Mr. Ashwini Rath, Founder & Director, Batoi Systems talks to OdishaPlus on the need and benefits of cloud computing in the present-day business environment.
How do you explain Cloud Computing in layman’s language?
The Cloud Computing can be considered as a model for computing rather than a different technology. It’s like a service bureau where we take service and pay for it. So, the model is not new; it has been there since long. We rent a taxi many a time instead of purchasing it. We buy a ticket for a flight instead of buying the airplane and carrying the burden of paying for the crew. In fact, we adopt the service-based model when the capital cost is exorbitant, and the operation requires very specialized skills; so is the case of the model of Cloud Computing. However, I would like to note here that new technologies continue to be associated with this model as it evolves.
How relevant is Cloud Computing for the common IT users?
Almost all common IT users use the Cloud in their daily activities, for their communication needs and for entertainment. You can take many examples like Google, Netflix, Facebook, Twitter, etc. But the major thrust comes from business domain where the Cloud plays a critical role to achieve competitiveness, productivity and profitability.
How relevant is Cloud Computing for Corporate and other stakeholders who are heavy users of IT based solutions?
As I just told, it’s the corporate users and business managers who benefit the most from Cloud Computing. Today, data is like a currency; and its value lies in the way we use it, and, in comparison to the peers. Here, the Cloud provides the opportunity of handling data in a big scale and based on our needs without being constrained by the technology. Moreover, the business users have the freedom to access their data and software while being mobile – a great transformation in the way they work and leverage their time.
What is the current fare of Cloud in the world? Can you put some light on the current scenario of use of Cloud in India? Any special references to Odisha?
Like any other new technology, Cloud Computing has gone through the usual hype and struggle in keeping with the ground needs of users. But through the recent years, it has caught up fast, and has established itself as a lever of change in business and society in general. It promotes globalization and collaboration in a way which we could not think before a decade. India and Odisha cannot remain behind; and the future of the Cloud is good irrespective of which place you live in.
What is the relevance of Cloud for small businesses?
Small businesses and startups are inherently averse to capital expenditure; and the model of Cloud Computing suits such entities the most financially. On the other hand, the quick deployment of IT and the outsourcing of specialized services around hardware and software are the core objectives of the Cloud. Thus, SMBs and startups benefit a lot from it.
Do you find Cloud very efficient and cheaper solution for businesses?
If you say cheaper, the outlook will be different. But I would say it is cost effective and removes capital expenditure from your IT implementation. Also, the whole process is very efficient to reap the benefit from exploiting IT for your business.
Cloud gives freedom in terms of usage and portability of data. Please explain the statement.
The statement is both true and false. Let me clarify. If we look at the evolving nature and structure of software applications, they turn out to be open to a standard or a set of standards in terms of data exchange and management. But it will be inaccurate if we say that all the Cloud vendors have designed to make the port of software applications between them damn easy. So, it’s an area we need to look at when we make the decision to adopt a Cloud ecosystem.
You have been an expert in the subject of Cloud computing and the global trends. You have been delivering lectures on the same. What is your observation on the awareness level of people?
People are aware, but they are aware in the wrong way. People know the Cloud as technologically complex and yet insecure. Though the Cloud vendors are to be blamed for creating a difficult perspective about the ease of implementation, larger media highlights of small glitches on different Cloud ecosystem gives rise to the security perspective.
But it’s a happy situation that we are depending more and more on the Cloud for our personal and business needs. The consultants and evangelists are playing a role in creating an awareness and removing the myth about this computing model.
How receptive are your audience towards the concept and the products being developed in the domain?
People consider cost and usability; and we have a strong point there. With the availability of better Internet connectivity and need for mobile solutions, the concept and our products are placed well for quick adoption.
Your company ‘Batoi Systems’ provides number of services on cloud computing. Can you please elaborate and tell our audience how they can use them for their day-to-day professional and business requirements?
Batoi focusses on providing cloud-based platform and software applications for improving business operations and productivity. The services include workflow applications, CRM, ERP, website management, communications through SMS and email, domain names, and online storage apart from several others. The wide range of services help small and business businesses manage their IT with one-stop solution.
Recently Batoi collaborated with NASSCOM and organized an event on ‘Cloud for Business’. What was the response and outcome of the event?
The event was a big success with a little more than 150 participants from different industry verticals and academics. The majority of the participants were from the SMB sector, and were the decision makers with regard to the IT implementation in their organizations.
How do you see the future of Cloud with reference to India?
India has been slow in adopting the Cloud due to lack of awareness, poor Internet infrastructure and unavailability of high-quality data centers. But things are changing faster now. People are turning their attention at this model of computing for their business. With 4G rollout, Internet looks to be ubiquitous. Companies have looked at building good quality data centers in the country or extend their existing ones.
Lastly, as a common user, what will be the difference for me if my data are managed by Cloud rather than some other system? Does Cloud help in lowering the cost and enhancing my productivity?
This constitutes three questions. First, there is no difference to my data whether it is managed in the Cloud or elsewhere. But the scalability and wide access to my data without compromising the security is the hallmark of the Cloud; and that is the difference. To the second question, adopting the Cloud for business do take away the capital expenditure; and we are left with handling operational expenditure only. Answering the last question, the Cloud enables you to access your business data from anywhere, anytime and with any device; thus, essentially increases productivity.