CIO Wall

Abhijit Chatterjee

CIO - Vara United

CIO Perspectives

Opportunities and Challenges of the Digital Economy

We can now directly interact with customers and don’t have to rely on the middle men. It has increased mobility of services, aided better connectivity among stake-holders.

Digital Disruptions not only threaten the very core of an organization’s business but also present an opportunity to innovate and excel. How are you responding to the new changes and applying digital transformation strategy in your organization?

Technology by itself does not transform a company. There is too much focus on the `digital' element, and not the 'transformation'. We are focused on five major priorities which may be low on tech but are high on actual business transformation, assisted by technology — Customer Experience, Culture & Leadership, Content Strategy for different channels -traditional, digital, and social; Digital Ecosystem Rationalisation; and Paid Social. We have invested in some catalyst technologies to nurture an agile infrastructure —Service-Oriented Architecture, IT workflow management, Desktop virtualisation, Storage virtualisation, Enterprise Portal, Web publishing with content and document management, Business Process on Cloud, Infrastructure and Application on Cloud, Mobile Device Management, Social Analytics and Business Intelligence.

What are your thoughts about your enterprise application landscape – way forward is public cloud or own private cloud?

The paradigm of market dynamics is challenging and changing. Organizations should be prepared to adapt digital approach more quickly than ever before. Those that fail to be fleet-footed risk being swept aside by their competitors. Cloud provides critical agility in the age of digital business but organizations need to identify the best distribution of services/applications and their corresponding technology strategy for connecting to the cloud they wish to use.

Enter Private and Public Clouds. Private clouds offer great security, reliability and performance guarantee and obviously control over resources. But remember it does require a CAPEX commitment and if not used optimally it can result in under-utilization of resources. Public cloud on the other hand, while still perceived with a higher security risk, lack of standard governance and compliance measures, offers scalability, an OPEX model and utility/consumption based billing.

True, that cost is a cornerstone for any business decision primarily in India and the economies of scale makes public cloud service seemingly attractive, but the decision isn’t that simple. It is not a one-size fits all approach. It is essential to mull over the types of enterprise applications and services that your organization uses, the degree of security risk you are comfortable with, legal compliances you need to meet and your current server utilization. It is essential that you understand the data (employee, financials, customer, health records etc) and its value/ worth to your organization.

Step in Hybrid cloud. Experts believe that hybrid cloud with its swiss knife-like capabilities can come to the rescue and save organization from the heartburn of managing challenging IT landscape. Some of the leading technology research firms indicates that there is a growing trend towards adoption of Hybrid cloud because of the technology-centric benefits it offers. Unfortunately, I don't profess to have a crystal ball that lets us foretell the future.

So here’s my take on the matter. We now understand that public and private clouds are highly complementary and are best suited for significantly different application workloads. Organizations therefore needs to assess where and how to put the right workload on the right infrastructure at the right time - while meeting all business requirements, and considering time-to-provision speed, data security and isolation, stack visibility, service-level guarantees, and cost that impacts them. Organizations can now buy into a future by adopting either one (Public or Private) that suits them or a mix (Hybrid) that allows accelerating their time to market and ROI. So the only constant in the cloud landscape is change.