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How Will Data Impact Your Business Strategy to Recover from COVID-19 Crisis

Data will be a crucial part of every business’ strategy to recover from the standstill caused by COVID-19. Cloudera’s solution addresses the challenges that come when a company is transforming into a data-driven approach.

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Vinod Ganesan, Country Manager, Cloudera-min
Vinod Ganesan, Country Manager, Cloudera

The current scenario has forcefully demanded a change in most organisations for the survival of their employees and the business. Apart from most of them moving digital, there have been some major technology upgradations that have been introduced to ease the sudden pressure exerted on these companies. 

Cloudera, an enterprise data cloud company has come up with a solution that is expected to help organisations overcome challenges of becoming data-driven at unprecedented times like these. This solution is an upgrade that is aimed at providing businesses with speed and agility as well as security and governance required by IT teams. 

Express Computer gets into an exclusive interaction with Vinod Ganesan, Country Manager (India), Cloudera where he throws light on challenges faced by organisations, changes needed in the company, and Cloudera’s new solution. 

The pandemic has led to a lot of businesses changing their strategies. What has changed in Cloudera’s strategy and business in APAC and India?

Our priority has been the health and well-being of our employees, and those we do business with around the world. With business continuity plans in place, we don’t foresee an impact on our ability to continue to deliver on our promise of uninterrupted support for your production workloads and critical systems. We’re fully equipped to serve our customers and partners and are confident of being able to swiftly respond to changing market dynamics, minimizing impacts to our business, and disruptions to customers and partners.

As economies and businesses around the world begin to reopen, we are all learning how to be more efficient, work remotely and perhaps now more than ever, learn how to better leverage data and analytics to make smarter business decisions. Data will be an essential ingredient in every business’ Get Well strategy. Across APAC and India, we remain committed to empower our customers to transform data into clear and actionable insights. 

To that end, we recently announced the culmination of our enterprise data cloud vision with the premiere of Cloudera Data Platform Private Cloud. This allows businesses to navigate complex data processes across multiple clouds, manage data governance, and enable multi-function analytics, regardless of where the data resides. This enables highly regulated industries in India such as telecom, banking, and financial services to swiftly respond to evolving market conditions without compromising on security, governance and regulatory compliances.

How would a data-centric strategy help despite the new normal?

Businesses need to understand the ongoing market and industry trends in order to make informed decisions in this constantly evolving business landscape. To become industry disruptors, enterprises need to identify problems faced by consumers, redefine current market boundaries and prepare a roadmap to achieve their goal of delivering value to the customer through it. Data is a very crucial factor at every step of this process. 

Luckily, we’re living in a digital age where the growth of data is on an exponential rise. IDC predicts that the collective sum of the world’s data will grow from 33 zettabytes in 2018 to a 175ZB by 2025, for a compounded annual growth rate of 61 percent. However, only 43 percent of ASEAN companies in 2019 were using big data to enhance their businesses. Businesses need to leverage the opportunities that big data presents and one way to comprehensively do this is through an enterprise-wide data-centric strategy.

What are some challenges faced by organisations in APAC and India to become data-driven?

Although organisations understand the need to be data-driven, many are struggling to achieve it, especially if they are adopting hybrid or multi cloud to also gain business agility. According to Harvard Business Review, 69% of executives globally recognise the need for a comprehensive data strategy to meet their business goals but only 35% think their current strategy is sufficient. Two commonly cited barriers to maximising data for strategic gain are: data silos or having multiple data copies (54%), and the lack of interoperability between systems (44%). These factors hinder data accessibility and the organisation’s ability to ingest data fast enough to make decisions in real-time, as well as make it challenging to comply with increased data privacy regulations in the near future. 

How does Cloudera’s new solution- which is part of its Enterprise Data Cloud Vision- help APAC businesses use data?

At Cloudera, our mission is to empower people to draw insights from complex data patterns and we do that through our innovative data platform. In September 2019, we began our journey of executing our vision of the industry’s first enterprise data cloud called Cloudera Data Platform (CDP), with the launch of a public cloud release. With the private cloud element now introduced, CDP supports, manages, and governs data and comes with the flexibility of deploying it across any cloud platform. By creating a multi-cloud data architecture, CDP allows for the rapid onboarding of mission-critical applications that can be run from anywhere without any disruption to existing ones.

With CDP, data can be stored and run anywhere and organizations can have common architecture for both on-prem and public cloud workloads. This makes it easy to utilize the environment that makes the most sense for the workload and business. A single platform for hybrid cloud also means companies can manage their data platform efficiently, without the need to create siloed teams. CDP makes it easy for IT to enable business teams to respond to changing market conditions in an agile manner without compromising on security or data governance. The enterprise data platform optimizes infrastructure costs with the use of innovative technology. The same platform on-prem and public cloud also means more users, workloads, and environments can be managed without requiring a linear increase in the data operations team or siloed expertise.

How APAC customers are using enterprise data cloud (i.e., a modern data platform) to enable enterprise-wide intelligence and become more agile?

We have helped many customers across verticals and the region gain enterprise-wide intelligence to serve their customers better, operate with greater efficiency, and strengthen security to protect your business. YES Bank, for instance, used Cloudera’s data platform to mine large volumes of data from financial transactions and create machine learning algorithms. This, in turn, enabled the bank to use machine learning and predictive modelling to develop customized campaigns for its customers, and detect fraud faster. 

India’s leading exchange group, Bombay Stock Exchange, also sought a robust and scalable ecosystem to centralize structured and unstructured data from multiple resources, gain intelligent and actionable insights and establish themselves as an agile and well-governed trading site. With Cloudera, they have been able to make real-time decisions since the time taken to generate complex reports reduced by 70%. They’ve also been able to reduce operational costs by INR 60 mn annually.

In the case of Axiata, the Malaysian telco leveraged Cloudera to extract valuable insights from telecom and third-party data on customers (such as customer preferences and behaviour patterns) to gain actionable intelligence. Such intelligence is then used to reduce customer churn, optimize marketing spend and telecom network optimization, and raise revenue, all-the-while improving productivity and achieving massive cost savings. For example, Axiata developed an omni-channel multilingual customer service chatbot in local languages such as Sinhalese and Khmer, which handles 50% of queries without human intervention.  

How does Cloudera’s new solution ensure security?

Cloudera Data Platform (CDP) delivers enterprise-level security, governance and metadata regardless of where the data resides, from the Edge to AI. Cloudera SDX, an integral part of CDP, is the data fabric that unifies diverse analytics and delivers consistent security, governance, and lifecycle management against a shared data catalog. 

SDX enables different users to work together productively on a common platform. It allows your IT group to say yes to “outperforming shadow IT”, making self-service analytics and data available that your users actually want to use, from data scientists to engineers; on a platform where they have control.

SDX also enables enterprise IT to administer everything anywhere, even across transient cloud workloads, from a single pane of glass with efficient and comprehensive control of users, data, analytics and resources.

With a common data catalog, SDX provides fast and powerful data migration and replication, securely delivering data where business needs dictate, for superior operational efficiency and control.

The pandemic has led to most organisations moving to the cloud for easy use. What do you foresee as the future of CDP Private Cloud?

In these unprecedented times, a lot of organisations have had to adopt massive changes not only on their operations but also on how they manage their workforce. They also need to scale up security and platform demands to meet the changing needs. The question is – once the lockdown reopens, are we going back to our old ways or will we learn from the lessons and implement efficiencies that we have learned during the lockdown?

A recent study by IDC predicted that 50% of Indian enterprises will adopt hybrid cloud by 2021. Although cloud is seen as an enabler of business agility, it also comes with its own set of challenges such as the complexity of managing data across hybrid cloud platforms. As previously mentioned, data will be an essential ingredient for every business’ Get Well strategy. Our CDP offering helps organizations set up that crucial data foundation, which is important for business recovery and to leverage the opportunities they come across. 

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