Cloud Computing: A Primer


As is the case with so many IT concepts, the razzmatazz that surrounded Cloud computing when it came to forefront of conscious attention of the business some 10 years back has not still vanished. On the contrary, with the passage of time, it is gaining in popularity.

When it comes to cloud computing, a fast emerging style of IT delivery, in India most of the organizations are now reconciled to idea of relying on it for their general business operations. Hence, over the years there has been aggressive adoption of cloud computing in the country where bringing data in and out of the cloud is increasing more than ever before.
Almost all IT vendors-global and local- in India have already made their presence felt in the cloud market with their offerings. Global vendors like Amazon, Google, IBM, HP and Microsoft at the forefront of providing cloud services to the customers in India.

The rising popularity of Cloud Computing in India

There are multiple reasons why cloud computing is finding resonance with the businesses in India. One of the most significant reasons for the growing adoption of the cloud computing by the Indian enterprises is its ability to significantly reduce IT costs and complexities. Among the multiple benefits cloud computing brings to the organisations are flexibility, reliability, stability, scalability and rapid provisioning.

Cloud computing brings with it a lot of benefits which make it enticing to the businesses in India. It reduces hardware costs because the data saved in the cloud can be accessed by the users from virtually any location at any time. Added to this, it eliminates the need for buying a set of software or software licenses for each of the employee.

With the advent of cloud computing, the organizations are free from the worry that if any application is compatible with their OS.

How safe is the cloud computing in India?

The increasing popularity of cloud computing in India has made it possible the next target of cyber villains. This is because cloud computing moves servers outside the organizations’ security perimeter making it an easy proposition for the cybercriminals to attack these systems.

Security is one of the key deterrents for the enterprises to embrace cloud. There is no denying that any data processed outside the organization brings with it inherent risks. Hence it is in the essential fitness of things that those willing to adopt the cloud model should acquire complete information about the cloud providers who will be managing the data. In many cases the customers are not be aware of where the data is hosted. In this contest, it is very much to the point to underline the fact that the organizations that are being offered cloud services should ensure that the cloud provider is committed to privacy requirements when it comes to storing and processing the data.

It is pertinent to note that security can be ensured in a cloud environment only when the trust level between users and cloud service providers is high. Credit must be given to those cloud service providers who consistently focus on innovations and invest in the latest security technology to protect the data of their customers.

Mobile Cloud Computing

With the emergence of Mobile Cloud Computing (MCC) on the IT firmament, enterprise Chief Information Officers have one more buzzword to contend with. Mobile Cloud Computing has revolutionized the way in which mobile users leverage services on the go. Gone are the days when the mobile devices were used for voice calls. Today with the emergence of smart mobile devices has enabled the user to access value added services anytime, anywhere.

What is Mobile Cloud Computing?

Mobile cloud computing, which as been defined in the Open Gardens blog as “the availability of cloud computing services in a mobile ecosystem’, integrates the mobile environment into cloud computing. At its simplest mobile cloud computing is a cloud service accessed by mobile platforms.

In order to understand mobile cloud computing, it is in the essential fitness of things to know cloud computing. Cloud computing provides the users applications, data and resources as services over the internet. Cloud computing is a model-delivery methodology that provides configurable computing resources such as servers, networks, storage and applications- whenever and wherever required- with minimum efforts.

Growth of Mobile Cloud Computing

With the rapid of proliferation of mobile devices, Mobile Cloud Computing has taken a centre stage in the technology world. Mobile Cloud Computing is quickly gaining traction, and its growth is really impressive.

As evidenced by recent market surveys, Mobile cloud computing will definitely rise to new heights. According to the findings of the study from Juniper Research, Cloud-based mobile market, which was $400 million in 2009, will generate annual revenue of $9.5 billion in 2014, growing at an average annual increase of 88%. The study from ABI Research states that more than 240 million businesses will use cloud computing through mobile devices by 2015.

Mobile cloud computing is a highly promising trend for the future of mobile computing. People are beginning to realize the importance of mobile and cloud enablement which is considered to be an inevitable investment for many.

Benefits of Mobile Cloud Computing

Businesses are embracing the mobile cloud computing by demand. Employees are demanding mobile devices including smartphones and tablets so that they can have access to companies’ key applications from their mobile devices. According to research firm Gartner, by 2018, more than half of all users will use their mobile device in the workplace. According to Padmasree Warrior, described by Cisco boss as one of the best technological minds inn the world, this Bring your own device (BYOD) trend will continue to grow because it plays an important role in improving productivity as it enables employees to work from anywhere at anytime.

The growing adoption of mobile devices including smartphones and tablets has forced the CIOs to embrace enterprise mobility as the next big wave in the evolution of information technology. And enterprise mobility is all set to change as enterprises have realized the importance of the capabilities of mobile devices and wireless networks which has the potential of bringing the benefits of mobility to the workplace. Mobile Cloud Computing delivers the advantages of cloud computing to mobile devices.

Today, the move by businesses to allow BYOD by employees has hit mainstream. According to a survet by tech giant Cisco, over 90% of companies supported the use of mobile devices. With the advent of Mobile Cloud Computing, the control is back into the hands of the businesses.

Rising maintenance and energy costs and space constraints are leading to the adoption of mobile cloud computing. Businesses will turn to mobile cloud computing for better data management at optimal cost.

It is well known that mobile devices are constrained by many resource challenges such as battery life, processing power and storage. Mobile cloud computing provides the users data storage and processing services in clouds eliminating the requirement of having a powerful device configuration. Mobile cloud computing offers advantages to the mobile users by allowing them to use infrastructure, platforms and software by mobile cloud providers at low cost and on demand.
• Extends battery lifetime
• Remote application execution results in the saving of energy
• Improves data storage capacity and processing power
• Improved reliability and scalability
• Ease of integration

Security Concerns

According to one school of thought, mobile cloud computing is not reliable and secure as it exposes data to risks.

Rapid advances in mobile cloud computing have brought to the fore the way mobile computing and communication services are delivered around the world. Mobile cloud computing is expected to radically change people’s working and life styles.

As mobility is on the rise, more and more organization are seeking ways to apply it to grow their businesses. However, with the mobile cloud computing going mainstream, these are hey-days for the cyber villains who find mobile cloud computing cloud as greener pastures for making money by hacking the mobile cloud infrastructure.

The market of mobile phones is proliferating rapidly. According to IDC, the premier global market intelligence firm, the worldwide Smartphone market grew 25.3 % year over year in the third quarter of 2014. During the quarter, vendors shipped a total of 327.6 million units. Mobile devices continue to outgrow PCs as preferred primary computing devices for users. According to Gartner, by 2016, at least 50% of enterprise email users will rely primarily on a browser, tablet or mobile client, instead of a desktop client.

As mobile devices proliferate, they are exposed to several security threats such as malicious codes and their vulnerability. The rapid spurt in mobile devices and growth in access to Web-based applications has brought security implications into attention. As enhanced storage space is the need of the hour and relying on mobile cloud computing is the solution to issue. There is a greater need of security applications over mobility devices.

Data security and privacy issues remain the top concerns both for firms and users when it comes to mobile cloud computing.

By implementing a security strategy to protect data the businesses can reap the benefits of mobile cloud computing.

Barriers to the Mobile Cloud Adoption

In comparison to desktop computer, a mobile device has less screen size, less memory and less compute power. The mobile devices are constrained by their battery capacity limits. Added to this, it is easier to lose a mobile device.

Limitation of wireless bandwidth capacity is one of the barriers that handicaps the adoption of mobile cloud computing.

For some, the mobile cloud computing may be just the latest technological buzzword, for many businesses mobile cloud computing is the panacea for their IT ills. Today, mobile cloud computing has taken a centre stage in the technology world.

A fast emerging style of computing, mobile cloud computing is quickly gaining traction, and becoming receptive to the businesses which are going beyond cost savings to build their applications on the cloud. Many experts are of the opinion that mobile cloud computing is all set to emerge as the key advance in IT service and applications delivery.

According to a Research and Markets report featured in Cloud Times states that the mobile cloud market will reach about $47 billion by 2019, recording to a compound annual growth rate of 38 % within the next five years.

With the passage of time, mobile cloud computing will move from being the latest industry catchphrase to an accepted operational IT expenditure in the future.

To sum up, though still in its early stages, mobile cloud computing has emerged as a new paradigm in the technology world and will in all probability grow very quickly in the coming years.
In today’s economy, businesses are faced with the challenge of cutting the cost of their infrastructure while at the same time they have to provide new, innovative services to their customers. Cloud computing can be of immense help to them as it has the potential of helping enterprises optimize the IT expense equation while maintaining fast, high quality service delivery.

In India cloud computing has fast emerging into a useful business tool for both large enterprises and small businesses alike. With the passage of time cloud computing in India is becoming more affordable than ever to become a viable proposition for the small businesses.