Indian CIOs skeptical on cloud computing

 But cloud seems to be 5 to 10 years away from touching Indian shores, going by the findings of Gartner analysts.

The cloud computing market which was worth $58.6 billion in 2009 is expected to climb to $148.8 billion in 2014. But this demand will mostly come from customers in North America and Europe. Indian CIOs are reluctant to embrace cloud and say they don’t believe in it, said Gartner Research Vice President Rakesh Kumar.

Cloud computing may be a good option for small startups, but for larger customers it is yet to prove its business benefits. “The level of financial diligence is highest in India and companies here are yet to get convinced about the cloud,” Kumar told Deccan Herald.

Gartner Principal Analyst Aman Munglani said cloud at the moment is at the peak of inflated expectations due to media hype. “There are unrealistic expectations on what it can do. Indian companies won’t be ready for cloud for the next few years,” he said.

Cloud computing comes in two flavours, public and private.  In public cloud, companies draw IT resources from third party data centers, which would be available for other companies as well. In private cloud, companies modernize their own data centers to make IT resources more easily sharable between employees. The conventional wisdom the industry holds is private clouds will take off faster than public variety.

But Munglani said in India companies on an average have virtualized – another related piece of technology which helps companies utilize their hardware better –10 to 20 percent of their IT infrastructure.

Virtualization helps their servers. “Unless virtualization penetration significantly increases, private clouds won’t happen,” he added.

He also listed the impediments before public clouds. Companies are apprehensive about putting sensitive data on third party clouds which may also host their competitors. They also do not know where their data would reside on a public cloud. If the public cloud data center is located in an area prone to flooding or other natural disasters the risk on the company increases.

Companies particularly those in industries such as IT services, banking and insurance have to meet stringent regulatory norms in safekeeping their data. They are not sure if the cloud service provider can comply with those norms.

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