Cloud Computing – A Business Enabler

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Talk at Odisha Economic Forum on September 9, 2016


Greetings!

When we speak on any topic on computing, critics would say, “It’s for IT and computer professionals.” But then today, it is for everybody, common citizens or entrepreneurs, or people from any socio-economic level you may refer to. The topic has become all-pervasive.

It’s like any business model that relies heavily on big capital investments. Computing too has also evolved into a domain that requires deep investments into innovations and larger infrastructure to cater to the ever increasing needs. It’s for our entire population, and then, we need this at a very low price point.

This is exactly the underlying philosophy of Cloud Computing. It works like a service bureau. It’s like the way we use electricity at our homes and offices, and pay as we go. We don’t need to bear the large capital investments ourselves privately for power generation and supply in this case. It operates in a cooperative framework with adequate checks and balances, elaborate security measures, and moreover, an assured protection for us as consumers.

I can go on giving many analogies of the model in which Cloud Computing operates. But the essence is similar. However, as I told, this computing model needs deeper investments into software architecture, high-skilled labour force, and the global delivery network.

When we use mobile today, a favourite device for all of us, it’s just about Cloud Computing at the backend.

You take any instance today. Start it from kitchen with utensils procured from an online store, or from reading room with books bought online. In fact, we are now in control of our devices at home from elsewhere remotely. It’s the world of Internet of Things, or IoT. But then we depend on the Cloud Computing to facilitate such automation.

I spoke about home front, and you can very well extend to industry automation or similar advancement in agro sector. We have Cloud Computing well entrenched into almost all aspects of our daily life, be it personal or business.

We live today in a world where it does not require you to know everything. In fact, you can query it online at a search engine. And, the scenario reflects an information overload. We have so much of information available today that we struggle many a time to handle these. To give an example, the data produced during daily transactions at a local shopping mall may be larger than the data reside in our State Library.

So, the important thing today is to know how to ask the right question. To stay ahead in personal or business life, it’s about how to ask better questions.

The understanding of data produced during our daily activities is the subject of Analytics. It’s statistics and programming. We rely on the model of Cloud Computing to manage such scale of data. It can be a simple procedure with small amount of storage needs, or it can be in a very very large scale. All this can be made possible in the shortest time and the least cost with this new computing model.

As we can guess well that this model of computing is no longer for Information Technology industry alone. Like it has transformed the way the very industry works and transacts, it has the similar transformative power for all industry verticals. It’s the enabler.

It’s like the printing technology that changed the business world during the fifteenth century. It’s like the way telegraphy changed the world in the late eighteenth century, or like what the first phase of industrial automation did to us during this period of history.

Now, it’s the fourth phase of transformation, Industry 4.0. The automation now aims at reducing or eliminating human intervention in industrial production, management and monitoring. It’s to improve the productivity, cost and quality.

Cloud Computing lies at the foundation of all these. It channelizes the disparate software systems lying idle across the globe to be effective for the desired business goals. It engages the lone devices in some corners of our homes and factories to communicate and collaborate on a global network and scale. It can be as public as our social network, or it can be as secretive as American snooping program.

We, in India, can leverage the power of this computing model in many ways: to reduce poverty, to improve governance, and to reduce distance between different places which do not have good physical infrastructure. We can enthuse the social programmes like tele-medicines, information channels for farmers, public safety and security – in fact, in multiple ways that we can imagine and exploit these technologies as we like.

Our business community today is linked to the large global supply chains like the counterparts anywhere else around the world. The distribution system is global. Access to skills and technologies is no longer restricted to our political borders. Mining and IT booms during the last decade can be considered as the typical examples to this phenomenon.

In this globalized scenario, it is more pertinent to use technologies in a better way. It’s wiser to rely on data and analytics for gaining advantage in respective markets. And here, Cloud Computing plays the most important role as a technology enabler.

Thank you.

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