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“IoT can take e-commerce to the next level”: Sameer Bhatia, Country Manager for India & SAARC, Seagate Technology

Sameer Bhatia, Country Manager for India & SAARC, Seagate Technology
Sameer Bhatia, Country Manager for India & SAARC, Seagate Technology

The India e-retail business is expected to reach the $100 billion revenue mark by 2020, and in addition trends like IoT, big data etc. are driving the demand for digital storage capacity. In an email interview with Karma Negi of The Red Mark, Sameer Bhatia, Country Manager for India & SAARC, Seagate Technology, talks about the opportunities these trends present for them.

How prepared is the storage industry to handle the onslaught of data in India?

The consumerization of IT, big data, surveillance system, cloud computing have created increasingly connected data ecosystems, and this is driving demand for digital storage capacity. These new trends will continue to drive change in data consumption patterns and create new demands from consumers and businesses.

The storage industry is continuously evolving and the continued robust demand for storage. For example, as drives reach higher density levels, Seagate is investing in technologies like HAMR that will help to break through the storage capacity limits. At the same time, Seagate continues to work on looking to innovating and expanding capacities on HDDS using PMR and SMR technologies.

How is ecommerce impacting the data storage solution market in India?

With the second largest number of internet users in the world, India is also witnessing a rapid growth in internet ready population and online shoppers which may result in Indian e-commerce market touching $16 billion by the end of this year. With an online user base of around 100 million in 2016, some expect the e-retail business in India to reach the $100 billion revenue mark by 2020.

E-tailors today unanimously agree on technology being the backbone of their business. Be it hiring professionals at a premium or driving innovation through in-house technologies, the virtual platforms cannot do without constant improvisation in technology. Essentially, technology plays an instrumental role in e-commerce when it comes to search, personalization and customization, which entails in-depth analysis of a consumer’s buying and surfing habits, apart from streamlining payment processes and order management. Technology also plays a key role in overall administration, including merchant management, price determination and dispute resolution. With the large volumes of data generated in the process, an efficient data analytics mechanism is also of paramount importance.

The use of Big Data has become a critical force in growing revenues. The Internet has redefined people’s buying behaviour. With IoT becoming ubiquitous, e-commerce companies can explore new ways to ensure the best customer experience by real time tracking and much more options. Big Data when combined with the Internet of Things can certainly open endless opportunities for decision making. IoT connects multiple devices via the internet, generating vast amounts of data. This data, if utilised properly, can be very useful, allowing the e-commerce industry to predict precisely what, where and when a buyer is willing to pay.

Consumers’ inclination and adoption of Internet and smartphones is one of the major drivers of e-commerce in our country and with over 300 million internet users, India is surely a go-to destination for e-commerce businesses.

With the expansion of internet of things in e-commerce, how will efficient data storage infrastructure help the industry?

E-Commerce is the most lucrative model for mobile developers and IoT phenomenon at large. The IoT can take e-commerce to the next level.  With most of the growth in shopping coming through the mobile channel and customers being more open to installing apps, IoT is expected to bring a lot of changes to the E-commerce industry. The IoT has the potential to let retailers personalize customer outreach and service with laser-like precision and become more of a personal digital assistant to consumers.

How much has the demand increased for storage solutions with IoT? How prepared is the market?

IoT is at last leaving the hype phase and is becoming a revenue-creating reality. According to IDC, Asia Pacific is on the frontline for the IoT with a large number of government initiatives driving demand. The number of connected things is expected to increase from 3.1 billion to 8.6 billion by 2020, creating a US$583 billion market opportunity.

Indian IoT market is set to grow to $15 billion by 2020 from the current $5.6 billion, according to a recent NASSCOM report. Consumer IoT, which includes smart home devices as well as wearables, account for the remaining 40% of the IoT market.

The storage industry is evolving in line with the overall technology sector and Seagate continues to see opportunities in developing domains. Trends like IoT will continue to drive change in data consumption patterns and create new demands from consumers and businesses.

With the tremendous amount of data generated by IoT how are organisations handling it: large enterprise or small and medium enterprises?

The explosion of data generation is going through the roof and it is vital for both small and large enterprises to take proper steps in the right direction to find the right solutions to curb this eminent threat. In order to counter the growing massive amounts of data being generated enterprises are switching over to cloud technology and services. As a disruptive force, cloud services are taking the forefront in myriad industries, thereby, exponentially increasing business opportunities for the cloud industry. The concept of public and private cloud will continue to dominate the industry, thereby, increasing the business for storage solutions as well.

Hyperscale data centres are another solution to handle the enormous amounts of information. As per a recent report by Wintergreen Research, the market size of data centres is expected to touch $359.7 billion by 2023. The addition of secure large computing of information within data centres provides enterprises value for the cost incurred whereas a standalone data server doesn’t provide this security feature. Some of the major factors driving the cloud industry presently are cost benefit and data consolidation to a large extent.

Therefore, data generation through IoT is growing exponentially by the hour, wherein, enterprises will need to take steps in securing information as per their needs and requirements.

How is security managed in IoT data storage?

With the explosive growth in data comes a greater push for ensuring that individual and business information is secure. IDC estimates that businesses will spend $101.6 billion on cybersecurity hardware, software and services in 2020, up 38 percent from 2016.

Security is an essential conduit for business to safeguard information from eminent threats. The rise in the number of data generation devices has significantly touched the roof and is still growing, this is one of the major factors due to which the need for tuff security measures has been realised by enterprises globally. The threats to secured information have risen significantly and have become sophisticated which is also another vital reason for new security measures need to be adopted across industries.

As IoT continues to influence businesses and expand beyond it, some of the new security measures have become the new mantra to safeguard information. Each data generating device should have a secure and unique identity which is coded through an encryption technology. Another method of maintaining security in the IoT realm is to assign only proper signed codes to run on devices, thereby, decreasing the vulnerability of threats to secured information generated through devices.

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