Hitachi Data Systems (HDS) is aggressively taking initiatives to partner with various government agencies in India. Mygov.in is a crowd sourcing initiative from Prime Minister’s Office (PMO), for which Hitachi Data Systems is an information infrastructure partner. The Japanese firm is also a key partner in the National Knowledge Network project, a multi-gigabit pan-India network which is a key enabler of Digital India project. “Our business with the government has been growing significantly over the years,” says Vivekanand Venugopal, vice-president & general manager, Hitachi Data Systems in an interview with Sudhir Chowdhary.
Give us an overview of HDS’ business in India during the past one year.
While our customers have been driving our transformation, partners have been accelerating it and today we are positioning ourselves as a data company. If you just roll the clock back to HDS over the last three decades our business has been focused around data and with digital transformation becoming very rampant globally you either do it to survive or to excel or you are what I call, non-existent. So, to help customers drive digital transformation as a business strategy, data becomes the foundation and data is our middle name.
With that strategy we are now in a position to go to our customers and provide IT solutions that is helping them. Financial year 2015 was the fastest year for us. We grew 39% y-o-y and the strategy we executed was digital transformation, helping customers manage their data, govern their data and more importantly analyse that data for business and such, as they become competitive.
The other two areas where we have started to play a good role is how we are helping customers drive better customer experience and also provide them some insights to take some business decisions.
Talk to us about some of the projects you have undertaken with government departments in India.
Our business with the government has been growing significantly over the years. At one level we are transforming from within, transforming from being a storage-centric enterprise solutions company to a provider of IT solutions and services. The government has played a very important role in accelerating our transformation and some of the projects that they have implemented are very path breaking and transformative in nature.
If you look at employee provident fund they don’t have a lot of legacy systems, they were acting in what I call as mode 1 IT. But now they want to shift and run what I call a bimodal sort of an operation leveraging digital technologies to transform the way they are servicing the citizens of this country.
That’s a very good example of using the Hitachi IT platform to deliver a better customer experience to the users of the EPFO application. Today that’s gone in from automation and now it’s gone mobile. Everyone who is registered with the employee provident fund can access his provident fund statements and transact on his mobile device. It is a good transformation project and would not have been possible without the partnership with the government establishments. It speaks very highly that digital transformation is not just in the enterprise, it’s happening in the government as well.
What about the work you have done for National Knowledge Network and myGov initiative?
The National Knowledge Network is a mechanism where the government has put together the requisite infrastructure to ensure knowledge is freely accessed and disseminated. At the end of the day if knowledge can be used to transform society then the overall capital index of the country goes up. So again they have used our IT infrastructure and unique digital transformation technologies.
I think the myGov initiative is a mechanism which this government came up along participated governance. So again our IT platform runs the myGov initiative. One large project that we are very proud of is out of 33 state datacentres that are available in the country, 28 of them have Hitachi IT which provides business continuity services for all the state datacentres.
How is the shift from premise storage to cloud being taken and accepted by the government?
I would say very high. They are already executing numerous projects in the cloud. They are also looking at ways to accelerate the roll out of IT services and the fastest way is to go and deploy that in the cloud. The good part is India is starting to have a good pool of MNC cloud providers setting up bases here. We also have local cloud providers who are partners of HDS who are accelerating the rollout of new services and the government is going to be the fastest adopter of those cloud services.