When one first visit the office of 22By7 at JP Nagar, the first thing one can notice is that the average age of the organization as a whole would be not more than 35. Besides their busy schedules, Cell IT managed to grab M Venkata Ramana Murthy, Prime Mover, B Sudhir Babu, Director, Sales and Amarnath Reddy who heads the security practice for a focus group discussion on the current scenario of the IT industry and how channel partners should evolve themselves to meet the expectations of the CIOs.
Sudhir hinted that the role of any channel partner in the entire eco-system is changing and today the channel fraternity has to literally bridge between the OEMs and IT heads in all aspects- right from education on the product till implementation. Adding to that Venkat said that CIOs today are well-educated and they know the partner capability. “Especially for a solution like storage or security which cannot be compromised within their office premises, the IT-decision makers today are clear on which partner should be identified for their projects.” Agreeing to both of their views, Amarnath further added that today the channels have the advantages of multiple-vendor tie-ups where, they can educate the customer, sell the right product for their requirement, whereas, in a direct-pitch from the vendor will always look at moving the products despite knowing the actual need of the solution. Sudhir Interrupting the same, added that this holds true for the new role in enterprises- Chief Information Security Officer (CISO). “A CIO/CISO always need a second opinion in the era of IoT, ByOD where the perimeter of the gadgets brought to office is extended. “ Venkat recalled the earlier scenario and was telling that security was well-defined in an area which is not true and hence in such situation, the role of a channel partner becomes a dignified consultant role. Amarnath Reddy predicted that the top investments in security (as of today), are Ransomware, targeted attacks and zero-data threats.
When the topic moved towards the way investments in security are concerned, Amarnath Reddy stressed the point that investment towards security should never be linked towards the profits of the organization as like an ERP. “Security is not generally an investment that results in a profit. Security is more about loss prevention. In other terms, when you invest in security, you don’t expect benefits; you expect to reduce the risks threatening your assets”, Amarnath says while Sudhir gives a apt term for security- insurance. “We do not expect the returns on an investment towards life-insurance. So does security. “
On gearing up towards the way industry is moving towards, Venkat said that industry is moving towards analytics in all aspects and the channels should prepare themselves on the way industry is moving towards. “Yes. I see investment towards cloud are increasingly high. Four years before, we thought cloud will remain a buzz word forever. Now, it is different. I am pretty sure the cloud is going to be the future”, Sudhir said. Agreeing to disagree with his views, Venkat said that everyone is not fully compromised with cloud and 100% cloud will be a distant dream though in Indian scenario.
Amarnath on his part, threw light on the hidden cost involved in the cloud and India as a country, in terms of the pipes for broadband is not prepared for the internet speed. Defending his views, Sudhir asked, “How many of the start-ups today know that they need a channel partner to deploy data-center. What they do is simply go for either of the two leaders and go as their plan is only for an year.” Amarnath added that might work for a start-ups while established companies are not willing to go 100% cloud. However, the ratio in enterprises will be a mix of both of data-center and cloud model.
Concluding the discussion, Amarnath also said that CASB has already picked-up abroad. A Cloud Access Security Broker (CASB) is a software tool or service that sits between an organization’s on-premises infrastructure and a cloud provider’s infrastructure. A CASB acts as a gatekeeper, allowing the organization to extend the reach of their security policies beyond their own infrastructure.