J Satyanarayana

Secretary, DietY

Framework for G-Cloud soon
Cloud computing is the latest revolution that is sweeping the computing world. It makes computing, storage, retrieval, sharing and interoperability of data possible on a scale and speed that is gigantic. It can reduce IT infrastructure costs enormously and increase enterprise efficiency manifold. G-Cloud, or cloud computing in government departments, has the potential to increase, improve and speed up the delivery of e-citizen services and give a big boost to the national e-governance plan (NeGP).

“As we speak, a team of experts is working on developing a framework for G-Cloud,” Satyanarayana told the gathering of  ICT luminaries such as Ravi Saxena, additional chief secretary, Gujarat, Saurabh Srivastava, chairman of CA Technologies, Krishna Giri of Accenture, T Koshy of Ernst & Young and other top industry professionals, government and PSU officers and consultants in his key note address.
“It is not a matter of if, but when and how government departments will take to the cloud,” he said highlighting the benefits of cloud as well as pointing out the hurdles that need to be crossed.

“There are both negative and positive connotations to the concept of cloud computing in governance. In its negative connotation, cloud brings to mind the image of something dark and nebulous, something to be wary of...that needs us to proceed with caution. From this comes the doubt: Is cloud computing in governance one more mirage we are chasing? But every cloud has a silver lining, so we can remove this doubt by designing what can be called ‘silver line architecture’ for G-Cloud which can address our needs with precision. Two of our teams are working on it at present and hopefully they will find the right design,” he said.

The benefits, of course, are undeniable he pointed out. “On the plus side, cloud computing is cost effective. It is a multi-tenancy approach best suited to Indians conceptually and culturally because sharing in ingrained is us (four to a scooter, for example). Given the size and needs of our country, it is the right platform to manage huge data with ease. The issue is not technological but that of standardisation and replicability of the architecture.”
But in spite of this culture of sharing in general, there are problems of sharing specific to e-governance. “Ideally we should not keep re-inventing the wheel. Every state and every department need not design their own models but that is what is happening because it involves people and there are issues of ownership, leadership, acceptance and language etc. Every state is willing to give its modules to other states but none is willing to take from another. Everybody wants to be the giver not the taker. Both involve government departments and states.”

Then, of course, there are the “security and privacy concerns in government because of the involvement of private players
These issues need to be addressed.

There is also the question of where does the data reside? Will it be like Google or Yahoo? Can the administrators be comfortable when they don’t know where the data is stored? I am sure we will collectively find a credible answer. That’s the intention of our experiments. Our aim is rapid development, deployment and replication. If we can achieve these and can plug security holes then we can go on cloud. Otherwise it will be counter-productive. We also need to develop a protocol for establishing a communication link between one cloud and another.
“For the past three years our e-governance plan is in progress. It is time to count the chicken, so to say, demonstrate and impact the lives of people which is proportionate to our efforts. That is the key. The rest is mechanics.

“We are trying to change the paradigm by bringing in cloud computing. And to make it happen, we need four things – (a) legal framework for delivery – legislation, rules etc. (b) technical framework – for rapid development and deployment and replicability (c) institutional framework – to address wide variations in efficiencies among departments and states and (d) financial support – which has gone up by three times in this year’s budget compared to the last year’s.

“We are making experiments in the use of cloud computing. We will analyse the results and present it. I have no doubt this will be a successful technology to adopt. The question is how to succeed. It is not such a tough task.


Other Speakers

  • Ravi Saxena
  • Neeta Verma
  • Neel Ratan
  • S Ramasamy
  • D Krishnan
  • Saurabh Srivastava
  • J Satyanarayana

Video of G-Cloud 2012: Cloud Computing for Government





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