March 26, 2012
Businesses and other organizations are embracing the cloud for a variety of IT functions, resulting in reduced costs, greater productivity and increased innovation. With the cloud already impacting how many companies store sensitive data and build IT infrastructure, cloud-based applications have become immensely popular due to their ability to improve organizational flexibility and employee mobility.
While the United States and Europe are often thought of as cloud leaders, that may not actually be the case. According to a recent Tata Consultancy Services survey of senior managers and corporate IT executives from large companies, emerging markets like Latin America and the Asia Pacific region lead the way in cloud application adoption. In fact, the study revealed 54 percent of Latin American companies' business applications are projected to be in the cloud by 2014, compared to 52 percent among Asia Pacific organizations and 33 percent for United States enterprises.
"We have reached the inflection point in cloud computing and there is no turning back," said Natarajan Chandrasekaran, CEO of Tata Consultancy Services. "Cloud-based applications are already a substantial piece of large corporate IT infrastructure and the early benefits achieved are too substantial to ignore. There is huge scope for growth in both developed and emerging economies and we firmly believe that cloud computing will continue to open up opportunities for companies across many different functions."
The survey also found that security remains the top concern regarding the migration of applications to the cloud, while managing security risks in the cloud is essential to realizing its full benefits. According to the report, U.S. and European firms are more conservative about deploying their most critical applications in the cloud due to fear of data security breaches, with only 20 percent of those responding organizations saying they would place their most vital applications in public clouds.
Other research reports and some experts have examined the trends of cloud computing in emerging markets, and many found that security is a significant obstacle to cloud adoption. China, India, Indonesia and Japan are among the Asian nations expected to experience a major increase in the number of cloud-related jobs by 2015, while Latin American and South American countries are projected to realize even greater growth, according to an IDC study. The report said the number of cloud jobs in Mexico will expand 382 percent from 2012 to 2015, with Colombia, Brazil, Chile and Argentina also experiencing more than 350 percent growth.
As for security in the cloud, most experts say organizations can secure sensitive data and applications in cloud environments through proper planning and the adoption of security technology that can monitor multiple clouds, servers, devices and networks in real time.