The transition to “Industry 4.0” challenges of the IT industry, which should provide society the opportunity to develop on the basis of digital data. Cloud services, edge computing, a new architecture of security — these issues were discussed at the November forum VMworld-2019 in Barcelona. Time for technological fashion Russian companies and how the business will look like in the digital future, a columnist for the “Profile” discussed with the IT-strategist, the head of the VMware in Russia and the CIS Alexander Vasilenko.

— It is believed that the digital economy is impossible without cloud storage, which stores “big data” and computational resources, where they are processed. But the level of penetration of cloud in Russia lags behind the world because of the conservatism of our companies. Is it really so?

— We are indeed slowly adapting technology, and it is interesting that this does not apply to personal adaptation. Ordinary users accept all the new with a Bang, example is the penetration rate of Apple Pay, which in Russia is one of the highest in the world. Even in California it is difficult to find outside of major cities that accepts Apple Pay, and we have to please in any store.

In the corporate sector is dominated by the opposite position: that of the curious novelties, but let’s first take a look, check… In the end compared to the West, a similar technology conquer Russia with a delay of up to two years. And yet, the positive dynamics is. The growth of the cloud market in Russia in recent years has increased, and in 2019, for example, the figures are higher than in 2018, just due to the fact that we are catching up. We are talking about tens percent a year, much higher than the average for the IT market. Overall, Russian business gets rid of the distrust in the clouds. Faced with the need to expand the pragmatic customer chooses to build his own datacenter or rent a cloud-based resource.

— The demand for cloud appears at the time of the company’s growth?

— Not necessarily, it could be the input backup data center in case of force majeure. Or preparation for peak loads. A classic example is the end of the year, when an online store increases the flow of customers, the current infrastructure can not cope and need to buy extra power or you can rent them for a certain period.

Clouds are a direct benefit if the company prefers to replace capital expenditure (CAPEX) to operational (OPEX), not to spend large amounts with a long payback horizon. Rented clouds — start. Not off — refused. When purchasing equipment maneuverability lower, risks higher, the room for experimentation is less. So the stereotype that clouds are a great option for startups. They really were pioneers, but today I connected and big business.

Anyway, “moving” from its own IT infrastructure to the cloud is not a one time process. Migrate data between services and providers back in your datacenter, and as a result has developed a range of technologies to simplify and automate these processes. These technologies what we do at VMware.

— The law requires to store personal data of Russian citizens on the territory of the country. How this affects the Russian market of cloud services?

— This means that domestic companies are not always available services to global players — Microsoft, Amazon. So you can use them as an individual, but corporate clients are often limited in choice of provider. This gives an advantage to foreign players willing to invest in the Russian direction, expanding their data centers as well as local providers. In most cases, an alternative foreign services appear, though not immediately, because the creation of any infrastructure takes time.

In General regulation is a complex question. Is it possible to make a fully protected, sealed system? Easy — just unplug the Internet. I saw with my own eyes like in Turkmenistan: the Network access only in a special room, the man comes back to work, and behind him stands the soldier with a list of sites that are forbidden to enter. This is a working version, another thing is that in this environment it is difficult to expect that the country will develop the technology, and the economy will be competitive on the world stage. Control will always be, but it is important to find a balance, to calculate the load on the business that it is not suffocated under a concrete slab requirements.

— At the same time, the Russian authorities argue for high technology. There is a burst of interest in connection with the adoption of nutsprogramme “Digital economy”?

— I don’t think nutsprogramme became the impetus for a number of companies — leading them in the direction of the clouds, the natural logic of competition. But in the case of government agencies makes no sense to wait until it germinates. The officer, in fact, there is no difference, to issue a passport for a month or a few days through the electronic system. So there must be a political will. In Russia it happened, and as a result in some areas the level of digitization ahead of the European. For example, in a situation with Moscow, which has set an ambitious goal to become a “smart city” and over the past 5-6 years has made some progress.

— How often do the digitalization is the key market prosperity of the company?

— There are such examples, but it all depends on the economy. In the financial sector it is impossible to imagine development without IT platforms. Do you often come to the office of your Bank? I think less than use it for mobile app or online transfers. If we talk about the real economy — agriculture, iron ore mining, — the share of expenses on IT below, and hence the effect of digitization is not as pronounced. But although the speed of adaptation of different technologies, sooner or later they will cover all of the industry.

— And are there any known examples of merging technology and business processes, when the innovations are changing the very essence of the business?

— Yes, and driver of change within the company, not necessarily acts as the IT Department. This can be the marketing Department that decided to use technology in the original promkompani, or HR Department that uses new digital tools to translate part of the state on the remote work.

An illustrative example of a digital adjustment — application development. Ten years ago, there were 52 million applications now there are about 300 million, and in five years there will be 750 million They become a way of communication with customers, employees and partners. Everything goes to the fact that each of our need will be issued in the form corresponding button in the application.

Another example is a digital model. Refinery it is possible to work out technological schemes: for example, what happens if you increase the temperature of processing. This is much easier than to experiment live, and the success of the search would improve efficiency and increase profits. Aviation digital model of the aircraft allows you to avoid design errors, to work out the actions of the crew in emergency situations, to predict and prevent breakage. As a result, the plane is less likely to repair and generally less is on the ground, which gives a competitive advantage to the airline.

In hazardous or high-rise works technology allows us to minimize the human presence: instead of a crawler you can send the drone, shooting photos and videos, of which the neural network then retrieve the desired data. I’m not talking about unmanned transport, the distribution of which will begin with the corporate sector: first, there will be driverless trucks, public transport and taxis, and then robotics comes to personal cars, if by the time they all left.

In General, the digitalization transformed from buzzwords into crucial survival tool. Today’s changes may seem sporadic, but that’s okay: transformation always begins on the periphery, but gradually the process becomes explosive character, affecting the principles of life.

— Along with cloud computing a lot of talk about the edge, another habitat digital devices. If these competing technologies with each other?

— Rather Supplement. This is an iterative process. Once the basis of the IT infrastructure, companies ‘ own data centers. Then came the process of centralization: the data began to migrate in large cloud storage. But it turned out that everything is in the cloud not handle. Sometimes the center of the computing should be as close as possible to the target, on the border of internal and external IT systems, hence the term “border”. Example — the Autonomous car: if all processing centrally, any connection failure will lead to collapse. So part of the functionality must take on-Board computer, the machine kept going. In the near future the trend is toward decentralization and edge computing will increase, and then the pendulum will again swing in the opposite direction.

— Inhibit the development of technologies concerns about their safety? Time whether, in principle, the industry of cyber security for new trends?

— Each of IT-the novelty entails threats that people have not thought of. Antivirus is honed to track known threats: as the saying goes, generals prepare for the last war. Today hackers can hack a “smart” Teddy bears and using them to talk with children. Previously, it would have sounded like science fiction!

Similar situation with the introduction of cloud services. Once it was enough to protect the call IT the perimeter. Now this concept has worn off and companies have adopted an additional headache: how secure is the data transferred to the cloud? Sometimes staff ban without approval of the leadership to use cloud services like Google Docs. But the method of bans is bad, if these services are convenient for work.

But we cannot say that the cyber security industry is losing this battle. Her system also become more complex. Appears, allowing to disable the camera of your smartphone: for example, to the visitor design Bureau could not take a picture of the project intellectual property. Or BY tracking the behavior of devices with artificial intelligence. Or, creating two stand-alone profile on the smartphone: one for personal use, the other corporate, are protected from external influences.

In General, to secure the cloud really is. But absolute security can not be guaranteed, because there are social engineering methods. Is the employee sees the lying forgotten flash drive with 1 terabyte. Picked, put on the computer and everything is perfectly secure system is infected.

— What will be the business a couple of decades when digitization can be called accomplished?

— Our psychology is so constituted that we expect big changes in the short term and not seeing them disappointed. On the other hand, reality presents such surprises that none of the predictor is not expected. Take traditional motifs of kinofantastiki: flight on skateboards, the growing pizza — no, nothing like that. But tell someone people of the XX century that in the 2010s we’ll go to metro and look for pocket TV film, released about 20 minutes ago, no one would have believed.

How will the decision-making in the middle of the XXI century? It is possible that some areas will be entirely controlled by artificial intelligence. Do not be afraid, it’s not about Hollywood Skynet, who wants to enslave humanity, and what kind of home robotic vacuum cleaners, which are clearly doing their job and report the results to the owner. Specialized samebecause devices fill our lives, but in other respects it is not too different.

— What about social impacts? Ensure whether the “industry 4.0” universal prosperity?

— Yes, the reconstruction of society cannot be avoided. The mass of the profession — drivers, security guards, sellers. And they will all be automated. Where will these people go? Some futurists believe that the solution will be similar to the world of the film “the First player to get ready” when the minimum level of comfort the person receives for free, but to achieve something extremely difficult. In the end, the man realizes himself in a virtual reality where interesting and cozy. And in this world he had for dinner pasta crickets — a cheap alternative to meat.

Imagine: you have a guaranteed income that enables all life to sit on the couch and watch movies on Netflix. It can be thought of as a Paradise on Earth, which we finally reached. And also as degradation, transformation of man into a domestic animal. It is a question of ethics: what do we want to achieve. Well, when a society has a dream, for example, the conquest of space, as in the 1960s: Yes, it was not easy, but people believed that their efforts were not in vain…

But the technologies themselves are neutral, they are not good and not evil. Using cloud resources and to develop a cure for cancer, and stealing credit cards. Up to the person.

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