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Sensitive Indian govt data must be stored locally

Sensitive Indian govt data must be stored locally

New Delhi, Oct 6 (IANS) As the Indian government plans to embrace Cloud across ministries and departments, the key challenge is to ensure that sensitive data and regulated workloads remain safe from nation-state bad actors and must be stored at data centres or Cloud regions within the country.

At a conference last month, IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad clearly said the government will not let data sovereignty to be compromised, stressing that sensitive and super-sensitive data must reside within the boundaries of the country.

There are very few Cloud players who offer extra-secure Cloud for government data. One of them is Amazon Web Services (AWS) which has AWS GovCloud (US-East) and (US-West) regions -- only accessible to US entities and root account holders who pass a stringent screening process to manage Cloud services got government clients with sensitive data and regulated workloads.

In India, AWS is the first Global Cloud Provider (GCP) that has achieved full empanelment with the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) for delivering Cloud services to government customers.

The company launched AWS Asia Pacific (Mumbai) Region with two availability zones in 2016 and has seen stupendous growth in adding new customers in the region via its subsidiary Amazon Internet Services Private Limited (AISPL) which undertakes the resale and marketing of AWS Cloud services in the country.

According to Teresa Carlson, Vice President, Worldwide Public Sector, AWS, adopting the secure Cloud-first approach is the top priority for governments the world over.

"Data is like currency because that''s where all the information and the opportunities lie, which can make a real difference in the lives of millions of people. India I am kind of excited about as state government are moving really faster on adopting Cloud," Carlson told IANS recently.

According to Carlson, it is high time for the Indian government to deploy Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning-driven Cloud models to make sense of humongous sets of data.

"I strongly feel that the Indian government can unlock the potential of data-sets across the domain with the help of AI and ML and use the models in ways that actually help citizens in solving their real-life problems," emphasised Carlson.

According to the International Data Corporation (IDC), worldwide revenues for big data and business analytics (BDA) solutions are forecast to reach $189.1 billion this year -- an increase of 12 per cent over 2018.

The industries currently making the largest investments in big data and business analytics solutions are banking, discrete manufacturing, professional services, process manufacturing, and federal/central government.

According to a latest Nasscom report, growing adoption of Big Data analytics, AI/ML and Internet of Things (IoT) is likely to push Cloud market in India to reach $7.1 billion by 2022.

Google is also mobilising its efforts to tap into the burgeoning Cloud opportunities in the government sector in India.

According to Nitin Bawankule, Director, Google Cloud, India, the time is ripe to explore the government sector as various state governments are moving fast on initiatives like building smart cities, along with plans to move their workloads to a secure on-premise as well as Public Cloud atmosphere.

"We are working closely with the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) to achieve the full Cloud Service Provider (CSP) empanelment. The idea is to help state governments have a secure experience with Cloud, along with utilising New-Age AI/ML capabilities," Bawankule told IANS during a recent interaction.

The global players know that the Narendra Modi government is keen on emerging technologies like Artificial Intelligence (AI), Cloud computing, Blockchain and data analytics but the key demand to store data locally has to be met first - a demand that can be heard the world over.

(Nishant Arora can be reached at nishant.a@ians.in)

--IANS

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