Going to the cloud has meant tightening up IT resources while also scaling up for Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) and Transamerica. During a panel discussion held at the Infosys Americas Leadership Forum in New York, the companies shared some of their experiences leveraging cloud resources as part of their respective ongoing transformation of IT and operations.
The panel explored how developing a cloud transformation playbook to go digital can help enterprises respond faster to the market and change. Ravi Kumar, president of Infosys, moderated the live portion of the discussion with Rashmi Kumar, CIO of global IT with Hewlett Packard Enterprise, and George Vega, CTO for Transamerica Workplace Solutions.
Rashmi Kumar said while the HPE brand might evoke legacy tech to some, the company in recent years has been focusing on edge-to-cloud platform as a service, including bringing cloud to the edge in such use cases as connected cars, patients in hospitals, or on oil rigs. She said that bringing about internal transformation requires some rethinking and reworking of the infrastructure the enterprise operates with.
Though it can seem daunting reexamining a technology footprint that might have served more than 200 client companies, going through cloud transformation can lead to opportunities to drive new efficiencies. “That’s where the decision point came around to cleaning up the technical debt in our core,” Rashmi Kumar said, “because the core pieces are how you do auto management, how do you do supply chain, logistics, and transportation?”
Insurance company Transamerica turned to the cloud to take advantage of such benefits as automatic provisioning, said Vega, among other reasons. “It used to take us over three and a half months to provision infrastructure,” he said. “It’s the long-haul of any transformation.” Having made the move to cloud, Vega said provisioning is now down to two weeks or even two days in some cases for his organization.
Streamlining Operations With Cloud
Other enterprises have found ways to streamline operations by adopting cloud transformation. For example, Rashmi Kumar said when HPE started its transformation more than three years ago as a technical debt cleanup, it helped condense some 11 different SAP extensions into one. There are caveats and concerns she cited that organizations should heed as they pursue their own transformation plans. Hiring the right talent and cultivating necessary skillsets are big challenges in the current environment, Rashmi Kumar said. “API is easier said than done,” she said. “Find a smart person who can create an API, which can be used forever.”
In a prerecorded discussion played before the live panel, Google Cloud CEO Thomas Kurian shared some industry insights with Ravi Kumar about where cloud and IT transformation as a whole may be headed. “We see fundamentally data is the key asset for digitization,” Kurian said. “If you use it well, you can have it as a superpower to help every person in your company make the right decisions.”
He also said Google Cloud recognizes that enterprises might use solutions from multiple cloud providers and to that end, Google Cloud wants to help them address three key issues:
- Let enterprises build and deploy applications without any changes across multiple clouds.
- Be able to use data regardless of where it resides.
- Be able to combine cloud with on-prem systems.
“We allow people to use our analytic tools, BigQuery, across multiple clouds,” Kurian said.
Salil Parekh, CEO of Infosys, the event host, also shared some industry perspectives in a separate presentation on stage. He posited that technology is playing a role in the efforts to revitalize and rebuild the economy as the country, the world, work towards the next new normal.
“Retail has come back very strongly in terms of investment in technology,” Parekh said. “We’ve also seen banking doing well, manufacturing starting to break away, good traction in pharma. One of the reasons is technology spend is not just something that helps in improving process and connectivity. It’s gone from being just an OpEx [operational expense] cost to something which has become a CapEx [capital expense] investment over multiple years.”