Technology has been an enabler of businesses for a long time, but covid-19 will make it a driving force,” the Managing Director of Google Cloud India, Karan Bajwa, reasserts this to indicate how technology has taken a front and center role for economies and businesses in present day.
He reminds that technology adoption that has had a fragmented history, has migrated from the phase of when it was the sole problem of the IT department to one when it became important to leadership, to the consumption model today that breaks all barriers.
“The consumption model provides a massive tail-width to cloud and SaaS (software as a service) companies. It will fundamentally change the entire face of cloud,” he notes.
Five Major Changes In Tech Adoption
As per Bajwa, a major trend in the face of the crisis is that businesses have an opportunity to reinvent the way they work. Not everyone was engineered to work remotely, and for a continued period of time. Yet, people’s ability and appetite to learn have significantly increased with tech playing a massive role in increasing productivity.
Organisations in the future will increase work from home (WFH) infrastructure. “Workplace should look different because the ability to work from home has opened people’s eyes about what can be done,” Bajwa points out.
Several companies have already projected targets of hybrid work models, where part of the workforce will work remotely and part from physical offices. “People are making bold statements. This changes many things including dynamics of businesses with their partners like tech providers and real estate,” Bajwa observes.
With the footprint of digitisation increasing, the second trend is towards an increasing demand for security and privacy. He believes security will serve as a foundation element in innovations around artificial intelligence (AI) and big data on cloud.
The third trend will see technology consumption model change from being capital expenditure (CapEx) driven to operative expenditure (OpEx) driven. “People will conserve capital and use it for core business, whereas they will adopt technology boldly through OpEx. It allows businesses to lower entry barrier for user technology,” he states.
The mainstreaming of AI and machine learning (ML) is the fourth trend. “AI and ML will be used more, and smarter companies will innovate faster and grow on scale. India has been called the graveyard of pilots. More than ever, now it is important for legacy organisations to change,” he cautions.
Traditional organisations will need to modernise legacy to support outward looking digitisation in the future. “The fact that technology adoption will increase. It would be tough if companies go back to the old way of buying technology, because that will take precious capital away from the organisation,” Bajwa elaborates.
The maturity of cloud and SaaS based models have reached a point, where people have tasted early success. About 20 per cent of workloads have moved to cloud. He explains that people know how to migrate and know the nuances. Especially in context to business scaling, today there is enough evidence to show merits of these models.
It will be a waste of opportunity if organisations work the same way as before, despite having known the new way of working, Bajwa says, adding that CEOs and company leadership have a massive opportunity to reinvent themselves.
“If you go back to office, set your table and see that you’re doing the same thing you did before this crisis, you need to ask yourself if you’ve been inventive and innovative enough. One needs to grow out of this situation,” says Bajwa.
On the back of these trends, another trend would be around adjusting of technology spends. The Google Cloud India MD explains that with data power clearly established in people’s minds, spends now will shift to “data, AI and analytics”, which has high business impact.
Bajwa is an advocate of democratisation the access to technology. “In the past, technology had an elitist access. But today everyone needs the same access. We need to democratise it and put capability in the hands of the people,” he advises. Also empowerment, across levels in a company, is key in this context.
Bajwa also believes that government too will invest more operations to cloud. “The government now has the responsibility to rekindle India. The value equation is changing, and disruption continues. Governments too should invest deeply in AI, ML, cloud and security. The government has an opportunity now to invest in these capabilities and create a transformational ecosystem,” he said.
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