Dr. Christopher Richard, MD & Chief Cloud Architect, G7CR Technologies India

During this COVID pandemic, cloud servicing providers are emerging as one of the few corporate winners, as more online activities are happening around the world than ever before. “Our team is working continuously 24/7 and tirelessly just to ensure that we move workforces to cloud as quickly as possible because, for most of the people, its simply lights off,” says Dr. Christopher Richard, MD & Chief Cloud Architect, G7CR Technologies India, which is Asia’s fastest-growing innovative technology and services company with over 800+ businesses across India. In an email interaction with CXO Outlook, Dr. Christopher Richard talks about the impact of COVID on global economy and businesses in India, how to keep Cloud Infrastructure secure while employees work-from-home, and many more. Here are the excerpts.


Impact of COVID 19 on the Global Economy and the Businesses in India

COVID-19 will have a devastating effect on the global economy and will certainly be more intense and distinct than those felt during the 2008-09 global financial crisis. However, based on what steps are taken by the governments as well as the businesses, the recovery process will be either short or prolonged. It is a little too early at this stage to throw numbers but based on various studies, the impact could be a 195million+ job losses globally and almost 12% contraction from Jan to March in the global economy. The impact on India is going to be significant as India depends a lot on global consumption. Our country having lots of population is unfortunately not high on consumption. Indian exports of goods and services contribute to a total of 19.74% of our GDP. So, most of our revenues come from the consumption of developed countries. This means the Indian economy will be impacted significantly with any global catastrophe. Any global reduction in spending and consumption will anytime affect our economy.

Hence, this COVID-19 pandemic is going to affect Indian businesses pointedly. They are going to struggle especially some sectors that are going to get hit directly. However, in terms of economics, there is always going to be an increase in something as well as a decrease in something. So, there are going to be some businesses who are going to grow because of the crisis and there will be some who may completely get wiped out during this period. So overall, it is a struggle for Indian businessmen, especially ones who will be negatively impacted. But hopefully, the ones that will be positively impacted will be able to compensate it and keep the economy growing. It is projected that though our growth will slow down, still we will be able to grow at 1-1.5% by the end of this fiscal year. Hence let’s hope that once the crisis is through, we will be able to go back to better economy figures.

Leadership Challenges During the Time of Social Distancing

Leadership, at least in terms of our approach is being two-fold, caring for people who work for G7 and made it to where we are. We have to ensure their safety and economic stability. The second fold decision that we made is to go out there and reach out to businesses who need support to sustain and be able to keep the resources productive. So, we have gone out and selflessly, without involving commercials or money, are helping businesses move their workforces to cloud to be able to be productive from home. We believe here, it is not about only making your business survive but its also basically important that all the businesses survive. Because for you to survive today at where we are, it is important that others also survive and sustain and fight the current crisis. Hence, for us yes, leadership is going to be challenging and difficult, but our focus is only to ensure safety and economic stability and do everything that we can to ensure that every other business will be able to sustain.

Microsoft reports a 775% spike in cloud services demand from COVID-19. What are the Opportunities and Challenges for Cloud Services Companies?

The growth of cloud that we are talking here is in terms of consumption but not sure how much can be sustainable. Because Microsoft is also giving a lot of cloud services today for free to support in the current crisis because of COVID-19. But having said that, we do see some of this churning into revenue in the future. So, it is been all good for the cloud companies I would say. There are a lot of opportunities. The stress here is going to be about how long this is going to last and the biggest challenges faced is the speed at which we have to move to the cloud. Our team is working continuously 24/7 and tirelessly just to ensure that we move workforces to cloud as quickly as possible because, for most of the people, its simply lights off. They had to do everything afresh to ensure they continue to stay in business and keep running and sustain their workforces as well as their customers.

How to Keep Cloud Infrastructure as Secure as Possible, While Employees Work-from-Home

Cloud always had a set of tools available to keep workloads as secure as possible and what companies need to do is to plan their deployments of security, understand the security posture and ensure they use the best specialists who understand their security needs and accordingly design and implement. Here, I would say the challenge that we are facing today is the randomness of this COVID-19 situation where there is not enough time to plan this out. But rest assured, Cloud has enough already in place to work with any scenario and keep things as secure as possible on the cloud.

The Most Mature Cloud Tools Right Now

The tools to adapt to the cloud have existed for a long time. The problem has been with people adapting to them. However, with the current crisis, people are going to move away from their comfort zones and will be looking for how to leverage these tools to make the best out of the current situation. Some of the tools that already existed, and we see now a lot of people adapting to them are Virtual desktop VDI tools and technologies to ensure that the desktops that traditionally are on a desk in the offices are now moving to the cloud. We will also see a lot of work on keeping these desktops secure. Ensuring correct encryption, right password protection and right tracking of work by ensuring policies are created and in place, ensuring desktops are controlled centrally etc. are the things that we will be seeing as a part of this adaption. Again, these tools existed from long back, but it is only now that people are going to use them and not to forget, are going to use them more frequently from now on.

Factors Companies Need to Consider While Migrating Their Business to the Cloud

One of the major factors today I would say, though there are rummaging situations that things need to happen now, businesses need to look at this strategically because we have seen customers not worrying about the cost and just want to move to the cloud at the fastest possible way to keep the businesses running and we have also seen companies who spend a lot of time in strategy. I think, there should be a balancing act here. But the major factor that needs to be considered while migrating these people is to pause, understand and plan. We have to understand what the need is, what are the dependencies etc. because any lack of this will make the project longer and also make the experience terrible for the customers and end-users. Hence, rolling these out with a set of experienced people is important.

Advice to CIOs and IT Executives Who are Ready to Embark on the Cloud Migration Journey

The first and foremost advice will be to hang around where we learn to disrupt and change thinking. The most important thing right now is to be able to have the ability to look at reason and logic in terms of the company policies, in terms of what is necessary and what policies are most probably questionable. So right now, most of the policies in use would have traditionally been there and are being followed by the book but it is really a good time to revisit them, recheck those policies and understand what the need of the hour is. Check which ones are relevant to what we do and if it makes sense to have them anymore. Hence, for CIOs, it is time to disrupt and become more adaptive to the current times.


More About Dr. Christopher Richard and G7CR Technologies India

Dr. Christopher Richard is a Managing Director & Chief Software Architect at G7 CR Technologies India Pvt. Ltd. Also, he is a President Karnataka State Small and Medium Business Owners Association along with the Business Intelligence and Data Warehousing Consultant and Specialist. He specializes in Microsoft BI, Hyperion Essbase, Business Objects XI, Informatica.

G7CR Technologies India is Asia’s fastest-growing innovative technology and services company. Currently touching over 800+ businesses across India. Some of the disruptive offers of G7CR are free support, monitoring & governance services for Cloud deployment, Hardware buyback program. G7CR has been recognized globally for its technical capabilities.

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