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Movers and Shakers of the new digital age

Kaustubh Patwardhan | Director – SE, Asia & HK, Ashnik
Singapore, 13 Mar 2020
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13-Mar-2020

Technology has a growing impact on various aspects of our lives. And thanks to the digital revolution, it is more so today. We all are becoming Digital-First consumers, with high expectations for the services that we use. Experiences should be as cool as Apple’s, as engaging as Instagram’s, as convenient as Grab’s or even as slick as Amazon’s 1-Click. If customers expect increased dynamism at the front end, then the system architecture, software development and infrastructure changes at the backend must be agile enough to handle it. Thus, evolved the DevOps and CI-CD Philosophy, wherein Development and Operations work hand-in-hand to cope up with evolving business needs by providing flexibility and scalability at the same time.

This DevOps and CI-CD philosophy can be realised today by various organisations in the true sense, because of the success of two revolutionary movements on the technology side – one revolutionary movement started three decades ago in 1989 by Linus Torvalds, who addressed the challenge of proprietary and restrictive access to software development bringing forth the collaborative software development in fashion. That revolution is the Open Source Revolution – community led software development providing freedom and flexibility to organisations, and at the same time bringing innovation.

You can join a software development community, contribute your ideas, customise the source code, use it for yourself, and at the same time contribute back to community for others to use. This revolution helped in making software development faster as many developers were contributing to new features in rapid amount of time. In addition, this Open Source movement made software more secure by many more eyeballs reviewing and correcting the source code for any potential bugs or security lapses.

This Open Source revolution provided Scale of Development and reduced the cost of software development drastically in turn. In order to bring value on a large scale and reduced cost of software development to enterprises in mission critical workloads, many innovative business models came up with providing subscription-based support and value-added tools. In short, Open Source revolution democratised the way software development happened.

The other revolution has, almost overnight, turned traditional advantages of scale, either computing or storage or network or services on its head. For eg: a very small company working out of a garage can now access computing power, high end server farms and various analytical and software capabilities that were previously accessible to only those privileged and well-funded industry giants.

This particular revolution is the Cloud Revolution. Organisations such as AWS, Microsoft, Google are building IT infrastructure at such a large scale and bringing economies of scale to businesses by providing Infrastructure as a Service. In addition, many more platforms and software are now commonly available on such Cloud platforms on demand. This has provided flexibility to customers in using compute, storage, network, platforms and services as and when required, at whatever scale they want to operate at; and pay only for what they use. You don’t need to be a well-funded organisation to leverage power of infrastructure. This Cloud Revolution has thus democratised the access to Infrastructure namely – computing, storage, network and analytical capabilities.

Today, the market wants to marry these two revolutions – Open Source and Cloud revolution – by using Open Source technologies on Cloud platforms. AWS RDS with support to many Open Source technologies, AWS Aurora compatible with Postgres and MySQL or GCP’s support for various Open Source technologies are some of the examples. This will marry scale of software development together with scale of infrastructure. It will help leverage flexibility, innovation of software development on highly scalable cloud platforms. This will allow new services, solutions to be consumed as a Service model. Both these revolutions are disruptive in themselves, and I have no doubt that businesses who tap into the marriage of these two revolutions are going to be Movers and Shakers of this new digital age.

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  • Kaustubh Patwardhan is Ashnik’s Director for Southeast Asia (SEA) and Hong Kong. He leads sales, strategy and business development for the region. Kaustubh joined in 2013 and heads Ashnik’s SEA enterprise open source business with responsibility for strategic planning, channels and partners, sales and operations. He has been instrumental in building Ashnik’s culture which is centered on agility and innovation, aligning it to the core ideology of open source itself. Besides playing a key role in Ashnik’s multi-fold sales growth trajectory, his key accomplishments are building a solid partner ecosystem across the region and being highly responsive on customer engagements.

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