Cloud Computing - Acting As A Business Booster

Excerpts from an interaction with Sachin Gupta, IT Leader, CIO, Global Head IT

Cloud Computing - Acting As A Business Booster

In a recent interaction with Emmanuel Christi Das, Editor, CIOReviewIndia, excerpts from an interaction with Sachin Gupta, IT Leader, CIO, Global Head IT with 20+ Years of Experience, shares how cloud technology is changing business paradigm.

Tell us your views on the role of Cloud Technologies for the future of Indian industry sector? What can we expect in terms of products and services?

Cloud technologies are and will continue to play an important role in the Indian industry. Most companies are moving away from on premise data centers hosting and managing IT infrastructure.

The reason for this is simple – these are “non-core” activities of a business, consuming lot of time, cost and resources. Instead, it’s far easy, cost beneficial to have the infrastructure on cloud that can be managed securely and effectively by service providers.

The Cloud services can be categorized into 3 areas:

i. Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) – This service provides infrastructures like servers, storage, virtual machines, etc. on the Cloud. Some examples are Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft Azure and Google Cloud.

ii. Platform as a Service (PaaS) – This service is used for developing, testing and maintaining of software. Example – Red hat

iii. Software as a Service (SaaS) – The applications are hosted, run and supported on the cloud by the SaaS provider. Some examples are Salesforce and Workday.

What is the future of Digital Transformation in India? How do you foresee the invention of new digital technologies for sectors like education, healthcare, and sports?

Digital transformation is still at an early stage in India. Fortunately or unfortunately with the onset of the Covid 19 pandemic, the businesses have started to realize and adopt Digital transformation.

Virtual meetings are at the forefront of this transformation – be it conducting online classes or doctor consultation or business meetings.  This can become a regular feature (even after the pandemic) as the world has realized its advantages.

The world of Education is getting transformed through technology. Now you can have customized and personalized learning based on your interest and skill level. There are host of e-learning providers providing education online on a mobile app or a computer.

Healthcare can be transformed using technology. Government of India has already announced a National Health ID for all Indians. The objective is to digitize all health records for the citizens and store them securely on a cloud environment. This has multiple advantages. A citizen no longer needs to maintain health records in paper form which could be lost or damaged. With the citizen’s permission, the health record can be shared with a doctor, hospital, or medical insurance company. This would mean that a doctor can more accurately diagnose a disease, and prescribe a treatment, by considering the past medical history as well. Similarly, insurance companies can provide customized and personalized insurance plans to individuals resulting in a win-win situation for all stakeholders.

Digital technologies can change the world of sports. A mix of IoT, AI, ML and Big data technologies can help a sportsman to train and perform better. A sportsman can use digital wearables to train, and track his performance.

Similarly advanced technologies can help umpires to make correct decisions, that can help in deciding the right winner of a contest. Example Case In Point - Being real time tracking of no balls in cricket with the aid of technology.

According to you, what strategies should a business adopt to for digital transformation and enabling cloud services?

Businesses can adopt various strategies for digital transformation and enabling cloud services. It’s important to have management support in carrying out such transformation as it impacts the business model. A joint task force from business and IT should come together to drive this. Some strategies that can be adopted in line with business goals:

i. Think cloud and mobile first – An inventory of IT systems that are outdated can be sunset to be replaced by cloud and mobile enabled systems. Existing systems with shelf life can be planned to be migrated to the cloud. Any new implementation could be considered to be cloud only not on premise

ii. Incrementally transform the business digitally – Business can take various steps in digitally transforming the business. A new business unit or a stream can be designed with technology as forefront. An existing business process might take longer to transform end to end. In such cases a pilot approach can be adopted so that one can fail fast and adopt. Success in pilot should be then scaled up.

The global public cloud service market is projected to reach $266 billion in 2020. According to Gartner's forecast, Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) will be the fastest growing segment of the market with 24% predicted growth. What are the relevant technologies you think will emerge to the topmost positions and why?

Infrastructure as a service will continue to grow. Gone are the days of investing in on premise IT Infrastructure. Apart from upfront capex costs, companies need to invest in running costs, managing and maintaining the on- premise setup. Instead it is much easier, faster and cost effective to run things on cloud.

The cloud service providers need to keep focusing on providing secure, reliable, SLA-based services and cost effectiveness through economies of scale.

Lastly, what is the future of cloud technology in Indian sectors? How well it will be placed? Mention a few useful digital technologies that could amplify business processes.

Cloud technology adoption will continue to increase in India; be it IaaS, PaaS or SaaS.

Some of the digital technologies that would amplify business process are:

i. Big Data and Analytics – With increasing competition, changing demands from customers, and the volumes of data available, companies need to get their Data and Analytics strategy right to derive meaningful insights and business decisions.

ii. Artificial Intelligence – This is again going to play a big role across industries; be it Healthcare, Banking, Finance, Agriculture, Gaming, and Autonomous Vehicles to name a few.

iii. Internet of Things (IoT) – IoT is seeing its application in Smart Homes and Smart Cities. Also Industrial Internet, Connected Cars, Smart Farming are other areas where this is being used.

iv. Robotics – Robotics can help bring in automation in various sectors. For example, airports can deploy robots for enhanced customer experience and assistance. In Healthcare, Robots can even assist doctors to perform medical surgeries.