HAVING MOVED FROM BRAZIL TO CANADA, where I’m currently working at a local market research company covering the IT landscape, I have noticed some interesting similarities and differences with regards to cloud computing trends in both countries.
Canada has one of the highest Internet broadband penetration rates in the world, reaching approximately 67% of all households. In the business segment, considering enterprises with at least 10 employees, the broadband penetration is even more impressive, achieving 94%, just behind Switzerland, Iceland, South Korea, and Australia.
On the other hand, in Brazil, broadband Internet had an approximate penetration rate of 20% of households in 2010, and is also far behind Canada in the corporate segment.
As Internet broadband is a key element for the provision of cloud computing services, it is important to map the broadband quality and penetration to proper assess the opportunities on the cloud front.
Despite a considerable gap regarding broadband penetration between Canada and Brazil, both countries share the same challenges over the adoption of cloud computing. For a recent report I researched for two major Canadian telecom service providers, it was clear that cloud computing drivers and challenges are very similar in these two countries.
As the main drivers, Canadian enterprises stated operational cost savings, improvement of storage performance, and disaster recovery readiness. Based on the electricity outage that happened in Canada in 2010 and natural disasters caused by tornadoes in Ontario, the demand for cloud computing and datacenter outsourcing services increased.
Cloud computing adoption is also more mature in Canada than in Brazil. While over 60% of Canadian enterprises have already adopted some kind of service under the cloud computing model, in Brazil this percentage is still slightly under 50%.
But despite the difference in the maturity and adoption level, both countries still have the same concerns toward the implementation of cloud computing. When asked about the main challenges deterring use of cloud computing, Canadian enterprises cited the increase in the complexity of IT management, security, and the automation of optimized processes.
In Brazil, these three challenges were also positioned as concerns. The difference is in the order of importance, with Brazilian companies also stating lack of information regarding the cloud concept and Internet quality constraints.
In an interview with Sourcing Brazil, Brasscom president Antonio Gil conceded that Brazil’s infrastructure for broadband “is not very well distributed, it’s of low quality, and it’s very expensive.” The big sporting events coming to Brazil in 2014 and 2016 will require much more IT infrastructure, and could be the spurs that boost broadband availability in much of the country.
Gil also mentioned the Rousseff government’s Plano Nacional de Banda Larga, which is intended to deliver good broadband connections all over the national territory at affordable prices.
Canadian telecom service providers are making enormous effort to leverage their cloud offerings. Bell Canada and Telus are strongly promoting their cloud portfolio and partnerships, showing that these carriers understand the huge opportunity they have within this market. Telecom providers in Brazil are still lagging behind in this respect, with most of them not even competing in this space. With similar drivers and challenges as their Canadian counterparts, maybe Brazilian providers could focus on benchmarking some best practices, dispensing more information to potential customers, and therefore take better advantage of the cloud computing trend.