Cloud Computing: Business Perspective in India

Cloud Computing

Cloud computing is an emerging innovative IT-based business model which is inviting the attention of practitioners, for its potentiality of industry adoption, as well as of academicians,

Why should Start-up move to Cloud Computing in Business and is it a Positive sign for Start-ups in India?

Cloud computing simply means the delivery of held services done through the internet. Cloud computing enables companies to consume a computer resource, such as a virtual machine (VM), storage or an application, as a utility just like electricity rather than having to build & maintain computing infrastructures in-house. It’s all IT services in which funds are retrieved from the Internet through web-based tools & applications, as opposed to a direct connection to a server. Rather than keeping files on a proprietary hard drive or local storage device, cloud-based storage makes it possible to save them to a remote database. As long as an electronic device has access to the web, it has access to the data & the software programs to run it.

It’s called cloud computing because the information being accessed is found in “the cloud” & does not require a user to be in a specific place to gain access to it. This type of system allows employees to work remotely. Companies providing cloud services enable users to store files & applications on remote servers, & then access all the data via the internet.

Cloud Computing: Business Perspective

However, if cloud computing is to achieve its potential, which comprises to be a clear understanding of the several issues involved, both from the perspectives of the providers & the consumers of the technology. There is an equally urgent need for understanding the business-related issues surrounding cloud computing. By identifying the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities & threats for the industry & the various issues that will affect the different stakeholders of cloud computing. Accordingly, the set of recommendations for the practitioners who will provide & manage this technology, in the different areas of research that need attention so that one is in a position to advise the industry in the years to come. Finally, some of the key issues facing governmental agencies who will be involved in the regulation of cloud computing.

The emergence of the phenomenon commonly known as cloud computing represents a fundamental change in the way information technology (IT) services are invented, developed, deployed, scaled, updated, maintained & paid for. Computing today reflects an inconsistency, on one hand, computers continue to become exponentially more powerful & the per-unit cost of computing continues to fall rapidly, so much so that computing power per se is nowadays considered to be largely a commodity. However, computing advances more universal within the association, the growing complexity of managing the whole infrastructure of disparate information architectures & distributed data & software has made computing more expensive than ever before to an organization. The potential of cloud computing is to convey all the functionality of existing information technology services (& in fact enable new functionalities that are hitherto infeasible) even as it tremendously reductions the upfront costs of computing that daunt many establishments from deploying many cutting-edge IT services.

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Cloud computing is an emerging innovative IT-based business model which is inviting the attention of practitioners, for its potentiality of industry adoption, as well as of academicians, for research undertaking in different dimensions. Notwithstanding having a number of business benefits & research scope, there is no universally accepted comprehensive, conceptual definition for cloud computing. However, different experts & academicians have given different definitions to cloud computing, none of them have identified all the key characteristics of cloud computing. If cloud computing is to attain it’s probable, there requires being a clear understanding of the various issues involved, both from the perspectives of the providers & the consumers of the technology.

The development of cloud computing over the earlier few years is possibly one of the main advances in the antiquity of computing. However, if cloud computing is to achieve its potential, there needs to be a clear understanding of the various issues involved, both from the perspectives of the providers & the consumers of the technology. Though a lot of investigation is now taking place in the technology itself, there is an equally urgent need for understanding the business-related issues surrounding cloud computing.

The emergence of cloud computing is a fundamental shift towards new on-demand business models together with new implementation models for the applications portfolio, the infrastructure, & the data, as they are provisioned as virtual services using the cloud. These technological & commercial changes have an impact on current working practices. Businesses need to understand the impact of the new combinations of technology layers, & how they work together. A crucial part of this is analyzing & assessing the risks involved. For example, the use of shared resources, in multi-tenanted cloud systems & across multiple organizations seeking economies of scale, results in companies relying on a common cloud service or platform. What attendant risks might this bring to the tenant consumer of the service, & to the sellers & providers of the cloud services? How will it impact their expectations of service levels & performance? This is a fundamental issue for any enterprise that considers using the cloud.

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All organizations should have policies to establish controls to prevent & detect the unauthorized procurement & use of cloud services, regardless of management’s position on venturing into cloud computing. However, due to the low cost of initiating cloud services relative to traditional technology purchases, current controls such as expenditure limits may not trigger appropriate attention from management.

For example, a small business unit of a large corporation independently decided to leverage a cloud-based customer relationship management (CRM) system for a new product’s sales initiative. With no recognized corporate cloud policy, the business unit on-going this initiative without engaging the internal IT group or making a capital expenditure request. (The cloud solution required only Internet access & a credit card.) Once launched, the system was populated with data about customers & prospects. Thus, confidential client info was being stored outside the corporation’s internal computing environment without being subject to the organization’s controls or operating procedures.

For organizations that have decided to adopt cloud computing, the following are some suggested risk responses with respect to unauthorized cloud activity-

  • Establish cloud usage policy that clearly articulates the business processes & data that management deems appropriate to be supported by cloud computing solutions
  • Create or update policy that identifies who is authorized to procure cloud computing services
  • Identify approved cloud vendors define policy & communicate guidance on the management of relationships with management
  • Adopting Cloud

Before you leap into the cloud, one is going to have to do some legwork. The good news is that the steps are similar to those ones would take to implement any technology solution.

  • Develop a strategic plan

What is one going to spend your IT budget? A CRM solution? A database? A phone system? Figure out what exactly one needs to do in the cloud.

  • Understand the internal business processes

For example, if one has determined that you need a CRM solution, you need to understand how you are going to facilitate your business processes through the system. Try to envision how everything will work together.

  • Assess your capacity, budget & must haves

If one wants x, y, & z, but one can really afford them & leverage them effectively? What are the “must-haves” in a solution?

  • Review your options

One can easily register for a trial with most of these applications to see if it is a good fit. The main commitment you’ll need to make is time — one need to invest enough time to understand how well the solution meets your needs & impacts your business processes. So, dig in, get your h&s dirty, & see if there’s a good fit for your organization. Do some reading, too. Make an informed decision.

  • Engage with a partner as necessary

As with many technology solutions, applications available in the cloud can be implemented by your organization or by a partner. To determine which option is best for you, consider the cost of your time, the importance of accountability, & the value of ensuring everything is done right the first time. If one doesn’t have time for trial & error, consider working with an experienced partner who can streamline the process & get you up & run painlessly.

  • Opt for a Solutions

Partnering with the right provider will make your transition to cloud computing seamless & ensure your custom solution meets all your computing requirements. Here are a few tips to help you select the best cloud computing provider for your business:

  • Custom Cloud Solutions

Before one start researching the list of providers, remove the notion of a one-size-fits-all solution from your mind. It would be nice if one provider could offer one the perfect package that solved all of the problems, but that doesn’t exist. When it comes to cloud computing options, one will want to partner with a provider that can offer any combination of public, private & hybrid clouds.

  • The Breadth of Cloud Services & Technologies

The best cloud computing providers have experience that extends beyond cloud technology. The best provider to partner with will understand the value of everything cloud related, including servers, security, Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) & much more. If the cloud computing provider doesn’t understand, & offer, all of these features, it will be difficult for them to enhance their service offering as one’s business grows.

  • Find a Provider that Understands the Business

When one is selecting a cloud computing provider, it is vital that the provider understands the needs of your business & employees. Choosing solely based on price is rarely successful because you typically have to sacrifice something important in order to secure the lowest price.

  • Accommodating the needs now & in the Future

Last but not least, cloud computing providers need to understand not only where the business is today, but where it is going in the future.

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The business world is not a static environment. Things change, people change & demands change. Choose a cloud computing provider that can keep up, with one’s business & technology trends.

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