Hybrid Cloud: A Subset of The Overall Digital Transformation

By : |December 3, 2018 0

Digital transformation begins with various subsets that include AI, Security, Data Analytics and Cloud. Nowadays, most of the companies, moving towards digital transformation journey, are adopting hybrid cloud infra.

We discussed with Balaji Subramaniam, National Business Manager, Digital Infrastructure and Hybrid Cloud, Dimension Data India, to understand the growing demand of hybrid cloud.

Growing Hybrid cloud adoption in India

There are a few reasons; one part – the technical solution and commercial related retails, and the other part – the mindset. To elaborate on it I’d like to give a little history, almost 20 years back When MPLS as a technology came out, lot of clients were reluctant to adopt because of Potential security concerns.

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Security was one of the primary concerns those days and when one of the well-known client in the market started adopting it, naturally everyone started following it. Very similarly every technology goes through a life cycle and hybrid cloud is definitely more matured today than what it was a couple of years back.

Also, one of the key reasons is definitely a mindshift by clients on security. There were security concerns among clients but over a period of time, again the combination of service providers and Systems Integrator have built a sense of confidence in the clients so the security concerns over the time have reduced.

Thanks to better connectivity and bandwidth there is better performance today, so the client is not bothered much about the performance. Also different commercial models and consumption models are available which was not the case earlier.

Last but not least, the deployment has become a lot quicker, there are better tools available now. While skills are still a challenge, I think mainstream skills are available today but again there is a need for improvement in the availability of skills in the market. So, a combination of these issues is increasing the adoption of hybrid cloud in the market.

Hybrid cloud adoption challenges

I would say Hybrid cloud is probably a subset of the overall digital transformation of a company and we see the clients facing a couple of challenges in this phase. First one is the technology transition that they need to do because there are key changes in the way the applications are built and they are bound. And a lot of clients have to migrate to better technology, so there is an investment that goes there.

This actually will enable new ways of operating and managing the infrastructure, there is a lot of automation required. Historically, most of the operations were seen as proactive, but I would say they were more reactive and today we need the predictive type of management. Using a lot of data and analytics around it and that is another big challenge that is faced from an operational standpoint.

So, there is one from the technology standpoint, the second is from the operational standpoint and the third is in terms of the commercial models. Clients don’t want to invest everything upfront, they want to pay as they grow.

Security to the hybrid cloud infrastructure

There are two aspects to this – the first one is when the client goes for a hybrid cloud option, it has the responsibility to get an understanding from the cloud provider and dimension data can also be the cloud provider. In some cases, we are the cloud provider, and in some cases, we are the system integrators and the provider is somebody else. So, it is important for the client to understand where the security boundaries lie because when we go towards a cloud, it is not necessary that the cloud provider will be responsible for 100% security.

The areas where the cloud provider can be held responsible are the ones where the client is responsible, so the boundaries have to be clearly understood. Here is where dimension data as a system integrator steps in and we can create a cloud migration strategy where we tell the client very clearly about the technologies that we have to deploy at his end or wherever he is hosting the workloads of the application data, which is on top of what a cloud provider can provide. This starts with a consulting type of approach where the client understands where the boundaries lie.

The second aspect of this is that we have a security reference architecture, which we have created by working with large corporates globally. We have brought this architecture to India as well, and the best part is this point of view – what the architecture is, how an enterprise should deploy security when it moves towards cloud the second idea as well what do the local governing regulations say. For example, if you look at a bank, one is looking at best practices and the other is looking at what the RBI guidelines say towards security. I am confirming towards that. So, as a system integrator and a cloud provider, we are positioned to advise the client on the right security strategy.

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