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Navigating the Cloud Shift: OEMs Adapt to IaaS Dynamics

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Traditional OEMs are at a crossroads in a tech-driven future as the industry experiences a dramatic shift towards IaaS. In an interview with Express Computer, Vinit Sinha, Director of Cybersecurity SME, Mastercard, talks about the significant effects of Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) on original equipment manufacturers (OEMs). OEMs identify chances in customisation, sustainability, software emphasis, and resolving security issues to prosper in the changing technological environment, despite a shifting market where demand for specialised hardware is declining.

How has the emergence of Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) impacted the role of original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) in the technology ecosystem, and what new market trends have you observed in this context?

Original Equipment Manufacturers’ (OEMs) place in the technology ecosystem has been profoundly impacted by the rise of Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS). Through the internet, IaaS companies give on-demand access to computing resources, including virtual machines, storage, and networking. The OEM environment and the trends in the technology industry have undergone significant changes because of this transformation in the provisioning and management of IT infrastructure.

  • Customisation and partnership opportunities: Although there is less of a market for expensive, specialised hardware, OEMs are still able to work with IaaS providers to provide solutions that are specifically tailored to meet their needs.
  • Green and sustainable computing: To address the environmental concerns of IaaS providers and their customers, OEMs are experimenting with new technologies in areas like recycling initiatives and energy-efficient hardware design.
  • Growth of ODMs: In the IaaS age, Original Design Manufacturers, or ODMs, have become more and more well-known. ODMs frequently concentrate on standardised, scalable, and reasonably priced hardware solutions that meet IaaS providers’ needs.
  • Put more of an emphasis on software and services: A lot of OEMs are now more concerned with software and services than hardware. By creating software, management tools, and services that improve the functionality, security, and manageability of infrastructure housed on IaaS platforms, they provide value.
  • Commoditization of hardware: IaaS companies frequently construct their data centres and infrastructures using standardised, commodity hardware. The need for the high-end, specialised hardware solutions that OEMs had previously developed has decreased because of this.
  • Security and compliance: OEMs have changed to meet the strict needs of IaaS providers and their clients by offering hardware security features, encryption capabilities, and compliance certifications.

So, OEMs now need to adjust to shifting market conditions because of the rise of IaaS. Even though the market for certain expensive, specialised hardware has shrunk, OEMs have discovered new ways to work together, personalise products, and set themselves apart in the cloud ecosystem.

 

As Lead for Cybersecurity, can you elaborate on the cybersecurity challenges and considerations that both IaaS providers and OEMs need to address in this evolving landscape of cloud-based infrastructure?

Based on broad industry understanding, the following are some typical cybersecurity issues and factors that OEMs and Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) providers should consider in the changing cloud-based infrastructure landscape:

Regarding IaaS vendors:

  • Identity and Access Management (IAM): To stop illegal access to cloud resources, appropriate IAM rules and procedures are crucial. Strong identity verification procedures and multi-factor authentication (MFA) must be used.
  • Compliance and certification: Adhering to industry standards and regulatory compliance criteria is essential. To show their dedication to security, providers should have certifications and compliance policies in place (such as GDPR and PCI DSS).
  • Network security: To protect against cyber-attacks, IaaS providers should use firewalls, intrusion detection systems, and other network security measures.
  • Protection against Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS): IaaS providers are frequently the target of DDoS assaults. To maintain availability, DDoS mitigation services and tactics must be put into place.
  • Date security: To guarantee data security and privacy, IaaS providers need to have strong data encryption, access restrictions, and compliance mechanisms in place.

About OEMs:

  • Supply chain security: Guard the supply chain to avoid fraud, manipulation, or the introduction of harmful elements.
  • Continuous monitoring and patch management: Release updates and patches as necessary to fix vulnerabilities while keeping a close eye on the security of hardware components.
  • Compatibility and interoperability: Hardware elements must be made to function flawlessly in a cloud setting. Compatibility problems may result in operational hiccups and security concerns.
  • Secure configuration management: Give clients instructions on how to set up and manage hardware components in a cloud environment safely.
  • Firmware and software security: Make sure that hardware component firmware and software are up-to-date and secure. To stop exploitation, use secure development practices.
  • Cooperation with IaaS providers: To guarantee that their gear safely interfaces with the cloud environment, OEMs should collaborate closely with IaaS providers.
  • Security by design: When designing and developing their hardware components, OEMs must incorporate security into the process. This covers hardware-based encryption, secure firmware upgrades, and secure boot procedures.

To solve these cybersecurity issues in the rapidly changing cloud-based infrastructure market, OEMs and IaaS providers must work together and coordinate their efforts. To safeguard the cloud ecosystem, the data, and the services that are hosted on it, security must be a shared responsibility.

 

With the rapid adoption of IaaS, how do you see OEMs adapting their products and services to align with the changing demands and requirements of businesses relying on cloud-based infrastructure?

As a result of the quick uptake of Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS), original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) have had to modify their offerings to meet the ever-evolving needs of companies that depend on cloud-based infrastructure. To satisfy these objectives, OEMs are changing in the following significant ways:

  • To better accommodate cloud workloads, OEMs have been focusing on hardware optimisation. This entails creating CPUs, GPUs, networking hardware, and storage devices that are more appropriate for cloud-native apps and virtualization.
  • In response to the demands of IaaS providers, OEMs are broadening the scope of their service offerings to include maintenance and support agreements. It is becoming increasingly typical to have 24/7 assistance, replacement parts availability, and quick response times.
  • OEMs are working on solutions to enable multi-cloud and hybrid strategies. This entails developing hardware components that are compatible with a wide range of on-premises infrastructure and IaaS providers, providing enterprises that wish to mix and match different cloud environments with flexibility.
  • As environmental issues gain importance, original equipment manufacturers are focusing on creating gear that uses less energy. Energy-efficient parts support IaaS companies’ sustainability objectives while simultaneously lowering operating expenses.
  • To develop specialised hardware solutions, OEMs frequently work closely with IaaS providers. Whether they are for networking, processing, storage, or other unique purposes, these custom-built goods are produced to match the exact specifications of the cloud service.
  • Hardware that is highly scalable and standardised is needed by IaaS providers to fulfill the ever-changing demands of cloud environments.
  • To improve the effectiveness, security, and manageability of cloud infrastructure, OEMs are progressively providing software solutions and management tools in addition to hardware.
  • Original equipment manufacturers make sure their goods can easily interact with different IaaS ecosystems and platforms. This is important since companies can employ several cloud providers at once.

All things considered, OEMs are adjusting to the new environment by matching their offerings to the needs of IaaS providers and companies that depend on cloud-based infrastructure. In a setting where cloud computing continues to be a key component of contemporary IT, this adaptation is necessary to stay competitive and relevant.

What strategies do you believe are essential for OEMs to maintain a competitive edge in a market influenced by IaaS, and how can they leverage these new trends to their advantage?

In a market where IaaS is a dominant force, OEMs must remain flexible in response to shifting consumer needs and technological advancements. The following are crucial tactics OEMs should think about to stay competitive and take advantage of emerging trends:

  • Work together with IaaS providers: It is critical to establish strong bonds with IaaS providers. OEMs and these providers can collaborate closely to identify OEMs’ unique hardware requirements and provide solutions that meet IaaS platforms’ specifications.
  • Invent in scalability and standardisation: Hardware component manufacturers must concentrate on creating a high degree of scalability and standardisation. This makes it easier for IaaS providers to grow their infrastructure and meet the changing demands of cloud environments.
  • Security and compliance: It is critical to design hardware with robust security features. Hardware security features like encryption and secure boot procedures should be integrated by OEMs. It is imperative to adhere to industry and regulatory standards such as PCI DSS and GDPR.
  • Optimise for cloud workloads: Hardware components must be specially designed to satisfy the demands of cloud workloads. OEMs can increase performance, efficiency, and cost-effectiveness by optimising CPUs, GPUs, storage devices, and networking equipment for cloud-native applications, virtualization, and containerization.
  • Support for hybrid and multi-cloud methods: OEMs must concentrate on developing goods that work well with multi-cloud and hybrid integration methods.
  • Interoperability: It is essential to make sure that hardware parts are interoperable with different IaaS platforms and ecosystems. OEMs may assist companies in avoiding vendor lock-in by offering compatible solutions.
  • Constant innovation: A dedication to constant innovation is necessary to maintain competitiveness in the market for cloud-based infrastructure.

OEMs can, therefore, continue to have a competitive advantage by working closely with IaaS providers, providing standardised and scalable hardware, putting security and compliance first, optimizing for cloud workloads, supporting hybrid and multi-cloud strategies, keeping an eye on sustainability, offering software and management tools, providing first-rate service and support, delivering affordable solutions, guaranteeing interoperability, educating the market, and tirelessly innovating.

Are there any specific examples or use cases where Mastercard has successfully navigated the challenges and harnessed the opportunities presented by the emergence of IaaS in the APAC region?

Given that Mastercard is a multinational financial services corporation, it has employed a range of tactics to capitalise on the potential that the advent of IaaS has brought about in various geographical areas.

The following highlights some potential uses of IaaS in the APAC area for Mastercard:

  • Disaster recovery and business continuity: Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) may be leveraged to provide disaster recovery solutions, guaranteeing the continued operation of vital financial systems in the case of APAC natural catastrophes or other interruptions. Mastercard creates regionally dispersed redundancy by utilising IaaS.
  • Enhanced security: To safeguard the financial information of its customers, Mastercard makes significant investments in security measures and compliance guidelines. It is essential to choose IaaS providers with robust security features and certifications.
  • Data analytics and machine learning: Mastercard can do advanced data analytics and machine learning using the computational power and data storage capabilities of IaaS.
  • Cost efficiency: By enabling Mastercard to only pay for the resources they use rather than overprovisioning, IaaS helps save on expenditures.
  • Worldwide network infrastructure: Mastercard effectively creates a worldwide network presence using IaaS. This makes it possible for low-latency access to their services from a variety of APAC locations, improving the user experience for both consumers and retailers.
  • Compliance and localisation: For a financial services business operating in the APAC area, it is imperative to follow local laws and data localisation specifications. IaaS companies can provide solutions to assist in fulfilling these legal obligations.

It’s crucial to remember that Mastercard’s particular business goals, local market dynamics, and regulatory framework will all affect the company’s performance in the APAC region.

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