Cloud India: The Litmus Test
Lap up your plate of lamb vindaloo, wrap up your daydream of spartan ashram living, scroll past the Bollywood-lite selections on Netflix (“Slumdog,” “Bend It Like Beckham”), and you will locate a culture whose viewpoint on innovation rivals America's values of commerce and democracy. In India, every new technology must pass a litmus test of both usefulness and affordability. Cloud computing beautifully fits this bill. Allowing businesses to sidestep the need to establish a standalone IT infrastructure and employees, cloud is quickly becoming the ingredient of choice with which Indian professionals spice their ventures.
Both low cost of ownership and high return on investment are requirements of successful Indian business endeavors; the country's globally blooming economy has seen a meadow's worth of companies of all sizes flower, resulting in much stiffer competition. Cloud computing is enabling the small and midsize businesses of India to more effectively manage their customer bases while at the same time comply with the increasingly taut regulatory demands that are sweeping across the country (i.e., transparency of regulations and utilizing central business procedure).
Outsourcing — the watchword of Indian contributions to the international tech conversation. Since the late 1990s, India has spearheaded and dominating the outsourcing industry, which leads to yet another superlative for cloud computing in the culture. Cloud essentially outsources the demands of several key components to any business: a workplace, data servers, desktops, even an IT staff. India's expansive and rich size as a country and population make the nation a natural to adopt cloud's ability to boost remote collaboration and augmented efficiency via real-time mobile communication and interaction.
Examples of Indian companies who have adopted cloud computing to winning effect include Netmagic Solutions, one of the country's leading data center operators; Ogilvy India, a media company that runs several internet campaigns on cloud; and Indus Valley Partners, a New York / New Delhi / Mumbai consultancy firm entirely run on the cloud-based Google Apps. The Times of India elaborates on these businesses benefiting from cloud and several more.
Though cloud computing has already demonstrated much ideological promise in India, its practical application to on-site businesses there has not yet fully taken root. Cloud City, the web-journal feature of tech site Silicon India, reports that “companies [in the country] are still not extracting the true promise of cloud.” A movement to expedite this process has begun, fortunately, with the Cloud Computing World Forum to take place in Mumbai this October. Luminaries such as Rajaashkar Getty (Jetair) and Nandkishor Dhomne (CIO of Manipal Health) have arranged to appear and speak as well.
By Jeff Norman