Workplace users around the globe need reliable access to applications and data, regardless of their location. Today, it is mission critical to allow users to work from anywhere at any time. Industry thought leaders came together on a virtual platform organised by Pro MFG Media to share their perspective on how they are addressing this critical issue.
Today, organizational workloads are transitioning to the cloud, which allows for rapid expansion, deployment, and provisioning. Moreover, users require more SaaS applications along with their existing applications. And all of this must be done while maintaining and securing those assets. It is in this context that the recently organised Citrix Leadership Think Turf - CIO Round Table powered by Pro MFG Media, discussed the role of technology in reimagining the future of work, at the office or from anywhere. The esteemed panellists included Nagarajan Vaidyanathan, Head IT Infra - Britannia Industries Ltd, Sanil Nadkarni, CISO – Byju’s Future School, Satish Kumar Dwibhashi, SVP & CISO – InMobi, Rajesh Koneru, AGM - Laurus Labs, Venugopal G, General Manager - Robert Bosch, Amit Didolkar, Regional Sales Director – Citrix and Thejo Murthy, Technical Leader – Citrix. The panel discussion was moderated by Burgess Cooper, Cybersecurity Partner & Deputy Leader - EY India.
The panellists deliberated on the following points:
Developing and implementing an operating model that is oriented around the cloud.
Strategies for improving team collaboration in the workplace.
Building the right tech stack for hybrid work.
How IT leaders ensure better visibility over cloud access.
Making access to applications secure, reliable and cloud compliant.
Setting the context
The event was set rolling by Amit Didolkar, Regional Sales Director – Citrix, who spoke about building a hybrid work strategy. He highlighted three key themes while laying the context of the discussion. These included empowering secure and distributed work, boosting worker productivity, and accelerating IT modernization. “There is a keen sense in organizations to understand whether employees are doing better while working remotely. In our experience, we have found that a robust framework for remote work has actually impacted productivity positively. Also, we have seen that a significant number of plans, which originally were 3-year or 5-year plans, have accelerated as a result of the changed environment,” Mr. Didolkar said. “The deliberation, which originally used to occur based on total cost of ownership and other metrics that were more cost oriented, has now moved to a discussion around agility which pretty much is the fulcrum on which organizations are deciding what they need to do in terms of their modernization or transformation initiatives.
We believe that success will go to the organizations that can deliver a unified, secure, and simplified work experience, across every work channel and location,” he stated.
Thejo Murthy, Technical Leader – Citrix, added that there is no one solution that fits all because companies are now adopting the hybrid work model. “That’s why our focus is on providing solutions that are integrated as well as elaborate. The entire workspace is embraced by the zero trust principle, which essentially not just delivers the applications but also secures the applications. We give a workspace to the user that is both agile and modernized. At the same time, it provides security aspects that any organisation would need.”
The focus is shifting
Sharing his views on agility and transforming the workspace, Nagarajan Vaidyanathan, Head IT Infra - Britannia Industries Ltd, said that being a manufacturing organisation, cloud was not a focus area initially for Britannia. “However, after this pandemic we realised that to meet customer expectations it was necessary to be agile and that the cloud is an increasingly important strategic priority for us. Our key focus areas in terms of meeting customer expectations are speed, flexibility, cost and reliability. The reliability factor also comes with security as an important element for our organisation. In alignment with this principle, we are also working towards enabling a simplified and secure user experience. So we are working with various cloud providers in that direction.”
Rajesh Koneru, AGM - Laurus Labs, remarked that due to the workload nature, his organisation is not on cloud and continues to work on webserver. “But we may look at moving our finance and data analytics to the cloud in future.”
Security is the key
Speaking in the context of his organisation, Sanil Nadkarni, CISO – Byju’s Future School, shared that the organisation is absolutely on the cloud. “We are born in the cloud. The challenge is that due to the current work from home scenario, people are spread across the globe. More and more employees are working from home and they are working from their own devices. That brings in an enormous amount of risks as we are dealing with BI data and we are governed by various compliances and laws. So we are exploring solutions to protect and secure our data. But remote access does present a risk to us. The need of the hour for us is to look at a technology infrastructure where our data remains secure while employees work remotely.”
While commenting on his organisation’s modernization journey, Satish Kumar Dwibhashi, SVP & CISO – InMobi, stated that in line with the trend of working on not one but multiple clouds, InMobi is not different. “As you leverage more and more technology, security becomes paramount. On top of that, remote working is definitely a major challenge for us. So we have embarked on the implementation of solutions and systems to secure our operations and data. We are trying to ensure that the basic hygiene is maintained across all the clouds. But it is work in progress and the way things are moving we need to constantly evolve and innovate.”
New strategies, new models
Venugopal G, General Manager - Robert Bosch, pointed out that cloud and cybersecurity are integral to digital strategy and it has been further reinforced due to the pandemic. “The pandemic has accelerated digital adoption which includes cloud and cybersecurity. Many things that we thought will not be digitalized are getting digitalized now. For example, remote working is very much in the game now. In fact, we have implemented digitalization and remote working even in the manufacturing space in the last six to eighteen months. So yes, digital priorities have suddenly changed. New business models are actively pursued.
Although some companies may still not be on cloud but many organizations are now exploring subscription models that they would have never looked at in the past. So in this remodelling of businesses, digital and cloud do play a key part.”
Amit Didolkar, Regional Sales Director – Citrix, also highlighted that remote working has completely changed the strategy of organisations in terms of the devices used by their employees due to the logistics challenges. “They are now looking at the BYOD strategy. At the same time, organizations also need to ensure that people who are working remotely are productive and have the right tools to work from anywhere they want. That is why organizations are looking at an agile workspace that enables remote working.”