Dataquest and Nokia Networks recently hosted the Nokia Cloud and Connect conference in Mumbai India.
Welcoming the delegates, Vinish Bawa, Head, Emerging Business & Enterprise, Nokia Networks India, said that Nokia creates the networks for enterprises across all verticals. Mahesh Srinivas. Head of IP and Optical Networking Regional Business Center, Nokia, added that Nokia looks at the operational and security challenges faced by enterprises having data centers.
Samar Mittal, CT Head of VF, Nokia Software Business, said that Nokia deals with the entire core networks. We also deal with applications and the entire ecosystem around it.
Critical pain points
To start with, what are the critical pain areas for the enterprises today?
Samar said: “Our objective is to learn and unlearn. The Indian market context is always different from the global market context. Cloud is being already being deployed in many forms and shapes. There are various solutions being developed by enterprises.
“As the content of the apps, as well as the portals, come up, they will provide more incentives in future. But then, connectivity can be a problem. Is taking cloud to the edge cloud? When the scale becomes from, say 10 to a million, things change. You can get rid of connectivity problems once the edge is in place.
“We have a fixed wireless access solution. You can connect your remote center wirelessly. It’s the same for ATMs, surveillance, etc. Is there a possibility of an edge cloud? We have seen banking portals been down for three to four days. With innovative technologies, you can help prevent such happenings.
“Are there still challenges? There is a large space in between where the probability of getting hacked is very high. The BFSI industry is more prone to cyber attacks. You have those phishing emails happening as well.
“What is the BFSI industry looking at? We can add a lot of value. We have always believed in taking technology innovations to the end consumers in various forms and shapes. For us, there is a business opportunity. With SD-WANs, IoT solutions, etc., there is a lot that can be done. Eg., at ATMs, there is lot of surveillance. There is also a way to monetise those ATM locations with IoT use cases.
“You can monetise the ATM to take it to the next level. You can install IoT solutions, biometrics, surveillance, face recognition solutions, etc., at those ATMs. There can be a virtual presence created for you. You can also get more applications deployed at the shortest period of time. You generate more business, more efficiency. The customer experience can be of a different level. These are the kinds of different use cases that can be developed. This is the first step in the direction of having discussions with the BFSI segment in India. We are here to provide the efficiency to you, monetise the use cases, and provide various solutions to you, including security, etc.”
Status of cloud adoption in enterprises
Somnath Basu, VP-IT, JP Morgan Services India Pvt Ltd, added that a lot of stuff, mainly HR stuff, has been moved to the public cloud. Security part is the key here.
Lalit Raut, Head, Technology Infrastructure, Reliance Home Finance Ltd, said: “We are in core applications that are rested in the private cloud. How we are serving our customers, is done with SalesForce. It is also in the cloud. Our identity and access management is with JetScale. They are very agile and secured. Now, we are looking for Kubernetes and DevOps, as well as analytics from the cloud, such as GCP. If I go for the cloud, I will be looking at AI, NLP (natural language processing), etc.
“We are looking at data-driven things for predictive analysis, to combat fraud. We have done an SD-WAN with Cisco. Cyber security is the most important facet.”
Haresh Madhayan, Senior VP, Head IT Operations, IFAN Finserv Pvt Ltd, noted: “We are very early adopters of cloud from 2013 onwards. We have been an early adopter of private cloud with CtrlS. Things that still pose questions is cyber security. Everything else is managed in the cloud. We only had to do something on the accounting side.”
Gaps in security
Next, where are the gaps on security?
Lalit Raut said that there are many solutions. “If we are going for all the devices, the hackers are very advanced in technology. They are much more ahead of us. We are evaluating an F-Point solution. They are even finding out what are the new things coming, so they can help to protect and prevent. However, with one solution, we cannot say that we are protected. We look for both endpoints and perimeter security.”
So, has the security aspect been served? There should be full visibility regarding security.
Lalit Raut said: “We are understanding the infrastructure changes and trying to make it better. How we are addressing cloud applications and how can those be faster.”
Haresh Madhayan noted: “We are trying to make our applications faster and how we can take it to our associates. It is more of a B2B2C kind of a model.”
According to Somnath Basu, his company is looking at AI and ML. We are focusing on the analytics point, as well.
Samar of Nokia noted that there is an unusual distance between the visa station and the tracking system. Theft can happen in 10 minutes.
According to Haresh Madhayan, with GDPR coming in, the new implementations will start soon.
As per Lalit Raut, they are looking for data-driven scenario. We are looking at how to enhance the infrastructure.
Samar said Nokia has solutions that will help in the transformation journey. How do you manage all the technology?
Lalit Raut added that the hardware is maintained by the partner. Regarding the data and the applications, we have the ownership.
Prasanna Lohar, CIO, DCB Bank, said: “We are not on cloud, considering our core applications. We will start evaluating from 2020. If I say financial applications, the bank may not be ready. We have learnt from the others. We will come on the cloud in 2020. Cloud service providers say they will take care of everything. However, example, there is some database-relevant issue, we do not yet have clarity from the cloud service providers. These are some of the practical issues we face.
“We recently faced slowness of our applications. Now, whether it is due to the WebSphere, or due to some issue because of database, there should be some clarity from the service provider. The cloud service providers should test their own applications, database, etc., on the cloud. That’s one aspect to look at as to how we can adopt the cloud.
“There are very good benefits to be on the cloud. Sooner or later, we will have detailed data localization guidelines, which will help. Some of the co-operative banks are already on the cloud. If we need to do a disaster recovery drill, the relevant tools take a lot of time. Our main game is around customer satisfaction.
“The NEFT 24/7 has been started by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI). This ensures the availability of anytime electronic funds transfer.
“The RBI now joins an elite club of countries having payment systems that enable round-the-clock funds transfer and settlement of any value. This means, we now have to ensure that all of our hardware is working all the time. We cannot say we are unable to do this due to some constraints. When we get into the NEFT 24/7, and we are in the middle of a DR drill, we need to ensure their availability.
“As for the end-to-end cloud adoption, we have seen that the RoI comes very late. The cost aspect of the cloud is yet to be clear. At times, it may feel that the cost of the cloud is more than what we are managing. As we approach deploying the cloud, we will go step-by-step. In some of the banks, the non-banking applications are already running in the cloud.
“Every bank is now having data as a separate journey. We can have an approach of putting the data lake in the cloud. We are now measuring the development and there are applications that run 24/7, but there is very little or no use during the night time. The way a bank works today has really changed from that five years ago. As a bank, we are going cautiously.
A spokesperson from the Panasonic Group said they have already adopted cloud. He said: “We have also implemented MPLS and the SD-WAN. We are now focusing on IoT, automation, etc. We are in manufacturing, so we are looking at IoT. For example, how can we get more from the shop floor? We have a direction for smart factory.”
Prasanna Lohar added: “A lot of business models are coming up. Earlier, we used to operate differently. Now, there are new channels such as API banking or open banking. How do I understand the data? Data is coming in via the core banking and other channels. We are now able to offer bi-directional services from unidirectional services. We need to understand what the customer is now looking for. How can I make the customer an engaged customer?
“We can identify which are the processes that need to be automated. We can remove the unnecessary processes from the front end and back end. Banks can identify at least 300 processes where they can bring in RPA. We also need a platform to manage all of these processes. RPA is an area that banks can look at for managing multiple processes within a data center. If a bank wants to get on the cloud, how does it enhance the source codes?
“Also, AI is everywhere today! You cannot imagine an application without AI. Next, IoT is booming. Tomorrow’s world is going to be completely autonomous. With 5G, there will be better bandwidth.
“There are entities resting on shared economy. More than 500 entities will come on the shared economy in future. You need an inherited trust on the ecosystem. The whole thing has to be on one platform. Technologies will then change everything heavily. RBI has asked for a shared database.”
5G as propagating tech
There are lot of advantages and use cases. RBI and MeiTY will be coming up soon with the guidelines for a shared economy. The players who come in, will also have to see what is the right business model.
Mahesh Srinivas, Nokia, noted that along with convenience, we will also take care of security. The threat surface area has increased dramatically. The sheer sophistication of the attacks is also to be watched out for. Administering the security policy can sometimes be a nightmare. The key thought is: how do we deploy solutions that are able to face the challenges of the large enterprises.
“As for the sophistication of the attacks, we used to have the anti-virus. There had to be updates. Today, static signatures are no longer enough. Being able to detect any problem itself is a huge computational issue. We need to stay ahead of the bad guys. There needs to be smarter and tighter monitoring of systems. There is a lot of dark web that is very organized. We are also developing the right tools.”