As the role of Cloud computing is growing around the globe, Indian IT leaders are fighting off challenges with their existing network infrastructure—to support and deliver business applications through the Cloud. Indian IT decision-makers deliberated on these challenges in a discussion held by Netmagic Solutions, in collaboration with CIO magazine, at the CIO Year Ahead 2014. “Earlier, we faced challenges revolving around licensing for Cloud, but that seems to have settled down. The other challenge is support. Vendors provide on-premise support, but it isn’t extended on the Cloud,” said Arun Gupta, CIO at Cipla. Nevertheless, organizations also explore the possibility of in-house Cloud implementations. “At Apollo Munich, Web traffic increased six times, with 6.5 lakh users per day, after we deployed Akamai’s Cloud optimization solution, which effectively addresses inherent challenges that come with delivering applications over the Internet. The idea is to bring in a service provider that can help start you off with delivering an optimal experience to your end-users, right from the beginning,” said Kapil Mehrotra, VP-IT, Apollo Munich Life Insurance. One thing IT leaders must take care of before stepping onto the Cloud is adapting applications to suit the infrastructure. “While most applications are ideal for Cloud hosting, a few can still be kept away from it,” said Karan Kirpalani, DGM-Product Management at Netmagic Solutions. “A majority of business applications such as Mail and Messaging, ERP, CRM, Sales-force automation and custom-built x86 apps are possibly the most common ones being ported to the Cloud right now. More and more companies are also aggressively porting their DR onto the Cloud to leverage massive savings,” says Kirpalani. “When CIOs talk about Cloud computing, it is critical to address the end-to-end cloud solution stack. It is a fact that many customers have focused most of their time and energy on architecting their Cloud solution stack for aspects of the solution that live within the four walls of the datacenter. However that only represents one piece of the overall solution. Many customers have the end-user device compatibility also covered. But where many companies end-up running into serious challenges is when they turn-on their newly Cloudified applications and deliver their applications over the Internet, to their end-users. To ensure the full end-to-end solution stack, customers need to ensure they have a cloud optimization solution component as well to complete the end-to-end stack.” said Bruno Goveas, director, Products – Asia Pacific & Japan at Akamai Technologies.