I interviewed Dave Chopra who discussed Globalization of IT Services and Impact of Digital and Automation.
Today we're speaking with Dave Chopra who is the vice president of Infrastructure Services at Wipro, and the topic for today is the globalization of IT services and the impact of digital and automation. So, Dave, can you first provide a brief background of yourself?
Hi, Dustin, and nice to speak with you today. Firstly, thank you for having me on your conversation. As you know, my name is Dave. I've been in the industry for long. I recently joined Wipro about two years ago, and I head up a significant part of their infrastructure business. I'm based out of the United States in New Jersey.
Thanks. The issue of IT, the infrastructure business, it's not new, but can you talk about some of the growth drivers, whether it's continuing to grow and what has been changing and hasn’t been changing?
I think that's a deep question for it to be the first one. But if you really look at the history of infrastructure services, I think this has been one of the oldest businesses that has existed in the IT business community. It started all the way back when mainframes and punch cards were still alive. And I think that the real change, and I think that the important part of the discussion is globalization, which essentially started to happen after the dot com burst, which is in the year 2000. And that essentially was because the birth of the internet and connectivity. In earlier days, it was very difficult to support, maintain anything that was mission critical because the connectivity across the world was just not as robust and as consistent as it became after that.
So I think if you really dial back around 17 years, you would see that infrastructure services, and to that extent, the support services across infrastructure and applications and, even to a large extent, business processes started to bubble up in different parts of the world. And as things would have it, India started to emerge on the global map as a credible source of this support framework. And the reason why that happened was obviously skill in abundance, education in abundance, and the cultural and the sociological system of India was built on a very strong foundation of education. And it started then.Also what started was the other such economies of the world — mostly like the Philippines, Costa Rica in Latin America. And what started to happen was as education was getting more and more important in these geographies, so was the availability of talent pool that was coming out of the door of engineering colleges and graduate colleges and was available for these new age companies to take leverage of and provide such support services. And that is when these companies started to come to life and was the birth of globalization.
Now if you really fast forward, and if you take jumps of five years each at a time, from 2000 to 2005, I think the Western world just started to look at the Western world, started to experiment with the cost structures and the socioeconomic situations that were not really known to them and started to indulge with these economies and these cultures to see if that fits into their mindset of how they wanted to provide support and operations to their businesses.
By 2005, it was fairly established that this would work. So from 2005 to 2010, you saw a rapid, rapid growth of globalization in the IT context with application development, maintenance, support, infrastructure support, and even mission critical processes both on the application, business processes on the infrastructure side, started to become more and more globalized. And what people also realized in that timeframe was that you need to spread out your operations to cater to the risk of a disaster, which the world, unfortunately, experienced at some point in some geographies. And then the globalization truly started to take shape, and businesses, large businesses, started to really leverage a...either follow the sun or a typical onsite/offshore model to be able to provide a radically lower cost structure and a definitive quality in how they wanted to support their businesses. So this happened in 2010, and that was the birth of efficiency in the context of IT.
So 2010 to 2015 became the age of the newer thought process of trying to do things much faster, much cheaper, and with a lot more better quality. And that is where automation was born. And if you look at automation, those were the days when RPA, which is the robotic process automation just became relevant. And from then to now, it's really kind of taken a paradigm shift, And
today we all talk about either Watson of IBM or Wipro where these are much more advanced and cognitive in that sense. So 2010 to 2015 was a time when people started to experiment with the fact that can a machine do a lot more than it used to do before, and can that provide a better cost structure, a better quality of service and a better-globalized state of operation. Now, not only in the physical world but also in the virtual world all so that the businesses can take advantage of that.
I think now we are in this, and of 2015 to 2020 where, because of digital, because of the five forces of SMACK, as you call them, and as IOT become more and more relevant and real in our lives, the data is just, in some sense, founding the planet. And if you really look at some statistics, it's said that there will be an excess of 15 billion devices that will come online by 2020. And if you would just think about the amount of storage imbued, even raw electricity of power that would be required to sustain these devices that would take the current world 2 times over.
So we are promising now, I think globalization became established in 2005 and then saw rapid growth from 2005 to 2010. In 20015 information and social media became established. Now we are seeing massive extension and massive explosion in application of these technologies. For people like us in all of that has to be supported, and that can only be supported if the operation is seamless, is 24/7, is globalized, and not only in the real world but also in the virtual world. And there is a constant need to improve the quality of service every day.
So kind of a long answer to a very short but deep question that you asked. What is globalization, and what does it mean to the world of IT and how has the last 20 years been in terms of growth and what does it mean in terms of IT. The growth has just started again.
What about the next 20 years. Do you see what might be happening in the next 20 years that organizations need to adapt to?
I will say, for lack of better words, I would fool myself if I talk anything beyond three years, because who knew 20 years ago that there would be a Steve Jobs and a company called Apple that would own enough money to by the world 2 times over. But I think the next three years we will see a lot of change in this world.Data centers will be powered by the sun or the wind completely. The data will be stored in a biometric secure format. So we would not have keys and identity management. It would be our fingerprints and our eyes or the retina which would contain or DNA information that would unlock things. Everything that we touch with be digitally identifiable, and most of what we would do will be more and more in the virtual world than in the physical world. That interaction with the virtual world will become much more significant, much more deeper and we're already starting to see that with autonomouAnd today, between Google and Apple, they can figure out which part of the world I am and where my car is respective, or which flight I take. They know where I park and where I have to be. So it's changing really rapidly, and I think and the next three years, we'll get more and more dependent of these technologies and to a point, businesses will not be able to run with these technologies. And I think the retail business in the Western world is starting to see that impact and this year, if we closely looked at these reports of the last quarter, most of the brick and mortar shops are going out of business and Amazon continues to grow.
It's the virtual world that is taking over. And for the next three years, that will continue to happen. And all of those will be...The experience of the next three years will be defined by clicks and likes.. Therefore, a lot of data will be generated and all of that data will be stored, analyzed, reacted upon. And at sometimes, it will be vulnerable for attacks. And therefore, the IT spend will need to get very focused on how to maintain this data, how to secure this data, and how to make meaningful sense from this data.
Thanks for sharing today, Dave. Did we cover all the points you wanted to make?
Yes. I think so.
About Dave Chopra
Vice President, Global Infrastructure Services