Cloud computing has pretty much been through every phase of the hype cycle. A few years back, expectations were at an all-time high, and the chatter around cloud was everywhere. While people are still doing plenty of talking about cloud, we've now reached a point where the conversation has moved to productivity.
In emerging markets, people are asking the same questions about cloud that they are asking in developed markets. They are asking, "What does this mean to my business? Where is the value?" It is not about "How it works, or can it work for my business?" anymore.
Where it gets particularly interesting is in emerging markets, or greenfield scenarios, where the opportunity to use the cloud is often easier and comes with less legacy baggage to manage. In developed markets, IT has traditionally been "home-grown", in-house and a captive entity. Emerging market enterprises don't need to approach their IT infrastructure in the same way.
In a great blog post titled, "Will Emerging Markets Bypass The US On Cloud?", James Staten, Infrastructure & Operations analyst at Forrester Research, said: "We know that organisations with less in-house IT are able to leverage cloud services more readily. On top of all this, according to Forrester's Global Tech Market Outlook For 2011 and 2012, the markets increasing their investments in IT goods and services the most - nearly twice that of other regions - are Latin America, the Middle East, Eastern Europe, and Africa."
Lack of legacy
These markets are seeing opportunities and taking advantage of the lack of legacy IT systems and personnel. They have in-house experts that can take the benefits of public cloud computing and match it up to hybrid models with mission critical IT staying internal, to create a cloud utility model to maximise efficiency.
With this in mind, emerging market enterprises can skip a few of the steps in migration to the cloud. It will be a smoother transition than enterprises with legacy systems will have to manage. The advantage for enterprises in both markets is that companies can move a lot faster, scale up and down, and have a lot more elasticity across compute and storage. This is a key consideration for emerging market enterprises that may see rapid growth, or wish to only use what they pay for. Virtualisation helps them do that, and in turn makes them more agile. The characteristics of the cloud will drive more emerging market adoption. It fits with the traits we see in emerging market businesses and the appetite we see for enterprises to leapfrog to the cloud.
John Hayduk is president, Product Management and Service Development, Tata Communications.
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