For Emerging Markets, a Focus on the Cloud

The cloud will allow many countries to leapfrog current technology

21 August 2013

The cost to emerging-market countries of matching the computer infrastructure of more developed nations is forbiddingly high—and, in some cases, increasingly irrelevant. The possibility of vaulting past legacy technology, as reflected by countries that skipped over landlines and went straight to mobile phones and smartphones, are now being realized in computing via the cloud.

To promote and enable that transformation, the second IEEE International Conference on Cloud Computing for Emerging Markets (CCEM) will meet in Bangalore, India, from 16 to 18 October. The conference is sponsored by the IEEE Cloud Computing Initiative.

“Cloud technology has come of age as a new model for delivering IT and services,” says Gopal Pingali, CCEM’s conference chair. “Many studies indicate that more than 50 percent of all information technology will be in the cloud within five to 10 years. While it’s important everywhere, it’s even more important for emerging markets.”

The cloud, says Pingali, an IEEE senior member, “gives emerging markets a tremendous opportunity to leapfrog legacy technology and infrastructure and move with the cloud swiftly into the new world of services on demand. Cloud computing and mobile technologies can be then blended into unique services.”

Pingali, an IBM distinguished engineer and director of the IBM Global Cloud Center of Excellence, also sees opportunities for doing things via the cloud at a scale not possible before.

“For example, in India you could have a national-scale cloud that brings together the governance of the country,” he says. “That would make the latest data, information, and services accessible to its 1.19 billion people and encourage citizens to participate electronically in the country’s governance. You need to know the cultures in these countries to help them solve their problems in their own unique ways.”

By holding CCEM in Bangalore for the second straight year, the organizers hope to build on last year’s event to engage further with the city’s large technical community.

OLD AND NEW

About 300 participants are expected, more than twice as many as last year. CCEM will once again be a single-track conference, which Pingali says, “allows for highly engaging and interactive sessions without interruptions.” The two days of technical sessions will include five keynote talks, eight oral paper presentations, about 25 poster presentations, a two-hour panel on propelling cloud-based innovation in emerging markets, and a demo session. More than 100 papers were submitted, a sizable increase over last year, but to ensure even higher quality, the organizers kept the number presented about the same and required full-paper submissions rather than abstracts.

New this year is a day of tutorials on 16 October, preceding the two days of technical sessions. “These are aimed to expose to cloud topics an audience that includes students but also faculty and those from industry,” says T.S. Mohan, co-chair of the technical program committee.

Also new will be a showcase of about 10 cloud start-up companies that will exhibit and demo the way they use, leverage, and adapt cloud computing to emerging markets.

A NEW COUNCIL

One result of last year’s CCEM was the formation of the Cloud Computing Innovation Council (CCIC) for India. Its impetus came from a plenary talk on "Public Information Infrastructure in India and the Role of Cloud Computing" by Sam Pitroda, advisor to the prime minister of India’s Public Information Infrastructure and chairman of the Indian government’s National Innovation Council. Pitroda ended his talk with a call to form a think tank of technical experts that would generate a road map for cloud computing in India for the next 5 to 10 years—a think tank that began forming at the conference itself and is now registered as a formal entity under the IEEE Standards Association–Industry Connections program.

The CCIC aims to help drive technological innovations across the cloud computing ecosystem in India, through accelerating the adoption and deployment of cloud computing in India and providing recommendations for standards, research, and public/private partnerships. During CCEM 2013’s first day of technical sessions, the council will present a progress report; Pitroda will unveil its white paper, “A Roadmap for Cloud Computing Innovation in India;” and council members will participate in a Q&A session. “We are really excited about this,” says Pingali, “as it shows the progress resulting from the year’s work since CCIC was launched at the last conference.”

Other invited plenary speakers will discuss global cloud offerings and cloud applications from the standpoint of emerging markets, the cloud’s impact on the telecom industry, and interoperability standards (the last from Konstantinos Karachalios, managing director of IEEE Standards Association). There will also be a panel on how to propel cloud-based innovation in markets like India.

Topics expected for the submitted papers will include emerging-market views of public-sector cloud computing, security and compliance issues, networking, and telcos as cloud providers; plus more general views of cloud-computing opportunities and challenges, as well as emerging standards in this field.

Next year, CCEM will be held elsewhere in India, or possibly in other emerging-market nations, such as Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam, Indonesia, or possibly China or Brazil.

Several sessions from the 2012 IEEE CCEM have recently been posted online. Register now for free access.

To watch an MIT symposium on the future of cloud computing, visit The Institute's multimedia page.

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