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Enterprises are riding the cloud wave. Here’s how.

As cloud becomes the go-to technology for organizations across the globe, Infosys’ President, Ravi Kumar, shares his insights on what large enterprises are seeking, and how cloud can help them not only compete better, but also innovate at scale.

Highlights

  • Cloud is going to be the next big wave, which will reengineer enterprises
  • The power of the cloud, to make your operating model very futuristic, is real
  • Hyperscalers are taking consumer insights back to businesses to power innovation
  • 50% of the workloads will remain on private cloud, and 50% will go into public cloud

“The last time we saw something like this was enterprise software, 30 years ago, which reengineered enterprises. We think the cloud is going to be the next big wave, which will reengineer enterprises.”

This is what Ravi Kumar, President at Infosys, believes as the next big opportunity in how companies will transform the way they operate.

He suggests that today digitally native companies are competing with large organizations, and in turn these larger organizations are picking up pace and are seeking ways to be powered by data, by AI, and by cloud.

Specifically, cloud has added more to the purpose from when it started out, says Ravi.

“It started off as a tool for agility of enterprises, because it gave variability of cost,” says Kumar, adding: “You could hand over your physical infrastructure to a provider who could give it back to you as a service. Therefore, you take your capex to opex.”

Today, cloud is more of a general-purpose technology and has become an essential tool for innovation, and organizations that are already undergoing digital transformation are utilizing the technology to focus on their core.

“So effectively, the cloud can straddle all the way from agility, to resilience, to rapid digitization, to focusing on the core.” – Ravi Kumar

More importantly, says Kumar, organizations are also going through dispersion, or distribution, within their ecosystem - dispersion of work into homes, dispersion of healthcare into homes, and dispersion of education into homes, among other things.

“Effectively, the cloud can straddle all the way from agility, to resilience, to rapid digitization, to focusing on the core. And therefore, the power of the cloud, to make your operating model very futuristic, is real,” he says.

Hyperscaler and reimagining data

Organizations’ cloud ecosystems are layered, starting from the consumer layer going up to automating IT operations, and finally leading up to powering business operations.

Hyperscalers, who are public cloud companies, are playing a big role in this process of straddling value between these layers, notes Kumar.

“They've done a decade of consumer innovation,” says Ravi, adding: “So, they're taking those experiences of consumer innovation and bringing it back to businesses to power innovation.”

Organizations such as Google, Amazon, and Microsoft, have a treasure trove of insights backed with the ability to curate them into AI and automation models, and contextualize them for enterprises, says Kumar.

“(Hyperscalers are) taking those experiences of consumer innovation and bringing it back to businesses to power innovation.” – Ravi Kumar

With the wealth of data available on the cloud, there is a massive opportunity to reimagine data by creating data exchanges.

“You could actually take all your data, operational, as well as the one which is sitting in data warehouses, onto the cloud, and reimagine it for a variety of ways with platforms like Snowflake, as well as other data warehousing platforms available for each of the hyperscalers,” says Ravi.

Moreover, he notes, as consumption of data has a bigger virtue than production of data, innovation is switching to compute and the chip.

“As a company, we started to create a playground for our clients, so that you could straddle between CPU capacity and GPU capacity, and figure out which workloads can be straddled between the two,” says Ravi, adding that AI models can also be created by curating data into the machine learning algorithms.

The need to create interoperability

“What's also interesting is as the core cloud capabilities are paired, it is becoming multi-cloud and hybrid cloud,” says Kumar, meaning that a part of the workload is moving to public cloud and part of the workload is moving to private cloud.

“There's also a fair bit of work happening on security as a layer, which straddles between multi cloud environments as well as private and public cloud environments.” – Ravi Kumar

“I have an estimate that 50% of the workloads will remain on private cloud and 50% of the workloads will go into the public cloud in that transformational journey,” says Kumar.

With this, the need of the hour will be to create interoperability, and portability between public and private clouds, as well as, multiple cloud ecosystems, which have strengthened different specialized workloads, he notes.

He cites the example of Netflix, wherein Netflix went from being present completely on private cloud, to a public cloud environment, to now being in a hybrid cloud environment.

“There's also a fair bit of work happening on security as a layer, which straddles between multi-cloud environments as well as private and public cloud environments,” he says.

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