Meeting the challenges of cloud complexity, IT News, ET CIO

By Aryaan Parwez

The pandemic has had far-reaching ramifications for businesses around the world, and in many ways the future has moved forward faster than people might have expected. As the world begins to calibrate after the pandemic, businesses have undergone a radical and irreversible upheaval. In the world we live in today, businesses need to be cloud-based and data-driven.

What we knew two years ago, if the speed was x for digital transformation, currently the speed has now become 5x. It is the rapid scale of change that is taking place.

Saurabh Chandra, managing director of the Boston Consulting Group (BCG), said there are two groups of organizations that are largely considering digital transformation. “The first set is the new Gen-internet. Six, seven years to do well, they’ve always been on an open stack and have easy-to-walk tracks on the main cloud. The task is relatively easier there. The second group of organizations are market leaders. They have regulatory controls to maintain and they have a legacy to carry on. It is also the whole of the strategic point of view of the digital organization which took a central place in the conversation ”, he added.

The pandemic has been trying for all businesses. They all experienced difficult conditions. However, there has been a growing adoption of the digital perspective as we move towards Tier 2 or Tier 3 cities, bringing users and customers to digital platforms. “The local conditions have been very difficult and what is a feeling in one part of the country may not be the same in another part of the country. So the two important aspects for us were to understand the changing preferences of customers: those who are adopting the digital platform for the first time and existing customers whose preferences have changed in the last year or so, ”Rahul Bharde, Vice President President and Head – Analytics & Insights, Jubilant FoodWorks said. Knowing how customers are reacting and the business conditions are essential when leveraging digital and data to design a response to those conditions.

Organizations using data

In retail, the customer is at the center and it becomes even more important when there are so many touchpoints to go through. “The only weapon we had (during the pandemic when all shops and markets were closed) was data. How we use data, how we store data and obtain information about each of our customers. Once we got that idea, the goal was basically to engage with them while they’re at home, looking at their preferences, ”said Sanjay Tripathi, CDO, Bestseller. He explained how his company has tried to use social channels to give customers the choice to buy whatever they need.

“Data for us comes from stores, e-commerce and also distribution centers and entire supply chains. Our strategy is how to have a transparent application access model and an interaction layer that kind of connects to all three data centers. The data could come from the same store and e-commerce customer, ”said Vijay Chaluvasetty, senior director of platform engineering, Walmart Global Tech. At Walmart, enabling analytics and machine learning through self-service is something they’re looking at. From a business perspective, they make the data available to the sales teams in the respective regions or combine it with all regions. “What we are looking at is a simplification. One is to take advantage of the right technologies and gain insight into customers or products, ”he added.

The cloud data strategy has evolved exponentially over the past 18 months. Previously, companies used multiple data centers in various units and factories. “These data centers were using different platforms and different versions of ARP in their factories. A decision was made two and a half years ago to consolidate these servers and enter a single environment that will have a single server in one location and the consolidation of these servers will take place, ”Vijay Dogra, VP IT (Hindalco) , Aditya told the Birla group. It was around this time that Hindalco began to think about the cloud environment. “Right now we are using the ORACLE cloud because the product we finalized was an ORACLE ARP. One was on core solutions, the other was on cloud solutions. We had most of the products in a cloud environment at that time, ”explained Dogra.

Most people are not familiar with the concept of dark data. Dark data is basically the type of data that doesn’t get examined – people don’t shed light on it. In many cases, no one can capture it. “Let’s look at an example. You go to a bank or a retailer and they have wifi there. You connect to wifi. You have experience as a consumer when connecting to wifi. Most businesses care about capturing wifi information, but guess what? It contains some really interesting information. For example, how long was I in line before I got to the ticket office and spoke to this person? This can give me an idea of ​​the wait time for the experience with the cashier, ”said Dhiraj Goklani, vice president of observability, Splunk in APAC. The data businesses capture, whether from mobile devices, private cloud data centers, or public cloud environments, is much more unstructured.

Innovation and safety

Innovation and security as a whole have always been seen as opposing each other, one slowing down the other. This is certainly not the way to go. Digital security and cybersecurity must go hand in hand. “The pace of transformation is so rapid today that all businesses are now real-time businesses. It has become imperative that security teams be part of this automation of the change management process, which it always has been, but they are now relevant stakeholders to ensure that ownership of this security adaptation is present. in transformation journeys ”, Juthika Nagpal, Vice said President – Business Operations, Inspira Enterprise India.

The move to the cloud has accelerated dramatically as organizations adapt to changes brought about by recent events and attempt to drive innovation to compete with digital distributors. Consider some of these challenges. The cloud often leads to a larger attack surface and therefore to a higher risk. The shift to a new on-demand consumption model, where CAPEX is replaced by OEPX, makes cost monitoring and management essential. And as the development of cloud-based applications moves towards a DevOps framework, managing the performance of various services and applications also becomes more complex and critical.

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