Forbes India 15th Anniversary Special

Navigating the current economic crosswinds

Cloud is a perfect fit toolbox to help organisations make the most of stressed resources, says Dhwanit Malani, EVP - Bitwise

Published: Oct 14, 2019 05:33:51 PM IST
Updated: Oct 18, 2019 04:24:49 PM IST

Navigating the current economic crosswinds

The ever-growing influence of technology on an organisation’s business strategy, operations, and value creation requires business and technology to partner, steering towards increased operational excellence and opportunities to co-create new sources of value.

What does this mean for a stressed economy? In an economic environment that is underperforming, where budgets and growth are at loggerheads, such a partnership becomes crucial. In these conditions, technology is expected to leverage its influential position to drive change, cut costs, and reignite productivity.

With cloud being at the core of its business offerings across multiple business domain landscapes, Bitwise’s cloud adoption experiences with various large clients, brings out a perspective on the relevance of the cloud ecosystem in a stressed or slowing economy.

A two-way door
The cloud embraces uncertainty; the debates about the economic stress and associated extremes and contentions bring in indecision on technology investments and business decisions. Leveraging Agile for experimentation with focussed sprints, uncovers a solution that addresses the needs of constrained budgets and forces organisations to make the most of their resources. Cloud is a perfect fit toolbox that can help in that direction.

A leading worldwide provider of payment technology and services began its cloud journey using this very principle. While the allure of cloud was pitched to it, the pragmatism prevailed through experimentation and working through identifying its needs (current and future) and how the cloud would scale to those needs. The ability to measure return in bit sizes and an agile approach to things with architectures supporting extensibility and scalability built into the core, brought out an “expected” return. This experimentation also yielded insights into what was unsuitable for cloud and would continue to stay on premise.

The way in and way out was easy - avoiding waste, not failure.

Taking a few steps back before the big leap
While an IT strategy encompasses goals to boost productivity, drive costs down, streamline operational efficiency and create new sources of revenue, all of this need not be a big bang approach.

The decision to move to cloud provided Bitwise’s client - a large financial organisation to relook at their current systems and devise a strategy to move to cloud. The decision was between a lift and shift to cloud versus to re-platform and remediate the current systems. The latter approach to move to cloud brought a paradigm shift in their integration methodology to create an extensive and exhaustive API model that they were able to monetise, creating an entirely new source of revenue.

It was an approach that was agile, measured, and offered various opportunities to identify for course correction to ensure that the larger strategy is executed well yielding results on all fronts.

Keep the lights on, and then some
Consolidation of legacy systems is another great use case where the legacy, although perfectly working as per requirements, will not have the wherewithal to scale up to business needs in tough economic environments. This agility is the essence of cloud and consolidation becomes far easier than in a legacy environment

With SaaS and PaaS, the build versus buy debate is losing its relevance and giving consolidation a business case in true sense. The pay-as-you-go model becomes far more effective and provides non-idling and maximum utilisation through dynamic on-demand scaling. One of the biggest advantages is the time to market yielding far quicker and greater RoI.

A Fortune 100 company leveraged this notion extensively to consolidate its entire data platform into a single multi layered data lake catering to streaming, file and relational data. The data lake was split into four zones:

  • Transient (ingest, tag & catalog data)
  • Raw (apply meta data & protect sensitive attributes)
  • Trusted (data quality & validation)
  • Refined (enrich data & automate workflows)
The result was catalogued data, intuitive and insightful data visualisation, creating a DaaS (Data as a service model) for all future data needs.

Cloud is built for data; it offers integrated analytics approach that allows business leaders to ask tougher, smarter questions about what needs to be done to breathe new life into a business and this is exactly what was achieved.

Brings focus on building innovation equity
Having focus on innovation and creating a differentiated market offering that is enabled by technology is a well-known game changer and a lethal competitor in a stressed market.

A great use case of this was enabled by Bitwise when the need was seen to build a business rules engine needed by multiple systems to consume. A fully managed and process-complaint rules engine, that gave business users the ability to:

  • Write, test, manage business rules
  •  Pre-sets for effective and expiry dates
  • Availability of multiple instances of workbench for various actors in the ecosystem
  • Ability of rules to be consumed by external and internal systems as needed.
Each ruleset was to be deployed as a service and therefore could be consumed by legacy and modern applications equally effectively.

This needed building a rules engine ground-up which is as leviathan as building an expensive product. The goal was achieved by leveraging open source and building what was needed from a functional standpoint. Innovation, ability to experiment, using cloud offerings brought all this together to build a state of art rules engine for modern and sustainable architecture at a fraction of a cost and time all while meeting aggressive timelines and budgets.

While the cloud strategy is not a free lunch, it does provide an approach that caters to “buy low” investments. It enables technology leaders to focus on the right metrics through strong data insights that are overall guiding better corporate decision making, allowing organisations to achieve goals, and stay healthy in the toughest of economic conditions, purely because taking a decision to market in a cloud environment is much faster than it has ever been in legacy.

It’s all about – move, fail fast, rinse, repeat in a constrained budgetary environment!

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