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India turning to cloud computing with critical government data

August 16, 2012

While much of Indian private industry is still slow to adopt cloud computing as a major part of its business plan, the country's government is not showing such hesitation. According to the Economic Times, the Department of Information Technology is looking to invest in a cloud-based national network of state data centers. The long-term goal is to see many of the services offered by the government delivered via the internet.

Private cloud infrastructure was chosen for the project on the merits of superior network security, although what company will be providing the service is yet to be determined. Proposals for a variety of companies, many based in the United States, will be heard from the private clouds in each of India's 28 states and seven territories.

Spurring innovation
Initiatives in the United States and the United Kingdom to adopt cloud computing for nationally-relevant systems helped to spur the move in India, according to the Economic Times. A U.S.-based firm has been lobbying the Indian government to make the move for the past six months, pushing for broad cloud adoption.

Currently, around 80 percent of the Indian cloud market, valued between $860 million and $912 million, is in the private cloud, according to a July report from Zinnov Consulting. However, as more organizations begin looking to deploy cloud-based services, the market for the public could reach $685 million by 2014, as it moves out of its current, nascent state.

According to BizTech2 India, Platform-as-a-Service and other as-a-Service models are becoming increasingly popular in the Indian market. A large degree of cloud activity in India is occurring on the application level, as organizations begin to ease into the technology little by little.

Security concerns
While India as a whole looks to move on with its plan, ensuring security in the cloud is still a top priority. Even after consulting with outside companies on cloud adoption over the past few months, extending that knowledge of the technology from a few individuals presents a challenge for the government.

"The IT department at center has been talking about setting up cloud computing-based services for a while now, but what remains to be seen is how fast these services will be set up," Bangalore Director of IT, Professor S. Sadagopan, told the Economic Times. "Once established, it'll be a big shift from our current PC culture, but we also need greater understanding of the data security challenges that could arise out of this."

-McAfee Cloud Security