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Essentiality of Data - Vinod Ganesan, Country Manager, India, Cloudera

Essentiality of Data - Vinod Ganesan, Country Manager, India, Cloudera on the importance od data and hence the increasing demand for datacentres

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Archana Verma
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Cloudera

Many organisations in Asia Pacific have made strategic pivots and changes to their business strategies to mitigate the disruptions caused by the pandemic. Regardless of where they are in terms of preparing for the new normal, having a data-centric strategy will be key in helping them navigate an increasingly volatile operating environment and an uncertain future. However, becoming truly data-driven has remained elusive for many organisations. Most existing data platforms are unable to provide the analytics capability on any cloud, the speed and agility the business needs as well as the security and governance required by IT teams. Culminating their vision of an enterprise data cloud, Cloudera has launched a private cloud offering under Cloudera Data Platform to ensure every organisation has the right tools to become truly data-driven. Vinod Ganesan, Country Manager, India, Cloudera, discusses it with us in this exclusive interaction.

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DQ - Could you tell us about the launch of CDP private cloud and how the concept of data cloud has been evolving?

Vinod Ganesan - We strongly believe that data makes possible what looks impossible today. Cloudera’s mission has been to empower people to draw insights from complex data patterns. We do that through our innovative data platform which has been designed to support, manage and govern data with the flexibility of deploying it across any cloud platform. We have worked with a lot of enterprise customers who are leaders in their own businesses - whether it is 8 out of the top ten global banks or 10 out of the top 10 telcos or automotive companies. We’ve had the privilege of an intimate view of the kind of challenges they face in their data-driven journey. We commissioned a study with the Harvard Business Review last year. The purpose of this study was to validate some of the findings that we had reached through our own customer engagements. We were looking at what are the inhibitors the customers face in their global data journey. 

In a study with Harvard Business Review, Cloudera uncovered some important insights. Some statistics – 

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  • 41% customers say that they don’t have a strategy to deal with data management, especially in a multi cloud environment.
  • Over 60% of the customers said that they didn’t know what kind of data they needed to act as their business initiators.
  • 54% customers acknowledged that data silos are their biggest challenge.
  • 69% of the customers said that they required an expert’s support in data architecture building. This gave us the insight that we needed to develop our own private data platform architecture.

The key tenet of this enterprise data architecture is in the form of four key capabilities we provide back to our customers. 

The first key capability is the ability for them to support data across hybrid and multi cloud environments. And to see how they manage this data efficiently across these environments. 

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The 2nd important aspect is around the multifunctional ability of the platform, essentially the ability to manage the data across its life cycle, all the way from edge to AI and the ability to embark on multiple use cases that their organisations require, which needs to be supported by this platform. 

Another key capability, for it to effectively deliver on the capabilities, is to deliver effectively the security that cuts across all these layers and can give a different experience. 

Last but not the least is to be able to build all this using an open source platform. When I say open source, we’re not just talking about the benefits of community innovation which we have been delivering over the years but also how do we introduce open standards and open KPIs so that they are able to integrate their legacy systems back into these environments seamlessly. 

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With these four crucial capabilities, Cloudera started its journey of building the industry’s first enterprise data platform called Cloudera Data Platform. Back in Sept 2019, we launched the first form of this platform which is a public cloud release. We wanted to drive quick adoption and also wanted to garner feedback on its use so that we could add more value to that offering. This month, we have launched the Cloudera Private Cloud Platform. It is essentially the capability for customers to mimic the efficiencies and agility of the public cloud platforms, but with the flexibility of a private cloud. This is how our journey has evolved.

DQ - In post-lockdown period, how do you see the business growth of this private cloud platform?

Vinod Ganesan - These are unprecedented times which require a lot of organisations to adopt massive changes not solely on their operations but also how they manage their workforce, the way they need to scale up security and platform demands to meet the changing need. In the process, there were a lot of efficiencies and lessons learned by organisations to manage through this phase. So the key question is once this lockdown opens, are we going to go back to our original ways of working or are we going to take some of these learnings and implement them into a long term strategy?

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If you look at India’s scenario, IDC recently published a study, in which they said that 50% of the Indian enterprises will be adopting hybrid cloud by 2021. So, what it means is that while cloud is being seen as an enabler to drive business agility, it also comes with its own set of challenges of dealing with data management issues across hybrid cloud platforms. I think our introduction of CDP and the Private Cloud factor that we’ve recently announced helps organisations who want to embark on this journey to set up that crucial data foundation which is key. For them to bounce back to business as usual, businesses will have to take significant advantage of opportunities that lie in front of them. They can’t do it unless they have an underlying data platform that supports them with that required agility. Data will be an essential ingredient for every business’ Get Well strategy.

DQ - Are there any challenges you’re facing in countries like India while deploying this cloud platform?

Vinod Ganesan - The adoption of the cloud in India, especially in the industries like banking and financial services haven’t really fully adopted cloud architectures because they have concerns about providing security and governance framework while supporting that required agility. One of the key patterns which is emerging in India is what we call as shadow IT. According to Gartner, 40% of the IT spend will be taken away by shadow IT.

What is shadow IT? Typically, businesses want to move at a particular pace but the IT is unable to support the pace. So, businesses go ahead and find their own investments in on-point solutions by leveraging cloud as a medium to accelerate that process. But in doing so, one of the key risks that gets uncovered is on data security and governance because you are not able to really manage that environment, you don’t have control on who has access to that data, etc. So, IT now needs to take control on this aspect. That’s where we can help organisations with our enterprise data cloud architecture which gives them that architecture to meet the flexibility and agility demands of the business and at the same time accelerate the deployment and mimic all the benefits that they would otherwise find in a public cloud environment. So you can now build a hybrid cloud environment which can integrate with your proprietary platforms.

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