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“Adoption of Object Storage will Increase in 2018”

Hubert Yoshida, Chief Technology Officer, Hitachi Vantara, spoke to Amit Singh on the factors driving IT spending in 2018 and how Agile methodology, container-based virtualization, GDPR and video analytics will drive the IT infrastructure space

How do you see the IT spending in 2018? Which are the verticals expected to spend high and why?

Hubert Yoshida, Hitachi
Hubert Yoshida, Chief Technology Officer, Hitachi Vantara

Organizations will certainly be investing heavily in IT in the coming year, owing to the rapid pace at which companies are looking to adopt latest technologies. According to a recent Gartner report, the IT spending in the Indian government sector is projected to reach $8.5 billion in 2018, an increase of 8.9 percent from 2017. Several initiatives by the government such as Digital India, Make in India and Skill India are the biggest enablers of analytics, IoT, artificial intelligence and cognitive analytics.

India presents one of the biggest opportunities across all economies. In 2018, global enterprise IT spending across all industry segments will see a growth across some of the key verticals including BFSI, government and manufacturing.

How do you think IoT will transform IT landscape and how will it affect IT channel?

IoT has increasingly become a disruptive force for enterprises in their digital journeys. According to a recent report by NASSCOM and Deloitte, the IoT market in India is expected to grow to $15 billion by 2020 from its current size of $5.6 billion with 200 million connected units in 2016.

The enormous number of choices on IoT innovation and implementation represents both opportunities and challenges for businesses. In the coming months, we see that enterprises will continue to invest in superior infrastructure and analytics technologies for mission-critical data in their datacenters, cloud and at the edge of new innovations. IT must work closely with the operations side of the business and look for an IoT platform that offers an open, flexible architecture to provide companies with the ability to design, build, test, and deploy industry applications.

As we drive the agenda for gaining relevance from data and ultimately to the benefits of industrial IoT, the need for mission-critical IT systems is becoming more important than ever. Market transitions and opportunities can be best delivered by expanding channels to reach customers. Partners who have invested in our trusted and proven experience in data management are expanding their business partnership to include infrastructure modernization to build a digital workplace and drive business analytics.

How is Big Data changing the life of businesses and what is the preparedness of the partners to implement and build these solutions?

2017 saw many enterprises start work on their digital transformation initiatives, but still faced certain problems. Data is often locked into isolated islands, making it difficult to be analyzed and operationalized. Almost 80 percent of the work involved in gaining analytical insights from data involves the process of acquiring and preparing the data.

What has been missing is the ability to be context-aware, and that is where object storage comes into play. It is known for its compatibility with cloud computing because of its unlimited scalability, and we foresee an increase in the adoption of object storage in 2018. Object storage now has the ability to be “smart” with software that can search for and read content in multiple structured and unstructured data silos and analyze it for cleansing, formatting, and indexing.

Our biggest opportunity from a global marketplace is that we have a fantastic pool of digital integrators in India. The possibilities of co-creating new approaches in the market are phenomenal. We collaborate with some of the top GSIs to build new solutions in the market. The opportunities for our partners automatically increase and this gives them new avenues to drive revenue. It also provides new markets that they can service, leveraging our skills, competencies and technology.

What are the unique trends you foresee in the overall IT infrastructure space?

One of the major trends, which is expected to see growth is the adoption of Agile methodology. Hitachi Vantara has been using agile methodologies over the past two years to drive digital transformation, and the results have been highly impactful. Even when datacenters used technology to create shared data repositories to break down data silos, the different functions were still focused on their own objectives and not on the overall business objectives. Now, with cross-functional teams using iterative agile sprints of two to four weeks, IT can focus on relevant business outcomes and deliver it more efficiently.

In addition, container-based virtualization is one of the latest technologies that will gain wider acceptance in 2018. Being a generation above virtual machines (VMs), a container only consists of the application and all the dependencies that the application needs. These days it becomes imperative for firms to deliver intelligent operations for software-defined networking and security across virtual, physical, and multiple-clouds with micro-segmentation planning that can be scaled to thousands of virtual machines at a time with 360-degree visibility.

2018 will see new challenges in data governance, which will require organizations to implement new frameworks. The biggest challenge will come from the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which will give EU residents more control over their personal data. This regulation will drive up costs and increase the risks involved in collecting and storing personal data, whilst those companies that violate GDPR could face fines of up to $21.75 million, or 4 percent of their total annual worldwide turnover of the preceding financial year. Hence, cyber security will be the major focus area for enterprises.

On the other hand, video content analytics will be a ‘third eye’ for greater insight, productivity, and efficiency in many domains, beyond public safety. The algorithms to automatically detect and determine temporal, spatial, and relational events combined with other IoT information like cell phone GPS and social media feeds can be applied to a wide range of businesses like retail, healthcare, automotive, manufacturing, education, and entertainment. Video can also provide unique functions like ‘egomotion’ – 3D motion which is used in autonomous robot navigation, behavior analysis and other forms of situational awareness.

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