There is no doubt that internet has been a game changer in the way we do business, run companies, or even socialise, paving way for many revolutionary technologies. Large enterprises and national economies have reaped major benefits from this technological revolution. Even the individual and small consumers and upstart entrepreneurs have gained from internet’s empowering influence.
Further, government’s focus on taking internet to the masses and increasing penetration in rural areas through its Digital India campaign helped. The success of this program depended not only on the government policies for proliferating infrastructure and content but also on how citizens perceive such applications impact on their life. Under the umbrella scheme of Digital India, government has introduced various internet based services for masses, like MyGov, GeM, UMANG, JAM trinity to name a few. Direct Benefit Transfer of subsidies as saved government Rs. 1.7 trillion.
The advent of internet brought forth technologies like cloud computing that further revolutionized the functioning of economies, businesses and organizations. Onset of COVID-19 has further accelerated adoption of cloud as this technology could be the backbone for various touchless operations that the current situation demands. According to IDC’s COVID-19 Impact on IT spending Survey, May 2020, owing to the pandemic 64% of the organizations in India are expected to increase demand for cloud computing while 56% for cloud software to support the new normal.
Another report by Morgan Stanley projected that India’s 670 million internet users will rise to 914 million by 2027 and online shoppers will jump to 590 million from 190 million in 2020. The average spend per online shoppers is also projected to nearly double to USD 318.
Industries will move away from infrastructure of ownership and pay-per-use models are likely to see an accelerated demand. Public Cloud Services will be among the few technologies to be positively impacted by the COVID-19. Industries like media, education, retail and IT/ITeS are likely to witness an increased demand primarily because of online entertainment, virtual classrooms, online shopping, and heightened need for collaboration as a result of increased remote working.
In the post COVID world, remotely managed and operated Cloud Solutions will play a key role in Smart City applications. As the economy is opening in phases and various organizations and businesses are adapting to the new normal, social distancing and individual safety toolkits are being prepared to safeguard the health of individuals while sustaining businesses and revenues, bringing contactless cloud technologies to the forefront.
Also, in-house capacity to design, implement and manage cutting-edge technologies and the funding needed for the same are some barriers that cities face while implementing Smart City applications. Cloud-based solutions allow cities to use managed services to scale their limited resources and reduce the total cost of ownership for smart city solutions.The advantages that Cloud Solutions provide over traditional technologies are:
- Efficient Management of Data – Cloud Solution restructures the process of data management. Data is stored in the cloud till future usage when transmitted through cloud application to their centre node.
- Boost in the Economy – Using innovative technologies to support smart cities, results in the boost to the economy.Cooperation between cities and businesses can attract huge profits. Along with the city, even businesses can leverage the data being gathered. It will improve their comprehension of target population which will help them in providing relevant services.
- Cost Reduction – Reducing cost levels in the city become important in the long run. Cloud computing helps deliver better results, at reduced operational costs. Moving to cloud applications or storage can also lead to significantly lower labour and maintenance costs while maximising space and cutting energy expenditure.
- Sustainable Living Options – Cloud Solutions utilise resources that don’t have an adverse effect on the environment and helps create cleaner and greener applications. For example, environment sensors help process air quality, along with ambient weather parameters.
Internet and other digital technologies will continue to dominate every sphere of our lives – be it business, city infrastructure or how we transact. Driven by the need for smoother and as far as possible contactless applications, technologies like IoT and Cloud will redefine our Smart Cities.