Digital Journal: How will the market for cloud services/solutions do in 2019?
Krishnan Ramanujam: In 2019, we expect to see the following trends in Cloud. First, PaaS adoption will become mainstream for Enterprises focusing on Application Containers, Platform services for business solutions such as Analytics, IoT and also Integration Services for SaaS platforms.
Second, the pureplay ‘lift and shift’ approach will soon disappear and Cloud adoption, even at an IaaS layer, will transition to a ‘transform while you migrate’ approach.
Third, the launch of AWS Outpost and other on-premises solutions, such as Azure Stack and Google Kubernetes Engine (GKE), will enable Enterprises to embrace these hyper-scale providers much faster and at a broader level – overcoming classical Security/Audit concerns surrounding Public Cloud.
Fourth, the enterprise acceptability of Postgres SQL, MariaDB and other open source database systems as an alternative to Oracle remains to be seen but we believe we will see a tipping point in this space over the next two years.
Fifth, retail, CMI and Utilities segments will see relatively faster adoption of Cloud for their Technology estate with equal adoption of Cloud to further the business’ digital agenda.
DJ: Will investments in business intelligence/data analytics solutions rise in 2019?
Ramanujam: This is an ‘Age of Abundance’, where we observe that organizations have more data than ever at their disposal today. Storage for such large volumes of data, insights and computing environments will drive significant spending over next three to five years. We expect to continue seeing major investments in technology; competency development of people; adoption of agile practices; large scale change management initiatives and widespread usage of data across the ecosystem.
CIOs are looking at formal ways of assessing data – creating a roadmap for delivering greater data maturity and actionable insights to enable their business’ growth and transformation journey. Companies that aspire to design an intelligent, data-focused eco-system triggering real-time insights for decision making are likely to invest heavily in analytics. The data-driven digital economy will propel organizations to create interesting monetization models that would further fuel growth.
In many organizations, the business leaders’ current focus is on data foundation, and the modernization of their data and analytics environment with a faster than expected adoption of cloud. This paves the way for greater demand and adoption of contextualized, advanced analytics and AI to deliver superior, data-driven business outcomes.
In an extremely competitive environment, actionable insights can mean the difference between success and failure. Business leaders must explore new possibilities by sponsoring data-centric initiatives and asking smart questions, which glean valuable insights and eventually help create new revenue streams and business models, limiting risks and losses, and maximize profits.
DJ: Has the Internet of Things been over-hyped? How will IoT fare in 2019?
Ramanujam: From the technology perspective and the power it brings to organizations, IoT is real and has not been over-hyped. Organizations are already using it to transform business models, enhance operational excellence and improve customer experiences, thereby creating exponential value.
Let’s consider an example from the energy industry. Energy plants formerly struggled to achieve a 2 percent savings year-on-year to meet sustainability requirements. But now, with IoT and AI, we are able to help these plants 10 percent year-on-year. To fully realize the real benefits, IoT must be driven by the business and in partnership with IT in order to create new revenue streams by dramatically improving operations in manufacturing and in within the supply chain. If IoT is left to just the IT organization, it will remain a proof of concept with potential rather than tangible business benefits.
The market is currently cluttered with IoT messages. We hear from multiple product companies and technology experts about sensors, platforms and applications – and the benefits that each can bring to a business. This disparate messaging create confusion and leaves the market questioning how to truly harness the power of IoT. To counteract this, TCS takes a ‘value discovery’ approach to IoT. We identify the business value generating scenarios and then link those with the technology ecosystem—rather than starting with the technology.
DJ: How will enterprises address digital business initiatives like digital marketing in 2019?
Ramanujam: In 2019, digital marketing will make a major shift from a transactional focus (doing business, getting things done) to an experiential focus (building a relationship). Consumers will reward enterprises that deliver a holistic, branded experience. Smart enterprises will be investing in developing this kind of complete experience instead of a siloed experience of a particular unit or transaction. Marketing that is driven by experience is an incredibly powerful way to build, maintain, and strengthen relationships.
Enterprises will also be striving to simplify their complex MarTech stacks in 2019 and beyond. Great marketing prizes creativity and experience more than technology and operations (as important as those are). This will require embracing cloud computing and automation to a much greater degree, and learning how to make the most of API-driven ecosystems. Ultimately, this will make life simpler for CMOs and help them focus on the holistic experience.
CMOs in 2019 will embrace a more agile marketing approach that will require realignment of marketing teams. And in one of the more interesting uses of technology, we believe CMOs will start to use machine learning and artificial intelligence in the creative process, automating some of the more mundane aspects of producing great work.