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No way But Forward

While there are challenges like data security and privacy, cloud analytics have one strong point going for them- a global transformation to cloud based business applications. It’s difficult then, for enterprises to not jump onto the bandwagon, says Mahesh, H Nayak, Chief Operating Officer, SAP Labs India.

Analytics is the buzzword today. Do you think using the cloud for the data and apps is catching up?

Recent studies show that cloud-based software as a service (SaaS) is expected to show a sustained growth of 20 percent each year through 2018, when the global market could reach nearly $85 billion. The fundamental driver for the new model is because Cloud implementations have the advantage of providing faster time to provisioning and a significantly different cost structure from traditional software implementations.

What are the issues and challenge there?

With the advent of cloud based apps and also supporting technology several topics needs to be addressed, some the important topics are

  • Data security and privacy related aspects have to be given utmost importance. Today, we already see tougher laws being enacted to protect data sovereignty
  • Availability of all tools, features and functions compared to an on premise installation,
  • Reliability and Performance – Naturally due to lesser influence on Data being on a cloud outside our controlled ‘on premise’ infrastructure
  • Availability of Developer support to ensure seamless operations in a multitenant operation mode
  • Interoperability with on premise infrastructure and data
  • Vendor lock-in is also an aspect to consider as you need to be sure which partner to depend on for all data and application needs.

How do you deal with apps security?

Fundamentally application security is not any different than securing your own public websites. Better governance and intelligence including audits are necessary to ensure that the data and applications are secure. The reliance on possibly 3rd party infrastructure providers makes this topic all the more critical. Since we cannot protect what we do not own, it is absolutely essential to have a clear process defined on which part of data needs to be secured by the client and which part has to be protected by the infrastructure provider.

There are two fundamental challenges from a data security stand point

  • Data segregation and protection – When multiple organizations share the same infrastructure resources there is a risk of data misuse. So, to avoid this risk it is necessary to secure data repositories and have well defined processed for data management that involves storage, transit or processing.
  • Data leak prevention – use of extensive protection mechanism against theft is required including options like encryption, identity management, threat management etc.

What are the advantages of using cloud for analytics? 

Utilizing the benefits of cloud computing could be a way forward for  more organizations and also several end users inside an organization to adopt and reap the benefits that analytics can provide. There are several advantages characterized by the features below which leads to significant reduction of TCO

  • On demand self-service
  • Broad network access
  • Shared resource pools
  • Rapid elasticity—dynamically assigned resources
  • Measured service—pay as you go

What do you see as the next step here?  

From my perspective there will be 3 significant changes in the IT scenario for 2016

  • We will see significant movement of large enterprises towards private cloud or hybrid cloud for app requirements, this provides them a good control on what data they want to expose and what data they want to protect.
  • The popularity of mobile devices like smart phones and tablets will lead to cloud applications which are accessible from anywhere anytime, revolutionizing the workforce
  • The advent of IoT (internet of Things) will lead to revolutionizing the way big data is looked at today. We will move towards far more intelligent systems and business process

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