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Cloud-based Trends Embraced by the Country after COVID-19

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Debapriya Nandan, Sr. Director and Head - Public Sector Business Development, Oracle India Pvt. Ltd

Below is an excerpt from the interview by Mr. Debapriya Nandan, Sr. Director and Head - Public Sector Business Development, Oracle India Pvt. Ltd with CIO Insider Magazine. Having nearly three decades of experience in the IT industry including the public sector in the government line Mr. Nandan sheds light on the various cloud transformation developments that has been contributing to the digital economy.

In conversation with Debapriya Nandan, Sr. Director and Head - Public Sector Business Development, Oracle India Pvt. Ltd

Enlighten us about the kinds of cloud-based trends that emerged and intensified after the COVID-19 and how they are embraced by the country?
Businesses in India are understanding the importance of cloud and embracing it to achieve their goals, leading to a significant uptick in cloud acceptance in the country. Every possible sector and every business type is keen to expand their horizons and understand the possibility of being cloud first. The last few years have truly skyrocketed the acceptance of cloud in the country as businesses leverage it for ensuring continuity. These organizations are witnessing benefits such as low costs, higher efficiency and better productivity in their everyday business activities. Along with realizing business agility, these businesses are also going in the direction of experimenting with emerging technology, inculcating it into everyday business activities and also upping their investment towards having technological solutions for any business related concerns. To echo and support this, IDC’s report states that the overall Indian public cloud services market is expected to reach a significant $9.5 billion by 2025.

At Oracle, we have also witnessed our customers being further keen on diving into different cloud strategies including multi cloud and hybrid cloud to understand the best fit for them. Some of our customers have initiated the move towards their hybrid cloud strategy to leverage the benefits of public cloud. Our customers are also keen to explore cloud further and one of Oracle’s customers, an IT services firm, has expressed plans to have a zero data center policy in the next three to four years. To support this massive demand and help our customer continue with their cloud journey, we are planning to have at least 44 cloud regions by the end of 2022.

How do you perceive the public sector organizations transitioning to the cloud? Could you elaborate on Oracle's role in supporting the rise of cloud among the public sector organizations?
Public sector organizations are actively understanding and participating in the digitization race. However, even with being a part of a world where cloud is no longer an option but a necessity for business success, these organizations are slightly hesitant towards completely relying on cloud. This is primarily because their data is highly sensitive and therefore they have much regulatory compliance that they have to adhere to in order to keep the data safe. Public sector organizations have to be extremely careful when it comes to choosing a cloud provider. To simplify this, the government has shared a list of MeitY empanelled Cloud Services Providers who are eligible to offer services to governments and public sector firms.

At Oracle, with decades of experience, we are supporting public sector’s transition to the cloud world. Being a MeitY empanelled cloud provider, we are managing some key Indian public sector

organizations right from logistics and commerce to healthcare amongst many other sectors. As a testimony of this support and to continue with it, we recently launched OCI dedicated region in India and globally which allows public cloud for the customers on their premises. Through this, customers are experiencing the efficiency that Oracle is known for at low operational costs. With any and every offering for the public sector, our only goal is to help them with their mission of ensuring development for the public.

Could you explain the same by sharing a case study reflecting before and after scenario?
One of the key projects that we have done with the government is the smart government initiative - the Aspirational Districts Program. This program is highly reliant on leveraging data which helps identify top performing districts basis some pre-set performance factors. The goal is to improve the quality of life for people in the 112 districts which are also some of India’s most backward ones. Considering the massive scale of this program, during the process, thousands of data points have to be assimilated from various sources and formats.

This then gets completely evaluated to ensure data accuracy and gets combined for analysis and reporting. Administrators, district collectors and government officers along with the general public get the data through visual and intuitive dashboard. Considering the importance of the program, the data is made available to all on a real time basis and these wide data management functions are run on the Oracle Autonomous Cloud.

the resources must be trained in a way that they understand the technology and are able to garner results from it. Also, the organizations that are leveraging cloud for the first time must be very careful in choosing a cloud provider that they can rely upon and the one who is keen to be a partner



What is your anticipations about the outcomes of cloud acceptance in the public sector?
Basis the customer interactions we have had with our public sector customers, we are certain that cloud will be a dominant technology in the public sector going forward. We are already witnessing a huge potential for AI/ML, data analytics, blockchain amongst other technology to ensure better results, overall agility and better delivery. As public sector recognizes cloud as an imperative, it will help improve the entire nation’s public service delivery. The sector can also heavily rely on strategies like hybrid cloud to move only the non-critical data to cloud and keep the most sensitive ones to them. This will allow them to focus on much more critical aspects and let cloud focus on rest of it.

What will be the kind of future developments and market opportunities that will arise in the cloud space? How should the business sector be prepared to welcome the new opportunities?
Cloud acceptance has been the key for business continuity for almost every business in the last few years. Organisations in every sector have been on this transformational journey to ensure they sustain in the competitive environment. To support this, IDC’s recent report predicts that in 2022, shared cloud infrastructure spending is expected to grow 25.5 percent (on-year) to total $ 64.5 billion. And the same report also finds that the spending on dedicated cloud infrastructure is expected to grow 13.1 percent to reach $ 25.4 billion in 2022. This supports the fact that cloud has multiple opportunities that can be leveraged by organisations.

Going forward, given the recent trends and the pace at which businesses are willing to move to cloud, there will also be a heightened focus on hybrid cloud to ensure scalability and to better distribute the data. Multicloud will be another avenue that will become a more prominent strategy considering businesses want choice and locking themselves with one provider won’t offer that. Cloud will also unleash importance of AI/ML as the primary source of innovation. Another key trend which has already taken shape would be to leverage data to the best of its capability. With the huge amount of data generated, businesses can derive extremely valuable insights to ensure that they are able to monetize and utilise it. Every business has a singular goal of ensuring better customer delivery and to actualise that they must explore cloud and its related technologies for efficiency.

In order to prepare themselves for these cloud related opportunities, businesses must be open to accept the change that it brings.

Additionally, the resources must be trained in a way that they understand the technology and are able to garner results from it. Also, the organizations that are leveraging cloud for the first time must be very careful in choosing a cloud provider that they can rely upon and the one who is keen to be a partner. With careful planning and support, cloud transformation shouldn’t be a difficult task. However, the most important aspect remains that the organizations must understand what they aim to achieve from their cloud transformation and further choose a provider accordingly.

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