SMBS AND CLOUD--THE GREAT IN­DIAN GOLD­MINE

Cloud de­ploy­ment is the next fron­tier for SMB devel­op­ment

DQ Channels - - Channel Pulse - AN­IMESH KU­MAR SA­HAY, se­nior coun­try direc­tor, Sales, En­ter­prise and Tele­com, CA Tech­nolo­gies

Cloud de­ploy­ment is the next fron­tier for SMB devel­op­ment

In­dia’s industrial land­scape is largely dot­ted with small and medium busi­nesses (SMB’s). More than 90% of in­come is gen­er­ated from th­ese busi­nesses. As per data sourced from the In­dian Cham­ber of Com­merce and In­dus­try, In­dia has a stag­ger­ing 48 mn SMB’s which con­trib­ute to about 60% of the coun­try’s GDP. It is also one of the largest em­ploy­ers in the coun­try and em­ploys 60 mn peo­ple ev­ery year. De­spite this, the seg­ment faces chal­lenges and the big­gest chal­lenge grap­pling the in­dus­try is its in­abil­ity to adopt tech­nol­ogy es­pe­cially in a day and age where tech­nol­ogy is the driv­ing force of ev­ery busi­ness. Ac­cord­ing to a study con­ducted by Zin­nov, only 12 mn SMB’s in the coun­try have adopted tech­nol­ogy. How­ever times are chang­ing and SMB’s are re­al­iz­ing the im­por­tance of tech­nol­ogy for their busi­ness and are now adopt­ing tech­nol­ogy in a big way.

To­day, cloud is the need of the hour for SMB’s due to its faster de­ci­sion mak­ing abil­ity. Given the mar­ket sce­nario in present times, busi­nesses need to con­stantly de­liver and hence tech­nol­ogy comes into the pic­ture since it helps in smoother and faster busi­ness trans­ac­tions. SMB’s there­fore need to take a pro­tech­nol­ogy stance and bol­ster their tech­no­log­i­cal in­fra­struc­ture since it pro­vides a num­ber of benefits such as re­duc­ing the cost and de­pen­dency on e-mail servers and stor­age sys­tems as well as the need to out­source IT ser­vices to ex­ter­nal agen­cies. The big­gest ben­e­fit it brings is the abil­ity to share con­tent any­where and at any time and gives one the free­dom to col­lab­o­rate with other busi­nesses to bring out bet­ter re­sults. It also saves space since you don’t need a dozen odd com­put­ers but just a sin­gle sys­tem pro­vid­ing cloud so­lu­tions and you are all set to roll out your busi­ness.

SMB’s are a lu­cra­tive seg­ment for IT so­lu­tion providers to foray into and some of the lead­ing en­ter­prise soft­ware so­lu­tion providers are of­fer­ing a host of cloud so­lu­tions to th­ese SMB’s. Th­ese providers have come up with an ar­ray of so­lu­tions which helps to make the life of an SMB owner eas­ier and hic­cup-free. Some of the lead­ing IT ven­dors of­fer Cloud based so­lu­tions which help in stream­lin­ing your desk op­er­a­tions and of­fers a host of fea­tures which as­sist in col­lab­o­ra­tion and shar­ing of data among busi­ness. IT so­lu­tion providers help to trans­form your busi­ness by help­ing in lever­ag­ing the power of cloud.

It is im­por­tant to un­der­stand that some is­sues of­ten pose hur­dles in the suc­cess of any busi­ness. How­ever this prob­lem can be re­solved with the help of cloud com­put­ing which will help in bridg­ing the gap be­tween what your busi­ness needs and what you can pro­vide for the same. To­day, ev­ery or­ga­ni­za­tion strives to achieve bet­ter per­for­mance through ca­pac­ity anal­y­sis, ser­vice vir­tu­al­iza­tion and per­for­mance man­age­ment. To this end, cloud com­put­ing so­lu­tions pro­vide a host of benefits needed to achieve the same. One such cloud based so­lu­tion which helps in achiev­ing this goal is Au­to­ma­tion Suite which helps in trans­fer­ring of vir­tual and phys­i­cal in­fra­struc­ture, is de­signed to sup­port us­age based pric­ing to cus­tomers/ users who are in­volved in the busi­ness.

The past year has wit­nessed the pri­or­i­ti­za­tion of tech­nolo­gies in the industrial land­scape. To this end, SMB own­ers are keep­ing up with the shift­ing dy­nam­ics by in­cor­po­rat­ing mo­biles, tablets and lap­tops in their daily trans­ac­tions. In the past year it­self, 14% of SMB’s adopted mo­bil­ity re­lated prod­ucts in their busi­nesses. SMB’s are adopt­ing vir­tu­al­iza­tion in a big way and as a re­sult cloud mar­ket is grow­ing rapidly. Re­search has shown that the In­dian Cloud mar­ket is es­ti­mated at 17 mn and is ex­pected to grow as high as 35% ev­ery year and the mar­ket is ex­pected to reach 42 mn by 2016.

From the above num­bers, it can be de­ci­phered that SMB’s are in­creas­ingly mov­ing to­wards a cloud ap­proach and now the onus lies on IT so­lu­tion providers to of­fer th­ese ser­vices to them and this re­quires en­ter­prise soft­ware ap­pli­ca­tion chan­nels to grow in scale. The emer­gence of a sta­ble gov­ern­ment post the 2014 elec­tions will ac­cel­er­ate the econ­omy and this will re­sult in SMB’s tak­ing baby steps to­wards tech­no­log­i­cal growth by adopt­ing mo­bil­ity, cloud com­put­ing and in­cor­po­rat­ing BYOD in their daily func­tion­ing. Com­mu­ni­ca­tion is an in­te­gral part of ev­ery busi­ness and SMB’s will spend a large chunk of their in­vest­ments on de­vel­op­ing th­ese com­mu­ni­ca­tion tech­nolo­gies.

Un­til re­cently, busi­nesses were un­der the im­pres­sion that only big busi­ness own­ers were the tar­get for cy­ber-crime but to­day the sce­nario has com­pletely changed and SMB’s are at a greater risk. More than 50% of such at­tacks were aimed at SMB’s with less than 2500 em­ploy­ees. The ques­tion that arises is- Why are SMB’s be­com­ing soft tar­get for cy­ber-crim­i­nals? The main rea­son is the lack of proper se­cu­rity pre­cau­tions un­der­taken by th­ese busi­ness own­ers. Since busi­nesses are mov­ing rapidly to­wards the vir­tual space, they ex­pose them­selves to dan­ger. With the ad­vent of BYOD and mo­bil­ity, em­ploy­ees are un­know­ingly ex­pos­ing them­selves and their com­pany to­wards a cy­ber-attack due to lack of se­cu­rity aware­ness. The so­lu­tion to this prob­lem lies in regular back up of data and se­cure as well as trusted cloud stor­age ser­vices for re­li­able backup. Some cloud ser­vices en­able you to en­crypt your file be­fore up­load­ing it which gives you and only you ac­cess to the file since the en­cryp­tion keys are with you and it can­not be un­scripted.

To­day SMB’s are grow­ing at a fast rate. This points out to the fact that cloud ser­vices will be in de­mand con­stantly. As a com­pany grows so will its data grow and to man­age this data, ser­vices such as big data and cloud will come into the pic­ture. Se­condly, with em­ploy­ees feel­ing the need to bring their mo­bile de­vices to of­fice, BYOD is gain­ing trac­tion and mo­bile com­put­ing has be­come an in­te­gral as­pect of ev­ery busi­ness set-up. To fa­cil­i­tate this, mo­bile ap­pli­ca­tions will be em­ployed but the data will live in the cloud which will help in se­cur­ing the data.

The crux of the mat­ter is that SMB’s are emerg­ing as the big fish in the pond which was ear­lier ruled by big or­ga­ni­za­tions. The dy­nam­ics have changed and with this, the rules of the game have changed as well. This ex­poses them to larger tech­no­log­i­cal risks and this is where cloud comes into the pic­ture as a saver. As a re­sult, in a cou­ple of years, we will wit­ness a del­uge of th­ese ser­vices and the clouds will sur­pris­ingly be sunny for the first time in his­tory. All this points out to the fact that In­dian SMB’s will be in a unique po­si­tion to ex­ploit th­ese re­sources and if done wisely, it will trans­form the way they com­pete with their larger counter-parts and can even­tu­ally over take them.

To­day SMB’s are grow­ing at a fast rate. This points out to the fact that cloud ser­vices will be in de­mand con­stantly

An­imesh Ku­mar Sa­hay,

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