Prakash Kumar, National Technology Officer, Microsoft India, cites a series of examples to hammer the point that concerns about security of cloud are nothing but unfounded fears
Slogans like ‘less government, more governance’ and ‘do more with less’ are in vogue these days. But this would not have been possible without the cloud. The cloud removes the burden of building and maintaining large computer systems, provides unlimited computing and storage capacity, increases disaster preparedness by building backup, reduces cost and time commitment upfront and simplifies access with secure capabilities. That is the reason governments are also adopting the cloud in a big way.
Cloud has grown to 300 percent in six years worldwide, from a business volume of US$46 billion in 2008 to US$150 billion in 2014. The global cloud computing industry growth rate is five times higher than that of the IT growth rate.
Two recent surveys suggest that out of every 10, eight CIOs (chief information officers) were delivering their infrastructure through cloud, and six out of 10 considered cloud computing their top priority. There are 50 billion servers worldwide today and 60 percent of them have been virtualised. Of the every thousand companies globally, 30 percent are expected to use cloud for both internal and external usage.
“Microsoft’s cloud Azure has a billion servers and huge revenue comes from there… if that were not secure, then the business would have gone somewhere else“
Another milestone in cloud computing is that half of the US government has moved to it. And the same survey also found out that the biggest activity happening on the cloud is banking. And banking in the cloud is not a general view keeping the security concerns in mind. Contrary to the popular belief, more than half of the IT professionals rank security as the top reason for migrating apps to the cloud.
Microsoft has a cloud offering called Azure in which a billion servers are present and a huge amount of revenue comes from there. Now if that were not secure, then naturally the business would have gone somewhere else.
Disaster and crisis management is something where you need to bring back services, and the time taken to do that is very important. After an earthquake in Japan, the government there used the Azure to put up applications for providing information and services to those who were affected by the disaster.
Similarly, for enhancing government delivery system, an open government and big data are required. An example of big data is weather and disaster relief data which is now used to verify insurance claims. So, if you claim for crop failure, then they cross check it with data coming from weather and other sources.
The cloud brings flexible storage, recovery, on-demand infrastructure and also a new feature, which is the identification of users, whether internal or external, wherein based on identity the role of the person/user could be decided. The cited examples are a testimony to how the cloud and its applications are being used effectively all over the globe. If it can happen elsewhere, we can also do it in our own country.