Cloud Computing is a new kind of technology that for several years have gained significant traction and media attention. According to Morgan Stanley, by 2020 cloud computing will cover 48% of all computer workloads, a significant increase from today’s 20%. This year alone, capital spending on Cloud Computing is expected to increase by 35%, with a significant portion of that growth contributed by the four biggest cloud providers in the world: Amazon, Google, IBM, and Microsoft. These projections may increase the number of investments on cloud infrastructure in the future. As Cloud Computing would most likely have an increasing influence on our daily life, let’s take a look to what the implication of its implementation in Indonesia.
Question 1: What is Cloud Computing?
Cloud Computing comprises of two components: the hardware and software that maintains the datacenter, referred to the cloud; and applications delivered as services on the internet, referred ton Software as a Service (SaaS). When a cloud provider decided to allow public access to their cloud, the service is called utility computing; and the cloud becomes a public cloud. The cloud is maintained not by the user of SaaS, but by a third party (usually the cloud provider). Cloud Computing refers to the total of utility computing and SaaS, but not exclusively limited to public cloud. In the most basic term, cloud computing is rent-a-server service, allowing people easy access to data centers.
Question 2: How will Cloud Computing improve our lives?
Cloud Computing will help eliminate barriers for people to start their internet-related businesses. Traditionally, developers require massive capital to start, as they need to cover for hardware and infrastructure costs to maintain operations. Cloud computing allows developers to focus their efforts on improving their product and services rather than on server infrastructure. It eliminates the need for developers to have an expertise on computer infrastructure to operate their business. It also increases the mobility for the developers, as they didn’t need to physically visit the data center to perform maintenance, they can easily access it via the internet.
Increasing market access is generally good for everyone. It enables lower financial and technical requirements for newcomers to enter internet service businesses. Ultimately it will make the market more competitive, pushing down the cost to consumers and catalyzing innovations within the industry. The utility that cloud provides is not limited to the commercial sector, it also benefits the public sector. One example of this is cutting cost in the education sector. If they utilize cloud computing, educational institutions are no longer required to maintain server infrastructures to store data about its students, further streamlining the process of data accumulation related to assignment procurement and class participation, which ultimately brings down the cost. Students and educators also can more readily access educational materials and coordinate for classes or online activities. Essentially, Cloud computing will help organizational needs of large institutions without it having to have the money or expertise to support the online infrastructure.
Question 3: What is the current state of Cloud Computing infrastructure in Indonesia?
Amazon, Google, Microsoft, and IBM dominate cloud business in the world. Of those four, Amazon dominates the industry, owning 35% of the market share for Cloud Computing (incidentally, Amazon is also the one who started the term cloud). Realistically, the Indonesian government doesn’t have the money or technical expertise to be able to build data centers capable of supporting the usage of more than 200 million internet users.
The government needs to coordinate with MNCs to develop Cloud Computing in Indonesia. To that end, each of the respective MNCs has expressed interests on tapping into the Indonesian market. Microsoft cooperated with telkomtelstra to launch Microsoft Azure in Indonesia, which is a hybrid cloud (cloud service which are a mix of public and private cloud) that targets both business owners and individual users. Amazon on the other hand, has opened their Indonesian branch in April 2018. In addition to basic cloud services, Amazon Web Service (AWS) also provides machine learning and artificial intelligence as an on-demand service. Several tech startups in Indonesia, such as Gojek and Tokopedia, utilize the service provided by Amazon.
In conclusion, cloud computing is a technology that eases the centralization of data. It provides a remote way for users to access their data, and streamline the transfer of information between users of cloud. Its impact on the internet business will be massive, and it also has the capability to cut down operational costs for basic services, such as healthcare, education, and banking. At this point, it would come down to the government and the respective shareholders to unleash Indonesia’s cloud computing potential.
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