Som Satsangi

Transition to emerging tech paving way for efficiency: Som Satsangi, HPE

Som Satsangi, SVP and Managing Director, Hewlett Packard Enterprise, India says that technology can solve a wide range of problems and increase efficiency, which will play a larger role in transparent governance

DQ: How is HPE helping India adopt Smart Governance to streamline both its governance and business practices?

Som Satsangi: HPE is actively supporting the Digital India and Smart Cities mission projects as well as partnering with several PSUs to enable digital transformation for their organizations. We are now seeing the adoption of several digital technologies like IoT, AI-ML, analytics, etc on a massive scale in the smart cities and other projects and HPE provides unique, innovative and use case specific solutions from its range of hardware, software IP’s along with design, advisory and integration services.

HPE has in fact implemented India’s first cloud-based integrated command and control center for Bhopal Smart City Development Corporation Ltd. (BSCDCL). This centre has enabled the monitoring and administration of multiple cities’ civic utilities and citizen services in each of the cities through a central cloud and enabled state-wide monitoring of cities from a central command view.

In addition, our cloud and IoT enabled Covid test labs and OPD centers collectively facilitated over 5,00,000 patient visits and have set a benchmark in the tech-enabled healthcare ecosystem in India while supporting the Government’s efforts to respond to Covid.

Our High Performance Computing (HPC) systems have enabled some of the renowned institutes like Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology (IITM), Pune; Indian Institute of Science (IISc), Bengaluru; Tata Institute of Fundamental Research (TIFR), Mumbai; Indian Institute of Technology (Bombay, Delhi, Madras, Kanpur, Kharagpur). The research center with HPE HPC installations include National Center for Medium Range Weather Forecasting (NCMRWF), Noida. HPE’s solutions for Data, Compute and applications enable several smart initiatives of the government.

DQ: What technologies will play a major role in efficient and transparent governance?

Som Satsangi: Technology can solve a wide range of problems and increase efficiency, which will play a larger role in transparent governance. As we look at the use of data, data integration across verticals, innovative models of service provisioning, and cross-sector collaboration we will see technologies like data, data analytics, AI-ML, High Performance Computing, cloud etc helping governance to be nimble and effective.

The government of India has already taken steps towards utilizing the digital infrastructure to solve India’s problems towards presence-less, paperless, and cashless service delivery. Development of CoWIN App, digital vaccination certificates in DigiLocker, Aarogya Setu app are great examples. Similarly, other applications of India stack such as Unified Payments Interface (UPI) allows access to digital documents including driving license, vehicle registration, academic records from the original issuers, and eKYC for establishing one’s identity in a paperless and electronic manner. Hence transition to emerging technologies like use of AI, ML, data analytics, 5G, augmented reality, and the Internet of Things are already paving the way for efficiency and quality of governance in India.

Adoption of these technologies has already had a huge impact in smart cities projects by managing traffic to cut pollution, weather data predictions, and efficient processes as more people get connected through smart devices and intelligent workplaces. The key is to make these technologies available to every citizen of the country and deliver efficient governance.

DQ: How should enterprises and startups participate?

Som Satsangi: The biggest challenge for enterprises and startups would be to understand how they can work with governments and solve people’s problems. With the government’s Digital India policy and efforts, it has become easier for enterprises and startups to collaborate and participate in these initiatives. From an HPE perspective, we have been working with government organizations, policymakers, and initiatives ensuring we are able to share our global experiences in providing various solutions in this space. Our portfolio of IT Compute, Storage, and Networking technologies, solutions, and services host many of the innovative services and applications of the government. We also work with several startups associated with providing various solutions in this space providing end to end solutions.

DQ: What should be the action points for government and policy makers with respect to the technologies of smart governance to be implemented?

Som Satsangi: India has come a long way in adopting technology for smart governance. Both, the Centre and State governments have invested significantly to put in place a smart governance framework. The Smart Cities Mission was an excellent initiative to equip cities with the right ICT infrastructure and allied solutions to handle complex governance challenges. HPE has been at the forefront of deploying Integrated Command and Control Centres which helped immensely during the pandemic and even for other disaster management requirements. The ICCCs were designed to deploy cutting-edge technologies like artificial intelligence and IoT to generate real time data and insights for the authorities to take necessary action.

After successfully working with many government departments on their digital journey, we believe that as we move ahead in the digital curve, the mix of applications would become more complex and unpredictable. Provisioning IT resources for this ever-fluctuating app demand would be a big challenge. To address this challenge, we are working on as-a-service partnership model which is a unique consumption-based offering from HPE. This model not only has the ability to keep the IT environment updated with the latest technological advancements but is also elastic which scales up and down depending on the demand fluctuations. This model from HPE is matured and evolved which is being used by many customers across the globe for their digital journeys.

DQ: How will this transform India’s economy?

Som Satsangi: This approach has the potential to bring a paradigm shift in how the government procures and deploys ICT infrastructure and services. The as a service model brings agility to operations which is crucial for the government. Upfront savings in capital expenditures and sharing of resources with other departments can virtually transform India’s local economy. This model can ideally be implemented even for smaller cities which can then have a multiplier effect. The collection, storage and analysis of this city level data can unlock a lot of value for businesses and generate insights which be leveraged for planning and development purposes. From an HPE perspective, we have been working with government organizations, policymakers, and initiatives ensuring we are able to share our global experiences in providing various solutions in this space.

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