Digital Summit: Business in the time of the cloud

20 Jan,2012

By Akash Raha

 

The second day of the Sixth India Digital Summit hosted by IAMAI and Ministry of Information & Technology got underway in Delhi on January 19, 2012. The last day of the summit featured a wide array of discussions and debates between prominent members of the industry.

 

Leadership Session 3: The connected home: devices and service revolution

In the current scheme of things there is a proliferation of newer devices. Each and every day there are a plethora of newer devices coming in the market. To support all these devices a new service industry came up to support them. The session spoke about the nexus of devices, connectivity and the service sector in the back drop of the nuances of the industry, such as security.

 

The session was chaired by Mr Sanjay Trehan, Head MSN India, Microsoft and the stage along with him was shared by Mr R Sivakumar, Managing Director, Intel South Asia.

 

The discussion started off with Mr Sivakumar talking about the connected home. He said that the times have changed from connected homes to connected life. Earlier, Home was where the first use of technology begins. We have been using technology over the past decade without knowing about it. But some of those ideas are fast dissipating as our devices are no longer wired and we can move outside the periphery of our house and hence the idea of connective life.

 

As technology has developed, the proliferation of devices too has increased. He said that the technology in the future will be dominated by three screens out of all the new devices based on convenience and ultra mobility – smart phones, netbooks and large television screens.

 

He spoke about the growth of ecommerce and gave the example of the Indian Railway site irctc.co.in which does business of Rs 500 cr each month. The service provided is getting more sophisticated and more available as time goes by. With proliferation of device and connectivity, services provided online are increasing.

 

When posed a question on security threats by Mr Trehan, Mr Shivakumar said that the security capabilities are still at its early stages and have to be built on. In terms of new technology, the bogey that we often ride is the talks of national security. National security and integration of security protocol is very important and yet there has to be ways to streamline the whole process and allow newer technologies to come in.

 

Power Panel 7: Cloud Cluedo – Solving the mysteries surrounding the cloud

The following session tried to unveil the mystery of cloud computing technology. Even though everyone in the technological domain are talking about this technology and its use, few people know about the intricacies of it, which the panel tried to unveil. Cloud computing gives one the ability to put business applications on the ‘cloud’ which would then make it possible for the users to access it from wherever he or she wants to.

 

The following session was moderated by Manoj Chugh, President India & SAARC, EMC Corporation while the panelists were Mr Fredric Moraillon, VP – Marketing, Asia Pacific & Japan, Akamai Technologies and Rajnish Menon, director – ISV & Cloud Strategy, Microsoft.

 

In his opening remark Mr Chugh explained that there are various kinds of clouds, such as Private Clouds and Public Clouds… Moreover, there is a whole mix of these clouds which gives rise to Hybrid Clouds of all shapes, sizes and colors. Cloud computing saves cost of infrastructure and will help businesses grow in the future, thereby creating new job opportunities. Moreover, while the old skill sets are going to remain important, new skill systems are needed for Cloud.

 

According to sources, 50% of the cost of infrastructure can be saved when a business employs and moves their infrastructure to the Clouds. The initial cost of the infrastructure will depend on what kind of a Cloud it is. No two clouds are alike and clouds constantly grow and make newer clouds.

 

Mr Menon explained to the audience that Cloud is very useful as it standardizes IT capabilities. To show the efficacy of cloud, he pointed out how all the fortune 500 companies have some sort of Cloud or the other. The point is, that Cloud is already here and is all pervasive.

 

The next question that Mr Menon talked about is, is Cloud secure? The answer that he proposed was, yes, it is one of the most secure one as authority is given to only one or two who can see all the data. For those who wondered how costly cloud is, Mr Menon told that “Cloud is really cheap, but it depends on what applications you are using etc.”  In terms of regulation, currently, there is no cloud law in place in India and it is all about interpretations of the other existing laws.  Cloud computing has therefore become a new way in which one can deliver and consume IT.

 

Talking about the cloud, Mr Moraillon said “From the Cloud perspective the consumer and the business are constantly merging.” He said that one can put anything on Cloud…But the question is what do you want to put on the cloud but the question is what the security level you have to secure that data is? Information is of value and it is important to keep it in the vault. But yet Cloud is useful as it is helpful and makes work and processes much easier. “You can do a campaign, a budget, file travelling expenses etc… Cloud can do all of that very easily and efficiently.” Today, one feels disconnected when ones hard disk crashes – a lot of hard work goes away, but such a thing does not happen with Cloud as the data will be present and secure on the cloud.

 

The three important aspects which Cloud is efficient on is Time, Money and Labour; Wherein, it saves time and money, and allows employees to work just the way they want to work, from wherever they want. In the modern times markets are extremely fragmented and clouds helps adapt, open newer avenues to connectivity and the way work is done. The only possible concern that some businesses still have today is that of accessibility and security, however, cloud is developing and is developing fast. It is imperative that businesses move to cloud to be successful in the future.

 

The panelists explained that one should move easier process on the cloud first and then go on to bigger process which have legacy and are relatively harder to move. But to start moving to the Cloud, maintained all the panelists, is essential.

 

Power Panel 8: “To be or not to be an Entrepreneur”

Being an Entrepreneur and building a business out of the scratch is never easy. In the current session the panelist discussed and talked about their difficulties in becoming successful Entrepreneurs. The talked about their experiences and shared their visions with the crowds.

 

For many, starting a venture was a triggered by their situation, for some it was a choice and for the rest it was a mix of the two. The session was moderated by Manish Vij, Founder and CEO, Vun Network. The panel members for this session were Dhruv Shringi, Co-Founder & CEO, Yatra.com; Dinesh Aggarwal, Founder & CEO, IndiaMart; Rishi Khiani, CEO, Times Internet and Anisha Singh, Founder & CEO, Mydala.com.

 

Mr Shringi said that currently the entry barrier is low to get into the business and it is a very good time for people to get into the business as the growth rate is good. Yet, Mr Aggarwal warns that people should not get into the business just because there is opportunity and growth. What is really required is a will to do ecommerce.

 

To start off a business, funding is an important issue… Ms Singh pointed out that to garner funding and make profit eventually one has to have conviction in once business. Funding is tough and one has to have the ability to convince the investor, moreover, immense trust in once own vision is required.

 

A few of the members in the panel also had a co-founder and investor… Talking about the aspect, Mr Khiani said that it not important that your partners are like you and think like you, but it is important that they have the same vision as you and believe in the product as much as you do.

 

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