The Digital India initiative is a right step taken in the implementation of technology for delivery of services to citizens, and BSIL with its new age technologies will act as a catalyser in achieving that goal, says Usha Subramanian in an interaction with ENN
Tell us about the genesis of Blue Star Infotech?
Blue Star Infotech Ltd (BSIL) is part of the Blue Star group of companies. It was established in 1983 and has witnessed the metamorphosis of the IT landscape over the past three decades. BSIL started life as the in-house infotech arm of Blue Star Ltd.
We have expanded our operations across geographies and today have presence in US, UK, India, Singapore, Malaysia and Canada. BSIL is a comprehensive IT solutions provider; it has over 800 major IT projects and has delivered 1850 product releases to its esteemed customers. BSIL has more than 1300 professionals developing state-of-the-art domain specific innovative solutions and services to both Enterprises and Product Companies.
What are the key business areas of focus for Blue Star Infotech?
BSIL caters to a number of verticals such as manufacturing, hi-tech, media, entertainment and health sciences. However, travel and hospitality sector is one of our key verticals that we look to focus on followed by hi-tech and manufacturing. We also have a strong foothold in BI/analytics space with strategic partnership with Activecubes India Pvt. Ltd, a global firm operating in decision management space. Another area where we are taking significant steps to enhance our expertise is on emerging digital technologies like Cloud and Mobility, and are providing innovative solutions in this space to a number of customers.
“Right strategy for cloud technology adoption can help providers move from the costly infrastructure of their legacy systems to low cost operational expenses”
What are your viewpoints on the Digital India Campaign launched by the government and how effective this is on ground level?
Digital India promises to transform existing government service delivery systems, greatly improve speed of delivery, create jobs and induce economic activity in areas which were not digitally connected. Digital India program has identified three key areas: Digital infrastructure as a utility to every citizen, governance and services on demand, and digital empowerment of citizens. Gartner predicts that with such ambitious plans, the IT spending of the government would grow by five percent in 2014 and touch USD 7 billion in 2015.
Through a time bound, milestones based Digital India program, the government envisions the many benefits of technology such as transparency in governance, connecting rural India with attractive internet services to help in rapid education, higher levels of health services through e-health programs and effective connect with the citizens through mobile applications.
The Digital India program is coordinated by DeitY (Department of Electronics and Information Technology) and implemented by the government through its central and state entities. The GI Cloud (coined ‘MeghRaj’) initiative by DeitY is a pivotal part of the Digital India program and details the vision and milestones of the initiative.
How has Cloud computing changed the way of data and Infrastructure management? Share a special case of the way Blue Star Infotech has contributed to this?
Cloud has changed the way IT services were delivered a few years ago. With adoption of Cloud one can take advantage of shared or virtual infrastructure.
Blue Star Infotech offers comprehensive and end-to-end cloud enablement services. We help customers through the stages of business and transition planning, technology transition and Cloud application delivery.
Previously, customers faced difficulties with legacy based applications which were written in old technology and had limitations in scaling. The primary problem was the storage of digital content which was growing at a rate of three TB (Tera Byte) a year and investments had to be made for maintenance and storage. To counter the challenge BSI used its own IP – Cloud Shelf Studio to facilitate the migration of data.
BSI designed a three phase approach to address the challenges. In first phase, the storage was moved to Cloud with web server, application server and database server on-premise. In second phase, the application server and web server were moved to Cloud. The application was revised on upgraded technology to support horizontal scaling at each layer. In third phase, all the business logic was converted to services, all dependent applications were changed one by one to access the cloud based services.
“Digital India promises to transform existing government service delivery systems, greatly improve speed of delivery, create jobs and induce economic activity in areas which were not digitally connected”
The benefits attained by Cloud are the elimination of predicting, investing and managing in digital storage, backup and archival.
The application could now horizontally scale providing elasticity, the business logic could now horizontally scale enabling flexibility based on loads and thus optimise bandwidth utilisation. Other dependent applications also experienced faster access during peak loads as the business logic could now scale well.
What according to you is the way forward in IT and services?
Digital Transformation with new age technologies offers great opportunities for improving operational efficiencies, reducing costs and implementing customer centric processes to make a real difference to any industry.
Right strategy for cloud technology adoption can help providers move from the costly infrastructure of their legacy systems to low cost operational expenses. Big data/analytics can provide critical insights and a comprehensive view of the business to management and thus enhance the chance for successful outcomes. Mobility can provide real-time information access even when you are located remotely thus helping to connect with people real time. Social media can bring in easy collaboration within an enterprise, enabling sharing of experience and learnings even when the teams are located globally in multiple geographies.
For IT staff in public sector enterprises, digital transformation portends changes in mind-set and behaviour, along with a shift of focus in their skill profile. As they move from provisioning and managing fixed IT assets to managing and optimising IT services utilisation as per demand, the focus would shift more to skills in service and their continued improvement. Best practices of demand management through detailed reporting and charge-backs would be required to exercise better fiscal responsibility. All this would involve training, incentives and role-modelling for IT staff to be able to deliver in a dynamic IT landscape.