cloud computing are high availability, scalability, flexibility, cost-reduction, disaster recovery and providing an appropriate platform for innovation which is key for establishing a competitive edge. In fact, the cloud infrastructure market during the pandemic grew rapidly. 

Cloud computing delivers computing services that include server, software, storage, networking and analytics, over the internet. Besides providing cost optimization and other mentioned advantages, the cloud enables faster adoption of new-age emerging technologies such as AI/ML, IoT, Big Data and Analytics, Robotics, Blockchain, among others.

The government’s mission-critical projects rest on the cloud

India certainly is ambitious in the implementation of digital technology. The country has proved its digital capabilities by successfully launching large-scale projects like Aadhaar, Arogya Setu, Swachh Bharat Mission among others. The Co-WIN portal for Covid-19 vaccination has proved to be successful too with minor technical glitches. Digilocker is another project for managing critical lifelong documents of citizens. All these would not have been possible without cloud technology.

The Indian government has undertaken other initiatives to drive cloud services, such as several e-governance portals, Digital India and Meghraj (Cloud computing) Programs, besides investing in National Optical Fibre Network. Government e-marketplace initiative leverages multi-cloud architecture for scalability. The National Digital Communications Policy 2018 aims to establish India as a global hub for cloud computing.

India Inc. is expanding its cloud adoption and working towards managing the complexities related to it.

The government of India’s premier policy think tank, Niti Aayog has partnered with AWS and announced the launch of Frontier Technologies Cloud Innovation Centre, which runs on a PPP model to solve several societal challenges by leveraging digital technologies.

Furthermore, the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology is enabling different government departments to build their respective cloud development architecture and benefit from its advantages. Government departments and PSU banks are leveraging the cloud for the remote working of employees as it has become a reality.

Various state governments are optimising cloud with other technologies for Smart Cities Projects, civic utilities and citizen services.

Cloud facilitates new business models while delivering enormous business opportunities

India Inc. is expanding its cloud adoption and working towards managing the complexities related to it. Main drivers for this development include speeding up innovation, cost-optimisation, facilitating effective communication with employees, business partners and customers to ensure better employee engagement and business outcomes. The pandemic is accelerating the speed and scale of leveraging cloud services too.

Cloud adoption is today an integral part of the business strategy across all industries as it builds business resilience as well as addresses unexpected disruptions too. Cloud security should be at the core of building a cloud strategy across organisations.

Indian pharmaceutical industry, the largest producer of generic drugs globally, has witnessed a paradigm shift by leveraging cloud computing.

An HBR Analytics Report on organisations survey regarding cloud adoption reveals that 83% of respondents agree cloud is extremely important for their future strategy and growth. 69% said that 60% or more of their organisation’s infrastructure and applications will be in the cloud in 2 years. This aspect of cloud adoption is no different across businesses in India too.

IT/ITeS organisations were quick to leverage the cloud for seamless remote working. Retail, healthcare, education, BFSI, telecom, manufacturing, pharma and others adopted cloud for several business functions too.

Significant transformation with cloud across industries

Digital transformation enabled by the cloud has brought several benefits to retail banking services. Growth in online transactions has been unprecedented. The e-commerce sector with online shopping has driven digital and contactless payments and enhanced customer experience. Healthcare consultations grew significantly with the onset of the pandemic and this mode is here to stay.

In the manufacturing industry, the cloud is the key aspect for smart manufacturing or Industry 4.0. Cloud, along with AI, ML, Big data and analytics, IoT, Robotics are creating Smart Factories. Higher efficiencies in processes, increase in throughput, reduction in time and manpower costs, besides wastage decrease are only a few of the several advantages that are delivered. Cloud has enabled manufacturers to redefine processes and business models along with intelligently leveraging data for a better customer experience.

Indian pharmaceutical industry, the largest producer of generic drugs globally, has also witnessed a paradigm shift by leveraging cloud computing, with more pharma companies, large enterprises and SMEs, embracing cloud like never before in India. Cloud Services is being leveraged for drug discovery and development, conducting clinical trials as a collaboration between researchers with patients and healthy individuals are effortlessly done across geographies. With the automation of several business processes, operational efficiencies have improved significantly.

Thanks to fintech, cashless payments are increasing steadily with the help of cloud computing technology and compliance is expected to grow too.

Other sectors, like the Gaming market in India, are poised for exponential growth. According to a recent KPMG report, the total Indian gaming market is expected to grow 113% from US$1.83 billion in 2021 to US$3.91 billion in 2025. Cloud gaming services will gain traction as games opt for a seamless play experience between platforms and devices from anywhere as the need to invest in resources and hardware gets eliminated. This may further drive the adoption of 5G technology too.

Thanks to fintech, cashless payments are increasing steadily with the help of cloud computing technology and compliance is expected to grow too. This aspect will support the global expansion of Payment Banks, Financial Institutions and NBFCs.

Cloud computing powers cloud-based solutions with security, scalability and remote maintenance. They are cost-effective too, by reducing time-to-market with production lifecycle continuity and ensuring high performance at all times. Furthermore, financial institutions are adopting cloud-native technology across trading platforms or mobile applications, where much of the innovation takes place. Cloud will no doubt underpin banking technology stacks for ensuring efficiency and other capabilities it offers.

Cloud computing is already on track to revolutionise business processes and systems across industries driving faster growth, with a significant contribution to the Indian economy.

Cloud computing is already on track to revolutionise business processes and systems across industries driving faster growth, with a significant contribution to the Indian economy. To achieve the title of ‘global hub for cloud computing’ India must have the right ecosystem to deliver results. 

Developing skilled talent, enhancing innovation capabilities, implementing favourable government policies and building a robust cloud strategy are key aspects to achieve the government’s vision. The industry and government building awareness about the cloud technology and benefits by sharing business use cases will lead to further growth of the cloud services.

Appropriate training programs will support the talent building exercise, without which business operations will become crippled. Centres of excellence should be built to enable innovation to deliver advanced, cutting-edge solutions. Last but not the least, only timely and effective implementation of cloud services leads to achieving successful outcomes, both in the government and private sectors.

Also Read: Is India really ready for the 5G rollout?

(Gurprit Singh is Co-Founder and Managing Partner at Umbrella Infocare.)

(Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the author’s and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of Unless otherwise noted, the author is writing in his/her personal capacity. They are not intended and should not be thought to represent official ideas, attitudes, or policies of any agency or institution.)


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