GST, cloud and HANA driving IT revenue in 2018 but VR/AI tipped for explosion

Lenovo’s top Indian IT partners reveal the top trends in enterprise IT in 2018

Lenovo Jan 29th 2018

Reform a taxing challenge

Tax reform in India will continue to be a leading driver of enterprise IT change throughout 2018, according to Magnamious Systems owner, Jiten Mehta. 

“The introduction of GST is the biggest reform. Everybody has to refresh their IT investments – servers, ERP systems. And the way tax is to be filed has totally changed. It’s not easy – companies have been working on it since January,” says Mr Mehta. 

India’s new GST has variable rates (5, 12, 18 and 28 per cent) and numerous exceptions, as well as 111 points of taxation across the country. This means companies may need to register and file compliance reports for as many of those locations they have a customer in. 

The impact on data centre infrastructure is significant – the computational power required for new or modified ERP and accounting systems to correctly record and allocate tax is an order of magnitude above existing tax lodgement obligations.

However, it’s not just tax leading the charge – Mr Mehta says Indian government IT spending is also a key driver. 

“IT sales are moving quickly because the government is investing a lot in digital projects – smart cities, smart industries – many projects are running concurrently. The government is investing a lot,” he says. 

Strategy in the cloud

Enterprise IT in 2018 will be heavily focused around rethinking data centre and cloud strategy, according to Ranjan Chopra of Team Computers. 

“Gone are the days of creating big, complex, monolithic, applications and hosting them in a big data centre to support the business’ need,” says Mr Chopra. 

“When deciding about expansion, consolidation or revamp, most customers are going application backward – which means application defined infrastructure, designed for scalability and cost optimization, security and performance.”

However Mr Chopra says while agility is front of mind for Indian businesses, they aren’t isn’t indiscriminately pushing workloads to the public cloud. 

“Most web based applications and dynamic workloads are going on public cloud but highly critical and predictable workloads are generally kept on premise,” he explains. 

Smarter cloud deployment

SAP HANA and high performance computing specialist United Computers says hyperconverged infrastructure, hybrid cloud and virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) will be key trends adopted throughout 2018, as customers continue stripping inflexible system architecture from their IT infrastructure.

“We expect OEMs will collaborate more with cloud service providers and offer scalable solutions that enable customers to focus more on development of cloud services and apps, and less on infrastructure,” says United Computers’ Mr Madhusudhan. N. 

“Lenovo has made the big announcement of “Lenovo ThinkAgile SX for Microsoft Azure Stack”, Mr Madhusudhan says.  

ThinkAgile SX is a rack-scale, pre-integrated, hyperconverged hybrid cloud server created in partnership between Lenovo and Microsoft. It’s powered by cloud-optimized SR650 servers and RackSwitch Ethernet switches and comes ready to plug in and switch on, out of the box, with all features, support, and deployment services included. 

“ThinkAgile SX will be the game changer,” says Mr Madhusudhan.

35% revenue growth opportunity in 2018
Binary Systems Edward Jeevan is upbeat about the IT sales opportunity in 2018, predicting 35% revenue growth, driven by three parallel streams.

Mr Jeevan says industry-wide conversion to SAP HANA (“this is really SAP pushing people to HANA – there is no option to stay with legacy technologies, though it is to the customer’s benefit because the performance improvement is dramatic”), deployment of hyperconverged infrastructure, and the nascent areas of artificial intelligence, deep learning and virtual reality. 

Of the latter area, he says, “The industry is already ready for AI, deep learning and VR. VR specifically is of great interest to automobile and real estate developers who have already developed the technology and are using it today. In fact there is a gap between need and supply,” Mr Jeevan says. 

“Of course, VR has to improve – the next iteration of the technology should fulfil the market,” Mr Jeevan observes. 

“AI and deep learning cuts across all industries; automobile has already adopted; retail is already exploring whether AI and machine learning can help because of shopper behavioural analysis, browsing habits on ecommerce portals and so on.

“More and more AI, deep learning and machine learning will be adopted by industries,” Mr Jeevan says. 

What’s ahead

It’s clear that India’s IT sector will have a busy year in 2018 with ample growth opportunity around GST, cloud migration, in-memory database migration projects and the nascent area of artificial intelligence and deep learning, and virtual reality. Stay tuned to Channelworld India for further 2018 predictions from key IT vendors.

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