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India’s small businesses utilising the cloud

Satarupa Bhattacharya

The versatility and ease of use of cloud applications is creating a buzz in business, especially among small Indian businesses.

The government of India has recognized the opportunity for itself, with its GI Cloud initiative to enable government departments to buy cloud services, and for small private enterprises through

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project Baadal.

Baadal is creating a cloud computing platform for the countries many MSMEs. Baadal is a cloud orchestration and virtualization management platform developed at the Indian Institute of Technology Delhi (IITD). It can work with multiple virtualization technologies such as KVM, Xen and VmWare.

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.

Searchdatacenter.in interviewed three owners of small businesses in the Eastern zone of India. Here is what each has to say on the impact of cloud on SME or small businesses.

Nimesh Jain, owner of Cryptics

Cryptics is a website and application-development firm based in Kolkata. It has designed a number of local websites and is moving into content marketing and social media management too.

“The main benefits of cloud computing is mostly felt in corporate data sectors, here the data center can operate like an internet server through enabling the sharing of resources, which can then be accessed and used as a virtual resource all in a secure manner. Currently, SMEs in particular are adopting and applying the use of cloud computing as most of the time such companies lack resources such as money and time to purchase, install and maintain a computing infrastructure.

These resources normally include a server, software and storage. Most SME’s have limited resources and cloud computing can give them the use of a computer networking at the fraction of the cost that would normally be incurred when installing a computer network. The only tools required are a good internet connection and a computer.”

T.Mukherjee, owner, Meghbela

Meghbela is a steadily growing internet service provider in the Eastern Zone. It has recently forayed into providing digital cable services in the region too, with partnerships with giants such as Bharti Airtel Broadband & Telephony Services.

“A big benefit is that cloud computing is actually more cost effective than using a standard computer networking system. Here smaller businesses can access resources and increase or decrease their cloud computing services according to how their business needs change. 

"The pays as you go model that is used to deliver cloud computing services enables smaller companies to add and remove the services they feel is necessary and pay for only those services they will be using. 

Cloud computing also enables small companies to compete with the industry giants by giving them an extensive environment and enough leverage to do so. This is especially true for companies that feel they can grow their business without the need for developing an infrastructure that can get outdated easily. The various platforms that can help SME in this respect are the cloud email solutions, Dropbox and Google Drive.”

Arunava Bhattacharya, owner, M/S Construction & Co.

A real estate and construction firm, M/S Construction & Co. uses cloud for all storage and communication needs. Dating back to 1995, the firm has been a frontrunner in adopting the latest innovations in cloud, despite having begun with books and pens.

“Data on the cloud computing system is unlimited and can also be expanded when needed; it enables the company to have access to the data whenever possible offering a great amount of flexibility and portability, this frees up more time that SME’s can then invest into developing business strategies or solutions.”