Yes, you heard it right. India wants its data to be localized. A recent report that got leaked in media outlets points out that New Delhi’s cloud computing policymakers insist that Indian user’s data must be stored locally as part of the new data protection law. The authorities believe that they will have better leverage on the data that is stored locally and can eventually help them in the investigation if a situation arises.
This new policy changes are still in a proposal stage and needs to be passed as a bill. Gopalakrishnan, a former top brass of Infosys who is leading this effort is due to submit a report to the IT ministry of India. However, the draft report suggests that India must consider securing the data sovereignty and push its use for the benefits of Indian netizens, government, and local private players.
IT ministry in India wants to form a national cloud strategy to bring all the leading players under the same umbrella and policy framework. Many lobby groups in the US is working with the Indian government to bring changes to the panel’s recommendation before the passage of the bill.
The Implication of this New Proposal
It might increase the cost of data storage as firms must establish data centers in India. We all agree that it requires mega-infrastructure and continuous power to run these data centers. Currently, India faces a severe power crunch to run these data centers without hiccups. Tech guru’s in the industry predict that new policy changes will increase the cost to start-ups and large corporations in India.
Global companies that are offering cloud services in India are terming the new policy changes as protectionist. Many predict this would impact the future course of India’s developing IT ecosystem in terms of cost and management. Insisting on data localization is a new norm all over the world amid global scrutiny over data, especially after Cambridge Analytica’s data misuse.
Reserve Bank of India Has a Point
There are dozens of e-wallets in India right now, and most of them have their data centers outside India. All the data is important, and when it comes to financial data, special measures are required to safeguard the personal financial information of the user. The Reserve Bank of India (RBI), the financial regulator of India has no access to overseas data.
RBI has its reservations on storing Indian public financial data overseas. It wants to play its role in bringing back the Indian user’s financial data to India. It has recently issued a circular mandating that financial data collected from payment providers must be stored in India by October 15. RBI argues that data localization is necessary to avoid foreign surveillance on Indian citizens and essential to national security.
Role of Local Cloud Service Providers
The changes to the cloud storage policy may act as a beneficial factor to the local cloud service providers. All you must do is focus on building world-class infrastructure to meet the growing demands of a billion-plus country. Imagine the amount of data that might flow towards you once the government passes the bill. It is better to be ready for this opportunity and tap the potential.
It is high time to collaborate with global players and start building the infra at home turf. When the bill is passed, it will be easy to integrate yourself with the cloud strategy and policy frameworks proposed by the Government of India policy-making panel.
On a lighter note, Indian companies always look for a reliable service provider for lower cost, and your focus must be to reduce the cost without compromising on the quality of service.