Data is the foundation for digital transformation: Sanjay Agrawal, Hitachi Vantara

According to Sanjay Agrawal, Technology Head of Hitachi Vantara, businesses need to be able to rapidly and automatically integrate both structured and unstructured data from multiple sources in order to achieve data integration and analytics. 

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In an interaction with IDG Media, Sanjay Agrawal, Technology Head, Hitachi Vantara shared his views on the current and future trends in data and how businesses can leverage data to achieve digital transformation. 

Edited Excerpts 

How can data management applications deliver efficient outcomes for digital enterprises?

One of the key pillars of digital transformation for enterprises is operations and processes, under which management of IT and data play an important role. Efficient management of data not only ensures companies spend less to manage data but also ensure better IT and business outcomes.

Data, particularly unstructured data which is a significant part of the overall enterprise data is growing faster than structured data. This data explosion is putting pressure on IT to pump in more resources to store, protect and manage the data. Here the role of data management applications become very important to optimize the storage of data, bring in cost effective approach to protect it and smartly manage it to ensure compliance. Additionally, enterprises must be able to enrich the data to improve the quality that creates the foundation for data driven enterprise.

How is Hitachi Vantara helping customers harness the power of data to support business actions?

We help our customers store and protect data. Our datacenter modernization solutions optimize the storage, protection and processing of data, with flexibility across diverse applications and multi-cloud environments to achieve outstanding business outcomes.  

...Data explosion is putting pressure on IT to pump in more resources to store, protect and manage the data. Here the role of data management applications become very important to optimize the storage of data, bring in cost effective approach to protect it and smartly manage it to ensure compliance.
Sanjay Agrawal
Technology Head of Hitachi Vantara

Our intelligent data governance solutions enrich data assets with valuable metadata to help simplify compliance and enhance data security. Lastly, our data analytics solutions can help customers unlock data-driven insights by making sense of complex business, human and machine data for better decision making, efficient operations and digital transformation.

How do you think businesses can capitalize on data for new opportunities and meet expanded business requirements?

Data is the foundation for digital transformation. Businesses need to be able to rapidly and automatically integrate both structured and unstructured data from multiple sources in order to achieve data integration and analytics. However, according to Harvard Business Review, less than half of an organization’s structured data is used in making business decisions, and less than 1 percent of unstructured data is used in any way at all. 

With Hitachi’s new Pentaho 8.2 release and its integration with Hitachi Content Platform (HCP), users can now build data pipelines that include structured and unstructured data sources – such as text, video, audio, images, social media, clickstreams and log files – allowing data analysts and data scientists to generate better insights that drive more business value. 

What according to you are the rising challenges that you see in data analytics and cloud services?

The growth of cloud services and the emergence of data analytics have been two of the most disruptive trends for businesses today. While cloud services have opened up new avenues for organisations to reduce the need to invest in on–premise infrastructure, data analytics has benefited businesses to lead with data-driven decision-making.

If you were to look at the challenges however, I feel some of the key hurdles include - time taking onboarding of many new data sources for analysis, management of voluminous amounts of incoming data, timely build of data lake for businesses, finding the right end–to–end data integration platforms that helps reduce the over-dependence on data developer, flexible data transformation for cloud–based solutions, regulatory compliance and continued innovation required to derive new revenue opportunities. 

How have you planned to be compliant with data privacy and governance regulations in the EU and India?

The regulatory landscape is constantly shifting. Early this year we saw the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) come into effect that applied to almost every organisation that deals with the data of European Union (EU) citizens. While this brings in cross-border restrictions, it also opens up business opportunities for Indian IT companies serving the EU market.

In India, the Personal Data Protection Bill, 2018 ('Draft Bill') submitted by the Srikrishna committee has largely borrowed principles from the GDPR in the areas of extra-territoriality and global turnover-based penalties.

We help organizations govern and protect their data in an increasingly complex multicloud environment. Hitachi Content Platform is an intelligent object storage platform based on robust compliance features, metadata-driven classification, indexing and full content search designed to lower compliance costs associated with ever-changing regulations, such as the GDPR.

What are your thoughts on the current datacenter market in India?

The Indian datacenter market is witnessing new advancements with enterprises focusing much more on datacenter modernization than ever before. The objective is to shift the focus from IT operations to innovation by bringing in automation for as many IT operations as possible.

Indian companies at all scales are looking at understanding the various degrees of complexities of the datacenter to effectively streamline the deployment, management and scaling of datacenter resources. As the modern datacenter evolves, the demand for digital services and adoption of cloud is driving the Indian ecosystem towards expanding quickly.  

With massive explosion of data and with many captive datacenters still being unequipped to handle the demands of modern computing platforms, India is definitely an exciting market to watch out for.