The Cloud is Robin Hood: it is bridging the gap between rich and poor

Christina Farr | Venturebeat

Who would have thought that cloud computing would be the modern day equivalent of Robin Hood?

In a report published by the University of San Diego, Unlocking the Benefits of Cloud Computing for Emerging Economics, researchers found countless benefits in increased global access to cheap data storage and processors. The authors intimated that in the future, cloud computing technologies will be an economic stabilizer.

Cloud-based technologies have experienced explosive growth in recent years, and evidence suggests they they will continue to grow. By 2014 Gartner predicted that 60 percent of the world’s server workloads will take place on virtualized cloud servers.

It’s great news for vendors and businesses, but what does this mean for people in countries like India, Mexico and South Africa?

The researchers make the case that cloud computing is keeping the cost of storing information down, and is making broadband faster as more people can access it. In combination, these two factors will enable people in the low-and middle-income bracket to enter into the competitive global economy.

“This growth emerges from the Cloud’s economic advantages of scale and scope that lower costs, improve speed of service, expand operational flexibility for users and reduce risks in IT deployment,” the report explains.

If conditions are reasonable (broadband is sufficient and there is the freedom to operate data centers), there are five major implications for people in the developing world:

  • The Cloud enables people to be more competitive in “higher value-added products because goods and services are becoming more ICT (information and communications technologies) intensive.” As ICT grows in intensity, the Cloud enables emerging economics to tap the economic gains.
  • It’s vital to ensure that these countries can compete in the “knowledge economy“.
  • The Cloud can stimulate the growth of small to medium sized businesses, and improve job creation. It’s beneficial for entrepreneurs as it reduces the cost and upfront investment in the necessary IT infrastructure.
  • It enables governments to more effectively share and deliver information to citizens.
  • There is a strong synergy between the growth of the cloud and the build-out of broadband networks.

With an eye to the future, the Cloud will improve transparency, and create a dialogue between governments and citizens. As a final step, the researchers recommend that these governments work with multiple stakeholders to improve access to information and create policies that will enable people-in-need to benefit from the Cloud.



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