The new normal has changed working models worldwide. Employees have resorted to a hybrid work culture and as a result companies have shifted to cloud-based data centers. To understand this change in work environment and modifying role of technology leaders, Elets News Network (ENN) interacted with Sushil Goyal, Co-founder & MD at . During the conversation, he said that industry leaders from healthcare, education, and technology sectors are recognizing the importance of IT infrastructure to resume productive and efficient business operations, and a collaborative approach is enabling this transition better.
How is the concept of Work From Home changing organizations across the world? What help can you offer to companies in enhancing customer experience in times of remote workplace?
As a result of the new normal, working models all around the world have changed. Companies have switched to cloud-based data centres as a result of employees adopting a hybrid work style. According to Gartner’s analysis, users will spend $200 billion on data centre infrastructure by the end of 2021, which is 6% more than in 2020. Innovation, efficiency and sustainability will be the driving force behind any data center technology going forward.
During the pandemic, our products have played an important role in enabling remote work. For instance – Rahi was identified as an appropriate partner for the deployment of video conferencing solutions at the DGP office in Vijayawada, Andhra Pradesh. The headquarters were having major issue connecting with their vastly located 3000 strong police force across different districts in Andhra Pradesh. The team was unable to sync with daily law enforcement cases due to limitations with a video conferencing system at their headquarters. After an extensive site survey, Rahi implemented Zoom Video Conferencing Solution which completely transformed the communication channels of the police force.
To support and facilitate remote working we added multiple offerings to our portfolio. For example, we introduced Elevate Subscription Services (ESS), which is a leasing model for corporates. The corporates can lease or rent out A/V and conferencing items for a period of two or three years. Our ESS technology partners include some of the world’s recognised brands such as LG, Poly, Crestron, Neat, etc. With ESS, we deliver a platform as a service (PaaS) which is typically known as the most complex SaaS infrastructure for organizations to implement. Through our extensive industry experience, we streamline the setup, deployment and managed services for organizations. The global pandemic presented an opportunity to truly understand what will be demanded by organizations in the future and how organizations’ critical infrastructure needs will need to be supported. Hence, we came up with this offering.
We have partnered with IGEL, Citrix, Accops, VMware to help companies implement virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI). Many organizations have either scaled their existing VDI environment or implemented new VDI technology to support their work-from-home employees. There has also been a significant rise in the use of Desktop-as-a-Service (DaaS), in which a cloud service provider delivers VDI capabilities for a monthly subscription fee. The value of VDI and DaaS in this “new normal” is clear. By centralizing the desktop environment in the data center or hosting it in the cloud, VDI and DaaS give remote workers access to the applications and data they need using virtually any device.
Data center is increasingly becoming an ecosystem of services & partnerships. What role will Hyperscale data centers play in reshaping India’s IT landscape?
With increasing usage and more dependability on IT infrastructure everything is scaling and going ‘Hyper’. And with this along comes the environmental costs due to their enormous sizes. Data centres are now attempting to run on renewable energy in order to maximise resource utilisation and reduce environmental impacts. The trend will continue, and we will be seeing more and more innovation in sustainable components with improved efficiency.
A Hyperscale Data Center is a massive warehouse-style structure that houses its own servers, routers, storage system, powerhouse, and networks. This is most commonly used in big data and cloud-based applications. With ever-increasing data demand, hyperscale data centres are expected to expand at an exponential rate over the next decade.
Many industries which earlier had no or very little access to the IT infrastructure are now moving towards the cloud-based system, primarily triggered by remote working requirements. Healthcare sector, supply and logistics industries, educational institutes are primarily looking for cloud-based solutions. This has given a major boost to the hyperscale data centers. These Hyperscale Data Centers offer unique ways of energy efficiency and functionality that will make them the preferred choice of facility for most companies.
Cloud isn’t a new trend but the deployment is still under speculation in India. What’s your view on the normalization and wide adoption of cloud-based data centers?
The new normal has changed working models worldwide. Employees have resorted to a hybrid work culture and as a result companies have shifted to cloud-based data centers. Gartner’s research predicted the user spending of $200 Billion by the end of 2021 on data center infrastructure which is 6% higher than the 2020 levels. Innovation, efficiency and sustainability will be the driving force behind any data center technology going forward. Some trends that we are seeing are:
- Cloud based paradigm shift in DCIM – A cloud-based data center differs completely from a traditional data center. Unlike a traditional data center which consists of servers, routers, storage systems, panels etc, cloud-based data center does not need to be set up in an office or any place – it is all on the cloud. The data stored on the cloud is secured and stored on cloud servers after fragmenting and duplicating it across various locations. In case of failure, service providers ensure the security of your backup data and help you get online with low downtime.
- Sustainability will be the key – With increasing usage and more dependability on IT infrastructure everything is scaling and going ‘Hyper’, with this comes the environmental costs they bring in with their enormous size. Data Centers are now trying to operate on renewable energy to optimize their resource utilization and reduce environmental impacts. The trend will continue and we will be seeing more and more innovation in sustainable components with improved efficiency.
- Hyper scale data centers – A Hyperscale Data Centers is a huge warehouse-like structure having its own servers, routers, storage system, powerhouse and networks. This is generally used for big data and cloud-based applications. With ever increasing demand for data, hyperscale data centers are expected to grow at an exponential rate in the next decade.
- Remote management of IT infrastructure – A Datacenter runs continuously and never stops, it requires the physical presence of technicians and datacenter managers to operate it with no or least downtime. With everyone locked up in a room due to the pandemic, Remote Infrastructure Management (RIM) is the only solution. One of the latest trends emerging out of the pandemic is Remote Infrastructure Management (RIM) to manage the IT infrastructure of the company remotely in parts or completely. RIM includes remote monitoring of security & network services, desktop administration, database and server administration.
Digital delivery amid the pandemic has become significant and so is integrating new technologies with old ones. What alterations in the role of technology leaders do you suggest?
Industry leaders from healthcare, education, and technology sectors are recognizing the importance of a state-of-the-art IT infrastructure to resume productive and efficient business operations. However, before making any decision businesses must think about several factors, primarily ensuring a collaborative and engaging work environment; and implementing new technologies to integrate seamlessly. During the pandemic, as businesses moved towards a ‘hybrid workplace’ model, which combines offline with onsite work models, Rahi Systems ramped up its offerings to corporates.
The following alterations can be used to accelerate the digital transformation:
- IT modernization – Leverage the cloud to support to the digital transformation initiatives, but that doesn’t mean on-premises IT infrastructure is going away. In fact, the 2021 Tech Trends report from Deloitte finds that organizations are modernizing their IT infrastructure to reduce operational costs and technical debt. This frees up the budget for the adoption of strategic technologies that form the foundation of digital transformation.
- Multi-cloud integration – The multi-cloud strategy has become ubiquitous, providing a means to avoid vendor lock-in and maintain flexibility. It has become especially important during the pandemic as a means of supporting work-from-home models. Now organizations should look to utilize tools that streamline multi-cloud management and containerization that enables the orchestration of workloads across multiple clouds.
- Artificial intelligence (AI) – AI facilitates digital transformation by improving efficiency, minimizing errors and predicting customer behavior.The 2020 McKinsey Global Survey on the state of AI found that half (50 percent) of respondents said their organizations have implemented AI to automate at least one business function. Service operations, product and service development, and sales and marketing are the primary departments implementing AI applications.
- Real-time data analysis – The ability to process and analyze data in real time speeds decision-making, reduces risk and drives innovation. In light of that, organizations should start adopting more powerful platforms, highly scalable architectures and edge computing as part of their digital transformation initiatives. These technologies help ensure fast, uninterrupted access to all types of data across the enterprise.
- Audio visual support:The future of work has many organizations implementing a hybrid work model which introduces a new set of productivity challenges. As a result, companies across the globe should invest in best meeting room solutions that will help employees collaborate, innovate and stay productive.
The third wave of the pandemic is reportedly expected soon. What are your plans and how will your solutions help companies in combating the challenges?
The challenges will be visible more from a user behaviour standpoint and how technology will enable a better collaboration between a remote and onsite employee while keeping the data secure.
For us, we see challenges and opportunities. In 2020 alone, we recorded a 20% increase in our A/V solutions requirements. Our role as a technology enabler is to address some of the most common questions that businesses have about the hybrid world:
- How do you ensure a collaborative and engaging environment for both the individuals on premise and remote?
- How do you dissipate the pressure of learning new technology?
- How can you prepare for a safe re-entry onto an on-site environment? Can technology play a pivotal role in reducing contaminants?