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From ‘Compulsive Connectivity’ to the Internet of Things

Zafar Anjum | April 11, 2014
In this interview with Karthik Ramarao, the NetApp APAC CTO discusses the changing storage needs of businesses in Asia.

Karthik Ramarao

 Karthik Ramarao, NetApp APAC CTO 

In this interview with Karthik Ramarao, the NetApp APAC CTO discusses the changing storage needs of businesses in Asia.

You moved from Dimension Data to NetApp. What has been your focus in the last one year?

Karthik Ramarao: The industry is going through such a tectonic shift now. The perception of IT is changing; customers perceive IT very differently today. The traditional buyers of IT are also giving way to new types of buyers. Previous IT managers and CIOs who used to hold that fort of IT desires and define what IT needs to be, continues to change, and basically that's happening quite rapidly in this industry. The last few years, and we do foresee it happening, going forward as well. I tend to institutionalize the object of bringing technology to solve business problems - that has been my focus. And as the CTO, I'm a spokesperson for NetApp both internally and externally ... So it's primarily a technology role and trying to make technology simple for people to accept and adopt.

You mentioned that a tectonic shift is taking place in the market. Let's hear your views on that. The last few years, what sort of changes have you seen?

A lot of things have happened in the last few years. Let me take a step back further. In the 70s/80s, it was largely commoditization of IT. So we have the client-server models coming up. Anything and everything which was developed was for that kind of model - for running it on PCs and servers. That was the mantra for a couple of decades.

In the 2000s, it became about network; connected IT, where Internet became a very important concept. Internet applications were a primary delivery mechanism - Java, Pearl, Python - all these languages got a lot more robust. I believe the next year is largely going to be compulsive connectivity. What I mean by that is, anything and everything wants to be connected today. As an individual, I have several devices that I want to connect at any point in time. In the beginning of the year, when we are gone for the holidays, this was never an issue previously. We can go for so many days without carrying so many devices with us. We don't get worried if we are going to get connectivity for those devices. For a family of four, we had about six or seven iPads, Kindles etc - all these different devices that needs to be connected. We want to be connected always. There are devices which are continuously coming up that needs to be connected. Interestingly, the ability to connect is getting all the more pervasive, with data plans from telecommunication service providers becoming very competitive. For $15, I can get one day of unlimited connectivity from SingTel. If you go to a country like India and you use local data plans, being a subscriber of service providers here, it used to be a bomb. That is something which continues to happen and connectivity is something we all look forward to. But what is also happening is Internet of Things.


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