New Delhi, October 13 2014: At the India edition last week , of EMC Forum -- the annual tech conference and showcase of the global leader in IT storage hardware and Big Data solutions -- the Cloud loomed large, hovering over almost everything that was discussed. Indeed Social media, Mobile. Analytics and Cloud (SMAC) was seen as the winning combo for Indian enterprises.
Vishnu Anand spoke to two EMC experts for their take on what cloud strategy might be a best fit for India.
‘Hybrid cloud is a strategy, not a product’
CIOs across the globe have started to adopt hybrid cloud technologies to optimize cost and modify their IT and computing backbone with rapidly changing business needs and increased consumer demands. But it is also essential to make hybrid cloud technologies a part of your business strategy, not just a product that you deploy.
Christoph Thelsinger, VP, Systems Engineering, Asia Pacific & Japan, EMC told IndiaTechOnline, “Most organizations in Asia approach us with one common challenge – having to meet consumer demands swiftly to ensure business agility. We always advice them to embrace hybrid cloud as a broad strategy, and not just a product.”
Thelsinger's reasoning is that organizations that have already virtualized their systems, and are already operating in a cloud environment, experience the ‘burst’ scenario where there is a sudden – sometimes seasonal -- need for compute power for a short span of time. After this time has elapsed, it is business as usual. “Since you cannot predict when the burst is going to occur, it makes sense to invoke compute power as and when you need it. This provides you the agility of a public cloud and the security of a private cloud”, he says. In such a scenario, the IT organization can take back control whenever it decides to.
Organizations that have explored the hybrid cloud are increasingly open to putting critical data on public cloud and accessing them on-demand. “The as-a-service model has a cost benefit to it. It may not be a decision initiated by the IT team. There is a definite cost advantage in putting your core ERP on the cloud, or even extending your data centre to the cloud. This cost consideration, in the days to come, will drive the market towards hybrid clouds”, suggests Thelsinger.
'Nobody understands Cloud-as-a-Service better than India'
The concept of Cloud-as-a-Service, where organizations -- big or small -- can invoke computing power as and when they need it, dial-in/dial-out whenever business demands, is catching up in India and Japan. EMC, the global storage, virtualization and cloud services provider has identified a unique characteristic of India that makes it conducive to embrace and use cloud technologies at a greater pace than rest of the world.
David Webster, President, APAC & Japan said: "The IT ecosystem in India has grown up on the concept of outsourcing, and outsourcing is all about sub-contracting your IT operations to a third party and focusing on your core business. The guiding principle of Cloud-as-a-service is very similar to outsourcing, and this is precisely why India is today at the forefront of adopting new Cloud technologies."
Webster went on to explain that the new-age consumer demands the same level of computing of an advanced laptop or a desktop, in a mobile smartphone. "With 81% of the country's population using mobile devices, more and more Indians are using their personal mobile phones for official work, including business critical operations like secure bank transactions, stock market monitoring, and even managing their office ERP systems."
He however cautions: "In order to woo the new-age Indian mobile consumer, organizations and service providers need to pull up their socks and create a smooth and uninterrupted computing that is cross-platform and device agnostic."
Explaining how the SMAC (Social media, Mobile, Analytics, Cloud) ideology is a 'best fit' for India, Webster said, "The mobile is in more ways than one a 'third platform' in computing. The mainframes defined the first platform, while the PC and client/server architecture defined the second platform. EMC believes that the third platform is all about mobile interspersed with Big Data, analytics, Cloud and social business. And India will have a huge role to play".
Jai ho to that!