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Choose Quality Dedicated Hosting for Healthcare Industry

Healthcare is vital. It is sad though, that many are deprived of it in our country. A formidable industry, healthcare is dependent on technology for its day to day operations. Today, with groundbreaking innovations in modern techniques and procedures for treatment, as well as breakthroughs in modern medicine, technology and healthcare have amalgamated in a way that is bound to shape healthcare in the future.

It is easy, however, to overlook the underlying infrastructure. Healthcare professionals sometimes fail to realize that they can significantly improve the quality of healthcare by way of leveraging robust, dependable and scalable EMR systems.

The explosive growth in medical data, calls for the requirement of a robust infrastructure that can properly support this growth. It is advisable to outsource data centre operations to a provider. This helps reduce costs, improves productivity, and initiate holistic growth.

Why does healthcare industry require Quality Dedicated Hosting Service? The below points enumerate exactly why

  1. Customisation:- Dedicated servers allow you to use your choice of software. Instal any core software and any base software. When you know which softwares to instal, you begin to optimize the server usage. This is important in healthcare because servers are key to keeping important data safeguarded.
  2. Security:- There is no sharing server, so no spam websites that instal malicious scripts can sneak into your server. As an administrator, you can instal security softwares, firewalls, anti-spyware, etc. In healthcare, security is paramount. Important information w.r.t. prescription drugs as well as patient information is stored.
  3. Varied Features:- Free Unique Web addresses, premium control panels, spam reduction, e-commerce enabling, these are just some of the features that Dedicated Hosting Services offer. In healthcare, it is vital to have complete control, as well as proper protection against hackers and malware.

When it comes to Dedicated Hosting Services for healthcare in India, CtrlS provides the most comprehensive package. Choose from between power dedicated servers, value servers, mass storage servers, etc, with their own different cores, tailor-made to suit various kinds of applications. Migrating to the cloud has never been easier! Now, the server can be instaled and made operational without any problems. Plus you get zero downtime. A dedicated server can take your website to a whole new level.

As a player in the healthcare industry it is paramount that your data and information remains secure and safeguarded against threats. Which is why, CtrlS, a certified Tier-4 Datacenter, with 99.9995% Uptime, guarantees safety of your important information. Hardware is top notch, from HP and Dell. No stone is left unturned. Which is why major healthcare players depend on us for their Dedicated Hosting Services. 24X7 support means each of your query is answered, including doubts on what configuration is best for your enterprise!

Cloud Migration Mantras

Almost all type of organizations worldwide are adopting cloud computing models for its numerous benefits, but migrating existing applications and data to a cloud platform is filled with challenges. Cloud migrations and deployment can be made easy provided the organization has done adequate plans for action to work out the various tasks during a migration exercise. In this post we explore a number of significant points to consider while moving internal IT systems to a cloud.

The transfer of legacy systems or the migration of existing applications from internal systems to the cloud may sound easy, but not always as easy as it appears.  Though cloud models offer numerous configurations to easily integrate most of the software systems and applications, the IT department and management have a major role to play in a changed virtualized environment. Management along with IT should ensure that the migration is efficient, effective and business operations are not disrupted. This is because organizations may fail to understand the service provider’s true capabilities, or the approach to integrate business processes prior to migration may be inadequately planned.

Organizations normally decide for cloud service models to overcome challenges in

  • Executing business objectives more effectively, solving constraints in information flows
  • Ensuring service availability and superior performance
  • Managing and usage of latest technology and architectures

Migrating existing legacy applications and existing software to the cloud requires lot of preparation. Without a plan or a comprehensive assessment of existing internal IT assets, cloud computing benefits would be hard to realize. A successful migration plan will have the options for:

  • Transferring or shifting the applications in as is condition
  • Use migration as an opportunity to upgrade – make full use of new versions of the application technology stack
  • Extending the functionalities of applications to fulfill business needs. Here the deployment architecture is adjusted to increase the application’s resilience, performance, etc.
  • Replacing the existing software with an alternative implementation or it may be redeveloped
  • The existing application could be obsolete and need not be moved to the cloud

Cloud Migration
Therefore, migrating existing systems to the cloud can be summed up as a three step process: Preparedness, Migration and Switchover. During migration, the software and data from a recent backup is implemented in the cloud platform and verified thoroughly to ensure the systems work properly in the new environment.  In order to realize full benefits of clouds, given below are a list of mantras for migration, which can also be considered as a checklist for smooth sailing on clouds.

  1. Constitute an experienced project management team to document business requirements on the cloud and a desired timetable for deliverables.
  2. The existing business model should fit for the cloud.
  3. Assess existing applications and the capacity demands along with costs. Make sure to document all assessments and plans.
  4. Make plans to handle vulnerabilities in a multi-tenancy architecture environment. Data safety is highly critical.
  5. Prepare adequate protection plans and have mechanisms to meet compliance regulations.
  6. Ensure the cloud requirement plans are approved and reviewed by all stakeholders, management, IT and business investors.
  7. Prior to migration, have a recent backup of all applications and data. This is again highly critical.
  8. Develop performance benchmarks to compare performance of applications after migration.
  9. Understand all SLAs fully to know the cloud provider services and responsibilities and make procedures to track and verify usage when systems become fully operational on the cloud.
  10. Check for standards, disaster recovery, security, privacy and the ability for scalability with the provider.
  11. Prepare a test plan for verifying the software and data are functioning correctly and have a fallback plan to handle exceptions.
  12. Document all changes and ensure migration will benefit the organization with the envisaged ROI.
  13. Complete a full backup of all existing applications, data, web content and all important data.
  14. Disable existing tasks on the server during migration. This done in order to perform the movement of application programs from physical to virtual (P2V) environment.
  15. Migrate databases and data from existing system to cloud platform.
  16. Migrate all web content to the cloud platform from the existing systems.
  17. Perform testing to confirm migrated data and applications are working correctly. Verify and confirm all data.
  18. Check whether users are able to access web pages, data and other applications through the internet. Make sure the web pages, data and applications are reachable by users.
  19. Ensure full security, controls and compliance is in place during and after migration. Verify and define appropriate SLAs.
  20. Perform a reliability test on the cloud platform to ensure business processes are working correctly and decommission the existing system after a certain period.
  21. Prepare an orientation program to help internal staff to understand cloud services and migration and if required help them understand how they can easily provision services.
  22. Create a new customer support model in the changed scenario. Ensure the focus is on competencies and not on infrastructure management.
  23. Define new reporting structure or templates, frequency, etc. for monitoring business processes if required.
  24. Discuss specific changes and address concerns immediately with all stakeholders and business partners. If required, hold regular meetings to make sure everything is working correctly in the cloud.
  25. Monitor the performance of web and applications on the cloud and compare it with initial baseline. If required, develop new performance monitoring plans for the new environment.
  26. Nominate a focal point or establish a team for all cloud related operations – handling incident response procedures, track resources, cost, SLAs, and so on.

In summary, the above mantras for cloud migration are intended to significantly minimize much of the bottlenecks and challenges faced by organizations planning for a cloud implementation. The only method is to comprehensively evaluate organization’s business and IT objectives along with readiness in order to realize full benefits from cloud deployments.

Cloud Adoption in India

India is currently witnessing substantial expansion in terms of internet users, mobile device and application usage and business growth. As the demand for IT service delivery increases organizations in order to cope with demands look towards cloud service delivery models mainly for their agility, cost savings and to avoid risks. These advantages are influencing many organizations across industries in India to adopt cloud computing services in a big way. According to TechSci research, cloud services adoption market in India is estimated to grow at CAGR of 22% till 2020.

Cloud computing services are available to all types of organizations either big or small and provide immense potential to be a game changer in business. The infrastructure can be fully outsourced and eliminates the need for an expensive internal IT infrastructure which is one significant capital savings for the company.

CIOs in India are using cloud services for more strategic reasons like collaboration solutions, disaster recovery, supply chain management, offsite storage, etc. Cloud based IaaS services and public clouds are more favored in India compared to other service delivery models.

According to GrowthPraxis research, IaaS will witness higher adoption rates in India and this market is set to grow at over 40% from 2015. Enterprises in Healthcare, ICT, government, education and manufacturing are expected to be major cloud adopters in the years to come. Forrester predicts the SaaS market value in India will be worth over $1.2 billion by 2020.

Here are a few main business drivers influencing cloud adoption in Indian markets,

  • Indian companies look for cost-effective IT solutions, business agility and scalability in their business and IT operations, clouds offer immense promise in these areas.
  • By adopting cloud service models, CIOs have the ability to produce quick results and good return of investment.
  • Clouds can overcome delays in time to market for quick ROI and help enterprises to reduce their capital expenditure.
  • IT departments benefit by way of Infrastructure consolidation – desktop, server virtualization and IT consolidation.
  • Cloud services offer enterprise e-mail applications, productivity tools, collaboration tools and storage facilities and many more.
  • Clouds offer high levels of security. Most enterprises face the challenge of security, privacy and data protection. Cloud deployment models help in overcoming most of these issues.
  • Enterprises can find easy answers for interoperability, enterprise mobility, availability and scalability through cloud adoption.
  • Cloud systems due to their efficiency and agility offer responsive customer interactions to ensure customer satisfaction.
  • Business companies are able to leverage various public data sources on the internet for forecasting, analytics and business intelligence.
  • Clouds offer all compute, storage and network resources needed for big data analytics and BI.

Cloud adoption in Indian markets shows a lot of promise for cloud vendors and service providers. For instance, manufacturing and technology services lead in cloud implementations followed by healthcare, financial services and so on. In addition to this trend, Government of India (GOI) is investing in cloud service to offer e-services to citizens using web portal. This initiative by GOI is to optimize technology spending by government departments.

According to one cloud adoption survey by Gartner in 2015, 61% of respondents from India are already using cloud services in their operations and another 33% of Indian companies plan to implement clouds by end of 2015.

Cloud usage and adoption patterns in India show that small and medium businesses in India are slow in cloud adoption. This is because many Indian SMEs are owned and run by individual owners who are complacent with their existing IT, or are unaware of the advantages of cloud service models in business expansion and growth. SMBs may seek help of experienced cloud solution providers or advisory firms to design appropriate cloud strategy road map to align their business with IT. However with large enterprises and organizations, cloud adoption in India looks highly promising as CIOs are aware that cloud services provide the headlights for business growth and innovation.

With emerging technologies such as mobility, analytics, IoT and so on, many enterprises are deploying new applications on the cloud. According to Ernest & Young estimates, 80% of new applications worldwide will be deployed on the cloud and spending on big data analytics solutions is likely to grow three times faster through 2019 as compared to internal solutions. Gartner also predicts that cloud adoption in India will continue through 2019 and the market is expected to reach $1.9 billion. These trends along with convergence of the cloud with new technologies will certainly foster digital transformation and make sense for Indian enterprises in the years to come.

Cloud Adoption Strategies (Public, Private, Hybrid)

We are witnessing a scenario where cloud computing models are proving to be game changers across industries and IT organizations. Organizations globally are already moving towards the cloud and adopting cloud services in one form or the other for their operations. Though adopting clouds may sound easy, it requires careful planning and comprehensive migration strategies because the organization may undergo significant changes in their normal operations.

During the last decade, cloud computing were viewed as infrastructure services on the internet which offered software delivery as a service. During these years clouds have evolved to become mainstream business enabler with substantial business sense for companies. Cloud computing platforms are available as a variety of IT services, mostly as three main service delivery and deployment models. Industry experts indicate the reasons for cloud adoption to a certain set of most straightforward business drivers that include,

  • Costs are optimized: Businesses look for optimizing costs as business grows and expands there is an increased utilization of resources and need for more hardware. Cloud models optimize costs by allowing organizations to hire services and resources which incur only operational expenses. The need for purchase of new hardware and infrastructure is fully eliminated which is a saving on capital cost. Further the cloud infrastructure is managed and maintained by the data center or cloud service provider which reduces the need for IT personnel.
  • Enhanced agility: Clouds due to the method of elasticity can quickly scale up or scale down resources based on usage and workloads. For example, online retailers normally experience heavy usage of applications and network during festive seasons. Cloud models can efficiently handle sudden spikes in workloads without disruptions or breakdown.
  • Improved cash flow management: Organizations face significant expenses in internal IT operations which are due to software licenses, storage, servers, communication costs, etc. In clouds capital costs are reduced into monthly rental cost for subscriptions, this improves cash flow management in the organization.

Cloud Adoption Strategies

The adoption by a variety of industries is largely driven by these business drivers, but cloud adoption is not just using the technology, rather adoption is a journey with extensive planning and strategies. First, a quick brief on how cloud models are used will help in understanding the strategies required for adopting the appropriate model for the business.

Service Delivery and Deployment Models in Clouds

Clouds have two main service delivery models: Private Cloud and Public Cloud. The third delivery model is a combination of private and public clouds and is called the Hybrid cloud.

  • Private cloud services are owned and used by a company internally. For example, private clouds can be found in large enterprises where data, applications, storage and servers are centralized. Private clouds can also be hired from data centers.
  • Public clouds are owned and provided by a third party or provider for use by external companies. For example, Google offers public cloud services in the form of email, storage, etc.
  • Hybrid clouds are a combination of private and public clouds. A hybrid cloud will combine certain public cloud services with the internal or private cloud. For example, data and applications can be private, but the network and communication services can be external (For example, a VPN on the internet).

All of us are aware of three main cloud service delivery models,

  • IaaS: Provides the infrastructure for cloud services. Networks, servers, compute resources, data center, virtual fabrics, etc.
  • PaaS: Provides the operating platform for cloud services, also known as middleware. OS, software development tools, databases, Java TM runtime, Web 2.0, HMTL5, and many other platforms are available in PaaS.
  • SaaS: Offers all application instances for the cloud. Popular applications are ERP, CRM, E-mail, collaboration tools, etc.

Adoption Strategies
Cloud adoption strategies take into account specific business goals, best practices, cloud standards for current and future use by a company. A basic adoption strategy for any type of cloud model will consist of a series of steps that includes Assessment, Planning, Migration and Optimization.
From the perspective of business the adoption strategies to consider for Private, Public and Hybrid clouds are explored and summarized in the table.

Private Public Hybrid
  • Applications are developed only for internal use
  • Application usage patterns are predictable and require low storage
  • Private clouds can be configured to support any application
  • Certain features in legacy applications can be protected. These applications may not work well in public clouds.
  • On-premise infrastructure with virtualization layer in the data center or a dedicated infrastructure
  • Security levels are high
  • Can also be hosted from a data center.
  • Compliance standards are fully ensured
  • Capital costs are high
  • Offers a cloud infrastructure (IaaS) for companies looking to reduce hardware costs
  • Cost-effective solutions for long term storage
  • Enterprises looking for a managed services provider can consider public clouds
  • Data centers maintain all managed services (web servers, application servers, load balancing and other infrastructure).
  • Offers good load testing environment for developers
  • Security is low, low data protection
  • Compliance is not a priority
  • No capital costs. Operational expenses only.
  • Used in scenarios where applications are supported well in both private and public clouds
  • Best suited for customer service interactions
  • Hybrid clouds are attractive for organizations looking for flexibility and scalability
  • Legacy applications and data can be stored in private clouds, whereas networks can be used on a public cloud
  • Security is an issue. Companies must have adequate security planning to protect internal data.
  • Data centers offer a wide variety of hybrid architectures, solutions.
  • Compliance is ensured through SLAs
  • Cost will include both capital and operational expenses

All cloud computing systems and services offer common benefits like elasticity, availability, scalability, and so on. Prior to adopting cloud services, organizations need to assess, plan and develop comprehensive cloud adoption strategies because each service model is different. Developing a well planned strategy will help organizations to deploy the most suitable model to optimize their business operations.

Cloud and the role of SLA

As cloud computing is taking center stage for different IT enabled business enterprises it is highly essential to define policies, procedures and service level agreements (SLA) in order to maximize the value of cloud for both the consumer and the service provider. SLA statements written must be measurable, achievable, relevant and timely and should remain specific for cloud services aimed at minimizing ambiguities for both the cloud consumer and the cloud service providers.

The cloud service models (IaaS, PaaS, SaaS, etc.) offer new paradigms of computing resources and IT enabled capabilities for all types of organizations. IT industry experts claim that over 80% of enterprises have adopted some cloud service in their organization. The key term ‘service’ in cloud computing creates the need to develop contracts named service level agreements (SLA) between the client organization and the cloud service provider (CSP). SLAs are used by companies for a long time, especially when the company hires third party service provider to manage some of their business operations. SLAs will ensure the consumer receives all the services availed as agreed by the provider and of course ensure money’s worth for the client.

Likewise, an organization deciding to hire cloud services for their IT needs, SLAs come into play to make sure the services offered by the CSP are delivered as promised. SLA has become a pre-requisite due to cloud business strategy and provides series of rules and directives that must be taken by cloud consumers to evaluate and negotiate terms with CSP. It describes a set of non-functional requirements of cloud services. An example of SLA can be the return of operations (RTO) in case of any service failure in the cloud.

Cloud SLA is imperative for compelling reasons,

  • Ensure availability and uptime
  • Specific performance benchmarks to compare actual cloud performance
  • Availability of usage statistics for the consumer
  • Informing scheduled changes to consumers in advance (eg., maintenance downtimes)
  • Help desk and support to resolve specific issues
  • To clarify the scope of resources used in cloud service of interest

SLAs are the means of documenting cloud services between the CSP and consumer and play a major role for the following reasons:

    • Roles and Responsibilities: Consumers must understand the roles and responsibilities and business relationships between them and the CSP. For example, an indirect actor namely cloud carrier is an entity providing the carrier or transport for cloud services between CSP the consumer. In this scenario, the SLA must cover provisioning of alternative carrier in case of non-availability our outage with one carrier. According to NIST (National Institute of Standards and Technology) reference architecture, the actors involved in cloud are: Consumer, CSP, Auditor, Broker and Carrier, with unique roles. Cloud consumers must recognize and understand the activities and roles of each entity or service in the cloud as explained by CSP including their own set of responsibilities.
    • Examine Business Level Policies: Business level SLAs would define Guarantees provided by the CSP (for example, guarantees will include 99.99% uptime, measurable performance and usage, etc.). Acceptable use policy is a business level SLA statement where the CSP describes how the service should be used, List of services not covered and Excess usage. Normally, the CSP will encourage the consumer to buy resources that is only required for their business. Other policies will include Payment and penalty models, Activation, Renewals, Transferability, Sub-contracted services, Licensed Software, Industry specific standards and Support.
    • Data Level Policies: Data level policies are critical in SLA. Here CSP will explain on how the consumer’s data is governed and protected in local jurisdiction or other locations where the data will reside or made available. Consumers must carefully evaluate legal requirements on how SLA will handle issues related to movement of data to offer multi-site storage in different jurisdictions for redundancy. The other critical SLAs in data level policies include, Data Preservation – backup, restore, redundancy, etc.; Data Locations – will verify data locations for consumers; Data Privacy – defines how consumer data is secured and used; Data Seizure – in some circumstances the data can be seized by government agencies, etc. Therefore, data level policies in SLA are the most critical policies which must be evaluated thoroughly by consumers.
    • Service and Deployment Model Differences: Service models are categorized as IaaS, PaaS and SaaS. The service models in cloud are unique in terms of service delivery and are defined with unique SLAs. Likewise cloud deployment models are private, public and hybrid clouds which have a unique set of SLAs. According to Cloud Standards Customer Council (CSCC), consumers should understand the nuances of service and deployment models and their corresponding SLAs because their value and risk varies significantly.
    • Describe Objectives for Critical Performance: SLA in performance objective relates to efficiency, accuracy and service delivery. Performance statements in the SLA will help consumers to measure and audit different aspects on cloud performance. Performance metrics are dependent for each service IaaS, PaaS and SaaS. For example, performance considerations for IaaS will include network and compute and so on.
    • Security and Privacy Considerations: SLAs related to security and privacy considerations deals with information assets – data, applications, functions and processes and can be defined based on criticality and sensitivity of consumer data. Normally CSPs offer global security standards defined in standards such as ISO, COBIT, ITIL, etc. The SLA will also cover alternative actions in case of security breaches or data loss for the consumer.

In addition to the above roles, SLAs will also define areas such as disaster recovery, service management, auditing, self-service metering and provisioning, solutions for service failure, remedies and limitations in cloud services. SLAs will also state exit processes followed in case a consumer wishes to discontinue from a service provider.

How cloud computing can foster business agility?

In the current competitive market scenario, business agility is one key enabler for businesses to sustain their operations and achieve competitive gains. Business agility is all about adapting quickly to rapid market conditions and not getting lost in the competition. Conventional IT infrastructures have issues in quickly provisioning resources to support new business initiatives. Cloud computing models are an ideal IT service solution to overcome issues in IT resources and simultaneously promote business agility to achieve competitiveness.

Cloud service providers claim that adopting a cloud for business will lead to competitiveness and optimize business outcomes by improving agility. These claims is inspiring but let us first understand agility from the perspective of both, business and IT and examine how cloud models can support business agility. Firstly, the definition of business agility states that it is a term or a concept where organizations approach their markets and operational changes as a matter of routine. Business agility is a quality in which organizations adjust immediately to changing market conditions, take advantage of potential opportunities quickly, rapidly deploy new distribution channels at reduced costs and maximize their profits in the process.

CIOs experts claim that among the number of new technologies available, cloud computing models are ideal to realize business agility within an organization. This is because cloud models permit scalability (up and down), adjustable per user costs, pay for each resource and so on. Cloud computing can embrace an agile organization by supporting mobility, encouraging internal communication through collaboration software and permit interactions with customers in real time in order to create a constant feedback loop to drive business agility efforts.

The concept of agility is similar to the methods of agile project management where project teams analyze their priorities and project tasks are continuously evaluated throughout the entire project life cycle, rather than evaluating outcomes and performance at the end of the project. Basically, business agility is a systematic approach in change management which provides a framework for the organization on how to respond to change without neglecting the needs of the entire organization. An agile enterprise is understood as immune to change, and proficient in adopting itself to any change (internal or external) in a sustainable manner.

Agility is achieved in cloud computing because of its elasticity and flexibility. IT resources can be deployed much quickly and can be increased or decreased to meet market demand. Due to this flexibility enterprises can introduce new products or services, and adapt to changing circumstances. This flexibility and elasticity is applicable to all cloud deployment models. In addition to this since, the infrastructure is managed by an external cloud services organization there is no need to train IT staff within the company. Cloud models support agility in certain key areas for business enterprises, they are:

  • Quickly adapt to changing business processes: In agility existing business processes are changed or new processes are introduced. This change in processes would require IT resources to be replaced or new resources to be added. Cloud computing easily handles these changes by allowing companies to quickly add or change IT resources easily to support their changed processes.
  • Enables on-demand resources for development and testing: Resources are needed to support business processes and to test and develop new software. Procuring new resources and implementing them within the existing infrastructure can be time consuming and can introduce significant delays in capitalizing business opportunities. This can also be a business risk since money is spent on new expensive resources and must not become counterproductive. Adopting a cloud model will eliminate these risks as resources are available on-demand which saves time. Further, the usage based payment offered by cloud models replaces the initial up-front cost spent on new resources within the company.
  • Optimizes IT budgets: The usage model of pay per resource supports business companies to implement and test projects faster, saving money from new resources to be procured and made available. This eliminates budget allocation for IT capital expenditure, and supports finance to easily allocate fixed costs incurred on monthly basis. Cloud models makes it possible to have good control on unexpected IT spending with very little effort.
  • Focus more on IT strategies: Clouds are flexible and can scale quickly to provide speed and efficiency for business processes and transactions. Cloud applications can be accessed via the internet which supports businesses to access their elements and have more productive interactions with customers. IT teams have less burden of maintaining an infrastructure and the focus can be more on implementing new applications that are productive and will drive business results.

In June 2014, HBR Analytic Services conducted a survey titled “Business Agility in the Cloud” to show the link between the cloud, business agility and increased competitive advantage. The survey sponsored by Verizon included 527 participants from large and medium business enterprises. The results indicate that 71% of the responses have implemented cloud computing to reduce complexities in business processes and IT management. Within the cloud adopters, 74% mention that their business is able to achieve competitive advantage by moving their business processes to the cloud.

The Verizon report also explains that 32% of the companies having adopted the cloud are able to achieve business agility in rapidly changing and competitive markets. These 32% respondents further emphasize that with cloud adoption their enterprises are able to see benefits around speed, simplification and are able to connect with people and data which are all enablers of business agility. Looking into the above benefits and advantages and data, cloud computing models are becoming mainstream IT delivery models for enterprises.

The State of Cloud Adoption in India

Cloud computing offers immense potential and benefits for all types of organizations. In India, the adoption of cloud computing is gaining momentum and growing exponentially. This is because of the government’s support in embracing emerging latest technologies and best practices derived from different cloud deployment scenarios and application areas. Research studies indicate that CIOs in India are planning to move their business operations to the cloud and this remains their top priority.

Most of us are aware cloud computing has changed the way IT services are provisioned and used. Cloud’s potential of scalability and pay-as-you-go pricing models is the primary benefit extended by cloud services to organizations in order to achieve effectiveness through technology. In case of SMBs, cloud services minimize barriers to their growth by reducing infrastructure costs and upfront investments. During the last few years, IT professionals in many different organizations in India have witnessed and accustomed themselves to cloud adoption. Cloud computing usage is gaining momentum in India mainly because of government support, vendor offerings, and proven best practices, which have resulted in many organizations in India planning to move to the cloud on priority.

Research studies done during the last 5 years indicate that Indian businesses are willing to spend over 36% of their IT costs on public cloud services due to its business flexibility and low costs. The study made by Gartner explains that public cloud service sales are worth 24.54 billion INR in 2013, which is a 36% increase compared to 2010 figures. Gartner predicts that growth is constant at compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 33.2%. Smaller companies are more willing and quick to adopt public clouds because it reduces their upfront costs associated with new hardware, software implementations and maintenance costs. The Gartner study also predicts that the business potential of cloud computing in India will touch 89 billion INR by 2017. This statistical data is quite likely to change soon, but first let us have a look into cloud adoption across a few sectors.

Cloud Services in government: The Government of India is embracing cloud computing technology for expanding its e-governance initiatives throughout the country. In India, the focus of e-governance is to reduce corruption and ensure the government schemes are reaching people living in rural areas of the country. Further, e-governance services ensure quicker service delivery and eliminate the involvement of middlemen who tend to capitalize on loopholes for quick money by means of exploiting people. To mention one initiative, the Department of Electronics and Information Technology under the Ministry of Communications and IT is highly optimistic of adopting cloud computing in governance and has made plans for the creation of IT enabled services, applications and policies towards achieving full benefits in different government initiatives. The department plans to offer solutions by electronic means, promote R & D initiatives, solutions for cyber-security and National Information Infrastructure, develop IT policies and so on, where cloud computing will be used extensively.

Cloud adoption in manufacturing: Indian manufacturing sector has come a long way and the use of IT in manufacturing can be found since last over 2 decades. Since 2010, CIOs in Indian manufacturing have started adopting cloud models and this is highlighted in many research studies and industry circles. Some of the most notable application areas in manufacturing suited for cloud are CRM and supply chain applications which provide better connectivity to external stakeholders and customers. The area of business intelligence (BI) and business analytics (BA) is highly important for manufacturing sector because of large amounts of data generated in manufacturing which is a challenge for CIOs. For instance analytics will help the organization to better forecast products range and provide analysis for future investments in different business areas. BI helps to understand customer demands and provide inputs for demand shaping. Human machine interface (HMI) is another area where companies such as Jindal Steel have adopted cloud model for their HMI applications to quickly recover their ROI. HMI refers to interfacing IT systems like ERP with manufacturing executing systems (MES) and plant automation. In addition to the above applications, the other areas where cloud enhances manufacturing effectiveness are in data warehousing, information security, green IT, and many others.

Cloud adoption in Indian IT industry: The research by IDC titled “Indian Cloud Market Overview 2011-2016” provides estimates that Indian cloud market will grow over 70% from 2014. The cloud is transforming Indian IT industry and some of the highlights include,

  • With increased number of IT companies and ISPs in India, cloud IaaS model is helping SMEs to have access to latest infrastructure thus reducing their in-house infrastructure costs.
  • PaaS model provides immense advantages for software companies. PaaS supports developers with different development platforms and in turn providing savings to the company from heavy capital expenditure.
  • Organizations big and small are having advantages by adopting SaaS model. For example, Indian companies by implementing applications such as SAP Business, Office 365, etc. tend to benefit greatly from the hassles of maintaining IT applications to result in cost savings.

In addition to the above highlighted sectors, cloud service models are used in other industry domains such as finance and banking, advertising, health care, etc., slowly but steadily. The slow pace can be attributed to certain barriers such as inadequate knowledge of cloud technologies, connectivity issues and customer awareness in terms of ROI in cloud adoption.

The key drivers for IT growth in India is highlighted by the growing acceptance of cloud based solutions, embracing merging technologies like Internet of Things (IoT), Big Data, mobile technologies (3G, 4G) and fuelled by Indian government’s initiatives for a digital India. In a recent research done by Zinnov Management Consulting titled “India’s Domestic IT Market Landscape 2015”, the estimated Indian IT market is at $36 billion in 2015 with 14% growth to reach $65 billion in 2020. The report explains that,

  • The Indian government’s Digital India project provides potential opportunities for cloud adoption at a cost of $19 billion between 2014-2018
  • The estimated growth of public cloud market is pegged at $7.4-7.6 billion and private cloud at the rate of $7 billion by 2020

The above studies and data indicate that cloud adoption is fast catching up in India and transforming IT services to provide a new direction. In addition to this, new mobile technologies like SMAC (Social Mobile Analytics Cloud) are used by business organizations to gain competitive advantage and growth. NASSCOM’s “Perspective 2020” report is highly optimistic about India’s progress in mobility, broadband and internet connectivity over the next 2 years and beyond. From the above, it is more apparent that, cloud offers the most ideal infrastructure for operating a variety of IT applications across all types of organizations in India.