Gaurav Aggarwal, Vice President & Global Lead - Everything on Azure Solution Strategy & GTM, Avanade

Gaurav Aggarwal is the Vice President & Global Lead – Everything on Azure Solution Strategy & GTM at Avanade. Mr. Aggarwal is a thought leader and strategist in Cloud and Digital Transformation with 26 plus years of experience. He is known for his innovative and disruptive approaches in driving Digital Transformation, developing scalable practices for Cloud, Application Modernization, Intelligent Experience, and IT outsourcing domains. In a conversation with Digital First Magazine, Mr. Aggarwal talks about the Industry Cloud, its benefits and much more.


What does the term ‘Industry Cloud’ mean?

An Industry cloud is a collection of cloud services, tools and partner ecosystems designed to address Industry-specific processes, challenges and compliance.  The primary focus is vertical integration rather than horizontal integration.

What makes an Industry Cloud different from today’s cloud offerings?

There are many reasons why Industry cloud differs from today’s cloud offering. Mentioned below are some of them:

  • Industry clouds offer a combination of IaaS, PaaS, SaaS, and composable ISV / partner solutions to address specific vertical requirements by providing extensible design. “Composable Business” approach encourages modularity of business capabilities, teamed with autonomous operations and explicitly orchestrated workflows.
  • By leveraging composability, industry clouds can offer much-required adaptability than traditional SaaS applications thus addressing the need for customization / differentiated functionality.
  • Industry clouds are not a copy or split-off version of Public Cloud with Industry-specific or Region-specific controls that need to be maintained separately and offer the full set of capabilities to users.
  • Industry clouds are a step toward composable Business and “whole products,” or a cloud that addresses every customer’s need
  • Industry Cloud enables customers to connect to a vast ecosystem of partners and suppliers that offer an expansive array of services. Organizations will increasingly use Industry cloud services to create agile, innovative business designs that enhance their core competencies.

How are customers going to benefit from the Industry cloud?

Following are some of the tips on how consumers will benefit through Industry Cloud:

Shared best practices and thought leadership offered through vertically specialized go-to-market and implementation partners.

  • Compliance with the infrastructure and application platform with industry-specific regulations.
  • Common Data model for analytical capabilities to mine the data from their existing applications – thus enabling Data-Driven Decision Making.
  • The industry-specific marketplace of functional applications and collections of industry-specific functional building blocks and capability to choose a combination of the above as a (pre-) composed industry solution.
  • Value creation for enterprises by bringing together traditionally separate purchased solutions in pre-integrated solutions thus simplifying the sourcing, implementation, and integration process.
  • Industry Cloud can help deliver diverse customer experiences in days and not months. This means new revenue streams and greater operational efficiency and agility with higher customer connection and lifetime value.

How is Industry Cloud going to benefit businesses?

Today, every enterprise wants to create disruptive capabilities, specific to their business that will help them stay differentiated and innovative. Industry Cloud would move the dial of the cloud conversation from a cost to a growth narrative by identifying a new area of opportunities that can be actioned. With Industry Cloud, Public Computing will transition to becoming the composable foundation for business innovation instead of just being a technology style for delivering applications.

These are a few pointers mentioned below of how Industry Cloud will benefit businesses.

  • A primary benefit is the amount of time and effort Industry Cloud will save the businesses in designing and transitioning to cloud environments as they have been specifically tailored for them.
  • Industry Cloud would pave the faster and standardized path for Cross Industry collaboration. This will also translate to new business models, services, and partnerships.

Technology always keeps upgrading, what is one upcoming trend that will dominate in the upcoming years?

Sustainability is pervading all facets of our lives, and it has undoubtedly pervaded the digital technology industry as well. Utilizing Technology to deliver sustainable solutions and to incorporate environmental-friendly IT practices. To make ethical choices regarding design and Technology that invariably contribute to the internet’s broader ecological impact. My perspective is to harness the power of the Cloud as Cloud computing truly is the silver lining, or should we say the ‘green lining’. There needs to be a paradigm shift in the organization’s internal structure to achieve sustainability goals by harnessing cloud computing.

What’s one essential thing for those who aren’t tech experts to know about the difference between data privacy and data protection (and how each affects them/their business)?

Terms data protection and data privacy are often used interchangeably, but there is an important difference between the two. Data privacy is a guideline for how data should be collected or handled, based on its sensitivity and importance.

Data privacy defines who has access to data, while Data protection provides tools and policies to restrict access to the data. In a broader sense, Data protection is a set of strategies and processes you can use to secure the privacy, availability, and integrity of your data.

Data privacy concerns apply to all sensitive information that organizations handle, including that of customers, shareholders, and employees.

Data privacy helps ensure that sensitive data is only accessible to approved parties for allowed context or purpose. Globally Data privacy is enforced by data protection regulations. Users control privacy, companies ensure protection

Another important distinction between privacy and protection is who is typically in control. For privacy, users can often control how much of their data is shared and with whom. For protection, it is up to the companies handling data to ensure that it remains private and protected (including even the usage intent context). Most of the time people miss this intent and context part of Data Privacy.

In my opinion, the distinction between privacy and protection boils down to who we intend to share your data and for what purpose versus how we plan to protect your data from everyone else. Data privacy is about keeping your information from being sold or shared, while data protection focuses on keeping that information from hackers.

Data privacy is about what people who have collected your data lawfully can and should do with it and what control you have over that retention and use of data. Data protection ensures that your data is safeguarded from unlawful access by unauthorized parties. It is hard to have true data privacy without data security. Data protection is focused on protecting assets from unauthorized use, while data privacy defines who has authorized access. Data protection is mostly a technical control, while data privacy is more of a process or legal matter. One doesn’t ensure the other, and we need both to work together as a proper control mechanism.

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