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Outlook: Cloud computing will redefine information, process use

Posted: 28 Jan 2010     Print Version  Bookmark and Share

Keywords:cloud computing  outlook  SaaS 

Vipin Gupta

Gupta: The next decade will redefine how we use and build information technology driven processes.

The 2009 financial crisis forced CIOs in the Asia-Pacific region to evaluate new service delivery and pricing models, according to market research firm IDC. Analysts at IDC explain that budget constraints are responsible for a focus on "de-capitalizing" IT and the financial model of the cloud and services in general have become more attractive. Some see this as a power shift from enterprise hardware and software vendors to the services providers.

One such service provider is Youngstown, Ohio-based Empyra.com Inc., a start-up that delivers an on-demand modular web channel solution. The business currently targets smaller businesses and what sets it apart from the bigger players is the focus on personalised consultations, solutions and revenue models.

Empyra's president & CEO, Vipin Gupta, recently talked to Vivek Nanda, executive editor at EE Times India, about the software services sector and cloud computing.

EE Times India: Do you see wider adoption of cloud computing—IaaS, PaaS or SaaS—by the services industry in 2010?
Gupta:
There is no doubt that cloud computing is highly relevant and increasingly becoming an important pillar of modern computing. Cloud computing across all layers of computing (infrastructure, platform, data, and applications) will continue to exponentially increase in adoption in 2010 and beyond. This increase will be across all kinds of users (individual, small businesses and large enterprises). In the last decade, an increasing maturity in virtualisation, lowering costs of bandwidth and experiences from offshore development created a perfect storm for the adoption of cloud computing.

The next decade will redefine how we use and build information technology driven processes. Cloud computing is creating a level playing field and democratizing information technology by providing alternatives to traditional barriers of cost, time, quality, scale and geographic location. Small businesses are adopting cloud computing to break down traditional technological and financial barriers in deploying innovation. Larger businesses are cutting costs with cloud computing while embarking on a transformation of their IT service delivery models. It allows mid-size enterprises to deploy sophisticated capabilities comparable to large enterprises with minimal upfront costs. For example, smaller banks can now provide a sophisticated online banking experience to their customers—something they couldn't afford until now due to high upfront costs and access to systems expertise.

Cloud computing allows businesses to scale capacity, creates a pay-per-use expense with low initial capital, enables ready infrastructure operable from any location, and helps abstract computational capabilities away from the underlying hardware. In addition to delivering these efficiencies, cloud computing is shifting the corporations' approach to technology and is establishing building blocks for the next wave of innovation across the technology industry. While cloud computing will continue to grow, the ability to derive significant savings from high-stress complex business processes is still a work in progress. And cloud computing providers will continue to address this as large-enterprises continue to subscribe; hence creating a positive maturity spiral for cloud computing.

What impact from cloud computing do you foresee on application development?
Cloud computing will continue to be refined and defined into multiple sub-disciplines in the coming years. The concept of technology as a service has fundamentally changed how IT shops will think, build and operate in future. It is changing how business and technology teams interact, how IT teams build solutions, how IT teams design architectures, how corporations define IT costs and how diversely-located resources can be effectively combined. Cloud computing is driving IT teams to think differently about their role and the value they provide. It is changing the vocabulary of interaction across IT and business teams.

It is affecting how we design, develop and deploy solutions that need computing infrastructure. For example, unlocking the potential of next-generation devices requires a unified design approach. Designers need more flexibility and fewer barriers to design and create electronic products. Hosted EDA solutions provide on-demand design environments that can be utilised from day one. These services provide pre-packaged ready-to-use capabilities for decision support, knowledge management, design workflows and simulation algorithms in a high performing computing platform that is scalable to meet designer's needs. Hosted design solutions can save significant amount of upfront cost and time to without the risk of carrying the cost of maintaining the infrastructure. In the coming years most EDA software providers will move to the Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) model to allow designers to start collaborating on new projects and designs with minimal cost of installation, setup or teardown of the tool.

For entrepreneurs and start-up electronics design ventures, SaaS can provide a competitive advantage by saving the upfront investment, reducing time to setup and hence lowering the cost of sales. Designers get immediate access to an environment inherently built for collaboration across specialisations and geographically distributed teams. SaaS also helps in reducing the total cost of ownership for EDA and CAD infrastructure by leveraging pay-as-you-use model.


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