Cloud computing platforms provide cost-effective environment to experiment with new ideas and technologies and that's precisely what's driving Indian developers to choose cloud computing over traditional systems
BANGALORE, INDIA: Cloud computing can be defined as delivery of infrastructure, platform or software, the services using shared resources.
As we all know, most of the companies claiming to offer products or services for the Cloud categorize them as private and public or hybrid cloud.
[image_library_tag 749/15749, align="left" width="150" height="197" title="Rakesh Aerath, Director - Telecom & Innovation, Logica" alt="Rakesh Aerath, Director - Telecom & Innovation, Logica" border="0" vspace="8" hspace="8" complete="complete" ,default]So, what actually cloud computing means for organisations, developers, businesses or for government sector?
In an interaction with Abhigna N G from CIOL, Rakesh Aerath, Director - Telecom & Innovation, Logica, discusses the offerings that are available in the Cloud arena for software development and stakeholders who are influencing the growth of cloud computing application.
Excerpts from the interaction:
CIOL: To start with, according to you what is Cloud computing and what does it mean for businesses, governments and organizations of all sizes?
Rakesh Aerath: Cloud computing helps large organisations to reduce costs and improve agility. Using Cloud, organisations can avoid the traditional capex-intensive approach and instead, leverage the economies of scale using the shared infrastructure to reduce costs. At the same time they can avoid long lead-times, thereby being able to react faster in a dynamic market.
For smaller organisations, it also means an opportunity to enter market quickly and easily, an option hitherto not available due to cost and time constraints placed by traditional IT.
For governments cloud provides an opportunity for better citizen services at lower cost especially at times of tough economic outlook.
CIOL: Having said that, what are the offerings from Logica in the cloud space?
RA: Our cloud portfolio includes cloud enablement as well as cloud-based applications. Our cloud enablement offerings include service integration and management of cloud services for our clients. Our approach to cloud is led by our consulting and service integration capabilities, service management, security and our partnership with leading players such as Microsoft.
We have developed a number of innovative mobility applications (such as real-time vehicle emission monitoring, pay-as-you-drive insurance, cargo and fleet tracking etc) that we deliver using cloud-based Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) model. This usage based on managed service model hugely benefits the clients as they do not need to invest in capex.
CIOL: According to you, who is influencing the growth of cloud computing applications? Enterprises or developers?
RA: It’s a combination of both. The benefits of cloud computing are leading to increased levels of acceptability among the enterprises, for applications delivered as service using SaaS model. This in turn is creating more developer interest in cloud-based applications, leading to innovative cloud applications being developed.
CIOL: Very often we hear that developers are pressured to deliver solutions on much shorter schedules. How can Cloud computing help address this issue?
RA: Traditional IT projects require procurement of hardware and software, and setting up of environment, infrastructure and back-up before starting the development. As development cycles get shorter, this puts increased pressure on developers. Cloud allows developers to acquire these resources instantly, so that they can start developing applications from day 1. Further, the cloud infrastructure providers constantly maintain and upgrade their platform, so that projects need not spend any time in these activities.
Also, as cloud platforms provide many of the useful utilities as service, developers can focus on building business applications, re-using the well-tested, underlying common components provided by the platform, thereby reducing delivery time.
CIOL: How much percentage does developers allot to cloud development, targeting mobile or wireless clients?
RA: The use of mobile phones and tablets is growing rapidly, and they are increasingly becoming medium of choice for both enterprises and consumers alike. Be it a sales person accessing the cloud-based customer database of the enterprise or a farmer getting latest market prices for his farm produce, mobile is going to be an important delivery channel for cloud services. So, we believe that going forward, cloud applications will be built keeping mobile channel in mind and most applications will at least partially be mobilised.
CIOL: How do you see the mindset of Indian developers embracing cloud computing for development than choosing traditional systems
RA: Cloud computing platforms provide cost-effective environment for playing with new ideas and developing innovative solutions. It enables developers to experiment with new tools and technologies without investing heavily upfront. We believe this will be an important driver for the Indian developers to embrace cloud computing over traditional systems.
CIOL: What are the challenges that Indian companies face when it comes to development on Cloud.
RA: The key challenges that Indian companies face, like their counterparts in other countries, are related to security and reliability of the services developed and delivered through cloud.
Privacy of sensitive information, data integrity, access control and data protection are some of the key areas of risk perceived by customers considering cloud. For increased uptake of cloud services, they need to put security mechanisms such as access control policies, encryption and audits in place.
Customers expect reliable services. While providing the cloud-based applications, the companies need to set up relevant SLAs related to availability, reliability and performance of the system, catering to various types of customers and needs.
CIOL: How do you see the future of Cloud computing in India?
RA: We believe that the future of cloud computing in India will be driven by demand for cloud services from both enterprises and consumer segments.
India has a large number of SMEs (Small & Medium Enterprises) which can benefit from apex model of cloud. Cloud would enable these enterprises, many of which are located in rural and semi urban, areas to enter market quickly and more easily. With cloud, they do not need to own expensive hardware, infrastructure and software licences to be able to do this.
On a consumer level, adoption of mobile is growing in India. This opens up opportunity for businesses to reach out to a vast population (particularly in rural hinterland) through cost-effective cloud based services. There is opportunity to provide innovative cloud based services for agriculture, education, healthcare sectors. For example, crop, weather and market related services for farmers.