IDC predicts that the "whole Cloud" spending (total worldwide spending on Cloud services, the hardware and software components underpinning the cloud supply chain, and the professional/managed services opportunities around cloud services) will surpass $1.3 trillion by 2025
The last few years have shown beyond doubt that a ‘technology-led approach’ is the proven recipe for ensuring the most significant business need, that is, resilience—is met. Globally, we have witnessed businesses rushing towards recognising, understanding, and implementing the right type of technology for their specific requirements. While doing so, the importance of Cloud as an essential shield against any business hurdles has solidified and has become the perfect impetus for businesses to consider it in the coming years.
This has also translated into the understanding that traditional way of doing business with monolithic systems is deterrent to business growth and has built a strong stance for Cloud. Not only has it helped with innovation, but Cloud has also helped do away with the requirement of maintaining on-premises data center, resulting in lower costs, and ensuring scalability.
With all this, it is estimated that the already huge market for Cloud computing is still growing as IDC predicts that the “whole Cloud” spending (total worldwide spending on Cloud services, the hardware and software components underpinning the cloud supply chain, and the professional/managed services opportunities around cloud services) will surpass $1.3 trillion by 2025.
In this accelerated race towards a Cloud first world, many public sector organisations have also taken a decision and made significant plans for Cloud migration in the year gone by and aim to continue the same in the one to come. However, Cloud strategy cannot be a ‘one-size-fits-all’— every business in every sector with their unique requirements needs to have a dedicated and well-thought over plan to capture the maximum benefits of Cloud. This becomes especially true for public sector with various factors to consider including mission critical data, need for regular services and the uniqueness of the sector.
Addressing the obstacles
The promise of Cloud seems increasingly beneficial as many organisations cut through the most competitive sectors and emerge as crowning leaders, given their ability to navigate challenges with the right technology. However, as public sector chooses to leverage Cloud, despite the urgency they often are presented with a wide range of concerns in migration. Typically, the sector guards significantly critical data which is constantly under threat.
Given the high stakes, they have put into place some necessary regulations which act as a measure of precaution against any data theft. Even beyond the regulations, the sector is constantly required to have an air-tight control on data movement, the number of users having immediate access, and ensuring efforts towards reducing the overall threat surface. All of this combined traditionally put Cloud or technology advancement of any kind a little lower on the priority list for governmental organisations. However, this is no longer the case considering we live in a world where Cloud is not an option and is highly important for a country’s efficient governance. Additionally, as the rest of the country moves into sophisticated Cloud environments, public sector is also required to keep up the momentum.
I have personally observed a sense of keenness amongst many governmental organisations wanting to safely leverage Cloud— safely being the keyword. Aligned with this, in my conversations with CTOs, CIO and technology decision makers, the question I often get asked is – is it possible to ensure Cloud migration as well as regulatory compliance? And the simple answer is that with the right hyperscale, strategy and support, regulatory compliance can be met.
Choosing the right Cloud partner
Public sector needs to be highly careful when it comes to taking the first step towards their Cloud journey which is choosing the right Cloud provider. The luxury of choice may seem a bit too daunting however, the government has shared a list of MeitY empanelled Cloud Services Providers who are eligible to offer services to governments and public sector firms making the process simpler. Additionally, it is extremely important to pick a Cloud provider that will support beyond implementation as well and be a strategic advisor to the organisation. Another important factor to consider is a Cloud provider that also values Cloud economics instead of charging high fees in egress costs.
At Oracle too, we are extending support to the Indian public sector’s move to Cloud. Being an MeitY empanelled Cloud provider, we are managing some significant organisations including logistics and commerce to healthcare amongst many other sectors.
An example of how revolutionary Cloud can be for the public sector is the Aspirational Districts Program. The basis of the program is around leveraging data and identify the top performing districts around the pre-set performance factors. This has been done with a goal to improve the quality of life for the people who are a part of the 112 districts. For the efficiency of this program, thousands of data points are required to be assimilated from multiple sources. After ensuring data accuracy, it gets combined for analysing and reporting. Ultimately, administrators, district collectors as well as government officers and general public are given the data in the form of visual and intuitive dashboard. This highly important program requires data to be made available to all on a real time basis and for this, Oracle Autonomous Cloud is leveraged.
Additionally, based on my discussions with our public sector customers, I am certain that Cloud will prove to be an important technology for public sector in the coming years. There is also a significant importance of leveraging AI/ML, data analytics, blockchain amongst other cloud related technologies. The sector can also choose a cloud provider that supports them for the right hybrid cloud strategies. This will allow them to leverage Cloud for non-critical data and move in the direction of innovation in a much more protected manner.
Ultimately, the objective remains to ensure a seamless public service delivery along with ensuring data security and the coming years will certainly witness the sector heavily relying on Cloud to ensure the same.
The author is the Vice President-Technology (Cloud), Oracle India