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The Cloud & Global Development

Posted by on Jun 25, 2013

Globalization has ushered in a period of shifting dynamics in which new power players are sure to come to the forefront as leaders of the world market. One of the key technologies being utilized by developing nations and global industries is cloud storage and sync. Through the cloud, developing nations and workforces are empowered to leverage technology in their favor, allowing them to not only rapidly develop new products and services, but to market them as global competitors in the digital marketplace.

Cloud development

Image courtesy of CloudAve.com

According to a study performed by Cisco, worldwide cloud computing traffic is expected to jump twelve-fold from 2010 numbers by the year 2015. Much of this growth if pushed by tech hubs like London, New York City, and the Silicon Valley, but the developing world has also been driving monumental cloud adoption around the planet. Cloud computing has granted developing global businesses a flexible, fast, and convenient solution to international competition. In countries where infrastructure is lacking and even electrical grids are unreliable, battery-powered smartphones and third party cloud service providers give developers and enterprises the security and stability they need to thrive.

One of the positives of being an enterprise in a developing nation is that there isn’t a burden of old infrastructures that must be replaced, giving the impression of lost investment doubled by the impact of conversion costs. Instead, developers and enterprises can start off on the cloud using mobile devices. As Chris Haydon, Vice President of Solutions Management for Ariba, says, “Africa has joined the networked economy…it is almost like in some parts of the economy, they are bypassing the PC and going to the device – whether it be a smartphone or tablet. We see that type of uptake, there is a huge demand in being able to get transactions, notifications or alerts via mobile devices to acquire access (to that information). Africa is also predisposed to cloud solutions as well.”

In a study titled, “Unlocking the Benefits of Cloud Computing For Emerging Economies”, Peter Cowhey and Michael Kleeman of UC San Diego assert, “cloud computing can greatly strengthen small and medium enterprises (SMEs), thereby stimulating job creation…One study in Mexico showed typical reductions in total fixed cost of about 3% in a 45 person firm that switches to cloud computing…Lowering costs stimulates growth and jobs, perhaps to the tune of 190,000 new jobs in Mexican SMEs if they adopted cloud computing.”

Cheki

Image courtesy of 1mobile.com

The same holds true for developing enterprises in Africa. The African used car classifieds service, Cheki, has a market that encompasses Ethiopia, Rwanda, Malawi, Kenya, and Nigeria. The site serves a million users and has over a billion visits every month. According to Michael Kleeman, “most dramatic thing in terms of scale is the widespread use of cloud-based services like Google… Two-thirds of the people I work with across Africa use Gmail. Ten years ago they’d have to have in-house email services, and software like Microsoft Office…Now, all of those applications are there with a decent Internet connection.”

In fact, emerging economies like Argentina, Thailand, and Peru already use the cloud more so that more mature economies like Germany, the United States, and France. In a recent BSA study, 33% of global cloud users utilize the cloud for business and 88% use the cloud for personal purposes like emails. And governments from the United States to Australia have committed to making the switch of data storage to the cloud. Ultimately, enterprises of all sizes and developmental stages utilize the cloud for three main reasons. The first is the massive cost savings the cloud enables through cutting the need for big IT staff and onsite servers. The second main reason for switching to the cloud is flexibility through scalability and worker mobility. Finally, the cloud attracts enterprises through the ability to globalize development. Through the cloud, developing enterprises can tap the resources of workers from all around the world regardless of infrastructure.

Cloud adoption

Image courtesy of coresolution.com

Security through a Private Cloud Solution

Whether developing or firmly established, enterprises looking to adopt the cloud must make data security a priority. But choosing truly secure third party cloud service can be a challenge as many services on the market have security gaps that leave private data vulnerable to third party attacks. One service that sets itself apart is SpiderOak Blue. This service provides enterprises with a fully private cloud service featuring all of the benefits of cloud storage along with 100% data privacy.

SpiderOak protects sensitive enterprise data 256-bit AES encryption so that files and passwords stay private. Authorized accounts can store and sync sensitive data with complete privacy, because this cloud service has absolutely “zero-knowledge” of user passwords or data. And all plaintext encryption keys are exclusively stored on approved devices (SpiderOak never hosts plaintext data). SpiderOak Blue’s private cloud services are available for enterprises on Windows, Mac, and Linux platforms, along with Android and iOS mobile devices, making this cross-platform solution perfect for both developing and established enterprises.

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