Vice President – IT, Sheela Foam
“One must maintain an equilibrium between convenience and compliance.”
Storage is becoming everyone’s necessity and the size of storage is increasing phenomenally. In the current scenario where virtualization plays a very important role, storage solutions should be able to provide an expandable or rather an ever-increasing input–output ratio because when everything and anything has to be stored and retrieved, you don’t know where the volumes are going. So storage has started playing a very important role in day-to-day operations, and it is ever-growing. It, therefore, has to be agile and scalable, right from the design stage.
Earlier, organizations used to struggle with files. Today, everyone is working with electronic data as digitalization has become the buzzword. So, organizations want to digitalize and store everything that is raw. The goal is to have zero paper but lots of electronic data. One needs that kind of ample space and storage to keep everything. Structured as well as unstructured data are exponentially growing, and before you process that and take out useful data, first you need to store it. The storage space needs to have a modular approach because you need to decide what comes first and how to store the data such that you optimize the resources to the best extent possible. That is where the trend is moving.
You also need to maintain an equilibrium between convenience and compliance. It is never this way or that way, and you have to take both things into account because compliance has to go with convenience. Second, one also needs to consider the data type and how long it is to be stored. You need to identify data that is not useful or an absolute space wastage, and consider how you get rid of it such that it also takes care of your security and compliance obligations. As a data incharge or data custodian, you have to be very mindful of these things.
In fact, this is a struggle that everyone today faces because the volume keeps exponentially increasing. And it is not just structured data, but also unstructured data that is coming in from everywhere, be it text, images, or videos. Everything is getting into your data center. We have 7,000 showrooms and we use visual merchandising, so a phenomenal volume of images is flowing in each day. With AI, ML, and IoT, we work on these data sets. The data sets become so huge that someday you actually need to segregate them and throw things out of your data center, because after a period of time it is of no good.
As an organization we are following a hybrid approach. We have our own data center where all our core applications are residing. To hedge the risk, we have our DR on cloud. For all non-core applications, we use cloud. Security risk is still there on cloud, because cloud being open is vulnerable. On the other hand, a private cloud in an enterprise space, or dedicated to an enterprise, is more secure. As a philosophy, we have been using our own core applications, developed and designed by our own IT team. From a safety, security, and compliance perspective, we have far more control over it. We are working on this kind of hybrid environment and the cloud is actually being used for R&D-oriented applications, where you need expandability.