Updated on 23 September 2010
Vijay Mhaskar of Symantec talks about the current status, future growth and business drivers of cloud computing in the Indian market.
Where does India stand in the adoption of cloud technology?
According to the India findings of the Symantec 2011 Virtualization and Evolution to the Cloud Survey, Indian enterprises are increasingly discussing virtualization and private/hybrid clouds. Factors such as agility and affordability are the main drivers and having fewer legacy systems is helping this transition. One-third of those surveyed are in the discussing/planning stage for private and hybrid cloud deployments. Also, organizations are slowly leveraging hybrid/private cloud technologies for business-critical applications. An average of 35 percent of business-critical applications such as ERP, accounting, and CRM are in hybrid/private cloud environments.
Do you feel that cloud computing has the power to change the story for emerging businesses? Why?
Large and small organizations differ vastly in the complexity of environments and the expertise required in deploying and managing IT.
The cloud model offers visible benefits to emerging businesses that are looking for easy-to-use, reliable and scalable applications to enable good business growth. It lets them dynamically scale their computing capability without having to invest in costly infrastructure. The recent economic recession has made all SMBs tighten their IT infrastructure spending and made technologies like cloud computing very appealing since they require less financial investment.
The ‘Cloud Opportunities in Key Emerging Markets’ report reveals that spending on public cloud in the BRICSS nations for India was $21.8 billion. While BFSI, telecom and government are the priority verticals other verticals are also fast catching up.
Going forward, enterprises will require the ability to manage storage resources whether they're local, campus wide, multi-campus, global or in the cloud. Tools will emerge to manage this new complex storage environment and to help IT administrators better understand and capture information about unstructured data that resides within it.
Thus, the hybrid cloud archiving model adoption will be high, thus allowing organizations to use hosted messaging services while keeping their archives on-premise to drive cost out of the discovery process, maintain strict access to data, and define who is searching it and where they are sending requests.
Cloud computing, hosted services and appliances are examples of increasingly attractive delivery models that provide organizations with flexibility and ease of deployment.
What are the factors encouraging enterprises across verticals to move to a cloud environment?
To give a perspective on this trend, one of the key highlights from our 2011 Virtualization and Evolution to the Cloud Survey, was the interest towards discussing hybrid/private cloud with 1/3 rd of the respondents citing it. Indian enterprises are looking to gather knowledge and information on various aspects related to cloud computing. The resultant cost benefits, agility and lesser burdens on in-house teams are making this an attractive option.
What are the barriers to adopting cloud computing?
Cloud computing promises to radically transform computing by reducing costs and increasing agility. However, with the benefits come certain challenges and issues as well.
One of the biggest concerns is security. According to the 2010 Symantec Disaster Recovery Survey India findings, 41% of the respondents indicated that security was their biggest concern while putting applications on the cloud. Concerns include fear about data being transmitted and stored by a cloud services provider, keeping it safe, and preventing it from being lost or stolen.
Other concerns that need to be addressed include ‘What would it mean for the existing data center investment if we were to move to the cloud?’ , ‘How do I use the existing infrastructure I have already invested in to become a private cloud?’ and ‘How do I manage and visualize my cloud deployment to meet any service levels, implement chargeback and insure data availability requirements?’
What are the security concerns of putting applications in the cloud?
Organizations, across sectors and sizes, do have a sense of hesitation when it comes to putting mission-critical applications on to the cloud. According to one of recent surveys, Symantec’s Virtualization and Evolution to the Cloud, in India about 43 % of CEOs and CFOs are hesitant about putting mission critical applications into the cloud.
When it comes to security on the cloud, concerns include fear about data being transmitted and stored by a cloud services provider, keeping it safe, and preventing it from being lost or stolen. Users often wonder about unproven cloud vendor security practices and the virtual separation between infrastructure and clients. The Symantec’s Enterprise Security Survey 2010 – Millennial Mobile Workforce and Data Loss, reveals that nearly one in four Indian enterprises feel cloud computing increases the risk of losing data, and 27 percent feel it makes it harder to prevent/react to data loss.
Vijay Mhaskar is VP of Information Management Group, Symantec.
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