Brazil is Headed Towards the Clouds

CLOUD COMPUTING IS A HOT TOPIC IN THE GLOBAL MARKETPLACE, where everyone is discussing and analyzing its applications and specificities, the demands made of it, and the challenges and opportunities. Brazil is no exception and is also headed toward the clouds. In Brazil’s rapidly growing economy there are opportunities for the country to become a hub in cloud computing and a breeding ground for datacenters.

The Brazilian government recognizes the importance of this new technological wave and has put it on the agenda for priority development at the Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation (MCTI). In addition, the government is discussing the legal environment for international requirements in security, interoperability, privacy, and sovereignty over data.

In Brazil, according to Frost & Sullivan, more than 54% of businesses now use some form of cloud computing. However, most are served by datacenters in Miami – which is also the case in other Latin American countries, such as Chile and Argentina. The more-than-4,000-mile distance might be an obstacle to cloud computing, as it increases the latency between the server and the user, which could prevent companies from migrating their processes to the cloud.

In Latin America, Brazil is the largest economy, the largest technological market, and the largest land mass. Cloud computing is another opportunity for the country to become a Latin American hub: Its strategic position in South America facilitates communications with North America, Europe, and Africa. Its size means there is enough space for large datacenters, which, along with the large market and population of almost 200 million people, can offer all the support the investment requires.

The opportunities and the demand for cloud computing in the future will increase exponentially, in line with increased mobility. With the intense use of mobile devices, the trend will be for data to be stored and processed in the cloud. According to AT Kearney, the volume of data traffic will grow 35-fold by 2019 in Brazil. Laptops account for 51% of computer sales in Brazil, which is the third-largest PC market in the world, according to IDC. Cell phone sales, according to Samsung Brasil, will reach 62 million units in 2011, up 35% year-on-year, with more than 210 million devices in circulation.

The mobile device market in Brazil will grow further, as the federal government is encouraging foreign investment in local production. Foxconn, Motorola, and Samsung have all unveiled plans to manufacture sophisticated mobile device components in Brazil, and another 25 companies have expressed an interest in taking advantage of these government incentives.

The opportunities do not end there: Brazil will host the 2014 FIFA World Cup and 2016 Olympics. These two massive events are driving heavy investment in infrastructure, both by the government and private initiative, and it will be a technological showcase for the country. With a significant increase in the data that will be transmitted and processed during these large events, Brazil has a window of opportunity in cloud computing applications, which can create a technological legacy for the country.

The Brazilian economy is making strides, surpassing the expectations of both the government and business community. It is the seventh-largest economy in the world, and is forecast to become the fifth largest by 2020. It enjoys a favorable scenario, with a thriving domestic market, average income is on the rise, and unemployment is down.

However, Brazil still has a lot to learn as regards cloud computing infrastructure, especially in broadband. The government has taken the first steps with its National Broadband Plan (PNBL), designed to roll out broadband to 90 million people by 2014. Mobile access is being boosted throughout Brazil, having grown by more than 70% in 2011, according to Telebrasil (the Brazilian Association of Telecommunications), reaching more than 42 million people. With the barrier to access overcome, we now have to work on the quality of broadband so that it can deal with the data volume.

Brazil has a sophisticated technology market, distinguished by innovation, excellence, and flexibility. With the wave of growth and development to come, Brazil has everything it needs to make a high-profile entrance into cloud computing, to ride this wave, and leverage still further the country’s competitiveness.