Expert Opinion


Future proofing your IT investments – supply & demand

In today’s digital era, the demand for a flexible Information Technology (IT) infrastructure calls for speed, scalability, and convenience to encourage the deployment of innovative applications for enhanced user experience. 

A classic example is the advent of streaming devices that enable communications between computers, smartphones, and television sets linked to cable and satellite networks. The beginning of this new digital era began with the focus to drive accessibility and convenience in the entertainment industry through the streaming of television shows, films, and other content aimed at individual users or groups. The infrastructure now serves as a prototype for innovation in other industries such as education, healthcare and finance, with a goal to empower marginal populations that currently have little or no access to technology with connectivity.

This is why in India, successive governments have continuously pushed the development of IT infrastructures. The government has recently accorded its “Digital India” program as the nation’s top priority. Launched two years ago, the initiative detailed the development of IT infrastructures, including the delivery of high-speed internet services in urban and rural areas as a core component[1].

The future of IT infrastructure in India will involve innovations in technology through artificial intelligence, data analytics, cloud computing, and open-source platforms in efforts to upgrade all existing legacy systems. As the government program takes hold, the sector is expected to triple its current annual revenue to reach US$ 350 billion by 2025[2]. The IT industry will continue to evolve as we progress further into a digital economy, making it tougher for organisations to keep up with rapid pace of technological innovation. It is more important now than ever to future proof IT investments, and here’s how you can do so.

Customer insights: mining for the new gold

Just as the entertainment industry leveraged technology and innovation to deliver a unique customer experience, the financial industry followed suit. Last year, the Prime Minister of India launched the Bharat Interface for Money (BHIM) app, an Aadhaar-based mobile payment application that will allow users to make digital payments without the need for a credit or debit card. The app has already reached 10 million downloads and the innovation of this portal has resulted in accessibility to financial services country-wide[3]. The widespread adoption of the application has also harnessed the data of millions of consumers into one integrated system providing organisations with access to customer insights that can be leveraged for information-driven business decision making.

However, data will always grow, and customers’ demands will always change. So how can business leaders ensure that they upkeep the large volumes of data while being able to derive accurate, real-time insights to deliver better offerings for customers?

One of our local customers, YES Bank, deployed Cloudera’s Enterprise Data Hub to ingest data from any source across any environment into a centralised data hub. This provided YES Bank with the capabilities to mine large volumes of data from financial transactions and develop machine learning algorithms to create new cross-sell and up-sell opportunities for the business[4].

India ranks among the top five countries in terms of digitalisation maturity with the opportunity to grow and scale up digital platforms by 2020[5].To further support the Indian government’s initiatives to become a digital economy, organisations must invest in a scalable and robust data management platform that enables real-time analytics to use data in ways not possible before and continuously innovate business strategies for the future.

Cybersecurity is the new black

If 2017 has taught us anything, it is that cyberattacks, and data outages are inevitable. Future proofing your IT investments also means ensuring that it is guarded from these attacks in the best way possible and will be able to respond and recover efficiently should an attack occur.

In 2013, the Indian government announced a National Cyber Security Policy aimed at “protecting the public and private infrastructure.” The objective is to create an ecosystem designed to generate trust and confidence in transactions in cyber space, to encourage the adoption of information technology and to address fears of privacy[6].

A fitting example of technology that will support such an ecosystem is Apache Spot, a community-driven cybersecurity project that brings advanced analytics to all IT telemetry data on an open, scalable platform. One key factor that will encourage collaboration in the battle against cyberattacks is Spot’s capability to consolidate all enterprise security data into a comprehensive IT telemetry hub based on open data models[7]. The open data model strategy not only aims to support a wider set of cybersecurity use cases, but it encourages knowledge-sharing and creates a unified effort to strengthen cyber defences as a nation.

India’s evolving cyber security framework is based on an assessment of threats from espionage, warfare, terrorism and crime6. Cyberattacks have become so common that all organisations are starting to think of what to do when instead of if they get hit. The fact that cyber threats are evolving at a rapid pace makes it all the more important that your equipment and software are also kept up-to-date. Here’s where automated cybersecurity solutions work best.

The implementation of Machine Learning (ML) and Artificial Intelligence (AI) to detect and respond to cyberattacks have become increasingly common. Apache Spot also uses ML to expedite threat detection, investigation, and remediation while supporting an entire ecosystem of other ML-based applications. This enables maximum analytic flexibility, leading to better and faster threat detection.

There is no one-size-fits-all cybersecurity solution available, and at Cloudera, we understand this well. Our solution, built on Apache Spot, empowers organisations to create customised security solutions and deploy packaged applications on top of one shared enriched data set[8]. This enables Chief Information Security Officers (CISOs) to offload tasks to AI and ML, while harnessing the scarce human expertise for decision-making, in efforts to build a more robust and cost-efficient cybersecurity infrastructure. Killing three birds (cyber threats, costs and lack of resources) with one stone, organisations have access to a future-proofed platform that complements existing cybersecurity investments.

Addressing the problems of today with technology of tomorrow

The Indian government is working hard to drive accessibility across the nation while safeguarding the economy from cyber threats through IT solutions. This involves the implementation of strong regulation for risk reduction, investment in human resource development, forging public and private partnerships, as well as creating a strong international partner network that will support research and development programs. The country will need to prepare for the future as the economy and competitive landscape will continuously and inevitably change.

The need for infrastructures that manage the growing volumes of data will never change, but the technology used to leverage data will continue to evolve. Embracing and deploying the right kind of technology can help to shape the future, ensuring that your IT investments will stand to reap the benefits from improved efficiencies, lowered costs and greater revenue. At the end of the day, future-proofing your IT investments also means future-proofing your organisation and its success.

[1] Digital India, Government of India, 8 August 2014

[2] IT-BPM Industry in India: Sustaining Growth and Investing for the Future, NASSCOM, 22 June 2017

[3] PM delighted over 10 million downloads of BHIM App, Times of India, 9 January 2017

[4] Cloudera Empowers YES BANK’s Digital Strategy to Deliver Enhanced Business Insights, Cloudera, 6 July 2017

[5] Majority of Businesses and Economies Are Not Ready for Digital Platforms, Accenture Research Shows, Accenture, 14 September 2016

[6] National Cybersecurity Policy, Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology of India, 2013

[7] Apache Spot for Cybersecurity, Cloudera

[8] Cloudera's Cybersecurity Solution Brief, Cloudera, 14 November 2016

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