A couple of weeks ago, I wrote about some of the issues surrounding the growth of cloud computing in China, and how the relatively embryonic technology is set to become a massive part of the economic growth in what is likely to be the world’s next superpower. Undoubtedly, obstacles still remain for cloud computing in China, but increasingly it appears that the Chinese government is paving the way for its steady uptake.

It is perhaps not commonly known in the Western world, at least among those who don’t participate regularly in economic issues, that China is part of a new economic bloc that is usually colloquially and collectively referred to as the BRIC or BRICS nations (depending on how relevant one deems South Africa to be in this grouping).

BRICS is a simple acronym, which stands for Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa, and is a broad-based union, motivated largely by economic factors.

BRICS is a simple acronym, which stands for Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa, and is a broad-based union, motivated largely by economic factors, which was formed just a few years ago. Originally comprised of just the first four countries, but with South Africa admitted a couple of years ago, the leaders of the nations convene every few years for the so-called BRICS conference, during which many issues of import are discussed, and the BRICS nations generally conspire to gain their members a bigger collective voice in the way that the world is run, particularly on an economic level.

Often described as ‘emerging nations’, it is accepted that the BRICS nations will have a significant influence on the direction of the global economy in the 21st century, particularly given the obvious economic malaise in the so-called ‘Western’ world. Thus, it is interesting and important for the future of the cloud that recent surveys carried out in some of the BRICS nations’ principle players indicate that the technology appears to be operating on a sound footing in this new area of economic significance.

Of course, India has also carved itself out something of a reputation as an IT leader, not merely within the BRICS nations, but in the world as a whole. And, in common with China, the nation has invested very heavily in educating its population in important economic growth areas for the future, such as engineering and IT.

The Times of India were among the publications this week that reported on a study recently carried out which indicates that IT leaders located within these ‘emerging nations’ are excited about the transformational and innovative potential of ‘cloud’ technology. The research was carried out by Cisco Consulting Services, and the management consultancy firm concluded that attitudes of IT firms in the likes of Brazil, India and China were extremely positive towards the cloud, and were keen to embrace it, not merely for cost saving, corner cutting reasons.
The Cisco study, which was conducted among a selection of Information Technology firms in nine nations, reported that 83 percent of respondents considered the cloud to be very satisfactory, while a further 13 percent were somewhat satisfied. Obviously this leaves just four percent being dissatisfied, giving a strong indication that the cloud is set to become a very big deal in these nations.

Cisco concluded that the adoption of cloud computing in India and China is becoming “mainstream”, and the broad-based nature of the study, which interviewed 4,226 information technology leaders in eighteen industries, including over 600 in India, supports this notion.

It is perhaps telling, though, that companies within this new economic powerhouse had the same basic trepidation as many individuals involved in the more traditionally economically powerful nations. Security and privacy issues were recorded as being top of the list of concerns that companies had regarding cloud technology, particularly the complexity of managing third parties. Nonetheless, respondents had attempted to address some of these concerns in a practical way, and expressed the opinion that even when the switch to a cloud-centric computing culture is made, the IT involved will remain centralised and well-funded, enabling the cloud to be managed and maintained with consistent policy and security solutions.

The study gives strong indication that business leaders in the emerging economic powers are keen to get on board with cloud technology, which can only be a good thing for the future of the cloud in general. It also gives further notice that this will be a truly global technology in the future, not one confined to the traditional ‘Western’ hierarchy.

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