e-Thoughts

Going digital, where do we stand?

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Vinay Kumar_NetAppBy: Vinay Kumar Parath, Director Commercial & Government Sales, NetApp India & SAARC 

If one looks at the technology adoption in India, it is clearly visible that the actual ‘buzz’ around a new technology has surpassed the actual use for the same. The nexus of forces ‘Social, Cloud computing, Analytics and Mobility’ (SMAC) continue to be one of the biggest drivers of technology adoption in today’s IT environment.

While businesses are looking to increased benefits at lower costs, connecting to stakeholders’ real-time and staying up-to-date with technology, the ‘hype’ of these emerging technologies can nonetheless obscure the true impact they have on agency efficiency, productivity, and cost savings.

The years 2014 and 2015 witnessed the emergence of numerous buzz technologies and processes, but four of these, in particular, have the potential to evolve from concept and early-stage usage to more widespread adoption if government contractors and federal IT providers can effectively communicate the benefits these technologies can deliver.

Internet of Things
Data is the cornerstone of enterprise-wide operations at the center, state and local government level. With the government’s push towards ‘Digital India’, it can be seen that special-purpose clouds and applications will emerge to focus specifically on connecting devices and machines.

This in turn will generate a huge amount of data that will need to be processed and analysed in real time. The sheer volume of data, and the velocity at which it is generated, altered and consumed, will threaten to overwhelm traditional storage architecture. Adding to this, budgets will never be able to keep pace with data volume, requiring solutions to become more efficient and cost-effective in storing data. An inability to analyse and store data as volume explodes reduces sensor devices to little more than “window dressing” that offers little value to decision makers.

In order to manage staggering amounts of structured and unstructured data, the government needs to put in place a robust storage architecture. Tiered storage architecture can help government departments organise data basis sensitivity of information, importance and accessibility.

Hybrid Cloud
It is safe to say that some government bodies used the cloud in 2015 in some form. However, the year 2016 is poised to be the year when the cloud evolves from a point solution for individual projects to a true piece of shared infrastructure that is utilised across multiple agencies as needed.

From the government’s perspective, delivering applications and managing information is the most critical and they want to be able to pragmatically choose a delivery model for each project that best balances service level, cost and control. These solutions must deliver a data fabric that allows agencies to keep the right data on-site, move other data to cloud service providers, and take advantage of the tremendous capabilities offered by hyperscale cloud providers.

This is because the data fabric allows agencies to control, integrate, move, and consistently manage their data across the hybrid cloud, while taking full advantage of the economics and elasticity of the cloud and maintaining control of their data across a hybrid cloud environment.

As a result, advancing the hybrid cloud in 2016 will come down to a data-centric approach that offers government full flexibility to pursue a multi-cloud provider strategy.

Software Defined Storage
Software defined storage (SDS), with the ability to be deployed on different hardware and supporting rich automation capabilities, will extend its reach into cloud deployments and build a data fabric that spans premise and public clouds. To keep pace with this change – attributed to applications and transformation of legacy applications, businesses and governments alike are considering and embracing technologies such as Virtual Desktop Infrastructure, Cloud and Flash.

While these solutions will help achieve scalability, flexibility, and performance, it is essential to keep in mind that legacy infrastructure is here to stay. There are compelling cases for specialised hardware resources, and these will continue to exist. However, government departments have an opportunity to convert the buzz around these government technologies to tangible use cases and revenues – if the right solutions are delivered and the benefits of these solutions are effectively communicated to the market.

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