The internet serves as the backbone for digital communication and new businesses. As India takes the digital route to progress, it is estimated in the next three to five years, that the country will witness a more robust IoT-based ecosystem. With the level of dependence on the internet, there arises a need for solutions which are secure, aid in performance and can be scaled to match up to the consumer demand. Akamai, cloud service provider and content delivery network, indicates that today, internet has become all inclusive now and is placed at the level of basic needs of food, water, and shelter. Also Read - Starlink told to get license before offering satellite-based internet services in India by govt
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At the Akamai Technology Day 2017, the company threw light on a various number of aspects including use of internet in businesses, need for secure systems, Digital India, and much more. In light of the recent malware attack which took down a number of global systems, Akamai explained that the malware is getting more sophisticated in the modern age and with source code being available in public domain, it becomes easy for attackers to exploit the code. Also Read - Internet to stop working for select users from today: Why, who will be affected, what to do?
As businesses move to the cloud, and consumers begin to store their data in the virtual storage systems, data centers are at the risk of attacks. However, their capacity to defend against attacks is not enough. Akamai aims to address this issue by providing cloud based solution as securing data centers at the base level comprises of feasibility issues. ALSO READ: India is the 8th most vulnerable country to Web Applications attacks: Akamai
Change in internet consumption pattern
It has been observed that there has been a significant rise in the consumption of online content. Owing to the affordable internet provided by telecom operators such as Reliance Jio, along with affordable devices coming from the likes of Xiaomi, there has been a visible growth in terms of internet consumption. Akamai highlights that this growth is observed more in terms of internet consumption through mobile as users move from 2G to 3G and now 4G and VoLTE. ALSO READ: Why Reliance JioPhone is a practical solution to the curiosity sparked off by Freedom 251
As the technology is gradually becoming more affordable to users, content platforms have latched on the trend and aiming to deliver tailored content. According to Akamai estimates, on an average an internet user in India consumes about 8.5 hours of content online in a given day. Interestingly, a major chunk of this consumption is coming from Tier-2 and Tier-3 cities. It is estimated that the number of Indians using internet will grow more than double by 2018 from 580 million in 2015 with a majority of them expected to come from small towns and rural areas.
Given the government s push towards a Digital India and a cashless economy, where people are using app-based solutions to make transactions, using free public Wi-Fi through projects like Google-RailTel, and essentially carrying out every task online- from banking to shopping, the role of affordable devices and data extends beyond the metros. According to Akamai statistics, around 60 percent of online content is consumed by people living in the Tier-2 and Tier-3 cities and the number is only growing. Another interesting number to come from Akamai s research is that about 40 percent of internet consumers are from low-income background. ALSO READ: Reliance Jio s free data increased mobile internet usage by 29% in Q3 2016: Report
Digital India and the challenges
Prime Minister Narendra Modi s Digital India initiative aims to connect remote villages in the country to the internet and usher in a digital revolution. To aid in this, Akamai is working with Digital India stakeholders and to bring security and performance to the digital services. However, in bringing robust performance and deliver secure systems, the challenge also entails retaining the customer as improvement in performance translates into growth in revenue.
Take for example the recent Prime Day sale by Amazon. According to Amazon, the first-ever Prime Day sale in India resulted in an astounding growth for Indian sellers who were able to sell their products on a global scale. At the core of a success story like this are platforms which provide seamless consumer interaction and perform even under heavy load. During peak usage of a particular platform, like a website for open sales, if there are constant issues marring the process, chances are a user will move to an alternative.
As Akamai points, about 1/5th of users do not come back to a website if it takes too long to load and as users move to mobile, there is a need for optimization for mobile devices. ALSO READ: Long-form videos now the most popular content online, smartphones more preferred platform: Ooyala report
Coming back to the government s initiative of bringing millions of people online; Akamai suggests the need is to focus on security, efficiency and performance. At the moment, the challenge for government portals is lack of reach, poor infrastructure, unawareness, and security. For example, if there’s a smart traffic light which will be installed in a city and help in smooth movement of vehicles, it will comprise sensors which will contain sensitive information. Now this sensitive information needs to be secured before malicious attackers take advantage of it. According to data provided by Akamai and eTaal, the number of government e-transactions have grown over 200 percent in the last two years. It is further expected that the government will spend about $7 billion for buying IT products and services this year.