A CIO Needs to be Forward-Thinking and Business-Savvy in the Era of Digital Transformation

Vivekanand Venugopal, GM and VP, Hitachi Data Systems, India shares his thoughts on the growing traction of IoT. 

IoT has been around for some time. Looking at the evolution and current state, what is your appraisal on the same?

A recent IDG Research Services Study reveals that organizations are leveraging Internet of Things. This integration of machine data (Internet of Things), analytics, IT solutions and industry expertise enable organizations to address larger societal issues and trends.

Internet of things is a transformational force. Its impact is across sectors and is driven by a combination of low-cost technologies, pervasive connectivity and huge volumes of data. Internet of Things that matter can provide benefits that will resound across an organization, from productivity to customer value, revenue generation through cost savings and add value to the society. Hence, businesses see the value in social programs and invest in programs that benefit society.

Internet of Things is one such concept which has been gaining momentum with time. IoT offers consummate opportunities as one of the most exciting developments of the 21st century. By 2020, an estimated 50 billion of these physical objects will be consuming, generating and communicating data in effect turning the world into a giant Datacenter. While there are limitless possibilities, Internet of Things could become an elusive concept if it fails to deliver practicality to benefit the society. 

What is HDS’ play in the IoT space?

 Internet of things is a transformational force. Its impact is across sectors and is driven by a combination of low-cost technologies, pervasive connectivity and huge volumes of data. Internet of Things that matter, can provide benefits that will resound across an organization, from productivity to customer value, revenue generation through cost savings.

We recently acquired Pentaho, a leading data integration and big data Analytics Company extends the technologies in our existing big data analytics portfolio and forms a critical layer in our Advanced Analytics Foundation, which is the underpinning of our Social Innovation solutions.

Through our solution-led approach, we have built considerable expertise in streaming data, unstructured data, predictive analytics and big data lakes. Pentaho has also helped to accelerate delivery of the Hitachi Advanced Analytics Foundation, which is the underlying platform powering all our Social Innovation solutions. Although there are many benefits to this acquisition, their core data orchestration platform, expertise blending the worlds of Hadoop and structured data, open source innovation and expertise of Pentaho make them a key cornerstone of our overall analytics platform and we are already leveraging their technology in a number of solutions as well as integrating them into our platform and Hyper Scale-out Platform (HSP) appliance to speed development and deployment of Big Data workloads and applications. 

Can you talk about the India market size and opportunity about IoT?  

IDC predicts that the IoT market will reach $7.1 trillion by 2020 —a $2.1 trillion market opportunity for Hitachi Social Innovation. IDC also announces that the Asia/Pacific Internet of Things (IoT) industry will continue its strong growth, with the number of units, or “things”, connected to increase from 3.1 billion to 8.6 billion by 2020. Over this same period, the total Asia/Pacific excluding Japan (APeJ) market size will increase from USD250 billion to USD583 billion.

Though we don’t have official data for the IoT market size in India, we  have seen robust growth in this market over the years. With tremendous support from the India government in the development of science and technology, we are optimistic about the India market and believe in ample opportunities in the IoT space. 

If you look at a CIO’s approach to emerging technology like IOT, what are some of the best practices they can follow in creating a IOT roadmap and how critical for the CIOs to have an IOT plan?

From Hitachi’s perspective, we see this playing out as a global convergence of information technology (IT) and operational technology (OT) in business and industry — at the intersection of that convergence is IoT.  IoT is transforming business and industry landscapes around the globe by providing connected intelligence that supports actionable insight.  In order to achieve that, CIOs must be aligned with the overall business strategy and work closely with other C-level executives and business leaders within the organization to identify customers changing needs, and then explore how an IoT plan can meet those needs, enhancing customer experience in the service industry, or improving efficiency and production in the manufacturing sector.

It is Hitachi’s belief that the true promise of IoT is that by helping businesses and governments to achieve better outcomes, we can affect real change in the world at the societal level as well, and support the development of smarter, safer, healthier and more efficient societies. In other words, an IoT plan should not be confined to one organisation, it is important for the CIO to envision a bigger picture, pay close attention to industry trends and consider strategic partnerships in order to leverage expertise which may not exist in their organization.

The role of CIO has evolved in today’s business environment. In addition to technological expertise and management skills, a CIO needs to be forward-thinking and business-savvy in the era of digital transformation.

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