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Digital: Enabling the Goldilocks zone

May 02, 2023
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Sumit Mukhija
Executive Director and Chief Executive Officer
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They always say that start the conversation with an anecdote or a joke. But I am skeptical as talking about digital, cloud and datacenters is serious stuff.

 

So, I take the liberty of starting off with just a quote from none other than Mr. Bill Gates - “The advance of technology is based on making it fit in, so that you don't really even notice it, so it's part of everyday life.”

 

Now this is a very powerful statement. A great example for this is a virtual or online event. The attendees care about their experience rather than the underlying software or platform that is being used.

 

So clearly, a technology's application matters equally as the technology itself. So, we must talk about both and that’s what I have tried to put together for you in this document.

 

The World was always connected:

 

You will appreciate that neither technology nor its innovative application is new.

 

If we take a quick glance at the history, it has always been a connected world.

 

Even 3000 years ago, some armies used smoke signals to communicate. Not going too far back into BC or the Helen of troy eras, but even in 1800s, telegrams and telephones came into being.

 

You will be surprised to note that optical fibres were in use even before the second world war. Terms like Artificial intelligence and machine intelligence which are so much in the news now were coined way back in the 1950s and Cell phones and personal computers emerged in the late seventies and early 80s itself. So did the super computers that supported complex analytics and modelling.

 

Connected devices like Bank ATMs and vending machines have existed since the mid-eighties.

 

1990 was the inflexion point that saw the emergence of the WEB and took computing, connectivity and their use cases to a different scale altogether and helped take the applications and services directly to the users and consumers.

 

This is when the cloud started emerging as well, firstly in the rudimentary form of emails and messengers, then came software as a service apps, like salesforce, followed by Infrastructure as a service and platform as service. This was supported by continuous innovation in the applications, architectures, network and computing technologies and further catalyzed by massive buildouts of undersea cables, fiber networks as well as 3G, 4G and more recently 5G rollouts.

 

Especially, the last decade and half has been decisive -

 

  • Mobility brought Internet into the hands of the consumer
  • Social brought in the scale and inclusion
  • Cloud made everything ubiquitous
  • Analytics helped make more sense out of the data

 

This did make people insecure about jobs but then there is always this need for upskilling of the working population with evolving technologies anyways.

 

Finding the right Balance:

 

The use of modern technologies and their creative applications has had a compounding effect on innovation, improving user experiences, achieve unprecedented levels of performance, scale and reliability at the same time ensuring the optimal levels of security and control.

 

Digital evolution has meant that the whole world itself is now a big incubator.

 

But with all this innovation and power in our hands, comes an even greater level of accountability.

 

Almost everything we do now, will have to be done responsibly, keeping the impact on environment and communities around us and social inclusion in mind. Growth always comes with a premium we must all pay, and we must remember that technology is and should always be an enabler to the world and its people and not replace them.

 

The solution lies in finding the right balance, the optimum condition if you will - perfect time to talk about the Goldilocks Zone

 

The Goldilocks Zone

 

We are all aware how much the technology has evolved and how it has become ubiquitous, and I am sure you have heard about the Goldilocks zone. Let's now see how they are corelated.

 

In astrobiology terms, the Goldilocks zone refers to the habitable zone around a star. So, if a planet is neither too near nor too far, it will have the temperatures just right for water to remain liquid and life to exist. Earth and Sun are in the Goldilocks zone.

 

  • Goldilocks zone is therefore used in many related contexts depicting ideal or optimal conditions. For example, in economics, a Goldilocks economy is the one which sustains economic growth and low inflation, which allows a market-friendly monetary policy. A Goldilocks market occurs when the price of commodities sits between a bear market and a bull market. Likewise, there is Goldilocks pricing strategy for products and so on…

 

Goldilocks Zone is a concept used in many disciplines of sciences, where we look for a set of parameters or conditions that are just right.

 

In many ways, the huge advances in technology, computing power and connecting bandwidth has turned our homes into Goldilocks Zones where we have things that are customised for each one of us. Food is delivered at home, and so is work, now in the new environment.

 

As we move ahead in the future, each one of us will be in our own Goldilocks Zone. Our choices and preferences will be mapped all across our usual footprint whether it is our homes, workplaces and travel destinations.

 

In fact, the world we live today is increasingly becoming like an extended Goldilocks Zone, where there is business and commerce being created to cater to choice.

 

Applying Goldilocks zone to Business:

 

All this is not limited to just us as individuals but applies to governments and businesses as well.

 

Businesses use it to understand their customer needs, expand customer outreach, manage customer experience and use newer models and service delivery options - all of which directly and positively impact the growth and the top line.

 

Workplace automation, remote collaboration and agile workforces that respond quickly to rapid change are helping companies search for their own “Goldilocks Zone” to be in.

 

It also helps businesses maintain SLAs and ensure business continuity, improve safety and services standards, reduce errors and omissions which in turn improve cashflows, bottom line and annuities, and also companies manage and mitigate their risks.

 

Governments on the other hand can connect better and perhaps more transparently with their citizens and foster inclusive growth in the process. The use cases can be expanded to all streams including but not limited to optimization of taxation, prioritization of Infrastructure projects, predictive inputs to farmers, and even territorial security and more…

 

We have already talked about people and in addition, this could also help create more employment opportunities, upskill and right-skill people and promote equality.

 

 

Every application of this Goldilocks Zone phenomena needs huge amounts of data transfers as well as computing power at hand.

 

Information has to travel to us at all times of the day – to our preferred end points, the mobile phones, the laptops, and all the connected devices. It does not reside on the interface, and neither does the computing happen there.

 

For our Goldilocks Zones to work, we need that ecosystem of edge computing, networks, and apps, or call it the cloud if you like, to run this smart new world. The ecosystem that houses all the data and the computing power.