Cloud Computing: The future of IT

Rajesh Awasthi, director Telecom & Cloud Service Provider, NetApp India, says cloud computing is the future of IT.

The year 2013 will be remembered for many groundbreaking launches like the Microsoft Xbox One, Samsung smart watches, Apple iPhone 5s & 5c, the discovery of the Higgs Boson particle at CERN amongst others. This clearly indicates the evolution of technology in today’s times and the myriad possibilities it offers.

As far as the IT industry is concerned, this has been a curious year for cloud computing. The Cloud is already a major driving force in the industry; one to be reckoned with on the business technology scene. IT executives, analysts and vendors are trying to clearly define and determine what it really means for today’s business enterprise and where are we headed.

Today, the adoption of cloud computing isn’t just restricted to one or two sectors but its benefits are being realized across all verticals be it healthcare, sports, manufacturing, IT, BFSI, government, retail, ecommerce etc.  It is seen by many as the next wave of information technology for individuals, companies and governments. The abundant supply of information technology capabilities at a low cost offers many enticing opportunities.

Rajesh Awasthi, director Telecom & Cloud Service Provider, NetApp India

In addition to reducing operational costs, cloud technologies have become the basis for radical business innovations and new business models and for significant improvements in the effectiveness of anyone using information technology – which, these days, increasingly means most of the world.

As far as industry reports are concerned, there have been positive discussions happening around the subject- with Nasscom and IDC predicting that the Indian cloud computing market is expected to reach $16 billion by 2020 and the global cloud computing market to reach $680 Billion by 2020.

We have actually seen major technology shifts in the data center in the past, these shifts at the data centre have just added to the mix in the data center, increasing complexity and cost. Cloud computing, when done right, has the potential to actually replace, and not just augment, legacy environments while adding value by reducing costs and increasing agility.

As we can see, enterprise CIOs are moving from being builders and operators of data centers to becoming brokers of application and information services. They are embracing new technologies and service models that deliver IT faster, cheaper, and smarter, while making their companies more responsive and competitive.

Public cloud computing is at the forefront of this dramatic shift in IT. Offering predictable costs, faster provisioning, and infinite scale, more organizations are incorporating these cloud resources into their IT mix. Many organizations are evaluating which cloud environment is appropriate for their business. In this reality, data must travel across multiple clouds seamlessly – from private to public to hybrid models – while, providing IT with the necessary control to centrally manage, govern, and transport data across discrete cloud resources.  For better cost effectiveness and business flexibility- enterprises today are combining private and public cloud operations, often described as ‘hybrid cloud computing.’

In India, cloud adoption is gaining rapid traction and hybrid cloud solutions are leading to this shift; industry forecasts for annual growth in private cloud spending for the next several years range from 15% to 35%, and many industry analysts view these deployments as a critical stepping stone to a hybrid cloud model, similar to the way server virtualization paved the way for private cloud adoption in the enterprise

Like any new technology advancement, cloud computing also creates disruptive possibilities and potential risks. The fact that cloud computing involves the aggregation of computing power, and more importantly, information, has become a source of increasing concern. Users, providers and government policy-makers are asking many questions about the current use and future evolutionary path of cloud computing.

But the apprehension about moving to the cloud will resolve as organizations recognize that a hybrid cloud model is needed to serve their application portfolio.

CIOs will sort their application portfolio into those applications that they must control entirely (in on-premises private clouds), control partially (in enterprise public clouds), as well as workloads that are more transient (public hyperscalar clouds) and those best purchased as SaaS. IT will act as brokers across these diverse cloud models. This will also uncover the need to easily move application data between clouds and to provision consistent storage service capabilities across different cloud models.

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