Cloud computing as a technology has been around for quite a few decades. The first instance of the term being used can be found in a Compaq internal document back in 1996. But, it is at the turn of the century (or the millennium, actually) that the technology moved beyond the realm of academic discussion to into real-life application. With the phenomenal growth of the Internet, cloud computing has gained much traction. From users storing their data on third-party applications like Gmail or Facebook to enterprises converting their business functions into managed services like finance or HR, the cloud is now the foundation on which our data-enabled society runs. In the past few years, just as cloud computing became ubiquitous, terms like SaaS (Software-as-a-Service), PaaS (Platform-as-a-Service), and IaaS (Infrastructure-as-a-Service) have become mainstream.
One can gauge the rise of cloud computing from the fact that global spending on cloud computing is expected to grow from an estimated $371.4 billion in 2020 to $832.1 billion by 2025. A recent report published by IDG states that the average cloud spending by the enterprise segment is up 59% from 2018 to $73.8M in 2020. Even the COVID-19 pandemic that had a pervasive negative impact on all sectors could not arrest the growth of cloud computing. On the contrary, the worldwide public cloud services market is forecast to grow by 6.3% in 2020 to a total of $257.9 billion.
As the world hunkered down under the impact of the pandemic, cloud computing transformed into a saviour. Communication and collaborative tools like Microsoft Teams, Zoom, Google Meet and Amazon Chime helped businesses and individuals stay connected during the lockdown and continue working from home. Digital education became a boon, as students were unable to attend school. Restaurants turned to food delivery apps like Zomato or Swiggy to explore new business avenues like home delivery. Patients were able to consult doctors online. People availed numerous government services at the click of a mouse. All this has been possible thanks to the power of cloud computing and more importantly, because of the pervasive cloudification of everything.
To understand the factors driving cloudification and how it is changing the enterprise space, CNBC-TV18 and Intel dedicated a complete episode titled 'Everything Cloudified', under the aegis of the tech-centric series "Future-Proof Your Business". The episode charts the rise of cloud computing by featuring India's premier cloud service provider NTT-Netmagic. In the episode, Sharad Sanghi, Leader-Designate, NTT India, reflects on the power of cloud computing and its relevance in the Indian enterprise space. He talks about how the current capacity for cloud computing in India stands around 375 megawatts and will grow to 1000 megawatts in the next five years. The reason he attributes for the rise of cloud computing is the cost-factor, elasticity of use and scalability. Sanghi also threw light upon the partnership with Intel and how technologies like DC Persistent Memory (DCPMM) has aided in providing faster and better services to enterprise users. "Intel offers next generation of storage and memory solutions that allows us to address the very needs of data management solutions for our clients worldwide," he stated.
Prakash Mallya, VP & MD, Sales Marketing & Communications Group, Intel India, touched upon how cloud computing had helped companies deal with the lockdowns due to the COVID-19 epidemic. The most significant trend in the days to come is the emergence of 'Everything as a Service', stated Mallya. Another exciting trend will be how cloud computing will leverage the power of other technologies like artificial intelligence (AI) or edge computing. "Latency is a crucial aspect for businesses. So, compute will move where the data is. Therefore edge computing will be evolving very rapidly; we see this as a significant opportunity. The industry sees this as a significant opportunity. We will see the emergence of new business models which are very unique, very tech-savvy and have a transformational impact in the country," he stated.
Meanwhile, Som Satsangi, Managing Director, Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE), India, spoke about the emergence of a new mobile workforce that is leveraging the power of the cloud. He also talked about how companies were able to function even during the lockdown with cloud computing. "HPE has announced almost $2 billion in financing new programs to help customers cope up with COVID-19 crisis," he said.
In the end, the adoption of cloud computing in the Indian enterprise space has been accelerated by the COVID-19 crisis. According to IDC's COVID-19 Impact on IT Spending Survey, 64% companies in India are expected to witness an increase in demand for cloud computing. At the same time, almost 56% of them will embrace the cloud as the new normal. Little wonder then, cloud computing is now the engine for digital transformation for Indian enterprises.