By Tara Bal, Head of Communications, NetApp APAC


Krishna Arani, Managing Director of NetApp ASEAN and Korea was recently invited by Singapore’s leading English news radio station, 938Live, to share how innovative technologies such as big data and cloud computing are empowering companies in Singapore, especially small and medium enterprises (SMEs), as well as the rising importance of data management.


I’d like to share the gist of the interview here with a few key questions that Andre posed to Krish.


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Andre: Cloud technologies have been widely discussed but what are the specific benefits that SMEs stand to gain with the cloud?


Krish: Cloud technologies enable SMEs to leverage enterprise-level productivity tools such as sales force automation and customer relationship management on a piecemeal basis. As such, what used to be affordable only to large enterprises is now available to SMEs, placing them on a level playing field and enabling them to respond faster to market trends. Cloud is all about economies of scale. SMEs don’t have to pay to own the entire infrastructure but only for the capacity they require.


Andre: When should SMEs consider a hybrid cloud infrastructure?


Krish: Many enterprises including SMEs, are bound by time, compliance, or budget restrictions.  Therefore, rather than re-build their IT architecture for the cloud, they can embark on an incremental path to cloud computing via a hybrid cloud model. With a hybrid cloud infrastructure, companies do not need to invest in additional hardware to manage any spikes in demand. All they have to do is to connect to an external cloud server. Particularly for SMEs, which face greater constraints than larger enterprises on issues such as space and budget, they can easily dial up or dial down with a cloud service provider that mitigate any surges in workload.


Andre: The benefits of cloud technology are indeed indisputable. However, companies should consider how to balance the need for quick access to data with the security of data. With the recent spate in cyber-attacks, are SMEs facing greater risk?


Krish: We need to keep our data safe, yet make it accessible at the same time. SMEs usually start out with limited resources and tend to focus more on building the business and less on how they store and protect sensitive company information.


In fact, a Singapore Business Federation survey showed that three out of ten local enterprises had been a victim of a cyber-attack. In a separate report by the Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore (IDA), only two in ten SMEs have some sort of intrusion detection system in place to prevent data breaches. While SMEs drive their business forward, they need to acknowledge the significance of having policies and security measures in place to protect their intellectual property.


Andre: What are some of the basic data management areas that enterprises should think about?


Krish: Companies need to have data encryption for sensitive data and a stringent process when collecting, storing, using and even disposing of information. Companies tend to neglect data security especially at the last stage of disposal. Policies need to be put in place to make sure that when the information is no longer needed, it is disposed of in a secure and timely way.


Data Fabric is NetApp’s vision for the future of data management. It gives you the freedom to seamlessly manage your data across the hybrid cloud. You can move data where you need it most, innovate faster, and always make the best decisions for you and your organization.


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