'Security and perceived cost affect cloud adoption' | SupportBiz

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'Security and perceived cost affect cloud adoption'

In an exclusive interview with Faiz Askari of SupportBiz.com, Anant Deshpande, VP, Business Development, Enterprise of Cisco India and SAARC spoke about cloud computing and its relevance for small and mid-sized businesses.

Small and medium sized companies are said to be the most relevant segment for cloud based solutions. According to you, how authentic is this statement?

I completely agree.

Small and medium sized companies typically have less-complex IT needs, fewer legacy applications, and less IT support than larger enterprises.  They are often happy to hand over the delivery and operation of IT to third parties, liberating them to focus on running their businesses. Research by McKinsey confirms this by a finding that SMBs with less than 250 employees are more than twice as likely as larger companies to adopt subscription or on-demand technology services.

One of the key challenges for SMEs in adopting newer technologies is the factor of total cost of ownership. How do you tackle this point while selling cloud based solutions?

Two factors that critically influence cloud adoption are security and perceived expense.  However, the SMEs, while being price-sensitive, are also aware of the value and competitive advantage that cloud computing can bring to their business.  A lot of organizations are turning to cloud and other technologies to help cut expenditures and extend their computing resources.

The cloud enables a lot of new technologies and capabilities that can be delivered to small businesses in a subscription payment model that makes usage more defined and RoI guaranteed. In fact, a lot of applications on the cloud have been developed with the small business user in mind. Pay-per-use is the best pricing model that inclines any CIO’s decision towards cloud.

What is the current status of IT skill set availability for managing the cloud based IT environment?

Cloud is essentially a delivery model. So I think it is important for IT professionals to augment not just their IT skills but also their business skills to have a relevant discussion with customers in terms of how a cloud offering can benefit their business.

Having said that, the issue is not about the talent pool – there is a huge talent pool available. It is imperative to start augmenting their skill sets from managing infrastructure to managing orchestration, management and provisioning (from a cloud perspective). In other words, enabling our technologists moving up the value chain by adapting to newer technologies and align with customer needs.

What expectations do you have from the Indian market with regards to Cloud Computing adoption?

If you look at some trends in the IT/ITeS sector, business models are fundamentally shifting; they are moving from asset heavy to asset light; from staff augmentation to technology transformation; T&M to managed services and input to output based. Indian IT/ITeS sector stands to gain significantly in light of these changes by winning more complex contracts.

Cloud (preceded with the underlying premise of virtualization and RIM) are great deal makers for IT Services companies. In short, this is a huge business opportunity for ITS players and we’ll get our fair share of that. We are investing to augment our cloud engine and cloud partnerships and you can expect to hear more from us in the near future.

Does it mean that while opting for cloud environment, the organization must have to restructure its IT set up? What are the migration options?

Migrating to cloud does not entail restructuring of the entire existing IT system/structure. Cloud transforms the economics of IT from capital-intensive to pay-as-you-go.  Service level agreements (SLAs) guarantee the capabilities you need, when you need them. Costs are tiered and metered to accurately reflect one’s requirements and usage. All applications, including legacy, run more efficiently and sustainably with greater utilization of the underlying infrastructureit