Big data is cool again, because it’s transformed to fit the times. In a time where both governments and businesses continue to chart unknown territories because of the speed at which their surrounding conditions (economic, political, social, environment) are changing, they need to be grounded by hard facts to ensure they remain true to their goal and direction. But big data has evolved to cloud data and now to hybrid data, making it more complex for businesses to access, use and create value from it. This may sound like the role of the CIO and/or CTO to find a solution but it is not the complete picture – the whole leadership team as well as the organization need to be brought on board. Everyone needs to be committed to the company’s data strategy which, when executed correctly, can propel the company to new heights.
So, how are businesses doing this and if they have not, how and where can they start to ensure they’re harnessing data for more than just tech goals and to achieve overall business objectives? Here’s what Abhas, Chief Strategy Officer, Cloudera, has to say about the work Cloudera is doing in the hybrid cloud space and how they enable Indian businesses to harness the full potential of their data. Read on.
- Could you provide an overview of Cloudera’s journey in India thus far?
Cloudera has been operating in India for 10 years, and this includes the period before Hortonworks merged with Cloudera in 2019. Apart from our offices in Delhi and Mumbai, two of our Centers of Excellence are situated in Bangalore and Chennai.
We currently have over 600 employees in India, and will continue investing in the talent here over the next few years. Among our customers are the three top telcos and six out of ten leading banks in India, in addition to a number of organizations in the public sector. Delivering solutions that empower customers to extract the full value of their data, from the Edge to AI, be it in the cloud or on-premises, has been the reason why we had double digit growth in the past year.
At Cloudera, we envision a world where everyone can quickly and easily access the data-powered information and insights they need in just a few clicks. We believe that data and analytics should be made easy and accessible for everyone, be it big or small, structured or unstructured data. We want to help customers accelerate their digital transformation journeys by providing them with the right tools to modernize their data management and integration so they can easily scale their operations for increased agility and resilience.
In India, businesses are looking to harness the full potential of their data. Studies by IBM show that 99% of organizations in India are using some form of hybrid cloud architecture, making it critical to unlock value from this data no matter where it resides. Here at Cloudera, we have always believed that “data can make what is impossible today, possible tomorrow” and we strive to help customers solve their business problems by helping them with their data management and data analytics at scale. Not only that – we want to do this through a unified security and governance plan with open cloud storage formats.
Public cloud as an industry is anticipated to create 250,000 jobs in Asia in the next five years, and India is at the center of this. India is an extremely important market for Cloudera and we plan on investing up to INR 500 crores in India over the next two years to accelerate product innovation, cloud transformation, and drive customer growth.
- How does a good data strategy help businesses harness their data’s full potential?
A recent Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI) report, ‘Internet in India’, estimated that there are a total of 692 million active internet users in India. That number is expected to hit 900 million internet users by 2025, which will generate an enormous amount of data. It is therefore imperative for organizations to find ways to effectively manage all this data. Here’s where a robust data management platform is essential to handle the data securely and efficiently. This data also often exists in silos, making it nearly impossible to track data flows from source to system and trace data lineage, creating inefficient and ineffective workflows.
With a well-defined enterprise data strategy, which is a comprehensive, holistic strategy across all lines-of-business, businesses can easily extract, consolidate, and manage the data generated across functions for use as a strategic asset. An enterprise data strategy enables them to make informed decisions with actionable insights in a timely, secure, and governed manner. In a report by Cloudera, 100% of Indian senior decision makers (SDMs) reported that the way data is handled and managed has positively impacted their organizations’ performance, and 72% reported stronger levels of resiliency from the presence of a mature data strategy.
- How has the hybrid/multi cloud market in India/APAC evolved over the years?
A hybrid cloud approach for businesses that use both public and private clouds allows for diversification risk, boosting of security, and maximizing innovation. Businesses have always been hesitant to migrate sensitive data or essential workloads to the cloud, especially to the public cloud. But that is quickly changing, as businesses now understand that using multiple clouds or hybrid clouds need not be mutually exclusive. We are witnessing widespread deployment of cloud-enabled use cases like IoT, AI, and ML by our clients all around the world.
Our recent Enterprise Data Maturity research reported similar findings of an anticipated shift towards hybrid multi-cloud in the next 18 months. Among cloud options, multi-cloud emerged as a clear favorite, with 54% of IT decision-makers from organizations in India indicating their preference for multi-cloud architectures in eighteen (18) months’ time. This is a sharp increase from the current 25% that have already implemented this approach for their enterprise data management and analytics. With the evolving preferences of business leaders in the region, combined with the increase in digitization in the business landscape, we are doubling down on our efforts to support customers with new products and features.
In the APAC region, we’ve observed that organizations are doing, or aiming to do, more with their data, and reducing the time to value. Across the board, there are a multitude of requirements, processes, and capabilities in place involving current and future analytics. Adding to this, with Indian enterprises having undergone tremendous digital transformation, the use of analytics for data-driven decision making has exploded. India has always been a very cost and performance conscious market and hybrid architectures make a lot of sense in that regard.
Cloudera is committed to helping businesses in India and the broader APAC region with their hybrid and multi-cloud journey to achieve the level of integration that allows applications and data to move seamlessly across the disparate infrastructures and the management of any environment holistically and securely. Regardless of which part of their data and analytics journey they are on, all organizations can benefit from improved efficiencies and making business-critical decisions with real-time data. The most innovative and successful organizations recognize data as a strategic resource that demands its own strategy.
- What potential do you see for the growth and adoption of cloud across sectors- healthcare, BFSI, manufacturing, telecom, etc.?
Businesses are generating unprecedented volumes of data, especially in industries such as telecom, retail, healthcare, manufacturing, insurance, and financial services industries (FSI). And with the anticipated deployment of 5G networks in India, this volume of data is only going to increase significantly. Several organizations are hoping to leverage these massive amounts of data by investing heavily in big data solutions to help them meet business goals such as increasing customer satisfaction, uncovering alternative revenue streams, or improving operational efficiency.
With mature enterprise data strategies helping organizations achieve 5.97% higher profit growth, we foresee a surge in growth for cloud adoption.
- Could you share some examples of the work you’ve done with customers in India? How have your services benefited their business?
In India, Cloudera is heavily involved with the retail and ecommerce, public sector, manufacturing, automotive, and healthcare industries where IoT takes center stage, and where addressing real time data pipeline becomes a critical capability. Some of our key India customers include Axis Bank, Yes Bank and the Bombay Stock Exchange. Our hybrid data platform supports all modern data architectures, such as a data mesh, without the need to train staff to use, manage and administer multiple systems, while also minimizing the need to compromise time to value or IT control.
Being able to provide a strong security and governance layer through our data fabric has given us an advantage in serving our customers in regulated industries well. This has helped us secure pole positions in the telco, FSI and public sector verticals as these customers develop ways to drive business outcomes from ever-increasing volumes of data.
India has a vibrant start-up ecosystem which is evident by the sheer number of unicorns emerging every year. These budding businesses present an immense opportunity for us. Many of these companies have one or more cloud hyperscalers among their investors. Apart from the technical prowess and the regulatory focus that we bring in, our ability to provide multi-cloud support is a unique proposition that they can benefit from. In addition, it lowers the cost of development due to avoidance of costly rewrites, allowing them to stay focused on reaping the benefits from building the next generation of hybrid apps.
Large conglomerates with diverse business operations would derive business efficiencies by leveraging a data mesh architecture that allows them to decentralize control to business units that are closer to data, treating data as a product. Globally, we work with customers who are leaders in their own industries in financial services and insurance, telecommunications, and manufacturing and more.
- With the growing prominence of 5G in India, has Cloudera been working with Indian customers to manage this shift? If yes, could you share some examples?
India’s major telcos are among our customers, and they leverage our platform to run network and customer analytics. These network analytics enable telcos to distill information on how to maximise their 5G network reach which, when coupled with a clear view of customer profiles, translates to a business strategy on monetizing their 5G offerings.
Additionally, 5G will significantly accelerate data volumes due to its high bandwidth and low latency support. 5G developments will pave the way for more IoT applications, turning our cities into networks while collecting huge amounts of data that bring even more conveniences to our lives. While there will be abundant data from a variety of sources, collecting, curating and analysing all of that data will be critical in the development of these Smart Cities. The vast potential of these applications range from traffic management to emergency response systems and more.
The Digital India initiative focuses on technology to transform the country into a connected, digitally-empowered one. This knowledge-based India will create significant opportunities and deliver economic value to consumers, businesses, governments across all industries and sectors.
We firmly believe that 5G will be the driving force for this Digital India initiative.
- What are Cloudera’s future plans and investments for the India market?
Earlier this year, we announced our commitment to the Indian market with the opening of a new Center of Excellence in Bengaluru and a new office in Chennai. We’ve also hired over 200 new staff for our engineering teams in Bangalore and Chennai to enable us to double down on our R&D efforts and develop our expertise in the cloud, product security, data engineering, information security, and software development. We are also increasingly seeing a large percentage of our customers come from outside of the US. APAC is one of our fastest growing regions, recording double digit growth year-on-year in markets like India and Indonesia, with the majority of our customers renewing their contracts with us. We are deepening our investments in the region accordingly and doubling down on our efforts in R&D and GTM strategies and investing in our talent by continuing to recruit early talent who start off as interns and move on to more permanent positions with us. We are also creating programs and certifications to upskill IT practitioners in open source and modern data architectures.
With India’s focus on digitalization with the Digital India mission along with its emergence as one of the fastest growing economies across the world, we see an immense potential to complement and add value to enterprises in their cloud strategy, thereby driving digital adoption across different industry verticals.