Lynk Webinar Transcript
Aman Bharti (Lynk): Hello everyone and thank you for joining us today for the Live Webinar. My name is Aman and I’m a product manager here at Lynk. We have created this opportunity to showcase the influencers, thought leaders, and innovators that make up the Lynk’s community of experts. Lynk Live is just the beginning, and we always encourage those who are interested to join us as experts OR clients and do also let us know if you would like to be similarly featured in a webinar on a topic of your choosing.
Our guest today is Javaid Iqbal, the CEO and co-founder of TransformX, a global advisory in the digital customer transformation, disruption and innovation space with a focus on AI, mobile, IoT, and data science. He advises multiple tech startups, teaches innovation, focused executive, and board-level courses globally, he’s an adjunct professor at DePaul University and is actively researching the effects of the Fourth Industrial Revolution on the developing world. He was previously the customer engagement and success later at Salesforce and held leadership positions at multiple consultancies including EY and PWC. Javaid attended Purdue University for his undergraduate studies in computer information systems and holds a master’s degree in communication systems strategy and management from Northwestern University.
Today, Javaid has put together an amazing presentation to walk us through the evolution of cloud computing, the trends it is enabling today, the growth of the global market for these services and the major players making big waves in this industry. So, without further ado, let me hand it over to you. Thanks for joining us today Javaid.
Javaid Iqbal (Speaker): Aman thank you for the opportunity, wonderful to be here and speak to the Lynk audience live. It’s always great to talk about where technology is taking us in the future, fascinating time to be part of the technology ecosystem globally as well. So, I look forward to some mutual education around this as well.
Cloud Computing – As we talk about the global landscape of how business is evolving, the growth of cloud has been one of the major enablers. The slide shows that the cloud economy by 2019 is going to reach 206 billion. Now, one can always argue that 200 billion is not that big a number (especially in today’s tech world) and especially when you look at Apple itself, it’s over a trillion dollars with its market cap. But how cloud has been enabled and how its evolved, it is starting to become clear as to how subscription or rental economies are growing faster than buying economies on a global basis. To that effect, 17 plus percent cloud growth year-over-year, in some cases we even saw more than 25 percent year-over-year growth for a good 10 years. This has enabled a lot of interesting new business models across the world, that are disrupting various industries across the board. Some of these were business models that have existed over centuries, because of its expansion and growth capabilities, is providing a new way and a new dimension of not only doing business but living.
We will discuss today, how cloud is modeled and delivered and successes are achieved out of it. We’ll also discuss how innovation enabling is done through cloud, what has been its rapid evolution, and how the cloud providers are battling for supremacy. This battle stems from the understanding of the value cloud brings to the table as well as the stakes that are ready to take this to the next level. We will also dive into the futuristic trends particularly what’s next for cloud computing.
Now, because of the varied nature of the Lynk audience or at least my understanding of the Lynk audience, we’ve got a mix of consultants, analysts and some industry practitioners here as well, so we’re going to keep the conversation somewhat high level and focus more on the business and the functional side of cloud computing. We’ll delve into a little bit of technology as well, but we’ll talk about the grander themes today and if there are any specific detailed technology-related questions, we are happy to do follow-ups and consults around them as well.
So, what essentially defines the cloud? If you think about the need for computing going forward and its tie to the growth of any business, it’s becoming harder to define the amount of actual computing power needed across the board to run existing businesses and as well as factor in the need for rapid innovation. What cloud enables is an opportunity to outsource some of this computing power (on an as-needed basis), whether its computing infrastructure, computing platforms, computing software or other such needs. It essentially allows data, architecture and entire infrastructure to sit on a computer (or in this case a cluster of computers/servers) outside one’s physical premises that can be accessed through a secure connection (internet). Now, if you think about what that really means, this giant cluster that sits outside your walls pools a lot of its resources to give the most optimum way of delivering computing back to its users with speed and agility for both business and personal use.
If you think about the Historical Perspective of Cloud, it all started with mainframes in 1960s when John McCarthy introduced mainframe timesharing. Mainframes, that have a very similar construct to cloud with a dumb terminal on one end, and all the computing power centralized in another location were the first real business enabled computing mechanisms. But as computing needs evolved, things went from mainframes to an architecture that distributed power between user machines (PC’s) and servers, called the client-server architecture. Bulk of the power in this case was sent back to the user machines and some backend computing work was done on the servers. Now, as more and more servers started to become virtualized and faster processing is needed, we are seeing the evolution in the form of cloud. And this evolution has taken the cloud from early stage novice to a similar evolution to that of the mainframes but much faster and agile. The concept again is old but what changed was faster processors and chips, intelligent designs, faster internet speeds and most importantly, leading organizations like Amazon, Salesforce, IBM, Google and others growing the ecosystem. The likes of EC2 and the S3 components of Amazon are now the foundations for most of the cloud computing pieces around the world.
Now, if you look at how Cloud is delivered in a traditional sense, the basic foundational element is Infrastructure as a Service or what is called IaaS. Amazon seems to be the most popular one around at least in the western world, but Rackspace has dented the market as well quite a bit. IBM too is trying to come in strongly, so are some of the other regional players around the world as well. Where one needs a cloud-enabled service is where one knows that some of the resources one needs to run the business or innovation, and the capability or capacity to build infrastructure in-house does not exist, one can always subscribe to housing the entire infrastructure into a subscription-based offering by Amazon or other players.
Similarly, in the case of Platform as a Service or PaaS, these are innovative functions or platforms that are built on infrastructure by a cloud company, and what they’re offering you is a platform to build your tools around; so whether it’s innovative software that needs to be built or a streaming platform, all can be done within the realm of a PaaS model. VMware, Heroku, which are Salesforce offerings do this and do many others. You do Platform as a Service or PaaS when you don’t know the resources that you need to scale the platform.
Software as a Service or SaaS is typically the most popular one around and a lot of people have been using Software as a Service for a long time without even knowing it. If you think about 1996 when Hotmail surfaced as a free email service, Microsoft bought Hotmail and for many, email became one of the first Software as a Service piece that they started using as it did not require any infrastructure to be built and kept in-house. It was hosted on someone else’s platform and even then, Microsoft paid I think in excess of $500 million for it, which, at the time was a lot of money. So, SaaS has been the one that has really in many cases made cloud offerings more popular, sexier and continues to trailblaze the way where things move forward. When you get a subscription of Software as a Service, you’re also getting the platform and the infrastructure along with that as well.
Function as a Service is a relatively new phenomenon; Amazon, Google, Microsoft and some of the other leading players are sort of delving into it now. But the idea is you’re using third party functions and paying just for them rather than them part of a bigger offering. So, you’re no longer buying or renting, subscribing to infrastructure, or platform, or software; you’re just getting very pointed pieces of the puzzle, whether they’re APIs and others as functions to be deployed to you as a service that can enhance your business model or capability that you’re trying to build as well.
Now, how are these clouds deployed? There are three Typical models of Deployment of Cloud; there’s a Public Cloud, that the likes of Salesforce and Oracle and others have made popular. These are built on a multi-tenant environment that allows a customer to have shared, low cost, no capital infrastructure which allows the capability to perform the needed computing based on business needs. Now, multi-tenant architecture is interesting. The closest parallel to a multi-tenant architecture is that of a physical building with units and floors of multiple types and dimensions. Assuming it’s a residential building; you’ve got one-bedroom, two-bedroom, three-bedroom, possibly even bigger apartments in there, and based on your need, you’re able to rent the right kind of apartment for you. So, the scale-up and down is available and allowed on an as needed basis. All tenants of this multi-tenant architecture share and use the same infrastructure, the same plumbing, electrical, HVAC, pipes, security and the works. If you take the same concept and think about the computing aspect of it as well, you’re essentially subscribing to a large cluster of servers that have the computing architecture, the data, the application, the security, and everything else built within it and what they’ve been able to do is virtualize it to your needs which provides a lot of value. So, you’re getting the advantages of a high-end, highly secure, able-to-customize software, but you’re sharing the infrastructure much like you do in a setting of a residential building that’s in a rental capacity.
Then there are Private Clouds that essentially do the same thing but allows the instance only to be for that one particular client or a division of a client. So you essentially can go to an Oracle or IBM or others and just get yourself a private version of the larger offering and have for you, the entire computing power and all the other components of software or platform or infrastructure just configured for your instance. Government/Defense Agencies, or a highly-valued bank, or healthcare provider are typically the ones that go for this option and based on the compliance that you have to adhere to, sometimes companies prefer relying on private Clouds because they realize the value they get out of not owning the infrastructure around it, yet have access to the computing needs through a dedicated instance and are even willing to pay a premium for it.
The Hybrid Cloud offerings are relatively newer that were born during the cloud-wars between public and private clouds. The idea here is that you’ve got your private instance just like you would have in a private Cloud, but then if additional computing power is needed, it leverages the resources of a public Cloud and allows you the capability to expand. So, if you’re FIFA, the Football Federation and you’re subscribing to a private Cloud, all of a sudden it’s World Cup time and you need additional computing power, it’s easier to sales up and get yourself that computing power that you need to accommodate everything around the World Cup and then go back to its normal ways once it’s done with. So, companies that offer clouds; whether it’s infrastructure or platform; software or function, are starting to become creative in the way they are delivering these cloud offerings to make it easier for consumers on the other end to be able to innovate and then continue their business functions as they grow as well. Similarly, there are some advantages and disadvantages from a technology perspective and cost perspective on each of these ways of cloud delivery as well, but the reality is that the three cloud offerings allow companies the flexibility to choose what works for them.
Cloud, if you think about it, has started to become the real Technology Innovation Enabler. We call it that because once the need for computing power exponentially rose (and continues to rise) due to some of the new technological advancements and needs, a lot of computing power is needed to run them. Whether its big data, Advanced Analytics, Web and Social platforms, Blockchain/Artificial Intelligence (AI)/Internet of Things (IoT) type initiatives and others, all need computing power that sometimes cannot be defined/calculated ahead of time but requires spikes, peaks lows to execute. Cloud provides the flexibility of scale, reduces operational costs, increases productivity and accelerates innovation to make this happen.
Artificial Intelligence, that is driving much of the conversation these days requires enables efficient, large scale and fast algorithm processing. It does it through its data storage capacity, its compute power, and then embedded GPUs as well. If you think about storage capacity and the competitional means of algorithms to go and hit against large sets of data, a lot of elasticity and bandwidth is needed for these systems to be able to sustain and grow. That rapid expansion and shrinking it needs on a continuous basis brings the AI models to life. Without cloud, no company (except the providers of these types of computing powers) typically has the capability to continuously enhance infrastructure capabilities in-house to be able to accommodate such needs. So, for a scalable growth, for embedding processing units, and then the storage of data, Cloud provides that for AI and engines that take these machine learning algorithms forward to compute better and provide the success that AI needs. Similarly, in the case of Internet of Things, the connectivity and data collection demands are increasing at an alarming rate and Cloud plays the anchor role in maturing this technology. With every electrical socket, every air conditioner, every nest device, and every electrical piece connected, the kind of data that gets emitted from each of them in a very unstructured manner, the cloud provides the elasticity and the connectivity to collect that data and compute it. Similarly in manufacturing environments, where the assembly lines have started to become complex and the introduction of robotic produces allows a lot more data than it used to require at one point, Cloud has become the essential enabler of collecting that data as well. So, a similar example. I’ll give an example of that, in the pharmaceutical industry in 2008/2009, we did this massive project, which involved tracking and tracing drugs throughout the supply chain of these pharmaceutical outfits. Each aspect of the supply chain required data to be collected from the source, from the warehouse, from the manufacturing facility, as well as the distribution facility, ultimately a pharmacy or a hospital. The challenge at the time was that Cloud computing was not as robust and as prevalent to be able to take all those data input points and collectively bring them together and be able to compute as well. Things have obviously gotten much better since then but the speed at which each of these IoT enabled sensors are starting to emit data we need more and more Cloud infrastructure outlays to be able to accommodate some of those as well.
Similarly, for Mobile Phones, that have pretty become the dashboard of our lives, each of the apps are enabling some of the living features of your mobile. So, whether it’s Snapchat, Spotify that you’re doing your music on, whether it’s any semblance of Google (Google Drive/Google Photos/Google Maps/Google Voice,) and so-forth have changed the game. Similarly, around Apple products whether it’s Siri or others, all machine intelligence that is starting to come through on mobile and the enablement is happening because of the Cloud. It comes as no surprise that Apple or Google are seizing the opportunity to sell storage solutions to their mobile subscribers, which allows them to store data that exceeds the limits of their mobile phone storage. And the evolution of some of these types of apps that are enabled by the Cloud backend would not have been possible, again without the elasticity and the evolutionary growth of how Cloud is allowing the backing and the scaling of each of these mobile devices and the apps.
If you study Netflix as a game changer, the growth snapshot of Netflix’s monthly streaming hours between 2007 and 2015, the chart can show how exponentially it has grown to greater than 1,000 percent. Now this snapshot between 2015 and now has grown considerably as well especially because of their global expansion. But the reason why I’m showing this is because the evolution of where the Cloud was not as prevalent versus Cloud starting to become prevalent, Netflix whose popularity has risen beyond imagination and has essentially become a global TV network continuously puts all its elements on the Cloud. Netflix uses Amazon Web Services and others as well for rapid computing around this and all the Artificial Intelligence that Netflix uses to really understand the customer and provide them with the kind of programming that they are enjoying and sort of lead them down that path would not be possible again. Cloud has enhanced latency, which enables not only the streaming but on top of that provide all the mathematical algorithms that are required for Netflix to do better.
There are more examples of others, Etsy is another one, they’ve moved from a ‘pay as you it need it model’. Going back to Apple, it uses some of its Cloud models to even enable the user defined experiences using Siri. So, as you’re having a phone conversation on an Apple device, the apps running in the background are constantly connected to an Apple Cloud or another and bulk of it is being done in real time which makes it so effective. Imagine, when the mobile infrastructure goes from 4G to 5G how will the cloud delivery be enabled to those models of the future. And we are already seeing minimum latency in the way your phone talks to the Cloud at the backend, that will be further reduced and more and more multidimensional services will be able to be offered as well all because the back-end Cloud is starting to get stronger and stronger as well.
So, the question then becomes, where is Cloud Headed? Who’s fighting what war in cloud supremacy? Experts maintain that everybody in the Cloud space wishes to play in each other space, this graphic really beautiful depicts where things are at. Everybody is firing at each other, yet at the same time they’re also frenemies to each other. So, if you think about how Salesforce in many cases was architected on the Oracle Cloud, the first 15 years of its existence, now it also uses the Amazon web service as well. Salesforce is working with Microsoft to bring in the Microsoft suite of applications inside the CRM Cloud. IBM is working with Microsoft and Salesforce to bring its analytics and Watson embedded into the products as well and Microsoft, which seems to be given the biggest run for the money to Amazon (not only on the SaaS and PaaS part, but even infrastructure part) is really starting to hit it out of the park, in terms of their innovation not only in terms of business computing, but also how they’ve extrapolated Xbox and brought the whole gaming aspect onto that Cloud as well. This all also would not have been enabled without the growth of Cloud infrastructure as well.
If you analyze Recent Cloud Earnings, Amazon just had a blockbuster quarter with cloud only revenue of $6 Bill. Salesforce just announced their earnings Company couple of days ago too, and again its again over 20 percent year-over-year growth, their guidance has improved as well. IBM is at the top of revenue for Q2 and is also looking at cyber security as one of its big enablers of ensuring that the Clouds are secure as they move forward as well. Oracle is continuing to dent, some of the cloud universe through its offerings and trying to find its place in the various market segments within the PaaS and the IaaS and SaaS. But Oracle has had most success in the SaaS and PaaS space recently, especially with its existing customer install base. Microsoft, like I alluded to is widening its Quarterly Revenue Cloud lead as well by $800 Million and it’s not stopping. So, a lot of interesting things happening where each of these players (big or small) are starting to take similar constructs of SaaS, PaaS, IaaS and FaaS models. But these bigger ones that are taking innovation to the next level, leveraging some of these architected tools in the Cloud are just continuing to move the needle forward in terms of technology and innovation.
Similarly, in the case of the Adoption of the Cloud, sort of building off of what we just explained in the last slide, AWS versus Azure versus Google versus IBM is the story here. In the percentage adoption spectrum, 68% is still on the AWS side. So, Amazon clearly is the market leader. But the adoption growth is coming in stronger from the others, not Amazon. And it’s interesting to see that 50% growth is on the IBM side as it tries to position Watson for everything moving forward. A clear indicator of cloud growth whether you as a provider are a beginner or a novice, have a small or large footprint of virtual machines and so forth, the adoption and scalability of Cloud is here to stay and it’s powering the innovation moving forward.
What this next segment does is it lays an interesting Comparison between the Infrastructure as a Service market of 2017 and 2018. The most interesting part is the comparison between the two years is that the 2018 model, has many fewer players than 2017, with a very simple reason that because Cloud is becoming more and more complicated, not only in the way its architected but the way it’s delivered, priced and competed in. And as we established earlier, as the enablement needs of AI, blockchain, IoT, and others grow in magnitude, it is increasingly becoming harder for the smaller ones to survive. This is becoming a game of who gets there first and who continues its supremacy one they get there. Amazon obviously is in the lead, but Microsoft is also neck to neck in some of the areas and inching closer.
What also warrants a discussion here are the Chinese Cloud Technologies. Alibaba, which has gone back into the nice player category from visionary for 2018 is an interesting story to follow and at the same time, some of the other Chinese players are also emerging as global players. It will be interesting to see how these Chinese competitors keep going right and up on the quadrant and how the architecture of the Chinese Clouds offerings emerge against the more prevalent US based ones for global and regional supremacy especially in Asia-Pacific, Middle East and Africa where they can dent more because of close proximity. US Cloud providers have been more focused on the Americas and Europe to begin with but are dabbling into some of the other regions as well.
The evolution of these clouds will also depend on the new Data and Privacy laws around the globe. Cloud Act and GDPR are the two prevalent ones at the moment and it will be interesting to see how the infrastructure wars continue to move on in 2019, given these laws and the evolution of the policies within them. Similarly, for the platform piece, Salesforce was a clear winner in many cases, but ServiceNow and Microsoft are starting to come through and some of the bigger ones also starting to take some smaller ones off the page as well. So, 2019 and 2020 even in this space will be interesting, because even though Salesforce continues to be on the top and right, Oracle is fighting hard and even Google is making a very strong push on these Cloud applications. Their G Suite and other enterprise offerings are providing them enough ammunition to compete given their wide reach globally. So, I do see Google making some sort of a dent, not only in the infrastructure space but also in the SaaS space in 2019 and beyond.
This kind of talks about how the hyperscale data center operators are starting to take this market to $27 billion, so the Cloud’s demand is skyrocketing, as well the CapEx growth, if you look at how Q1 of 15 versus Q1 of 18, you’re seeing somewhere in the $12 billion of quarter versus almost over $27 billion per quarter, so forth. So, a lot of unprecedented growth here and the top five spenders still Google, Apple, Microsoft, Facebook, and Amazon, it’ll be interesting to see how they all fare in the short and the long run. Facebook has had a challenging 2018 and how they pan out and take their needle forward in the Cloud War will be interesting to see. How much of this Cloud piece does Facebook really succeed in converting given their inexperience in the space thus far remains to be seen but their new found love to lend out the provide extra infrastructure and firepower as a service in competition with other cloud providers is an interesting move regardless. Who knows, we might even see the emergence of an able contender in the form of Facebook. Other top ten providers in this space are the Chinese Alibaba, JD.com and Tencent. The Chinese are a little late to the global supremacy game but are fast catching up. They are starting to get a lot of steam around their growth and 2020 or so, let’s see how they sort of fare up in comparison with the regular ones.
So, I wanted to bring you back to this slide that I showed in the beginning about the $200 billion cloud snapshot. This $206 billion is not going to stay this way, but will see exponential growth, especially with 5G looming in, especially with blockchain becoming more and more mainstream, especially with AI models getting more and more adoption across the board and then as more and more data gets created through IoT and big data through connected devices around the world, which are clear indicators of where this is headed. Imagine a day where every car in the street is an autonomous car that’s emitting data, every delivery of food, every communication device, everything that goes around our physical infrastructure is connected. Imagine the amount of data that is going to be needed to be not only captured, but also analyzed and stored and cloud seems to be well-positioned as a backbone for all that to happen.
So, what’s The Future of Cloud? As clouds evolve, the need to collaborate and cohabitate with other clouds also rises, which can lead to clouds colluding. And who then determines whose cloud is better than whose? Right? So, in a place where you know vendors are just pitching their products, day in and day out and talking about how their version of the Cloud is enabling better business models to take them to a new and different ways. Situations where vendor lock-ins come in that need to be definitely avoided as well. A typical vendor lock-in means you’re using the same vendor for everything and no one else is able to come in and provide any of their innovation in your space. As you think about systems that have evolved over time, whether they are Systems of Engagement that allow users to engage, whether it’s on the mobile device or on a web app, Systems of Record where data is typically stored, Systems of Innovation, where you know most of the innovation is architected and built and tested and then Systems of Communication, which ties the whole thing together, and allows the communication capability between man and machine within the system. It would be interesting to see how similar constructs happen with cloud and Cloud Engagement, Cloud Record, Cloud Innovation, and then Cloud Communication becomes the way forward into an era where application reliability and the price risk are the two factors that are going to run the gamut of things within this space.
A shift towards Edge Computing (which signifies a pattern of evolution). As discussed earlier, if you think about the mainframe stage, the client server stage, then the cloud stage, the same pattern still continues with Edge Computing. In Edge computing some of the computing capacity is thrown back on the devices, whether it’s a thermostat or a traffic signal or your watch or your faucet or even your mobile phone. Because the need to run immediate computing with AI enabled algorithms is so fast and so apparent that until the 5G models and the speed of communication between these tunnels does not increase exponentially, some of this computing power needs to be distributed back to the user devices and done locally. This micro processing (done in nanoseconds), then goes back to the cloud for complete processing. So, in essence, the devices are sort of talking to a middle layer, which gets into fog computing that gets into the cluster of Cloud, where your actual data center sits as well. We can do a separate conversation on this one as it’s a little more technical in nature but the idea, again, is to bring back home is that things went from mainframe to client-server to the Cloud and now, somewhat of a client-server model of Cloud is also starting to come through. What happens after 5G and even possibly 6G, whatever that means, is enabled. So, the evolution is following an interesting pattern around all this as well.
So, that’s it from our side today. I hope some of this was valuable and the basic understanding of what cloud is, how it’s deployed and delivered and more importantly, how it is impacting not only the market growth and innovation models, but how it’s really starting to take a lot of our areas of business and personal life to the next level. And as the need arises to buy added computing power, clouds can easily be leveraged through subscriptions and ultimate growth, success and profitability can be achieved. I thank you for your time again. Any questions, we’re available. Please reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please reach out to the Lynk and we are here to take some questions. Look forward to a productive dialogue. Thank you so much again, folks.
Aman Bharti (Lynk): Great. Thanks for that Javaid. We have had a lot of questions come in today. So, let’s focus on those more targeted towards the business and the industry in the next 10-15 minutes and we’ll try and arrange follow-ups for the more technical questions. How does that sound?
Aman Bharti (Lynk): So, let’s get started, we’ve had a range of questions come in, so let’s see how many we can get through the next 10-15 minutes. First one is, Cloud will provide not only a new method for business issues and systems, but also disruption of price, present business style, lifestyle et cetera. If the management of Cloud depends on persons or organisms could it be fair for all people.
Javaid Iqbal (Speaker): That’s a fair question. Interestingly, the fair questions are starting to become unfair in many cases as well because if you start thinking about who’s essentially running these Cloud infrastructures or architectures, it’s just a handful of companies. And as we’ve seen the evolution of how cloud companies have been from 2017 to 2018 many of them have dropped off and only the bigger ones are starting to survive. Unfortunately, a lot of the way Cloud gets architected in the future will have to come from some of these larger outfits. What may be interesting would be how US Clouds and Chinese Clouds start to do in comparison. We might see some interesting divides into how the offerings come out as we see more maturity on this. But then in terms of fairness, a lot will depend on how the future clouds get architected hopefully within the constraints and rules scrutiny of US Cloud Act, European GDPR or even Chinese laws.
Then within each country as well you’ve got local laws that govern how much of the data can leave the country versus stay in their land as well. I see many hybrid architectures rather than cookie cutter ones. The infrastructure will evolve, pricing will also continue to evolve based on the demand. Google, for example for its G Drive still charges $10 a month but now gives 2 Terabytes of storage instead of 1 Terabyte that it gave up to 6 months ago. So, we’re seeing that you’re getting more for your money, but in terms of fairness, I’d have to say that it’s a little bit to be seen and we’re at the mercy of some of these bigger providers.
Aman Bharti (Lynk): So, sounds like we’re at a juncture essentially and once you’ve established then we can talk more about the fairness debate.
Javaid Iqbal (Speaker): Something like that.
Aman Bharti (Lynk): Okay. Cool, sounds like it’s an exciting time. Let’s move on right ahead to the next question. This one’s more of a demand than a question I suppose. It says discuss how contractually a company can reserve total data security control over company owned data.
Javaid Iqbal (Speaker): So, when you’re contractually putting your data or your infrastructure in the Cloud, like I just talked about, some of that you’re at the mercy of how the Clouds are architected and how they’re governed, not always by the policies of the provider but also by the laws of the land. In terms of how data could be secure, how data could be acquired, how data moves, some of those you might have some leverage in as well based on the level of service you want to pay at, but ultimately it comes to a question of price versus the value that you receive out of that. In the case of US if you are a Government entity or a highly secure health provider or in some cases even a high-volume transactional financial institution, some of the more secure Clouds are created by the providers to cater to such needs. In that case obviously they’re more secure, price is higher, the security is better and that doesn’t show data integrity as much more than a public Cloud would. But a lot of this depends on which type of Cloud Deployment Model (Private/Public/Hybrid) was chosen as well. I think that would be my answer on this one.
Aman Bharti (Lynk): Interesting and that would determine how much control you have over your information and where it is placed.
Javaid Iqbal (Speaker): Exactly. Kind of, you get what you pay for, almost.
Aman Bharti (Lynk): Yeah, sounds good. Next question is on blockchain any discussion around Cloud would be incomplete without at least a little bit of blockchain in there. So, this is one is about that. Discuss how blockchain technology is using the Cloud and assuring that data integrity is guaranteed. It’s almost the follow-up to the previous one.
Javaid Iqbal (Speaker): Yeah, it’s almost about Data Integrity with that, again a lot of the GDPR type laws and Cloud Act laws apply here. But if you start to understand data integrity, you know this concept ensures that all data in a database can be traced and connected to other data. This also ensures that everything is recoverable and searchable as well, having a single well-defined and well-controlled data integrity system, it increases the stability, the performance, reusability, and then maintainability as well and if one of these features cannot be implemented in the database then it must be implemented through software as well. So, the integrity of data has a lot of nuances within them regardless of whether it’s stored on-premise or on Cloud as well.
In regards to Blockchain, it’s a decentralized ledger that records transactions between two or more participants permanently with verification and the verification piece is the main piece because that doesn’t exist at the moment on another platform and this piece comes in from reviewing cryptographic functions and timestamps that it adds on along the way. The transactions can be verified on multiple computers that are called nodes and making the blockchain more decentralized and transparent as well. But by design blockchains are inherently resistant to modification of data, which is why the verification becomes important, because if you’ve assumed a transaction it stays forever or at least for the foreseeable future. These ledgers which are decentralized are immutable as once data addition or transaction is made, the record of that change cannot be edited or deleted.
That’s what makes this so important within the blockchain but blockchain on the cloud, that itself is something that’s been dabbled into, there are some offerings out there, but I have not seen a super robust one yet. In principle, a system like this is easily envisioned, everything that happens to data whether it’s transport or processing or storage is entered into the blockchain and there are many examples of supply chain that is using blockchain. There’s a lot of e-commerce back engines that are starting to dabble with this as well. Afterwards what happens to this data, who accessed the data, where it went and more importantly how it was governed can be verified by anybody. Such system typically can give traceability to the Cloud entitles who are either using or administering the cloud and can be held responsible for their actions. The regulators also can audit this better as well. So, I can definitely see the need to research this more and make this area more prevalent.
Aman Bharti (Lynk): I think so, I think it does more than answer the question. An interesting point that emerged from there was a difference between data integrity and data security. They’re related but very different at the same time.
Javaid Iqbal (Speaker): Of course, we talked a little bit about integrity already, let’s talk about Data Security. When data starts to come in from many of the unsecured areas, whether it’s your air conditioner, your fan, light or the engine of your car, your tires, a lot of this unstructured-ness through these connected sensors in its current form are not as secure as some of the more secure computing systems like a laptop or a mobile phone. So, while in the integrity part relies on the traceability and connection between data, the security part relies typically on the transportation method which could be the mobile infrastructure or a physical infrastructure (some of this you do not control). A security hack during transportation of data is completely different than how the integrity works and as the systems evolve, whether it’s a Cloud architecture or the vertical technologies that the cloud enables (AI/Blockchain/IoT/others), the integrity and the security go hand in hand on both sides as well.
Aman Bharti (Lynk): Okay awesome, thank you. Let’s maybe move away from data. I guess this conversation also wouldn’t be complete without a discussion of AI and machine learning, the next question is on that. Basically, it says, is there a possibility of losing jobs especially in labor driven economies and how are they going to affect the overall economy of these developing countries.
Javaid Iqbal (Speaker): You know so that’s a very interesting question, something very near and dear to my heart as well as you alluded to in the beginning, I’m doing a lot of research on the effects of the Fourth Industrial Revolution in the developing economies. What I’m finding is that there are a lot of cultural nuances to computing in itself and the way a lot of this gets designed is or defined and design is, that typical systems in these parts of the world that are pricey to implement, many times have human resources that are cheaper to go about and do. Now how AI is changing some of the conversations is it automates some of those functions as well. Some of this automation has been around for a while. If you think about how planes or trains have been self-driving and how we are now dabbling into autonomous vehicles on the road (in the developed world), there’s a lot of back and forth in terms of the price that gets paid to implement a system that’s AI enabled versus keeping people employed. So, while in the developed world, I see some of the jobs especially industrial jobs being lost sooner to automation, the developing world might take a little longer. Even the jobs that have been lost to automation in the developed world, more value-added jobs have been added and continue to get added every day.
So, I don’t think the conversation of losing jobs may seem like the right one, but the conversation of what jobs we will be doing in the future should be the one that should be had. Because almost 80% of the jobs people will be doing in the future do not exist at the moment and because of these automation mechanisms, especially if you’re talking about just technology or IT, much of the blue collar IT has gone side the way of automation and more White-collar IT (value added) has emerged. So, some of the lower threshold jobs will be lost to the machines, still jobs that require human thinking, human involvement, human emotion, would definitely stay with the humans at least for the near future. That’s my story I’m sticking to it.
Aman Bharti (Lynk): That was good, that also kind of addresses what the next question would have been, which is do you think most jobs in the future will be around IT? So, it’s kind of already addresses that.
Javaid Iqbal (Speaker): Well, you know it’s funny so, IT itself has evolved. If you think about traditional IT as a support function for a business. So you had the silos of IT, Finance, Manufacturing, HR all the other distinct different divisions and silos of a company, both in developing and developed world as well, IT moved on from just being that support function that kept the computing or kept the lights on to actually creating the models where the innovation of the business is starting to happen. So going forward, every profession, whether it’s medicine to law, to accounting to anything else is going to have some semblance of futuristic IT within it and learning that IT will in my opinion almost become as necessary as learning mathematics to be able to do simple math. Should be an interesting evolution going forward. In the future, if you know technology, things look much safer for you and even if IT is not the domain, some exposure to it would make one safe.
Aman Bharti (Lynk): Okay and you know that actually is probably a good place for us to wrap it up today we’re already at over an hour. Let’s not take up any more of your valuable time or that of our participants. If there are any more questions that people would like answers to, please do feel free to reach out to us at email@example.com. In the meanwhile, thank you very much Javaid, thank you for being here today.
Javaid Iqbal (Speaker): Thank you for having me.
Aman Bharti (Lynk): Our pleasure entirely and thank you to our live audience and registrants for participating. Please do feel free to email us with any feedback and in the meanwhile on behalf of Javaid and the team here at Lynk, thanks for tuning in, we wish you a great day and a great weekend ahead.
Javaid Iqbal (Speaker): Thank you.
Aman Bharti (Lynk): Bye.
About the speaker(s)
Aman Bharti is a Product Executive at Lynk Global, with a strong product and business development cross-functional experience of startups and large global outfits across the Americas and Asia.
Javaid Iqbal is the Co-Founder & CEO of TransformX. He has previously served as a Customer Success & Engagement Leader at Salesforce and held various leadership positions at multiple consultancies including EY and PwC where he spearheaded large-scale complex business transformation efforts for global Fortune 100 clients and Federal & State and Local governments across North America, Europe & Asia.
About Dialogues In Digital
The rampant pace of technology and its impact on the environment often makes it near-impossible to take a breath and realize the countless upheavals affecting organizations, industries, and societies in real-time. Events and breakthroughs with widespread repercussions can go unaccounted for and their potential lost forever. TransformX’s Dialogues In Digital Series is one attempt to assemble business leaders from a wide cross-section of industries and geographies to share their insights on such disruptive developments and highlight the role that key stakeholders in the leadership ranks can play in their sphere to become a crucial cog of their industries and ecosystems. Catch these conversations on our YouTube channel and follow us on our social feeds for the latest and greatest in the world of digital innovation.