PIECE OF THE PIE IN THE SKY

Peru is looking to launch its economy forward by making full use of the growing capacity of cloud computing to support connectivity at all levels of business and society.

In a modern economy, interconnectedness, speed, and mobility are key. Firms must be able to process, interpret, and analyze data to fit their own needs in order to carve out a niche in an increasingly competitive global marketplace. As the Peruvian economy moves forward through 2016, a number of new technologies are emerging as new essentials, shifting conventional paradigms and allowing for new levels of innovation and development.

Cloud computing, or “the cloud," is the leading technological advancement driving these changes. Internet-based computing has been around for many years; however, improved technological capabilities and decreased costs have made it increasingly valid as a primary means of conducting business. Use of the cloud involves a single non-physical network, hence the name, that allows for easy access, collaboration, and communication. Proponents of cloud computing believe that it can serve as a democratizing force, as the need for physical servers and the maintenance costs associated with them has long been a major obstacle for small businesses. Guillermo Guzman-Barron, General Manager of Microsoft Peru, cites this equalizing effect as a possible source of growth for SMEs in Peru. “For SMEs, cloud computing is a major jump ahead technology-wise," Guzman-Barron said. “Cloud computing is perhaps the most democratizing technology ever… SMEs have much to gain, and it will create more wealth in the country overall, as SMEs have access to these technologies and can make their businesses more efficient as a result."

However, the benefits of the cloud are not limited to SMEs. Guzman-Barron believes that businesses of all sizes stand to gain from moving to the cloud. “We work with everyone from fisheries to mining companies to make their business processes and practices more efficient through an intelligent cloud," he said. “The more people and companies that use these technologies, products, and services, the more rapidly Peru will modernize and transform as a country, economy, and society." One of the most promising aspects of innovations in cloud computing is the increasing allowance for contact between previously unforeseen connections, creating a basis for new partnerships between and within industries and sparking new economic growth across nations.
With the growth of the cloud and its adherents come new opportunities for its providers as well. Microsoft, one of the leading cloud computer providers, recently announced that its revenues grew 10% in the 2015, with much of the growth attributed to its new focus on providing intelligent cloud services. This division, formerly an afterthought, is now worth over USD6 billion and receives the majority of the company's research and development budget. There are still infrastructure improvements to be made across Peru before the dream of a fully connected intelligent cloud can become a reality. Speaking to TBY, Guzman-Barron addressed this issue, noting that the government fully recognizes the importance of outfitting the entire nation with the necessary infrastructure, “It is imperative to have the right connectivity and infrastructure to be able to perform cloud computing," Guzman-Barron said. “The government has a large nationwide fiber-optic project to address this issue, so it is on the right track." The many investments in infrastructure still needed mean that there are significant growth opportunities available on the supply side of the industry as well. Peru's energy demands are projected to grow steadily for the next decade as the country's energy infrastructure continues to develop.
From José Carlos Mariátegui to Mario Vargas Llosa, Peru has been a nation of thinkers and innovators for centuries. New technologies such as the cloud are set to facilitate a new period of innovation—one that draws upon new and exciting partnerships to create a stronger economy and a better Peru.