In an exclusive interaction with Dataquest, Vinod Ganesan, Director – Sales at Hitachi Data Systems (HDS), India, talks about how HDS solutions are empowering customers across industries to redefine business strategy and enabling them to achieve operational excellence and business growth. Excerpts-
How important is data in today’s world? What are the challenges faced by organisations in India?
The world of data and data analytics have been around for quite some time. Today, organisations in any and every industry cannot do without analysing data and reaping its benefits to drive business intelligent insights. Over the course of what is becoming today’s digital era, companies have begun to understand the growing significance of data required to accelerate their digital transformation.
When we talk about the government and banking sectors in particular, we are witnessing a dramatic transformation that is majorly being driven by the evolving technology advancements and new regulatory requirements. As digitization moves from being an abstract terminology to the core of a firm’s business strategy, there is a lot of potential in exploring big data analytics as a service or subscription-based for organizations of every size.
In India, digital transformation has indeed made IT a key element of corporate success. However, in the process of keeping up with the rapidly growing industry and refining solutions and services to meet customer requirements, there are certain challenges that organisations face. While every company across different sectors might have different challenges, I believe there are three overarching points of concern. One such challenge is managing data – both for regulatory requirements as well as to gain meaningful insights. Under this segment, dark data has seen the light of being a crucial factor in being utilized to its advantage of minimizing potential errors and damages, if extracted in the right manner. Data is essentially information assets that are collected, processed and stored by firms during regular business activities, but generally fail to use it for other purposes. Firms tend to miss out on the vast opportunities that lay in analyzing and converging prominent trends for future use.
Another challenge and concern for organisations is the rising need for data security. The loss of private information on a massive scale is every firm’s worst nightmare. The industry scenario in this space that we have been witnessing over the past few months speak volumes about just how any and every business owner must prioritize employing the right kind of cyber-security for its business to reduce risk and enhance data protection. This means protecting data right from devices to storage, network, data center, and the cloud.
Lastly, the issue of data quality grows in significance as we strive to make decisions on strategies, markets, and marketing in near real time. With the growing volumes of data and with focus on unstructured data surfacing in large amounts at a fast pace, data analytics solutions can only be as good as the data that is going in to it. In addition, while providing enhancement to solutions, it should remain affordable to meet the business imperatives that are cost-effective and efficient.
How are HDS solutions empowering customers across industries to redefine business strategy achieve operational excellence?
With big data, cloud and machine learning becoming dominant, storage technologies often become automated and more complex. Hitachi Data Systems has a wide range of products and solutions, which support cloud, big data analytics, converged infrastructure, storage, servers and data protection, which ensures operational excellence. We power the digital enterprise by integrating the best information technology and operational technology across Hitachi family of companies.
As a company, we have transformed from being just a data storage provider into an information solutions Company, with an aim to become a leader in the space. Making our presence in the market of big data and internet of things that matter, Hitachi is helping customers turn data into intelligence. For the manufacturing sector, we have deployed technologies to support core ERP Systems. In the ITeS segment, our solutions power employee facing systems. We are the only IT vendor to address customer workload requirements from entry to mainframe with single storage software platform.
Recently, we announced major updates to our Hitachi Content Platform (HCP) portfolio, providing a path to digital transformation for enterprises while achieving significant cost savings over public cloud. The integrated portfolio offers the capability to increase profitability and productivity by applying analytics to uncover new opportunities and insights. It also can reduce risks by enhancing security, availability and data protection. With this update, Hitachi Content Platform (HCP) portfolio transforms cloud infrastructure to achieve over 60% TCO savings versus public cloud for enterprise use cases. In December 2016, Hitachi Content Platform (HCP) was placed by International Data Corporation (IDC) in the Leaders category of IDC MarketScape.
Hitachi has over 107 years of expertise in Operational Technology (OT) and over 57 years of Information Technology (IT). With respect to enabling smart cities, we work closely with government projects and smart city projects to support new waves and intelligent public transportation systems. For example, Hitachi’s customer – New York Waterway, a privately-owned marine transportation company has been using Hitachi Visualization to support its intelligent transportation system. The company used Hitachi Visualization Suite and Hitachi Visualization Platform together to provide a unified digitally optimized solution that brought together enhancement of passenger safety, improvement of mobile network connectivity and stability, and operations of their ships and stations.
How is HDS solutions enabling customers to achieve operational excellence and business growth?
In terms of Hitachi’s global engagements, HDS has global presence inside Fortune 500 companies. Hitachi’s capabilities are massive; the social innovation forum is a Hitachi-led initiative. With the changing behavior of consumers adapting to latest technologies, our offerings have also seen evolutions in meeting the demands and needs of our customers. This has called for a shift in the way we address the market. HDS solutions have become more relevant to current market scenarios and are designed to help our partners and customers efficiently.
We strongly believe that market transitions and opportunities can be delivered by expanding channels to reach customers. To enable this, we pay close attention to employing the right channel in order to address relevant customers. The best way for a company to implement digital transformation is to start from the fundamental step- understanding the data and no one knows data like Hitachi Data Systems.
Hitachi Data Systems has always helped organizations to design, deploy and leverage economically superior information architecture and help customers turn data into intelligence. This is enabled by our superior “Economics” framework which is built on the founding principle of “You cannot Improve what you cannot measure” and for customers to achieve operational excellence they need to understand their baseline. This is where we clearly differentiate from others. We seek to deliver business transformational solutions that are rooted to our core competencies, with a balance of world-class infrastructure, flexible and secure content solutions.
What is your business plan for 2017?
Our growth journey over the last year has been good. We have been able to consolidate our position across different sectors – Government, BFSI, ITES and Smart Cities being critical among them. Leveraging on our expert teams and technology has helped us in establishing a solid foundation for delivering digital transformation to our customers by modernizing IT applications and infrastructure.
All our deployments have been in real mission-critical customer facing environments. We do plan to expand the sphere of influence on customers. Our combination of experience and expertise qualify us to help partners and in turn their customers truly realize Digital Transformation, bringing it together in a single strategy – managing, governing, mobilizing and analysing data to create powerful insights and outcomes. We are actively investing in building a capacity and capability matrix which will help us in achieving our vision of a self-reliant, value selling profitable ecosystem. We realize that our customers are “Data Rich” but “Insight Poor”. Our execution strategy is focused to help them become “Insight Rich” by combining our Information Technology expertise with the Operational Technology experience of Hitachi group and deliver transformative solutions to the industry, based on Intelligent Software and Industrial blueprints. Our goal is to become the No.1 IoT company in the world by 2022.
Can you please tell us about NEXT 2017?
We recently announced our first annual user conference, NEXT 2017, a premier event for the digital revolution. With everyone being in the middle of a digital revolution, Hitachi is inviting customers, developers, partners, industry experts and thought leaders to learn about the latest developments in using data for better social and business outcomes – as only Hitachi can. NEXT 2017 will be held from September 18-21, 2017 in Las Vegas at the Mandalay Bay Hotel and Resort.
With the theme of “Lead What’s Next,” attendees will get a chance to experience the latest solutions and services that will help them compete and win in today’s dynamic digital environment. Customers and partners alike will learn from Hitachi’s expertise in integrating information technology (IT) with the operational technologies (OT) to drive down costs, be more efficient and innovate faster. In addition, Hitachi will unveil a number of new innovations at the event including a significant announcement on our own transformation.