The way data is growing and the way dependency on data is growing, it has become so obvious to ensure data needs to be protected as it moves from the edge to core to cloud. In a candid conversation with Mr Ripu Bajwa, Director & General Manager – Data Protection Solutions, Dell Technologies, India, Faiz Askari of SMEStreet got interesting insights on cutting edge data protection trends in India and beyond.
Here are the excerpts:
Faiz Askari: Currently, what does the Data Protection landscape in India look like?
Ripu Bajwa: It is a very exciting time for all the players in the Indian IT industry. India is specifically the growth starter for any company. At Dell Technologies, we are always working towards helping our customers through their digital transformation journey.
When I look at the data protection landscape, I see a huge opportunity for Dell Technologies to become a stronger partner for our customers. For many years we have been protecting the data of our customers and a lot of them have started seeing the value of managing their data, especially when it comes to recovery of data, compliance, storing data in a clear manner into an offsite, replicating it for business continuity amongst others. Some organizations have a mature outlook on this and have already taken steps to fully protect their environments while others are also on the path to adopt these strategies.
When I look at enterprises, corporates and medium businesses, I see a lot of interest being shown by them in terms of protecting their key assets, their critical intellectual property as well as their businesses from any internal or external threat. Companies are now doing much more to protect their data. Being prepared and protected from external threats is crucial in this era due to the rise of cyberattacks & malware attacks.
In fact, in sectors like banking, the government has mandated that they come with clear cut guidelines/ framework to showcase their preparedness against any type of cyber attack.
Data needs to be protected as it moves from the edge to core to cloud. At Dell Technologies, we see ourselves playing a key role in enabling organisations to protect their data while providing a seamless experience of being able to recover against any kind of a threat.
Faiz Askari: How effective is the hybrid cloud in India? Could you please add some security aspects of hybrid-cloud for those who are not well-aware of it and point out security issues associated with it?
Ripu Bajwa: In the future, the amount of data being consumed will increase and we will see a transformation in the infrastructure and service environment. There will be new operating models in which people would be able to keep their applications and data in a way that they can be self-serviced and more efficient in reaching out to other businesses.
We as data protection providers are offering products that have the capability to operate from any cloud and are enabled to render the data for a more collaborative approach. The ability to leverage any cloud for its best use case is the differentiation factor for all our customers. An organisation cannot claim that they are most efficient if they use one type of cloud, it will be efficient only with the mix of public cloud and on-prem cloud solutions.
We, at Dell Technologies, see ourselves pioneering in the field of providing security even in hybrid cloud environments as we own the elements of infrastructure, data protection and automation to give a seamless experience across multiple clouds – be it Azure, AWS or Google cloud. We give a choice to our customers so that they can move and leverage each of these in multi-cloud environments, seamlessly.
Faiz Askari: How do you spread awareness about the services and products that you offer to your customers?
Ripu Bajwa: We, at Dell Technologies, host a series of events to raise awareness about our products and solutions. Our flagship event, Dell Technologies Forum took place across 4 Indian cities in 2019 – Delhi, Hyderabad, Mumbai & Bengaluru – with “Real Transformation” as an overarching theme. We also hosted the CIO forum wherein we invited all the leading CIOs under one roof. These forums witnessed dedicated content sessions from Dell Technologies’ companies such as VMware, RSA and Pivotal. By bringing together the industry thought leaders, the strategic partners and customers, these forums provided insights into the next technological revolution. We talked about our end to end servers, storage, networking, hyper-converged and data protection technologies.
Faiz Askari: What are some trends that we will see shaping the Data Protection landscape in India?
Ripu Bajwa: The need for organisations to protect their data against data loss is increasing with the massive amount of data being generated in the country. Thus, in the coming new decade, it is foreseen that data protection will remain at the forefront. Following are the set of trends that will dominate the data protection landscape in the year 2020.
- Need for Disaster Recovery: Loss of critical data has the power to cripple any business in no time. Therefore, going ahead, in order to protect their valuable data sets against external outrages or information loss, organisations will look towards imbibe disaster recovery strategies as a form of insurance.
- 24*7 Data protection: Since most of the business is now operating on a 24*7 basis, there has been a significant increase in data generation. As organisations move towards putting more weight on this data to derive valuable insights, it has become a priority for them to deploy robust data protection solutions which offer round the clock protection. Hence, we will see the adaptability of products that create a real-time backup and automatically updates to the live data set.
- Shift towards cost-effective solutions: With the growth of SMBs in the country, demand for data protection solutions is on the rise. There is an increased awareness amongst all businesses, both large and small, regarding the importance of these solutions. Hence, companies will start looking at providing cost-effective and holistic data protection solutions to cater to the needs of SMBs.
We help a lot of organisations in understanding what level of security should be given to various kinds of data points or business users. There are multiple solution requirements that are being considered and there is a cost against which an organisation can afford to pay for in order to meet the business needs in a cost-effective manner.
Faiz Askari: What are the sectors that are increasing the deployment of data protection solutions?
Ripu Bajwa: The top sectors which are taking the lead in advance adoption of data security solutions are BFSI, retail, healthcare, manufacturing as well in India etc.
Organisations in these sectors are looking at protecting their assets since their business revenue depends on the data. Protecting every record is very important to these organizations as well as having a long term retention strategy and archiving strategies.
It is also important to not just generate business data but also to keep in lieu of the usage pattern. For example, in the health care sector, records have to be kept for a certain number of years. In the insurance sector, you have to retain the records for years so that they can be shown as evidence without being tampered.
Telcos are investing heavily in data protection solutions in order to keep calling data records and customer information safe.
One of the key trends that we are observing these days is that organisations want to protect the data/information from the moment it is generated. Organisations are being vigilant when it comes to data; if data is being generated, how is it getting protected? If the data is moving, what security policies are getting applied so that the data is secured as it moves?
Faiz Askari: In this fast-paced environment, what are some of the products that you offer your customers in order to provide them with a competitive edge over their competitors?
Ripu Bajwa: In the mid-market segments, for customers who do not want to integrate themselves, we have a product line which has our software and hardware built-in, popularly known as integrated data protection appliance, IDPA. Some companies which have their own server environment and only want software-defined data protection, we offer our software-related products. We tailor our solutions according to the needs of the market.
At Dell Technologies, we are constantly working towards innovating our solutions and products as per the needs of our customers. Our latest addition, Dell EMC PowerProtect DD Series Appliances offer the ability to simplify and provide operational efficiencies for data protection of multi-cloud workloads.
Faiz Askari: Does Dell Technologies have any specific steps they take to target SMEs in India?
SMEs are a very large segment in India. We are taking steps to increase our reach and increase our coverage by using our channel partners ecosystems and enabling them to quote and pick up services around data protection. Our focus is around geo expansion, going beyond metros, taking a lot of steps to make sure our inside sales are also empowered to reach out to these customers directly as well as finally executing these orders through our channel partner ecosystems.
We are making sure that we have a vast reach and coverage in the organisations from the medium segment, even if they are looking at protecting data through public cloud or hybrid cloud by collaborating with some of our partners.
Faiz Askari: What are some of the key factors which SMEs look out for when they are looking at choosing a digital partner?
Ripu Bajwa: We are able to bring products and solutions to the SME market in a cost-effective manner. Although cost is important, it is not the only driver when it comes to the selection of a partner. Organisations look at the type of partner they are choosing as well as the services they are offering.
Other deciding factors are the reach of the digital partner, intervals in which organisations can get the requests serviced, the running experience and upgrade of technology.
Faiz Askari: In your opinion, what are some of the implications that the Personal Data Protection Bill will have on organisations?
Ripu Bajwa: The Personal Data Protection Bill talks more about personal data and nothing apart from the privacy and security of personal data. Even though it includes a category of non-personal data, it has more to do with how every user should be aware of what they can share and how they should share their information with the processor of the data.
The bill talks about personal assets and how it needs to be profiled, used etc. by various entities. Since the bill has not been enforced yet, it is too soon to foresee its implications on both individuals and organizations.