5 Technology Accelerators for 2018

1) Blockchain Adoption
Blockchain will take center stage as it moves beyond cryptocurrency into health, government, supply chain, legal, finance, banking, trading, ecommerce it will be a tsunami of Blockhain winners and adoption of Blockchain-as-a-Service (BaaS) offered by IBM, Microsoft and Amazon will support the Blockchain revolution.

2. AI and Beyond
Adoption of AI in its numerous avatars will accelerate, the war for dominance between IBM and Google will move center stage. Many small AI players will cease to exist and we will see successful adoption by use of AI As a Service solution by leading and trusted vendors. Privacy will continue to be a concern and tighter regulations for compliance will be enforced by the regulators.

3. Private Clouds
Private clouds will gain momentum as compliance and security become key drivers, IBM will lead the charge on Private clouds. Private clouds offer secure and enterprise support for business applications.

4. Consolidation of Data Centres
Consolidation of data centres will accelerate as business leaders migrate to SAAS, BAAS, IAAS and PAAS and move out of their comfort zones of running their own data centres. The cost pressure will drive them to consolidate data centres.

5. Robotics
Use of Robotics will be strengthened with machine learning and stronger voice recognition software, BOTS adoption will increase in the BFSI and retail sectors, manufacturing will accelerate robot adoption and healthcare will adopt robotics from surgery to routine investigation. The robot invasion will continue in 2018 in driverless cars, trucks, cranes, farming, manufacturing, warehousing, logistics the list will increase as the year progresses.

The above 5 will be the key technology accelerators in 2018, though there will be further disruption due to net neutrality, cyber-crime, frauds, but the silver lining is that technology will continue to improve our standards of living and make the world a much safer and connected community.

All the best for the New Year 2018.

 

The PAAS Tsunami of 2017 in Banking

The banking sector is finally on fire in the use of cloud, as regulators ease the pressure on the use of cloud and as the banks technology strategy  steps down from its ivory tower and embraces the cloud as the saviour.
Whether it is mobility, social media, analytics or real time secure transaction, the cloud delivers it all and the year 2017 will be the year of the PAAS for Banking.
PAAS takes cloud deployment to a new level, it allows banks to customise and develop based on their needs, if they need nothing, they can use the vanilla PAAS solution, if they want to add more processes or bells and whistles PAAS solutions will allow them to do this easily.
PAAS solutions will offer both hybrid and non-hybrid deployment, with adequate security built in the cloud architecture, the PAAS banking solutions will be an accelerator for banks to deliver innovative banking solutions to their customers without robbing the bank and in a small delivery cycle of weeks rather than quarters.
We will see small and medium sized banks take to the PAAS in droves, there will be teething problems but the ecosystem would be easier for the Bank leadership handle and deliver. 
Banks will migrate their data centers and their business applications like core banking systems, customer relationship, collaboration tools, office automation  to the cloud allowing them to focus on their core business – banking .
Transaction costs for digital banking will be a pittance compared to brick and mortar banking and it will make banks customer focused, agile, secure and cost effectiv
e. 
 
 
We will see Banks Board and Leadership take center stage in the PAAS journey of the banks, 
Is your bank ready for the PAAS solution, have your trained your leadership team in understanding the offerings in the PAAS, the PAAS adoption is a board agenda.
We will have a number of Central Banks encourage adoption of PAAS as the technology platform for banks.

PAAS will provide smaller banks to compete with larger established players with agility and confidence and allow them to deploy the best banking solutions available in the world.

 

The PAAS tsunami is coming in 2017, brace up and get ready to ride it with success or be washed away into oblivion and history.  

The Adrenaline Rush for Hybrid Clouds

There is an adrenaline rush to prove that Hybrid clouds will win the Gold for cloud adoption.
We have Dell – Virtustream (Vmware & EMC), IBM, HP, NetApp and a few analysts shouting hoarse that Hybrid Clouds is the best route to the cloud.
Back to Basics 
Gartner in its it-glossary states –  Hybrid cloud computing refers to policy-based and coordinated service provisioning, use and management across a mixture of internal and external cloud services.
Let us revisit the NIST Definition – Hybrid cloud is a composition of two or more clouds (private, community or public) that remain distinct entities but are bound together, offering the benefits of multiple deployment models. Hybrid cloud can also mean the ability to connect collocation, managed and/or dedicated services with cloud resources.
The Question to Ask 
So how does Hybrid cloud suddenly become the holy grail for cloud computing, it has been demonstrated that in a hybrid cloud the risks are higher and the responsibilities divided and the economics are skewed.
Who are the Cloud Players 
The market leaders who have garnered the public cloud market are Amazon, Microsoft, IBM and Google. It must be noted that HP recently shut down its cloud offering simply because it was a loss making proposition.
Companies need deep pockets to build and sustain public clouds and the leader in this space continues to be Amazon who straddles the public cloud landscape. Today’s stakes are in favor of Amazon capturing 80 percent of the market place for public clouds given its innovation and pace of expansion.
So we have Microsoft and IBM and Google struggling for their market share; Google’s primary revenue model is not from cloud rather it has a robust public cloud platform which for offering its profitable business applications.
This leaves Microsoft and IBM, Microsoft has now turbo charged its cloud presence with its new CEO and does not want to leave any stone unturned in realizing revenue.  It has partnered with Dell to offer Azure as a Hybrid service, Dell is a privately owned company and will not invest capital on a Public Cloud, it prefers selling is hybrid cloud technology solutions.
So Dell shouts the loudest about Hybrid clouds and  has out shouted anyone who has a different opinion about Hybrid clouds. Dell needs a cloud and its old ally and financier and knight in shining armor Microsoft has been of great help. Dell will do the same tango it did with Microsoft for the operating system, today it is a tango of Dell boxes and Microsoft cloud. Dell has a strong and proven arsenal to deliver secure and reliable hybrid cloud services with the acquisition of Virtustream, Vmware & EMC, which is a commendable strategic acquisition and service offering.  Dell has to recover its investments in these great companies it has acquired and being privately owned the pressure to succeed is greater than that of Wall Street analysts.
IBM is the old damsel, the Big Blue, the one company that  moves deftly and surely, and the elephant has started its cloud dance. Unfortunately though it has created thunder and lightning  in the cloud, the revenue streams are difficult as a late entrant. Plus IBM key revenue is from services which will be upset if it does not offer Hybrid cloud services. So this is a win-win situation for IBM, keep the customers lights on with IBM services and push hybrid cloud as a soother.  With most large corporate and government accounts in its portfolio this works best for IBM and enhances the revenue with the use of cloud offering. The customers Board is pacified that its business has not lost on the benefits of the cloud. Also when it comes to building Government Public Clouds or Community Clouds IBM is the partner by choice. We must also remember that IBM and Apple tango together as partners in the cloud ecosystem.
NetApp is the last man standing in the storage market, waiting for the right suitor to buy them, until then their survival is by offering hybrid storage. It is an innovative company and still has its two great offerings Cloud OnTap platform  manages both on-premise and cloud storage products and its All Flash FAS businesses  which offers a  flash storage technology with 20x the performance of traditional hard disk drive systems. Though it is small player when compared to Dell, IBM and HP it is in the reckoning as the lubricant for an on premises or hybrid cloud solution for big data and analytics.
Adrenalin Rush is Short 
An  adrenalin rush lasts for a short duration and one hopes that the hybrid clouds do not serve the purpose of being used as a stepping stone in the cloud journey of organizations adoption of  public clouds driven by economics and performance.
We must follow the hybrid cloud development for a few quarters to know whether Hybrid clouds are really the winners supported by ROI and reliability.
Until then may the loud debate of Hybrid Clouds versus other clouds will continue,  the war between those who have a cloud and those who do not have a cloud service will not cease.  So there is more play left and we have to wait for the dust to settle to know whether it is a tie between Public and Hybrid or the Hybrid cloud takes it all leaving the Public cloud behind.
Keep tracking these companies to be  abreast of  this great battle between Public and Hybrid Clouds for cloud dominance.

What will Microsoft India cloud do for India and Indians

This article was published in Information Week India on 10th October and is reproduced in this blog.

India is poised for a digital revolution. With a government pushing digital services, and a huge focus on on empowering every citizen with an identity card, a bank account, insurance and a digital interface, the future is bright for IT in India. With the announcement of opening local data centers in India by Microsoft CEO, Satya Nadella, Microsoft is well placed to explore the huge opportunities that will be unfolded in the days to come. 

The Microsoft India cloud proposes to begin with three data centers and will provide the world’s best cloud computing that India needs so desperately to handle the large volume of digital transactions,  need to cut down costs and handle the data that will be generated by digitally enabling a billion Indian citizens. Additionally, Microsoft will be able to offer their cloud services in a number of Indian languages, thus eliminating the need for English literacy for the Indian citizen. 

The Microsoft cloud technology is a proven, secure, reliable and a stable cloud platform which offers SAAS, PAAS and IAAS and excellent security controls.  By delivering cloud computing to serve a billion plus Indians, Microsoft has the opportunity to transform the country by digitally enabling business, government and citizens. 

Let’s look at some key sectors and the possible impact: 

Banking – Firms in the banking industry will be one of the biggest beneficiaries of the Microsoft India cloud. Banks can migrate their data centers and their business applications like core banking systems, customer relationship, collaboration tools, office automation and many more to the cloud allowing them to focus on their core business of banking and release prime real estate  which today hosts their  data centers.   Transaction costs for digital banking will be a pittance compared to brick and mortar banking and it will make banks customer focused, agile, secure and cost effective. 

Insurance – Insurance businesses have large volumes of data and is expected to grow exponentially as the larger uninsured population of India get covered for life and health.  India has one of the largest population of people who need to be insured with a  population demographic favoring the youth.

Financial Services – Companies that offer Micro Finance, Wealth Advisory, Broking, Leasing and other financial services will have an agile and reliable platform to effectively take their business national and reach to customers on a pan India basis. 

Exchanges – Exchanges which spend large amounts on keep their lights own in their data centers can breathe easy once they migrate to the Microsoft Cloud. The scalability, large bandwidth support, bursty traffic and large volumes of data can be handled in real time by the Microsoft cloud. The equity and commodity  markets will be able to handle large volumes and support more market players efficiently and at lower costs. 

Rating Agencies – Personal rating data of a billion citizens is a daunting task. However, with a cloud backbone it will be a breeze. It is clear that as more citizens get banked and become economically active they will get a rating.  Rating agencies can use the Microsoft cloud to service the billion Indians who will need a credit score as they become prosperous and move into a digital economy from a cash economy. 

SME – The SME sector has been a laggard in technology adoption but soon even a SME in a hamlet in India can use the latest technology solutions to improve their efficiency, supply chain management, collaboration. SAP partnering to offer their services with Microsoft in India on the cloud will be a great boon for SMEs to adopt global practices at affordable costs. 

Education – Today, it is a challenge to find enough computing power in many Indian institutions. The Microsoft cloud will open enough computing power for researchers, academics and students to enable them to produce better outcomes in science, medicine, bio- technology, engineering, mathematics, economics and many more subjects. The cloud will be the digital  library for the education institutions and will provide affordable computing solutions for academic administration.  

Government – Government e-Governance projects that still need deployment can be accelerated by using SAAS solutions that can be developed on the Microsoft platform. Governance processes can be streamlined by migrating to digital process thus making governance effective and efficient. Government at both Centre and States can easily provide citizen portals and e- governance interfaces for citizens for their interactions and dealing with Government. Government can use the citizen data to provide better services to Indians and also to monitor their various development initiatives.

Rural India – India lives in its villages said M K Gandhi. The Microsoft Cloud will provide world class computing to Indian villagers and will transform the rural population into a digitally enabled nation which can use the Microsoft Cloud for  farming, fishing, husbandry, horticulture, agriculture, weather and more. The Microsoft Cloud will give an opportunity for rural India to access the best teachers for educating their children and also to access information that they may need. 

Hospitals –  The interface between medicine and the cloud is real, whether it is for hospital management systems, tele-medicine, remote diagnostics or wearable devices — the list is endless.  India will benefit by being able to provide treatment for its billion citizens, control epidemics, plus collate data on its citizens well being. This can transform into a Big Data project with immense benefits to cut down on health management costs on its citizens. The immediate uses could be in research to manage Diabetes, Heart Disease, AIDS, Leprosy and Cancer. 

Entrepreneurship – The Microsoft India Cloud will provide computing needed by a million and more young Indian entrepreneurs’ who will benefit by using the world best cloud solutions from Microsoft to achieve their entrepreneurial dreams. Skill 

Development & Employment – The Microsoft Cloud will give a backbone to develop skills for the Indian youngsters in a number of vocations. The skilled workforce can be employed thus giving them a chance to contribute to the economic growth of India. 

Every Indian citizen will benefit by the Microsoft India Cloud. Similar to the way the cable TV transformed India; the next transformation will be into Digital India driven by the India cloud, as rival competitors could also launch similar offerings in India.  

In a few years from today citizens of India will wonder how they lived without their Digital devices. A Digital Nation will finally become a reality with a India cloud and this  will transform India and will herald economic prosperity and  better quality of life for every Indian citizen.
Read more at: http://www.informationweek.in/informationweek/perspective/298168/microsoft-india-cloud-india-indians?utm_source=referrence_article

Government and Our Data

A contentious issue  is about Governments and our personal data; but the Government already knows more about us then we can imagine.
At Birth our parents get a Birth Certificate and the Government records this in their data base, our date and time of Birth, hospital where born, your parents names and address and of course your gender is recorded in a data base.
When we join school our personal data is collected and during a Census personal data is again collected.
When we get our Driving License we need to give data including our name, parents name, date of birth, address, physical deformities and some bio-metrics.
When we apply for our Passport the Government collects data about us including bio-metrics; when we apply for a Visa to visit another country we readily give our personal data including bio-metrics.
We pay tax to the Government and have to provide both personal and financial data to the Government.

Central Library – Bangalore
The Government is the Custodian of Citizen Data

When we die our data is collected by the Government to issue our survivors a death certificate before we are laid to rest.
Thus through the cycle of Birth, Living and Death the Government has adequate Data about us.
Let us consider secondary data that Government can easily access about us with a simple government or court order. They can get data about our telephone and mobile call records, which gives our location and also all our text messages, they can also get our records on email and social media.
Credit rating bureaus have data about us to measure our financial health, when requested they have to share this with the Government, also our data can be collected through financial regulators in our country. Insurance data bureaus have data about our health and risk profile when we are insured and also the total value of the insured amount to prevent fraud; this has to be provided to the Government when needed.
Secondary data about us can be collected from other sources by the Government, it is never a challenges once the Government Machinery moves in and we are the target of a Governmental investigation .
So when we talk about privacy about our Data I wonder what more information the Government may seek about us which they do not have in their database.
Once the Government has a central view of the data of an individual it is easy to manage and protect its country and citizens.
Your thoughts and comments on this are welcome!

Taking your Board to the Cloud

If you want to convince your Board of Directors on cloud adoption, a good place is to begin is with a SAAS (Software as a Service Solution) for the Members of your companies Board.
Do you  know  in every board meeting confidentiality, integrity and availability are the key for Board members and they also need to be kept informed of various actions taken by your Company.
The  important events are the quarterly Board Meeting, Extraordinary Board Meeting and the Annual General Body Meeting.
Most Board Meetings start with preparing a Agenda and a Board Note which highlights the points to be discussed and approved by the Board of Directors. This has to be prepared and circulated among Board Members with utmost secrecy since any leakage will harm the company and may lead to regulatory non-compliance.

 

It takes a number of days to prepare the Board Notes and the weight of the completed Board Notes paper dossier is heavy and need to be securely delivered to the Directors of the Board. This is a challenge and an arduous task for the CFO/Company Secretary of the company. It calls for dedicated printers and significant consumption of paper and toner cartridges.

An easy way is to take your company Board to the Cloud by the use of the SAAS solution know as BoardBooks offered by Diligent Board Members Services, Inc. a company which is traded on the New Zealand Stock Exchange.
BoardBooks allows digital deliver of the Board notes and circulars and confidential information to your Directors in a secure, reliable and timely manner and gives Directors enough time to read and make their observations.
You can find more about BoardBooks at www.boardbooks.com.
Its time to take your Board of Directors to the Cloud and make the corporate governance more effective of your business.

Note: This article was inspired by Mr. Jayanta Prabhu CIO, Essar Group of Companies, India.

Sitting on The Fence

Another cloud conference and exhibition which is well attended by the Information Technology Professionals who make sure they attend all the Cloud Computing Sessions without fail.
They understand what is said and learn diligently from those who have adopted the cloud, the cloud vendors and the thought leaders but  never translate into Action for their organization.

Sitting on the Fence is not going to take you the cloud, you must experience the cloud to appreciated its benefits, attending conferences and exhibitions will make you cloud ready but you will need to lead Cloud Adoption.
You must Bolt over the fence and embrace the cloud as your own and then you will reap the rewards. More surveys show the fence sitters tick “Yes” for cloud adoption but never translate the “Yes” into action.
As an IT Professional are you going to be a fence sitter or do you plan to roll up your sleeves and jump over the fence and take your organization to the cloud.
The choice is yours, but remember those who never cross the fence are going to be stranded when the last cloud bus leaves! Don’t complain Nobody told you to jump over the fence!

Are you Prepared for The Future of Computing?

Cloud Computing is changing the face of computing and is a disruptive technology which no professional can ignore today ! It has moved center stage and is the Future of Computing; are you prepared to harness the cloud?
If you are a Business Leader then it is time for you to understand the use of cloud computing as a strategic business tool. The Cloud is an Utility and is for everyone to use and no longer confined to the Technology Geeks.
If you have not prepared then it is time for you to attend a course on Cloud computing which will help you understand on how Cloud Computing and Business can be woven together to add value to the bottom line of your enterprise.
Whatever your role be in the enterprise, a member of the Board, the CEO, a C level executive CXO, CFO, CMO, CRO, CHR it is time you understood cloud computing as a business enabler and how to harness this utility.

It is time for you to sign up for a Cloud Computing Program for Business Leaders which presents Cloud Computing as an Utility, just like water, broadband or electricity.

Be Prepared for the coming Cloud Deluge if you do not want you and your business to be washed away into ignominy!

Cloud Journey needs a Route Plan

When  rubber meets  road we start our journey with a route plan.
The same applies for your Cloud Journey, you need a route plan on where you plan to reach .
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Photo Courtesy : Aish Thamba

The cloud is like driving on an open road with clear skies and it is possible that you may break the speed limit; if you are lucky you may receive a speeding ticket before you crash your car, the same applies to the cloud, you need to be aware on the speed you choose for cloud adoption, else you may encounter turbulence.
 
It is important that you have  route plan when you plan to ride the cloud, do keep speed breakers and other checks to make sure your cloud journey  is safe and effective. 
 
More on the route plan in my next post ! 

The Cloud Failed Again, We told you so !

The cloud phobia among the skeptics peaks with a random cloud outage and is immediately touted as a cloud failure using social media tools and email services that use cloud as a backbone, and the message is “we told you so”.

Photo Courtesy : Kenneth Menzes

Millions of people are using Cloud Based services for their social interaction and are blooming in their social interactions.
Social Media services including this blog run on the cloud, including Google, Facebook, Twitter to name a few and yes there have been outages but no one is complaining.
But the skeptics wait for one failure and then run riot and tout cloud computing is a failure and one needs to get back to the data center.
The paradox is many companies that use the cloud to run their business have great  market value.
Facebook : 173 Billion
Twitter : 24 Billion 
LinkedIn : 20 Billion 
Google : 392 Billion 
This is a small sample of the market value of cloud driven companies, their founders are legends and many have created value within a decade of starting their companies..
Wonder why people are  skeptical about the cloud, maybe they do not understand that the cloud will only work if you take time to understand it and manage the risks in using the cloud.
The old approach to the data center driving computing does not work for the cloud, if you do not understand cloud computing this is a good time to begin learning, Remember we told you so !