‘Hybrid cloud may grow exponentially as more firms explore cloud without disturbing on-premise setup’

November 26, 2020 11:45 AM

Every successful company needs a scalable infrastructure that can support complex functions, faster delivery of time-sensitive information, data transformation, and visibility on all data that flows in and out of their ecosystems. Hence major businesses across verticals are now adopting the cloud.

The current yield of Indian SaaS startups has the promise to take on their global counterparts directly.
  • By Nikhil Rathi

In the past decade, digitalisation has moved and skyrocketed in new and unexpected directions. As digital technologies are shaping industries, enterprises are pursuing these measures to drive business goals and gain a competitive edge. The cloud has been the most significant disruption in the technology space with adoptions accelerating at breakneck speeds. The adoption of cloud services is influenced mainly by essential components like internet connectivity coverage, latency & cost, and policies pertaining to data storage on the cloud. It also offers unmatched flexibility in resource utilisation and scalability. Interconnections offering low latency and downtimes have now become the keys to success.

Maintaining data within the confines of the office space and behind a firewall was the traditional and only offering available to organisations until a few years ago. However, critical industries like banking, healthcare, government, manufacturing, retail, tech, customer servicing, etc. are now moving to the cloud due to avoid the high costs involved in building, maintaining, and raising those facilities to current standards. Data centers instead offer these industries excellent access, state-of-the-art infrastructures, and cloud services at less than half that price.

Edge computing as a solution to latency, involving processing capabilities delivered closer to the applications they serve, is further opening new markets and developing unique software ecosystems that are now attracting significant investments. Servicing heavy-content demands has made edge data centers a go-to for many large and mid-size firms due to its ability to deliver time-sensitive data at high speeds and minimal latency. The 5G rollout will also bring in revolutionary changes in cloud adoptions.

Through its ability to provide latencies in less than ten milliseconds, it will soon allow organisations to deploy low latency 5G applications like IoT, AI, etc. This, in turn, will also open newer avenues like cloud gaming, industrial loT, and on-site augmented reality guidance. These new avenues and solutions will bring in a lot of information at a faster pace, thus increasing overall storage consumption on the cloud and in data center setups. This data needs to be collected faster and processed further to make it meaningful, requiring organisations to develop a holistic approach while moving towards the cloud computing platform. They will need to classify data, its objective, comply with policies, and design an IT architecture that could utilise cloud storage and on-premise data center.

The rapid spread of Covid-19 significantly increased data traffic from March 2020. Businesses and trade were massively impacted, and firms began to realise that conventional methods wouldn’t be enough to ensure normalcy and continuity of business. Circumventing these negative effects of the Covid-19 pandemic required companies to build technological infrastructures, secure business continuity, and manage data.  Maintaining on-premise data in a lockdown was a major challenge and also involved high costs of power, poor access to critical systems, shutting down of telecoms, and most importantly no labour for on-site operational support. In addition to that, loss of data and downtime could seriously impact business and incur irrecoverable losses which brought into light business continuity and disaster recovery options that mitigate risks, maintain and recover data immediately and keep the business running normally even in the face of disasters. This drove many organisations to partially use cloud computing services for addressing their business continuity needs while some moved from conventional methods to the cloud permanently.

In recent years the concept of hybrid cloud is slowly coming up as an answer to increasing workloads. The hybrid cloud is a combination of cloud services and an on-premises data center. While India has already adopted cloud services for its mainstream data processing, this has also resulted in enterprise customers exploring cloud computing platforms beyond a typical on-premise setup. In a couple of years, the hybrid cloud market is expected to grow exponentially as more enterprises start exploring the cloud computing world without disturbing their on-premise setup. In fact, a hybrid cloud setup provides the best of both the worlds -enterprises can store/ process their critical data on their on-premise setup also while they burst on the cloud platform for their unexpected workloads.

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Organisations also prefer to move towards a cloud platform to keep unknown users or roaming users away from their core on-premise setups. In addition to that, scenarios including multi-city solution deployments like loT require enterprises to rely on Edge Clouds to relay data to their core setups, and requirements such as these drive organisations to adopt more and more hybrid setups. Additionally, with the government developing data protection laws, many enterprises are adopting or are on the verge of developing hybrid cloud strategies to keep certain customer information on-premise in order to ensure regulatory compliance.

With data centers now becoming the nucleus of digital transformations the regional demand for data centers is growing rapidly, with investment in data storage in India is estimated to be at $4.5 billion and grow at a CAGR of 20 per cent by 2022. Data protection and data localisation initiatives by the government add incentive to the physical presence of cloud service providers, thereby increasing data center service revenue in the country. This spells huge scope for the region in terms of the growth of data centers and is allowing both new as well as existing data center providers to scan for opportunities to invest here. Together with the rise of multiple hyper-scale cloud data centers, cloud services have also been seen ramping up.  While local vendors dominate the colocation market in India, state governments particularly Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, and Telangana have announced incentives attracting FDI’s for data center development in the country.

Every successful company needs a scalable infrastructure that can support complex functions, faster delivery of time-sensitive information, data transformation, and visibility on all data that flows in and out of their ecosystems. Hence major businesses across verticals are now adopting the cloud to gain their competitive edge through new-age application services and advanced analytics. Cloud computing is the refreshed approach and the much-required response that businesses should opt for to thrive in opportunities presented by globalisation along with challenges characterised by political, economic, financial, and social instabilities and accommodate growth and support business.

Nikhil Rathi is the President and CEO of Web Werks. Views expressed are the author’s own.

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