Shubhendu Parth (SP): The pandemic has impacted on the world immensely, both organizations and individual behaviour. How do you see it impacting the data center business?
Vivek Sharma (VS): Yes, what is happening today is unprecedented. I don’t think anyone in our lifetime has seen anything like this before. People are even comparing it to the 1918 Spanish Flu pandemic, and hence, this outbreak has reshaped the world in many ways. From the technology perspective, it is accelerating the shift to a digital world, a new normal, and I expect it to stay even in the post-COVID world.
As an organization or consumers, and as individuals, the pandemic is forcing us to press the reboot button and restart the way we work and live. From an enterprise perspective, we all can see the massive shift towards virtual and remote working models; the pace of change has got accelerated. In fact, these technologies have always been available, but people were not implementing them, citing reasons of security or trust, and concerns of productivity. Cut to today, and we now have encouraging estimates that by 2028, 75% of companies will hire remote employees, of which 33% may become full-time remote workers. However, work-from-home is the first immediate change. As we move ahead, we will see more automation, collaboration, and adoption of artificial intelligence (AI).
SP: What about the data center business, particularly from your company standpoint?
VS: When the lockdown began in India, there was a willingness to respond fast, but there was also a lot of uncertainty on how long this phase may last. That’s why the first phase was a lot about the cloud, work-from-home solutions, and VPN ramp-ups because the work environment had to be secured. But as people realized the long-term probability of the scenario, it dawned upon them that they need to weave the perspective into what one’s organization strives to be. Also, as business leaders got to actually see the strength of their digital infrastructure – resilience, or the lack of it – they got to know how well their business processes can stand up to a crisis. They got to see infrastructure agility, architecture, etc. in a new and stark way.
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