Of all the extraordinary new technologies that have emerged in the recent past, cloud computing, perhaps, has the most far-reaching impact on our lives. From making data storage more convenient to being a platform for IoT data processing and other business applications, cloud computing is the bedrock of several technologies that are even now developing. Cloud computing’s various advantages have made it possible to adopt the technology in developed and emerging markets alike. Even although the adoption of cloud services has been gradual in emerging economies, it is steadily seeing quick growth now. Here’s why.
The popularity of the cloud in emerging markets can be largely attributed to the “location agnosticism” of the cloud. Local data compliance requirements aside, cloud networks perform their functions with equal effectiveness whether no matter where the users are. Although there is the issue of latency, especially when it comes to time-intensive applications, a cloud user could nevertheless be accessing data centres located at the other end of the globe, and this has been one of its biggest draws for emerging markets.
Before the cloud, businesses required great infrastructural capacity if they were to enter the IT industry, and emerging markets often have deficits in available infrastructure. Now, thanks to the cloud, the infrastructure and servers are already available and businesses just need to plug and play to get started. The cloud has also made remote working possible, which means that globally distributed teams can be formed and employed by businesses even in countries where the IT sector is yet to mature and evolve. Thus, technology enterprises in developing nations can make use of a global workforce and hire the best talents, who can work remotely from the comfort of their own countries.
Now, we stand on the precipice of a new era – edge computing, that brings processing capabilities closer to the source of the data – the customers. The advantage of lowered costs, coupled with data localisation laws in many regions, sets up the edge cloud as an exciting option in developing regions. It also solves the latency problem, enabling exciting new industries – like autonomous cars and remote medical services – to come to emerging markets quicker.
Simplicity of Adoption
Developing economies tend to lag behind developed nations when it comes to tech adoption. However, this tendency may prove advantageous for emerging markets in terms of the cloud, since businesses can skip the step of installing traditional hardware completely. Cloud computing has been easier to setup and maintain than traditional hardware, thus offering a comparatively lower barrier of entry. This has translated into lower costs as well as reduced labour required to start businesses, which can be quite beneficial in emerging economies.
Once again, the edge cloud merits a mention in this context. Much like how some developing regions missed out on the early telecom revolution but then skipped landlines to directly adopt cell phones, nations that were never home to data centres may now move to the edge cloud directly. Micro clusters, with their lower costs are likely to spring up across all developing markets.
One of the major costs of businesses using traditional IT infrastructure is the need to anticipate the future. Enterprises would buy excessive storage, processing capacity, etc. to avoid running low on capacities, spending excess capital as well as energy on running costs and maintenance. Of course, this hasn’t been the case with the cloud. Cloud technology being incredibly scalable, organisations simply use as much as they need and scale their demands with time. Such a scalable solution is much simpler, less labour-intensive, and requires less in terms of power as well as upfront investments, it’s been ideal for developing economies.
This also translates into increased productivity, as inefficient processes and roles are eliminated. For example, a call centre organisation in South Africasaw productivity rise by 20% (can we use this…is this in open domain?) after adopting cloud based telecommunication.
All these, combined with the fact that markets are nearing saturation in developed countries, has led to increased interest and investment in the IT sector of developing economies. The technology that has effectively globalized business in unprecedented ways has certainly opened up unexplored avenues in several emerging markets, providing opportunities for innovation and development like never before. Moreover, the opportunities for emerging economies are not restricted to the service sector alone. In fact, using cloud technology and the chance to utilise a globalised workforce, developing economies are already helping grow their economies.