The year 2021 has just begun, and while it is still too early to speculate on what may or may not be the predestination of a certain technology, a lot can be predicted based on the learnings from 2020. Infosys leaders have put together their thoughts on the year that was for new age technologies like artificial intelligence, data analytics, cybersecurity, and cloud and the way ahead for them.
Artificial Intelligence: Balakrishna DR, senior vice president, service offering head – ECS, AI and Automation, Infosys
AI is a vast subject being tapped into every day across many applications. One such example is how AI and ML have forayed into newer areas during the pandemic. While AI is evolving and maturing by the day, the biggest challenge for companies is that they are failing to reimagine business to realize the transformational value from AI and automation. Despite an uptake of AI and automation adoption, revisioning business processes and customer experiences remain the focal point of digital transformation across industries.
We are noticing two dominant trends currently – the need for businesses to be resilient to effectively address real world problems; and an acceleration in how they are applying to drive actionable insights. Another aspect is talent – with a right mix of data scientists, data engineers, social scientists, domain experts, and strong leaders, companies must train their employees to understand AI and, most importantly, democratize AI to make it easily accessible so that employees feel empowered to use it for making their work easier and simpler.
Cloud: Narsimha Rao Mannepalli, executive vice-president, head of cloud & infrastructure solutions and Infosys Validation Solutions
The pandemic induced a paradigm and rapid shift to cloud led digital transformation as businesses across industries rushed to bring in resiliency, create efficiencies, and flexibility while driving growth. While cloud has taken the center stage in redefining the future of how and where work gets done, it is imperative for organizations to have a well-defined and scalable cloud strategy to grow big, fast. Hybrid cloud powered innovation and IT infrastructure transformation is gaining prominence due to unmatched flexibility, performance, cost, and security advantages. With this in sight, we launched Infosys Cobalt that acts as a force multiplier for cloud-powered enterprise transformation. Infosys Cobalt enables organizations to securely scale and carry out meaningful collaborations which is a must-have for enterprises today.
Transforming business models is key to unlocking new value, profitability, and growth for enterprises. Cloud has become a key catalyst to support this transformation. Hybrid cloud has gained importance as it offers the best of both public and private cloud to aid in full-scale enterprise transformation. In 2021, we anticipate a spurt in the adoption of hybrid cloud which will accelerate go-to-market initiatives for global enterprises. We will also see an increased demand for serverless, cloud-apps, and cyber security to address modern workflows and their requirements as businesses gear-up for the future. In this digital age where instant consumption drives results, implementing hyper-scale data centers can prove beneficial in delivering services in a quick and efficient manner. With cloud fast becoming ubiquitous, we are sure to unearth its true potential in times to come.
Cybersecurity: Vishal Salvi, senior vice president, chief information security officer and head of the Cyber Security Practice at Infosys
We witnessed throughout the year a spike in ransomware attacks using COVID-19 campaigns. These attacks became bolder, spread across industries and have been observed to be almost four to five times more as compared to last year. With work from home becoming a long haul, a significant amount of change was observed in the way we all began to look at enterprise security architecture. Security models such as borderless security, SASE, zero trust architecture, VPN-less connectivity, anywhere, anyplace, anytime, any device connectivity began emerging. Concerns related to privacy appeared and extensive discussions on what decisions had to be made and what measures had to be taken to ensure data security and privacy while people were working from home took place. The world became dependent on digital backbone such as video conferencing platforms, collaboration platforms and security. So eventually, security and digital became the foundation of the future of workforce.
If there is a major security incident or an event, it will shatter or shake the basic foundation of how connectivity is taking place today and so, there is a lot of focus on cyber resiliency given the dependency on these connectivity models. The year is ending with one of the largest cybersecurity breaches in the decade – the impact of SolarWinds and supply chain attacks. It is going to be a watershed wherein new paradigms will emerge on how we ring fence ourselves from any supply chain attack and what short term and long term actions need to be developed while this attack is still unfolding.
It has been an extremely eventful and roller coaster year for cybersecurity teams wherein they had to work in unfamiliar environments and were in extreme pressure to deliver on the goals but as an industry, we have done exceedingly well. This is proven by the fact that businesses are continuing to work and are resilient. As we begin 2021, there is a need to take a new guard and start re-imagining security from a completely different perspective. Building security by default and by design has become extremely important to ensure we become digitally resilient tomorrow.
Data and Analytics: Satish HC, executive vice president, head global services – Data and Analytics, Infosys
Data analytics has had an enormous effect on almost every aspect of today’s modern world. It’s role in helping businesses being agile and navigate through uncertainty has become even more apparent in the wake of the pandemic. The constant digitalization of value chains and accelerated migration to cloud undoubtedly raises the ambition to go beyond sustaining the efficiency, resilience, effectiveness of a value chain and embark on a journey of future transformations like autonomous enterprise, and data-powered ecosystems blurring industry boundaries.
As industries witness a hunger for actionable insights and informed decision making, it is imperative for organizations to harness the full potential of data analytics tools and techniques at scale to derive the desired outcomes. With the expedited shift to digital, there will be a greater emphasis on instrumentation, observability, AI powered core to be cognitive in real-time, leveraging the power of data analytics through the confluence of Cloud, AI, IoT, and 5G. While the vision of data analytics continue to evolve with advancements in the digital era, it’s implementation will be decisive for various stakeholders to reap considerable benefits for the times ahead.