There was a panel discussion on the multi-cloud: flexibility, agility and economy during the 29th edition of Dataquest Leadership Conclave. The participants were Dr. Chander Shekhar Devra, CIO (Speciality Chemicals), SRF Ltd, Kamal Kashyap, Director and Country Manager – Storage Business Unit, HP Enterprise, Samir Mathur, Founder and CEO, SM Consulting, and Ms. Sharbani Bhatia, Senior VP-IT, Dainik Jagaran. Anil Chopra, VP, Research & Consulting, CyberMedia Research, was the moderator.
Dr. Chander Shekhar Devra, SRF, said there are basic problems of promoters and stakeholders. Most providers look at the security aspect. You either obfuscate the company data or do complete encryption. You can put data on one cloud, and a copy to another cloud. Cloud is now the only choice. We have to find solutions from the IT perspective. We can also go into multi-cloud.
Kamal Kashyap, HP Enterprise, said there should be availability of data to all stakeholders. You need access to the data at the right point in time, and at the right cost. There is also security, irrespective of edge, core and cloud. Hosting can be on the sovereign national boundaries, and there is cost. Sometimes, organizations are paying for the used data and for repatriating it back. A lot of stuff can also be on-prem. We need to ensure agility, flexibility, and economy, so that we can have the economic experience of the cloud and operational ease. Any organization can have apps on-prem, cloud, etc.
Ms. Sharbani Bhatia, Dainik Jagaran, said 75% of organizations are already on the cloud. By 2024, that will move up to 90%. Organizations are at different stages of their cloud journey. Some are reaping benefits, and traditional companies like us do not find it easy to start their cloud journey. Hybrid cloud is more suited for various reasons, such as cost efficiency, scalability, flexibility, and low time-to-market. There are also legacy apps. So, you need to think twice regarding that. They can prefer remaining on the data center or have private cloud. It probably makes sense to have hybrid mix of cloud architecture. You can take basic solutions off the cloud. However, you may want mission-critical apps to be in your control. You also need to have manpower.
Samir Mathur, SM Consulting, said SMEs and MSMEs challenges are quite similar. We have a problem of which type of cloud do we get in. Quality of manpower is also key. Absence of right vendors is also a problem. We tell MSMEs that data is more secure on cloud. Most leakages happen from in-house. We need to have more awareness. Today, not even 25% companies are on cloud, but they all want to go to cloud.
Dr. Devra, SRF, added that gold is safer in bank lockers. It depends on the industry where we are. Data can be IP-driven. Cloud is a straight-fit. We are in chemicals business. We need to be aware of our chemistry data. Sometimes, your research may get shared with others.
Kashyap, HP Enterprise, added that the spectrum of technologies are many. A cloud may cover limited spectrum within an organization. You also need a security layer that runs across all of these. The architecture that you define can give you the comfort that your data is safe. You look at the data spectrum and define the policies. We give the ability of operational experience to the cloud, and separate the underlying infrastructure from the user. You need to have plans against ransomware, internal and external threats, etc. HP has simplistic solutions, and is available as a service.
Ms. Bhatia, Dainik Jagaran, said we need to have the right balance. We also have digital verticals that cater to mobile apps. They need to churn out content quickly and fast. We also need to know the consumer preferences. We can move to cloud. Now, there are solutions available for the media. Employee collaboration and productivity is a routine thing. For business management, ERP, etc., we need a good data center. Where data is required as a dashboard, cloud solution works very well. It must add value and be aligned to your business goals. We can create environments with proper planning.
Mathur, SM Consulting, noted that we should not prefer selling the cloud as a cost-saving measure. Cloud saves cost for SMEs initially, but then, raises cost. Most of our customers are in manufacturing, from tier-2 and tier-3 cities. Adoption of cloud is less than 25%. Managing their IT is not their core area. No CIO may work in a small town. We are talking about multi- and hybrid-cloud. Lot of apps are native, and not cloud-ready. People in small towns need hand-holding.
Dr. Devra, SRF, added there is the cost of transportation. We have to account for this is tier-2 and tier-3 cities. Mathur, SM Consulting, said the upcoming personal data protection bill is going to be important. Laws are going to be stringent with high penalties. It may get impossible for SMEs to implement.
Kashyap, HP Enterprise, said you can take backup of data, and save it anywhere. Financial services industry is already running with regulations. Cloudification is from the ease of use perspective.