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Cloud now transforming Indian business

Satarupa Bhattacharya

Spending on cloud services by Indian organizations increased by 33.6% in 2013 compared to 2012, according to Gartner, with firms spending a total of $404m.

A total of $3.9bn will be invested in cloud products and services from 2013 through 2017, according to the analyst company.

“The Indian market has shown particularly strong growth for the past few years and is predicted to continue to be one of the fastest growing countries in Gartner’s cloud forecast,” said Gartner.

Cloud computing’s low up-front set-up costs is enabling businesses to expand quickly – without the need for heavy investment in hardware and human resources – suits the requirements of Indian businesses, which are mainly small and largely short of capital.

The cloud is not just a budgetary advantage but is driving business in sectors including trading.

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The technology is driving the trading sector, according to National Stock Exchange of India CTO. The organization has prioritized investment in cloud computing technology.

Set up in November 1992, NSE was India's first fully automated electronic exchange with a nationwide presence. The exchange, unlike Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE), was the result of the recommendations of a high-powered group set up to study the establishment of new stock exchanges, which would operate on a pan-India basis.

The NSE’s trading system, the National Exchange for Automated Trading, has uptime record of over 99% with latency is in single digit milliseconds for all orders.

Cloud is one of the key technological dynamics influencing the trading sector in India, according to Umesh Jain, chief technical officer at the NSE .

The NSE is harnessing cloud computing for internal efficiency, as well as customer services, and cloud computing is a top priority, said Jain.

“Cloud is directly relevant. It creates huge opportunities for the exchange in terms of bringing down the cost of transactions,” said Jain. “The number of contracts traded will obviously increase at the NSE since the technology and information traded will increase with the incursion of cloud computing.”

Not only do the costs of transactions decrease, but options for services that were not feasible earlier may now become possible.

Arjun Singh at KPMG in India, said cloud computing increases the customer base of the NSE without the need for heavy investment in recruitment. “Performances and returns on investment will improve dramatically because of the virtually non-existent labor costs involved," he said.

Cloud computing’s low up-front costs means NSE can focus on improving performance and services, to drive profits.

Ujjwal C, owner of a small stockbroker firm Aashika in Kolkata, said companies using the NSE are benefiting from improved services. Continuous uptime and connectivity is vital to trading firms and cloud is supporting this, he added. “Advancements being incorporated such as cloud computing have definitely added to unprecedented up-time.”