Thermax, Chief Information Officer- Anil Nadkarni speaks to moneycontrol.com on how he navigates through the various IT challenges that he faces and the role of cloud.
Thermax is a sustainable solutions company headquartered in Pune, which provides engineering solutions to the energy and environment sectors. Focusing on areas like heating equipment, waste water management, air pollution control systems amongst others, they have a presence in over 75 countries worldwide. The company's Chief Information Officer- Anil Nadkarni speaks to moneycontrol.com on how he navigates through the various IT challenges that he faces and the role of cloud.
Q. In your organisation and from your industry context, what are the expectations from your users and customers with regards to Cloud computing?
A. Users have partly understood the concept of public cloud computing. So they expect IT to quickly adopt the same and deliver. However cloud usage for testing any software before investment really makes sense. So IT has to adopt the demands of users while ensuring the security and backup options.
Q. What are the dynamics shaping your Industry?
A. It is the industry of togetherness. No individual succeeds in this industry. It is always you and your partner who thrives and share success and failures.
Q. What are your real IT headaches? And what are your peers in the Industry confronted with?
A. IT headaches predominantly rely around security and secured access. In this world of hackers it is paramount to secure your data centre against any threat both within and outside. The paradox is while ensuring the security of data centre it needs to be exposed to everyone who needs to access it any time and anywhere.
Q. Out of these IT Headaches, which are really acute and how do you plan to address them in short term & near term say less than 12 months?
A. Both these headaches are on-going and continue to hound IT departments world over presently and in the years to come! We have addressed the issue in a way that creates a private cloud with secured access.
Q. We constantly hear about IT Operations being shaped by cloud, social, mobile & analytics. In your operations, which of these are in order of priority for your organization and why?
A. All are equally important. I can not number them in any order as the sequence may change in any particular situation. All these ‘Maxus Forces’ need to be addressed by IT folks with proper planning and involving those who matter.
Q. How is Cloud shaping or is expected to shape your operations and your industry?
A. We have been using cloud for last at least 10 years e.g. gmail, ymail, etc. It is only now the corporates are now looking to host their data in it. I believe it will be a hybrid model of private and public cloud that will run in the near future. Till the issues of security and bandwidth (for accessing the cloud) are sorted out satisfactorily!
Q. What are pressing factors that prompt organizations to look at Cloud?
A. It is the speed at which cloud can be availed. Also the cost of both access and storage including backup makes it lucrative for corporates.
Q. Does the Cloud model really make sense for India Inc.? And which are the best cloud models?
A. It does make sense to everyone who needs to compute. The only point is what to put on cloud and when! As the data size is growing up the backup is getting tricky day by day. So is access to data. It is the cloud which offers better options on these issues.
Q. What is the technology foundation (virtualization, storage, networks, access, etc) that is necessary to leverage the Cloud model?
A. It all depends on how to intend to access the cloud. If it is a private cloud then one needs to look at all the parameters mentioned above. However in a public cloud it is pick and choose. Of course the access to cloud has to be managed well.
Q. Can cloud change the way business is being run fundamentally?
A. In todays world when there are no fixed working hours the cloud definitely gives an edge to its adopters. It allows things to add / remove on the fly. As the business grows these things are important but difficult to manage in-house.
Q. Is Cloud computing in your company’s priority list in terms of importance?
A. We have already embraced private cloud including BYOD.