Developing Economies in Love with Cloud Computing
The Business Software Alliance, in a recent research study, has reported that time is ripe for the cloud computing service providers to make a lasting impact particularly in budding economies via free as well as paid offerings, but at the same time the malicious lot amongst the beneficiaries is more probable to share user-identification specifics, rendering license misuse inevitable in some cases. The research findings are an outcome of mutual collaboration between Business Software Alliance and Ipsos Public Affairs.
BSA and IPA collectively covered about 15,000 end users in roughly 33 different countries, probing into their understanding of cloud computing services and gaining an insight into how they benefit from the cloud. Online services enable creation, management and storage of digital content and allow remote access via almost any internet enabled device, computers in particular – this is how 45 percent of end-users across the globe describe their utility of computers.
It is startling to discover that the same percentage of the said utility rises to as high as 50% for developing economies such as Thailand, Peru, Argentina and Malaysia. Established economies such as United States, Germany, France and the United Kingdom, on the other hand, exhibit a lower proportion – 33% to be exact.
Statistics further reveal that more than 85 percent of cloud users rely upon cloud computing services for personal purposes including storage and retrieval of digital content. In addition, 33 percent classify their usage of cloud services purely for business motives. The figures, again, are higher for the case of developing economies as opposed to the established ones.
President and CEO of BSA, Robert Holleyman, explains that “We’re seeing a leapfrog effect. A lot of recent adopters of computers and information technology are jumping straight to the cloud. If you live in a developing economy and use a computer, then, likely as not, you also use cloud computing services at least some of the time for email, word processing, document or photo storage, or other things – although you might not understand those services to be cloud computing.’’
While this all is primarily positive, the survey still unveils a source of dire unease. There are about 42 percent of business end users that possess active subscriptions to paid cloud services and ironically, share their login details within their organization.
There is, however, an evident segregation in the above mentioned context amongst the budding and the established economies. In budding economies, 45 percent of the business cloud users share their cloud account internally, while the same percentage for developed economies lies at 20 percent, mounting to the difference of a significant 15 percent.
Holleyman describes these statistics as eye-opening. He clarified that “It doesn’t necessarily mean 42 percent of business users are pirating cloud services. Some licenses may allow sharing of accounts — and many cloud service providers charge not by seat but by the volume of computing resources consumed, making the path users take to access those resources less important.”
The figures are a vivid indicative of budding economies’ willingness to endorse both paid and free versions of cloud services. This is bound to serve as good news for cloud service providers and associated start ups. In addition, 56 percent of paid cloud users considering credential-sharing unethical is a healthy omen for the future of cloud licensing in promising economies.
By Humayun Shahid