Why Indian Businesses Should Embrace Cloud Computing!
Historically Indian businesses have lagged behind western counterparts in terms of technology usage. A primary reason for this has been the businesses inherent preference for manpower over technology considering costs. While this may have been partly true earlier, it is definitely no longer the case. With the proliferation of the cloud, easy-to-use smartphones, and the internet, technology costs have dipped significantly while manpower costs have steadily risen. High time therefore for Indian businesses to go digital, and win in the Indian market.
Before we jump into the benefits and associated costs of the cloud-and-mobile set, it would do well to understand what cloud computing really is. Simplistically, a cloud system is a remote system which provides space to store data and the ability to compute on it (very similar to web hosting systems, remote mainframes and large computer systems of yesteryears, but far more flexible and powerful). These remote "cloud" systems are accessible anywhere & anytime the internet is available, and can be upgraded/downgraded as and when required. These systems also have the ability to connect to a variety of devices and applications thereby allowing reuse of existing systems.
These systems are extremely relevant for the Indian business ecosystem as:
a. Cloud systems do not require huge upfront investments that are usually associated with IT systems. Businesses can mostly pay only for what they consume. Public cloud systems with DevOps outsourced can reduce existing DevOps cost significantly as well.
b. With smartphone integrations, costs go down further and adoption better. Field employees, partners who had never been connected because of the higher costs of laptops and desktops can now easily be connected via their mobiles
c. Contrary to popular belief, software systems running on the cloud are far more secure. Folks tend to think that IT systems on remote systems would be less secure as they are publicly accessible. Contrarily they are amongst the most secure as cloud-hosts upgrade systems frequently (which often times are overlooked on local machines/systems)
d. Cloud systems are extremely flexible i.e they can consume more computing power when required and reduce consumption when the needs falls. Overall costs are thereby reduced significantly (One does not need to buy a 1TB RAM machine if it is needed only once or twice a year)
e. Most cloud systems now come with built-in data analytics which provides awesome insights into all your historical data. Knowledge sure is powerful and important!
f. Last but never the least is data safety and reliability. Cloud hosts can provide data storage (backups) and retrieval at extremely low costs (arising from economies of scale). Data can again be stored in a variety of locations to ensure that data is never lost and systems are always up and available.
Cloud systems are particularly relevant for Indian businesses with multi-level supply chains as these systems provide the much necessary last mile connectivity. Increased collaboration with salesmen as well as Channel partners effectively reduces bottlenecks, inappropriate supplies, and more such prevalent issues.The benefits of the cloud-and-mobile set far outweigh their costs today, Indian businesses should, therefore, embrace technology and go digital before the competition does (and with the internet, the whole wide world is the competition).