Aditya Sharma is the Chief Technology Officer at the global, next generation Information Technology Enabled Services (ITES) company Plaxonic. A technology enthusiast, Aditya is responsible for new product development and transformation program in the company, while spearheading the organization-wide transformation efforts with a strong focus on emerging technologies and innovation. With over a decade of experience in new product development and initiatives across software, hardware and IoT Aditya aims to automate the business model and envisions to steer business growth in Indian, UAE, and Western markets.
India has the third-largest start-up ecosystem in the world, with an estimated 50,000 start-ups. Powered by a rapid mushrooming of entrepreneurial ventures in the past two decades, the start-up ecosystem has been booming in India. With Indian startups receiving about USD 6.5 billion funding in the April-June 2021 quarter, 11 start-ups have entered
the coveted unicorn club, as per a report by Nasscom-PGA Labs. All these trends reinforce the faith in the evolving start-up ecosystem.
Alternatively, India is home to around 3.4 lakh small and medium enterprises (SMEs), employing over 33 lakh people across the country. These more established businesses are powering the economy with significant revenue generation. Along with micro-enterprises, SMEs account for 30% of India’s GDP.
Behind the Vibrancy of Start-ups and SME Businesses
While both the SME and start-up ecosystems are well established, most enterprises appear to be struggling for survival. This is despite the fact that these businesses show more agility, resiliency, and propensity to adapt, and are better positioned to adopt technologies than established large-scale businesses. However, national and global uncertainties, lack of financial cushioning, inconsistent quality of products and services, policy and regulatory adherence issues, limited market capitalization potential, and stiff competition from MNCs and giants in the industry make the businesses highly volatile. Changes in consumer behavior, long gestation periods, cash burn, and low price points add to the challenges.
Few of these factors are beyond control and highly dependent on external influences. However, the biggest challenge which prevents the majority of Indian start-ups from becoming mature is the absence of focus on resolving chronic local or short-term problems and lack of intent in working with cutting-edge technologies. This is where emerging and mid-sized businesses are losing out on cloud-native solutions which can play an instrumental role in transforming businesses.
Why Cloud Native Solutions?
Cloud-native technologies are set to be a game-changer for businesses as cloud hyper-connects with people, data, and processes, enhancing possibilities and building more efficiencies in the system. The world is fast advancing into a digital-first environment, and the global uncertainties necessitate more resilient and agile systems to ensure remote handling and business continuity even when in crisis. During more stable times, the technologies enable companies to expand their reach and enhance market capitalization while creating more value offerings for customers.
The current cloud delivery models, whether belonging to the public, private, or hybrid cloud system, offer distributed computing system, which essentially engages multiple software applications installed in multiple computing devices to act as one larger single system. The cloud-native technologies leverage the scale, resiliency, and flexibility aspects of the cloud and are built to empower businesses with scalable applications, with a range of agile and elastic features that can be modified as necessary to effect high-impact changes with minimal cost and effort.
Empowering Smaller Organizations
Small and mid-sized companies usually enter into an established market with a new value proposition. However, with limited resources, a highly competitive and dynamic environment means that the companies need to up their game by bringing about incremental improvements to enhance the customer experience. Using multiple, independent micro-services and applications activated in the cloud environment, the cloud-native technologies can introduce frequent iterations in real-time to improve the value offering.
A Feature-Packed Solution
Cloud-native solutions are packed with a host of unique features and solutions including cloud automation, containers, micro-services, containers, and immutable infrastructure and programming interfaces. These features enable companies in different ways.
Containerization includes packing of applications in such a way that the engineers can work on a program and its dependencies with isolated resource procedures. The feature ensures consistency in cloud storage, builds in operational efficiency, strengthens version control, and detects dependencies and conflicts amongst the cross-services, thereby improving productivity and enabling independent up-gradation of services.
Service mesh. An essential feature to handle service to service communication, a service mesh is a networking model. In a cloud-native solution, every connected application is performing numerous services, each of which would have infinite instances that are simultaneously changing in a highly dynamic environment. It is the service mesh, a separate layer of digital infrastructure, which is responsible for ensuring reliable service communication in such a complex system.
Cloud automation. For smaller organizations, optimum resource utilization is essential. By putting to use cloud automation, an organization can reduce manual interventions while effectively implementing tools and applications in transitioning to the cloud ecosystem. Cloud automation benefits companies by increasing efficiency and optimizing performance, reducing human errors, negating human intervention in repetitive functions, maximizing budget and resource utilization, streamlining activities, and monitoring performances. With cloud orchestration, companies can utilize cloud infrastructure strategically, and in a unified manner, arrange and coordinate the tasks defined by cloud automation to achieve the set goals.
Micro-services. While transitioning to cloud infrastructure, microservices architecture helps in optimizing the return to companies. It essentially provides agility. Described as “loosely coupled service-oriented architecture with bounded contexts” micro-services create cloud applications via architectural approach, wherein each service communicates through APIs and runs its processes, while a set of services build an application. It essentially works at a level of granular functional services. Collections of services combine to form large micro-services, providing the system a faster ability to update singular functions in a larger service or end-user application.
API management and Immutability. API is essential for integration. It facilitates communication between services and is the key to seamless and efficient digital business operations. An important attribute in a cloud-native solution, immutability enables the industrialization of a company’s cloud infrastructure, as once installed in the cloud, it can only be replaced by a new version. This gives confidence to users and teams to replicate the infrastructure units as commodity units.
Game Changer for Smaller Companies
The fundamental question is how do companies benefit from cloud-native solutions? Primarily, cloud-native development facilitates rapid rolling out of apps into the market and helps companies improve and upgrade applications seamlessly and in real-time. It eliminates the need to change applications, ensures strong version control, and supports multi-stakeholder collaboration. Furthermore, it facilitates data storage and high-end cyber security, safeguarding data and intellectual property comprehensively.
From a business perspective, the cloud-native solution addresses several challenges of modern-day business models to a larger extent. It significantly safeguards against uncertainties and helps organizations continue with business remotely. By maximizing utilization of cloud infrastructure and automating various processes, elevates the quality of services, enhances outreach capabilities, and provides agility to businesses to match customer expectations and gain an advantage over the competition.
While it contributes to cost savings tremendously across functions, it also creates space for better utilization of trained human resources. While the cost of transitioning to cutting-edge technologies is always a concern for smaller companies, transitioning to the cloud is increasingly becoming economical. Also, the smaller businesses must realize that the benefits and potential of adopting cloud-native solutions by far outweigh the cost incurred in the transition.