“IT road-mapping always comes with a lot of unpredictability,” says Rohit Singal, Rahi Systems’ VP – Sales, India and SAARC.
That’s true, what Rahi’s Rohit Singal said. When the COVID-19 virus hit the world two years ago, nobody was prepared for it. And suddenly, the pandemic got impacted all including people and businesses.
But with the help of technology and innovations in IT, organisations in many IT backed industries overcame the challenges of the pandemic. They started functioning on a remotely distributed work model, leveraging cloud-based applications, workloads and IT infrastructure.
Certainly, the two years of the pandemic saw a wide range of impacts on the world. It broadly changed the way how businesses and organisations function along with their remotely working employees. Simply, the pandemic years altered IT roadmap initiatives across organisations irrespective of the industry or segments they operate.
In this interview, Rohit Singal, Rahi Systems’ VP- Sales, India and SAARC speaks to TechHerald about IT road-mapping initiatives and infrastructure needs for organisations in the post-pandemic scenario. He also discusses Rahi Systems’ partnerships with data centre providers, the company’s road map this year as well as shares the key concerns of customers and much more.
Q1. As we are now in the post-pandemic phase, what’s your perspective on organisations and their IT roadmap? How are organisations planning their IT and infrastructure needs and how does Rahi comes into this picture?
Rohit Singal: Definitely when this pandemic hit nobody was prepared for it. It suddenly came in and we all got impacted because of the pandemic. And especially the IT road-mapping always comes with a lot of unpredictability.
Because the technology is fast evolving, there’s competition and you have changing applications. So to be very competitive and to sustain the business, the IT leaders need to deploy technology – when they need it and when they want to use it.
In earlier days, people used to get a budget like the IT budget, which typically will come once in two or three years, or maybe every year. And they will do the spending on IT and by the time the deployment happens, they realize that their business needs something else.
And the supply chain situation is so flawed these days, even the leading OEMs like Cisco or Juniper which are the key components for any IT backbone. They are having lead times, ranging from six months to sometimes 18 months. So it’s very difficult to live with the traditional way of adopting technology.
In my opinion, the best way to consume technology is through a service-centric consumption model. So that is – pay only when you want to use it. This brings a lot of flexibility for the IT managers and the companies also can adapt themselves to the changing times, changing needs of the environment such as people in hybrid working scenarios.
They need to collaborate easily as possible, they want access to their files from wherever they are. They want to work and need to be productive. So organisations need to deploy architecture that enhances their efficiency and is flexible enough to manage their changing requirements.
My take is that they should really go for the cloud or maybe host some applications on the cloud and slowly move their ad hoc or old applications to SaaS-based services.
And to enable this, they need a partner like Rahi Systems, who can leverage the most flexible IT consumption model for them. We can understand their network architecture, which is most suits their environment and help with seamless migration or adoption of cloud technology.
Q2.Going into this year, will there be any change around IT budgets or in terms of the consumption model due to the post-pandemic situation?
Rohit Singal: Pandemic has changed the global working model. Now organisations knowingly or unknowingly have adopted the hybrid working culture and because of this, companies are moving to cloud-based data centres. So innovation, efficiency, sustainability – are the driving force behind any data centre technology.
We are using cloud servers which means using somebody else resources – and they are ensuring good quality of the system, maintaining that system properly and can optimize it. These large cloud-based data centres help us ensure better resource optimization. They provide the highest level of security to any organisation and so at any given time, files or documents stored online can be accessed from anywhere.
For example, if I have to build my infrastructure, it gives a lot of load on the capex investments that I have to shell out money immediately and plan for it. As I mentioned earlier, with the lead times and changes in technology, the IT managers cannot manage the changes so rapidly, as the business needs are changing.
Due to this hybrid working model, the cloud is the best option and Rahi is helping those customers, to understand their workloads and guide the best way to migrate without any disruptions, downtimes and with no impact on their applications or infrastructure. And also help in minimizing the costs, increasing efficiencies and making it more suitable for their business environments.
Q3. You mentioned that organisations should look at cloud-based services or service-based models. So how can Rahi’s partnerships with cloud and data centre providers in India and globally help customers?
Rohit Singal: Rahi is a global data centre player and IT solutions provider. Since its inception, Rahi has been in the data centre space and that’s our core strength. Even before the pandemic, Rahi had been in partnerships with all the leading data centre providers in India and globally.
We have these strategic relationships and have already helped many customers to identify the locations, the kind of scenario, the co-location spaces, the cloud services. Because it’s not about just renting or leasing outer space – a data centre may be a huge structure with racks, storage capacity or computing. But what the customer needs is an end to end solution that data centre providers cannot provide.
Rahi has strategic partnerships with India’s leading data centre providers or OEMs like Yotta, CtrlS or NxtGen, we lease out the space, do and manage end to end for the customer. We are only utilizing the compute capabilities, or the physical space from the data centre provider.
For the customers, Rahi is the one, single point of contact for all their requirements – whether it’s storage, computing or any applications they want to host. It’s very tough for an organisation to suddenly migrate from on-premise to the cloud. So Rahi as a solution provider can serve their requirement as well.
We provide them with the best solutions based on their workloads, placement of DR (disaster recovery sites), which applications should be on-premise or SaaS-based – that’s the value add Rahi brings to the table for its customers.
Q4. Going ahead, with all these partnerships, what’s the roadmap for the company this year?
Rohit Singal: From the technology standpoint, our focus is on the cloud. That’s the roadmap, the way the industry is moving. Because it gives a lot of flexibility to the users, to the customers – they can leverage the cloud technology, whether it’s a small or big customer. It’s very ideal to migrate workloads to the cloud because you don’t know when is the next disruption going to happen right.
Suppose I am having an office in Delhi and suddenly the pandemic hits and so I have to shut down my office. So when my applications are on the cloud I have distributed workloads across different locations so I can mitigate that risk.
Organisations currently are focusing on the performance, security and technology that business requires. What we feel is technology moving toward the cloud, people still who are on the on-prem scenario are migrating their applications and there will be multi-cloud applications. And we are having solutions to help the customers manage the multi-cloud effectively and efficiently. So that’s the broad roadmap, we see for the current year.
Q5. Lastly, based on customer interactions and their needs, which are the key concerns for organisations or their CIOs, while engaging with cloud or data centre providers?
Rohit Singal: They need security and security is their number one concern. Because they have to take care of the security compliances when they have to host the applications on the cloud. Security clearances are an area of concern. And Rahi being a global platform, we have been able to provide the customers with the best security practices and technologies, which are even helping BFSI kind of customers to migrate, without any risk.
The second part is flexibility and sustainability. They need a solution that is quite flexible, easy and sustainable and not temporary. Considering the post-pandemic scenario – this hybrid workspace is going to continue and it is not a temporary phenomenon anymore. So companies are shrinking their infrastructure, saving on the rentals or maybe the space as they are used to the hybrid way of working.
And even they can attract the best talent. For example, somebody is in Gujarat or maybe in Indore that might not be able to come to Bangalore or some of the metro locations. But given the flexibility that cloud or our solution gives this is something which they sought after. Yes, they need more security than flexibility and sustainability – so these are three key things that customers look at during the post-pandemic scenario.
(Watch this entire interaction with Rahi Systems’ VP of Sales, Rohit Singal on TechHerald YouTube channel)