India Markets close in 3 hrs 54 mins

Hybrid cloud strategy should not be an afterthought, says Red Hat’s Frank Feldmann

Sudhir Chowdhary
Frank Feldmann, vice-president, Apac Office of Technology, Red Hat Asia Pacific

Today, India is second only to China as the largest and fastest-growing cloud services market in Asia Pacific. Cloud strategies now cut across almost all industry verticals including banking, manufacturing, automobile, telcos and oil and gas. "Since a single cloud environment is unlikely to adapt to changing customer and market needs faster, hybrid cloud is becoming the preferred architecture for enterprises," Frank Feldmann, vice-president, Apac Office of Technology, Red Hat Asia Pacific, tells Sudhir Chowdhary in a recent interview. Excerpts:

Several enterprises are moving towards a multi-cloud or hybrid cloud approach as part of their digital transformation strategies. What can you attribute as the key reasons for this trend?

Today's digital world is driving organisations to ramp up the adoption of cloud solutions for faster innovation, agility, scalability and cost efficiency. Since a single cloud environment is unlikely to adapt to changing customer and market needs faster, hybrid cloud is becoming the preferred architecture for enterprises. For example, public cloud has several benefits but for some workloads it may not meet an organisation's specific security, compliance and regulatory requirements. Similarly, some highly optimised or secure workloads can continue to be deployed in bare metal and virtualised environments.

By using a combination of public and private cloud infrastructure, organisations gain flexibility to move applications, workloads and data across IT environments (on-premises, private, or public clouds) as necessary. According to a recent IDC report, by 2023, 55% of India 500 organisations will have a multi-cloud management strategy that includes integrated tools across public and private clouds. As a result, many organisations are looking to embrace hybrid cloud and multi-cloud strategies to accelerate their digital transformation journey.

Can you throw some light on the open hybrid cloud and the benefits it offers to enterprises?

Organisations need hybrid cloud strategies that empower their developers. It should provide developers a platform that allows them to design & deploy applications that are responsive to the business needs of today and tomorrow, regardless of the underlying hardware or cloud architectures. It should give them freedom and flexibility to choose from the ever-growing palette of development tools such as programming languages, databases and web servers - to build and test their applications, without worrying about the infrastructure.

Red Hat's cloud portfolio provides enterprises the ability to build a comprehensive and cohesive cloud infrastructure that is compatible with a diversity of technologies and topologies.

Which are some of the key sectors adopting such a cloud strategy in India?

CIOs in India are at the front of the incubation phase, wanting to adopt cloud-hybrid cloud, or poly-cloud or multi-cloud strategy. Today, India is second only to China as the largest and fastest-growing cloud services market in Asia Pacific. Consequently, cloud strategies now cut across almost all industry verticals including banking, manufacturing, automobile, telcos and even oil and gas. For instance, BFSI players such as Barclays Bank, DBS Bank and Deutsche Bank wanted to modernise their applications along with ensuring a faster delivery time to customers. They adopted the Red Hat OpenShift Container Platform for better agility and scalability.

Tell us a little bit about Red Hat's strategy to grow its cloud business in India as well as globally.

At Red Hat, our approach is to help customers implement a hybrid cloud that is built around three tenets. First, start with a hybrid cloud infrastructure that is built from the ground up to enable flexibility, choice, control, security and agility for a thriving business. Second, piece together a development platform to help your developers build and deploy cloud-native apps. If Red Hat Enterprise Linux is the open operating system of the enterprise, Red Hat OpenShift Container Platform is the common platform bridging traditional and modern applications across the hybrid cloud. Several best-of-breed middleware solutions can be deployed in OpenShift.

Finally, management tools to orchestrate workloads and automation tools to simplify day to day operations are essential for delivering the complete value of a hybrid cloud. The past year has been great for Red Hat. We entered into strategic partnerships and aggressively went to Tier II and Tier III cities in India. In the coming year, we will strive to sustain this momentum and expand our presence in mid markets in India.