Leveraging Cloud throughout the Whole Value-Chain of Business

Rajat Nigam, Group CTO, Network18 Media & Investments | Thursday, 16 November 2017, 04:58 IST

Technology has transformed from being a business enabler to being a business driver. One common aspect of any industry in any part of the globe today is the fact that we all exist in a connected world. Being able to operate in a connected eco-system is the fundamental requisite of a progressive or­ganization. This implies the existence and en­hanced adoption of Cloud computing as part of infra.

The term ‘Cloud’ signifies the ability of a system to compute and deliver workloads by way of accessing data and applications remotely connected on a network wherein IP is the pro­tocol. If we look at the definition, we can say that ‘Cloud’ has existed since many years and we had adopted cloud in our lives even without recognizing it or terming it as cloud. Workflows that involves IP networks is a basic cloud based system and that has been in vogue the day we accessed a website or file on a shared computer. So, Cloud is a bit over-used term when there is a technology conversation and that mostly the meaning is taken more to define a concept rather than specifics. Cloud is the basic engine today on which all the innovations of tomorrow are being conceived, energized and activated.

Typically in Indian context, adoption of cloud has been on the rise where every organi­zation is at a different stage of adoption lifecy­cle. Identification of a suitable solution and specification of cloud platform is a very significant exercise. Implementing cloud enhances the efficiency and speed of expansion but that decision cannot be taken in haste. Again in India, with the in­troduction of GST, all transac­tions have to happen on the portal which means anyone who is into a business in India has to use cloud. Thus if we analyze, be­sides Technology itself, competition and regu­latory environment are also driving businesses to embrace cloud based solutions and workflows.

While cloud based platforms and the applications are the talking points for business expansions and extensions, however a bigger buzz off late is that about IT Security. Repeated incidents of ransomware attacks and the absence of completely fool-proof so­lutions to thwart the same have drawn attention of tech­nologists. Recently, there was a security breach at one of the most popular public cloud though the same has one of the highest levels of security protocols and prac­tices as part of its architecture. Even though technolo­gies are getting developed to tackle the security risks but threat stays. I imagine security is one single agenda that will drive the decision in terms of cloud adoption going forward. Cloud adoption is unavoidable but primarily security concerns would govern the decision to revolve around the type of cloud platform – public cloud, on-premise or hybrid cloud.

Media industry leverages cloud throughout the whole value-chain of media business. Be it, content ac­quisition, content production or content transmission, all three have solutions on cloud - hybrid, on-premise or public. Cloud technology drives the solutions on much intensive news gathering on one hand, to highly creative content production of reality Television as well as multi-dimensional Sports live productions; cloud remains in the core for content storage and dissipation.

Additionally, Cloud offers solutions around SaaS, PaaS, and IaaS that are readily available catering to a gamut of businesses. However, Technology, Cost and Security are the driving factors for decision making.

(i) As technology keeps upgrading itself, the solution adopted must be designed and architected so as not to become one generation technology slave.

(ii) On cost front, there are three kinds of cost expendi­tures relevant to the subject; storage, connectivity and applications. The cost of storage and connectivity is decreasing, but applications which include security and operational workflow is increasing.

(iii) Security would occupy space at the highest pedes­tal going forward. A secured environment is a factor of technology, practices and culture and that is wherein this aspect will entail participation of cross function particularly Human Resource to play pivotal role along with Technology team, in decision making to build an organization tuned to progress and remain relevant.

Relevance of Cloud computation is embedded with tomorrow’s vision. The study reflects that over billion devices of common man’s routine use will become con­nected in another three years. This Internet of Things (IOT) and Cloud are inseparable to define the future road map. We will see a lot of growth in cloud-based services for devices in the next few years.

Cloud is thus and would remain one essential part of day to day personal and professional life of every indi­vidual and organization!

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