AI and ML will be fastest-growing segments of software development by 2021: Prasad Rai, Oracle India

According to PwC, AI alone will add $15 trillion to the global economy by 2030

e4m by Dolly Mahayan
Updated: Feb 20, 2018 8:56 AM

For the past few years, Saas (Software as a Service) is one of the areas that is growing faster than ever before. According to Gartner, the SaaS business has grown at the rate of 33% y-o-y in 2017.

According to PwC, AI alone will add $15 trillion to the global economy by 2030. In terms of development, by 2021, cognitive computing, AI and ML will become the fastest-growing segments of software development. More on this in conversation with Prasad Rai, Vice President, Applications at Oracle India. Excerpts:

AI and Cloud have massive potential to reinvent business models and ecosystems. What are your observations on the same?

New age technologies such as Artificial Intelligence (AI), Cloud, Virtual Technology and Machine Learning (ML) are no longer just complex yet fancy terminologies but are entering into mainstream businesses.

We are focussed on AI-enabled applications and are building it into our cloud platform for security, systems management and database management. We observe organisations taking a piecemeal approach to embracing such technologies and that’s because of their lack of a holistic cloud and data strategy – this approach won’t work. There are many other organisations that have invested and are reaping benefits through AI and Cloud. For example, Bajaj Electricals is using intelligent chatbots developed using Oracle Cloud to communicate with their customers. Customers can text the chatbot channel to report a problem with an appliance, request a demo or schedule an appointment with a technician for installation.

What are your strengths in cloud computing in comparison to competition?

The primary aspect that sets Oracle apart from its peers is the fact that we provide our customers with industry’s broadest, as well as an integrated cloud platform. Oracle Cloud offers services across Software as a Service (SaaS), Data as a Service (DaaS), Platform as a Service (PaaS), and Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS). It facilitates organisations in driving innovation and business transformation by increasing agility and reducing IT complexity.

Customers can implement cloud in a public, private or hybrid model and easily shift from a license model to a cloud (subscription-based) model, with Oracle or non-Oracle software and vice versa.

To provide enhanced customer experience, we are offering a purchasing model called Oracle Accelerated Buying Experience, which enables buying of Oracle Cloud simple and quick. Through this model, customers can purchase Oracle Cloud services with the click of a button.

SaaS is one area which is growing at a rapid pace. Could you share some insights in context with what Oracle is offering its customers?

We have witnessed the shift in customer mindset in adopting SaaS and in adopting cloud, primarily because of the benefits they have managed to achieve.We are seeing an emergence of born-in-the-cloud customers – which are new companies, startups, those that have no legacy of software to run. There is a lot of value for companies to operate in a hybrid cloud environment.

Oracle offers the entire suite of SaaS solutions across ERP to HCM or CRM or SCM applications. We enable thousands of SaaS customers in India and the demand continues. We are very keen to support our customers in their digital transformation journeys as that is an inevitable move for their development and success.

As businesses are moving to cloud computing, there is also an increased risk involved, that of cyber-attacks. How is Oracle geared to address this?

A survey conducted by the Harvard Business Review Analytic Services found out that 62% of the respondents thought that security issues were the biggest barriers in expanding cloud adoption in their companies.

While there are concerns regarding data security in the country, many technologists in the country are quite skilled and aware of what needs to be done. India can tackle emerging security risks by adopting security solutions by focusing on segregation of duties at application and database layer, encryption of data at rest and in-transit, data redaction and robust identity management.

By using AI to analyse an unified data set consisting of security and operational telemetry as well as provide automated remediation, Oracle’s enables customers to quickly adapt their security and operational posture as their risk landscape changes. This application of machine learning can potentially help thwart attacks, reduce the detection window from months to minutes, and quickly address security breaches and performance outages. Users can access analytic conclusions from highly-tuned machine learning without additional work required. In addition, users can leverage the constantly evolving analytic engines based on real-world data.

How are emerging technologies based on cloud, AI and Machine Learning, transforming the way we interact?

We already offer SaaS solutions embedded with ML and AI. Applications with the right algorithm and ML can offer insights that can help organisations make smart business decisions.

Chatbots will be another key technology that will be found in every organisation’s strategic customer experience (CX) roadmap. Increasingly sophisticated-conversational platforms will be developed, creating chatbots that will feel completely natural to talk to – replacing the current, relatively unsophisticated interfaces.

The term "Blockchain" is getting quite popular these days. Your thoughts on it?

Blockchain technology is today more popular with cryptocurrencies. In the near future, this technology will see adaptation in a wider range of industries. The emergence of blockchain cloud services can help bridge the skills gap. Using these ‘as a service’ offerings delivered through the cloud, will influence enterprise IT teams developing their own cloud apps. Blockchain will find usage in any business and any industry, where there is a need for a set of records to be shared across multiple trading partners, individuals or business entities like in financial services and supply chains.

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