Data-first modernization is a mindset that elevates data as the primary organising principal of a firm and switches the focus from infrastructure-centric transformation to data-centric value generation. The main problem with digital transformation is that it cannot be fully completed without Data-First Modernization, which involves managing your data assets from the edge to the datacenter to the cloud. Ranganath Sadasiva, Chief Technology Officer, Hybrid IT, Hewlett Packard Enterprise, India, tells more. Excerpts:
DQ: What are the newer applications and tech approaches that have replaced the traditional deployment of strategies?
Ranganath: The world has become digital, and we are witnessing rapid changes in the overall usage of technology for solving business challenges. While the core applications have been the mainstay for most organizations, we are now in the next wave of digital transformation, fueled by apps and data where everything from edge-to-cloud is connected.
The enterprises unlock value everywhere, revealing new opportunities, new experiences, efficiencies, services, and more.
We believe the enterprise of the future will be edge-centric, cloud-enabled, and data driven:
Edge-centric- Our strategy is to accelerate enterprises, helping connect all data from edge-to-cloud, delivering insights and added value across all industries. The intelligent edge is where data is generated and processed often for real-time or near real-time analysis and action, driven by IoT, AI, machine learning apps, and workloads.
Cloud-enabled- HPE has shifted from centralized and closed approaches in large data centers to many small centers of data everywhere which is highly decentralized and distributed. We believe cloud is an experience, not a destination, and apps and data live everywhere across edges, colocations, data centers, and clouds.
Data-driven- In the data-driven world, data is at the heart of everything we do at HPE, which determines how companies innovate, engage with their customers and gain insights respectively. As per IDC, data will grow to 175 zettabytes worldwide by 2025. Therefore, turning data into actionable insights using modeling, simulation, analytics, IoT devices, AI/ML means putting intelligence close to data sources to create real-time insights and action everywhere.
With the acceleration of digital transformation and rapid cloud adoption, we are seeing a major shift in the deployment models. HPE GreenLake brings the cloud experience to your apps and data wherever they are. We bring agility to apps and data everywhere across edges, clouds and data centers, eliminating complexity and silos, driving speed and agility with common tools, processes and automation.
DQ: Which areas are companies increasing spend, and why, specifically? Is it analytics, artificial intelligence, machine learning, customer experience and cloud?
Ranganath: As digital transformation continues to disrupt every industry in every corner of the globe, the next phase of this evolution is upon us. We are seeing organizations focusing on data to ensure success in digital transformation efforts. They have also been increasing resource allocations. The reality is that, despite tremendous amounts of investment in cloud and digital transformation, many companies are still falling behind. The problem we are seeing across industries is the “Transformation Divide” that is widening, and the winners have sprinted ahead.
We believe digital transformation is incomplete without Data-First Modernization. Enterprises must address various challenges that impede the way of capitalizing on data.:
o Data is in disarray – trapped in silos and difficult to determine the single version of the truth.
o Data is only partially monetized – legacy systems and fragmented models undervalue data as an asset and make it difficult to unlock data’s value.
o Expanding data at the edge- volumes of data are created in systems of engagement/interaction at the edge that traditional approaches used for systems of record are inadequate to handle.
o The effort required to analyze data to achieve insights is significant and often time bound as it needs to be acted upon in real-time.
o Migration challenges and where to place data and the portability of data is critical to ensure compliance – and business agility.
o Data needs to be always-on, always-fast, and powering apps, secure, compliant, and protected – and seamlessly accessible for data innovators to unlock insights wherever data lives.
Hence, Data-First Modernization has to happen everywhere data lives and through a unified operating model and HPE can help customers on this journey. With data-first strategies in place, organizations are working on the applications that ultimately deliver the customer experience. The data has to be harnessed with increasing spend and capabilities in analytics, hybrid cloud, and AI/ML capabilities for delivering this experience.
DQ: What can a company do to move towards being data-driven today?
Ranganath: Data is a strategic asset that will determine a company’s success in the long run which is more than just business intelligence. It’s about taking advantage of an opportunity that’s taking shape.
We believe that there are five key data-first modernization imperatives that enterprises must adopt:
- Data is a core asset that you should control irrespective where it lives. We believe data’s value will soon appear as an asset on the balance sheet of every enterprise.
- Data is everywhere, at the edge, data centers, colocations and clouds and we should be able to handle data wherever it is.
- Data has rights and must be governed and protected from continuous threats – ransomware, cybersecurity threats – constantly.
- The enterprises should embrace a cloud everywhere model with the freedom to choose the right location for your data and workloads – and the ability to industrialize your data supply chain – to collect, cleanse, store, analyze, and manage data across all the pockets and silos. As data supply chains mature, it is the foundation by which enterprises can move with speed, act on insights, and meet the demands across multiple departments and functions.
- Data in multiple, disparate operating models must be unified, driving one integrated and simplified model for insights, business agility and outcomes.
HPE GreenLake edge-to-cloud platform powers data-first modernization to fast-forward your digital transformation, across edge to datacenter to cloud. HPE brings a unified cloud experience to apps and data everywhere, eliminating data silos across multi-gen IT, ensuring accessibility of data wherever it resides, and unleashing data as a lifeforce to create rich experiences, accelerate decision velocity, and deliver continuous innovation to move your business forward faster.
DQ: There are still many companies in tier-2 and 3 towns and cities that have not yet migrated to the cloud. What is HPE doing there?
Ranganath: HPE has been a strong partner in providing IT solutions to the large and small enterprises in Tier 2/3 cities with our core strengths of delivering solutions, our partner network and service delivery. We are leveraging this partnership with our customers to guide them in their cloud migration journey.
HPE’s strategy is that the cloud experience and the benefits it brings in speed, agility, and efficiency should be accessible to apps and data everywhere. We help enable businesses to eliminate complexity and silos across public and private clouds with common cloud ops tools, processes, and automation that offload the management of day-to-day operations, shifting resources to accelerate business outcomes and driving value.
HPE’s Hybrid Cloud Advisory and Professional Services help make this a reality for the businesses by leveraging our comprehensive portfolio of products and solutions where they best fit. This is how HPE uniquely delivers the cloud experience for applications and data everywhere, from edge to cloud.
DQ: What are the tools that an enterprise should invest in for data-driven transformation?
Ranganath: The importance of data to today’s businesses can’t be overstated. The recent studies say that the data-driven companies are 58 percent more likely to beat revenue goals than non-data-driven companies and 162 percent more likely to significantly outperform laggards. We have identified 7 key tools for enterprises to start their data first modernization journey which incorporates the global best practices:
- Create connected experiences at your edge – The edge is where the explosion of data is happening, resulting into generating unimaginable amounts of data. The decisions at the edge are now data-driven in real-time. HPE GreenLake edge to core data engineering delivers the needed tools to scale your Machine Learning Operations (MLOps) estate across 1000’s of locations while retaining control and centralized orchestration of your data.
- Secure your enterprise from edge to cloud – Organizations are looking for richer levels of visibility, cross-platform control, advanced data management, and end-to-end security. Modernize your security with zero trust architectures with Aruba network and modernize your security, risk and compliance with HPE GreenLake for Aruba.
- Modernize with a cloud experience everywhere – The need for the cloud experience everywhere is a must since organizations need agility for business workloads, the scale for handling demands, and managing complexity and costs. The HPE GreenLake platform brings the cloud experience on a pay-per-use basis with the flexibility to scale up or down and tailor to customer’s needs.
- Simplify data management & protection – To succeed today, the modern enterprise needs to simplify data management to eliminate the complexity that’s holding business and IT back. HPE GreenLake for Storage makes data infrastructure invisible while shifting operations to be app, not infrastructure centric. Unlike the traditional storage management common to other storage-as-a-service options, HPE GreenLake for Block Storage simplifies on-premises storage management across the lifecycle. HPE GreenLake for data protection offer end-to-end data protection to safeguard your data and improve business resilience.
- Embrace AI and analytics at scale – Analyzing data, using artificial intelligence and machine learning accelerate the delivery of insights to organizations and helps to unlock value. Modernizing Machine Learning Operations (MLOps) using HPE Ezmeral enables developers and data scientists to rapidly build, train, and deploy machine learning (ML) models, from pilot to production, at any scale and in record time.
- Harness the power of supercomputing – The need for computing data for actionable insights is growing for businesses looking for real-time maneuvers. We are now looking at compute capabilities that can harness all data with analytics and AI and deliver business outcomes on a real-time basis. Making supercomputing available to everyone to consume as a service at any scale is what HPE delivers with HPE GreenLake for HPC.
- Advance your sustainability agenda- Today’s businesses want to significantly shift their operations in line with the principles of the circular economy. One of the first steps in minimizing over-provisioning for workloads and maximizing system usage is an ‘As-a-Service (aaS) model’ that delivers better management of workloads, proactive monitoring of assets, and a focus on system operations. For example, implementing an HPE GreenLake solution can result in up to 30% energy savings within the data environment.
HPE partners with customers and brings in the expertise for an edge-to-cloud digital transformation to help envision, design and implement the right people, process and technology approach to bring the cloud experience to all your IT needs. With field-proven edge-to-cloud adoption framework and methodology and tools and automated services integrated into HPE GreenLake we enable a data-driven transformation for all applications and data.
DQ:. How is HPE GreenLake edge-to-cloud platform accelerating digital transformation?
Ranganath: Digital transformation has been the topmost priority for companies for quite some time, but the pandemic accelerated its pace tremendously and led them to migrate to the cloud. The tech priorities of enterprises have shifted from “Cloud First” to “Cloud Everywhere” as the hybrid world continues to explode. There have been newer applications and tech approaches which have replaced the traditional deployment of strategies.
According to Gartner report, the overall IT spending in India is predicted to reach $101.8 billion in 2022, up 7% from 2021, which means the companies will continue to increase their spending towards analytics, artificial intelligence, machine learning, customer experience and cloud.
HPE has played an important role in India’s digital transformation programs, which have ranged from building data centers to running digitization programs for the largest insurance company in the country to the national identity program. We have also played a role in key digital platforms projects such as smart cities which fundamentally impact every citizen and business in the country.
The HPE GreenLake edge-to-cloud platform is a powerful foundation for accelerating digital transformation by delivering cloud services that can run on-premises, at the edge, or in a colocation facility. This in return gives customers one platform to unify and modernise data everywhere. It offers the agility and innovation of the cloud while preserving control of applications and workloads that need to run on premises. It helps public entities accelerate IT modernization, reduce costs, and harness the power of data.