Originally published in:

By Byju Joseph, Chief Technology Officer, Future Generali India Life Insurance Company

As India strives to accelerate its digital transformation journey, the cloud is emerging as a critical national infrastructure – like other utility networks. The forward-thinking leadership of the Indian government builds an inclusive digital society through programs such as Digital India – bridging the digital divide and boosting online commerce. As the world continues to look towards India’s emerging economy, the role of technology in enabling that growth cannot be understated.

With all the initiatives such as “Make in India” and “Digital India” the government is aiming to create value for citizens and businesses by leveraging new technologies and building a new way of operation based on smarter systems that enable smarter use of data. Everyone knows that government laid huge emphasis on its ambitious project Unified Payments Interface and are registering amazing mark in the world!

Indian Government’s Cloud Computing Initiative:

The Indian government has initiated an ambitious project called “MeghRaj” with the singular focus of leveraging cloud computing to accelerate the delivery of various government e-services. The adoption of sophisticated digital technologies is indeed helping India’s business and public ecosystem unlock huge opportunities and transform the nation. Cloud-based services, data analytics, mobility, and IoT are expected to bring about a deep societal transformation. Govt opening up to SaaS solutions will bring agility in India’s public sector. Heightened collaboration within the public-private industry ecosystem will turn the country into an innovation hub, borderless growth, higher productivity, and agility.

No doubt, that embracing sophisticated cloud technologies will enable digital infrastructure as a core utility to every citizen, improve governance and services on demand while leading to digital empowerment of citizens.

2021 from a cloud computing perspective:

The year 2021 is the beginning of a new decade that will witness the rapidly changing business dynamics. There is a thriving need for organisations to find bold ways to drive business transformation by adopting digitalisation to emerge stronger. Most of the value of the cloud comes from increased resilience provided to the business with sustained velocity, agility, and possible innovation. This requires focusing on embedding re-usability and micro-services so investment in modernizing can be rapidly scaled. This approach can help focus any transformation programs on where the benefits matter most.

Advantages of cloud-based digital transformation:

A cloud-based digital transformation strategy offers great opportunities:

  • The chance to capitalize on far greater computational resources provided by cloud providers that run data-intensive computing.
  • Replacements for ageing back-office applications.
  • The flexibility to ramp up or down according to business dynamics.
  • The ability to handle the volumes of data coming from IoT-related digital sensors.
  • use of Cognitive services, artificial intelligence, and other systems that identify business opportunities.

Hybrid clouds:

Hybrid cloud is swiftly becoming the dominant force driving change in the industry as organisations realise that a ‘one-cloud-fits-all’ approach does not work. Enterprises want a cloud that has the industry expertise to cater to mission-critical processes, offers enterprise-grade security, compliance, and governance, the ability to build and run anywhere with consistency, the ability to be able to automate, predict and modernise workflows and leverage the latest innovations.

Role of cloud technology in digital transformation:

Cloud plays a central role in the delivery and execution of digital transformation strategy for many enterprises. Cloud technologies mean faster time to market, agility, the ability to scale up and down with varying demands, and faster adaptation to customer. Ability to experiment with reduced risk to make the digital transformation successful, cloud helps start-ups and digital transformation leaders to experiment with de-risking investments as operating expenditure, faster uncoupling of resources if experiments did not meet the desired outcome, as well as the ability to make quick and smarter changes in no time.

Challenges in adoption of cloud platforms:

The cloud is full of promise. But while straightforward, the switchover from a company’s data centers to the cloud must be planned carefully. To ensure the real visible value from the cloud, enterprises need to build an operating model around the cloud. Also, to reap value from cloud platforms treat adoption as a business-technology transformation project by focusing investments on business domains where cloud can simplify the process for their distributor and customers. And the operating model that aligns by de-risking the business.

However, while the cloud is getting ubiquitous, still far away from the enterprise can completely shift all workload. We need to ensure the country fares well in its overall cloud computing readiness, in terms of personal data protection, privacy, cybersecurity, and the need for cheaper broadband infrastructure in rural India. Undoubtedly, there is a strong need for policymakers and cloud service providers to come together and build a national framework that addresses these key policy areas.

Benefits of operating in the cloud platform:

In many enterprises, the technology execution capabilities are often not up to the task. Outdated technology environments make change expensive. Monthly release cycles make it hard to tune digital capabilities to changing market demands. Rigid and brittle infrastructures choke on the data required for analytics.

Operating in the cloud can reduce or eliminate many of these issues. Exploiting cloud services and tooling, however, requires change across all of IT and many business functions as well-in effect, a different business-technology model. Companies launching digital transformations and got it right have seen sustained and material performance improvements.

In a nutshell, the cloud has become omnipresent like the Mobile and Internet and is no longer an option for the government and enterprises. It has become a precondition to succeed in the digital era and a very important factor for digital transformation. Digital transformation is requiring them to place a stronger focus on emerging and innovative technologies. We must exhibit the ability to experiment, learn and fail fast, embed innovation in processes.