Government to create greater Cloud awareness for MSMEs

by CXOtoday News Desk    Oct 30, 2013

cloud awareness

The Government of India is gearing up for a strong cloud eco-system in the country and believes that the focus should be on the smaller companies who are still not aware of the benefits of cloud.

At a recent Cloud Summit 2013 organized by CII, J. Satyanarayana, secretary at the department of electronics and information technology recently released a CII-IMRB joint research paper, ‘Adoption of Cloud in MSMEs’ based on survey conducted with 8000 MSMEs across 22 Indian cities, that reports the overall awareness of cloud amongst MSME is only 2%. Out of this, the ratio of companies adopting cloud services is just about 4%.

It also highlights that the MSMEs look at cloud as an innovative concept and have concerns around data security, especially in businesses like IT/ ITES and financial services and therefore further enabling environment and awareness needs to be built.

Some of the key findings of the report include:

-          Effective hardware utilization is one of the key reasons for adopting cloud computing solutions. This seems to be more prominent among smaller SMEs; this could be because they would like to best use their existing hardware and reduce their bottom line expenses.

-          In terms of verticals, manufacturing MSMEs lead incloud services adoption. Companies mostly outsource functions like sales and marketing, technical operational data and other non-sensitive data on the cloud, as well as some HR related data.

-          Data security is currently the biggest concern of SMEs. In IT, financial and education firms, small businesses who work on the customer data or have sensitive data would not want their competitors to have access to those data.

Recommendation for MSME

The report recommends that small businesses should adopt web hosting services available on public vendors. They should ideally evaluate the service and vendor for a period of 6 months. to begin with, these companies should migrate email and collaboration services to public cloud as well as non-mission critical services to public cloud. The report also recommends MSMEs to be careful in choosing the set of cloud vendors. They should go for vendors who offer bundled service - applications that spans across business lines and helps consolidate the IT process in the business.

Government initiative on Cloud

To build a strong cloud ecosystem in India, the government is actively looking at cloud based services as first option. A significant step in this direction is Meghraj- National Cloud Computing Initiative, which sets basic standards for all cloud services for GOI as well as evangelising projects through cloud first policy.

Puneet Avasthi, VP- IMRB International says MSMEs offer significantly large headroom for growth to the cloud service providers. However, for this to happen, it is important for the service providers to offer a complete solution designed for the MSMEs addressing the concerns for local services provided, data security and bandwidth. He believes that the government and the industry should continue to have more initiatives to create awareness amongst MSMEs to adopt cloud.

Bhaskar Pramanik, chairman, National Committee on IT, ITeS & eCommerce, CII & chairman, Microsoft India notes that cloud computing is undergoing a seismic shift and is fundamentally shifting the economics of IT, of businesses and of delivery of governance. He believes that GoI is the largest proponents for Cloud and is looking at Cloud First approach to go forward. This initiative would also encourage MSMEs to take the next steps in Cloud.