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The worst thing about Infra-as-a-service is oversizing: Piyush Somani

Yogesh Gupta | June 28, 2016
CIOs should resist ‘Infra oversizing’ approach advocated by channels and consultants to move towards ‘pay-per-consume’ cloud model to reduce IT costs and business growth says Piyush Somani, MD & CEO, ESDS Software.

The worst thing with infra as a service in India is oversizing. The sizing is done by systems integrators or consultants. Nobody knows the secret formula but the fact remains that they always oversize the infra depending on the customer's budget. For example, for x number of users packet size, they might need to buy 20 servers and 4 storage boxes. But the utilization in most cases even after three years would have only reached 5 to 10 percentile.

I believe the oversizing of hardware requirements from day one only weakens our country's outward cash flows. Because more hardware deployed (than optimally needed) means more revenues for China (where each and every IT component is manufactured).

Are CIOs wary of moving to cloud as their comfort zone is On premise?

It's the lack of knowledge in most cases. The customers are afraid as they do not know that the infra can be sized optimally and scale as they grow. And the fact that they use 'pay per consume' model and allocate more resources, they will buy technology once in five years as they do traditionally.

Then there is compatibility issue if you bought IBM P6 series and then add P7 then that option was not available. But with x86 and open source it is now easy to integrate different solutions. However the oversizing trend continues as CIOs and IT managers are still largely influenced by SIs and consultants.

Besides infra oversizing, what are other pain points you witness with Indian CIOs?

The biggest competitors to us are channel partners of OEMs. Channels will have the same infra (mainly hardware with upgrades) of major tech OEMs. The customers are often forced to buy hardware that their partner is recommending. Or maybe the channel has worked with the same CIO across his roles across different companies. That fear is always there in CIOs and they have been buying more hardware.

Some CIOs we see have complicated their infra with AV from one, storage from other, switches from another vendor. And they have IT infra pieces from half a dozen plus different OEMs.When something goes wrong in the network, CIOs call for all OEMs but no single one takes the responsibility. We have been telling them to move out of such scenarios and outsource their IT to cloud and data services players like us.

Another change we see in the last few years is the fact that CIOs in age group of 30 to 3 5 years are replacing CIOs. aged above 50. Also new companies are having younger CIOs and CTOs than before. And these CIOs are keener to consider cloud as they have higher company goals on mind rather than their individual goals.


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