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In conversation with young innovators

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Last week, I had the opportunity to connect (virtually) with students of the International Programme in Management for Executives (IPMX) at the Indian Institute of Management (IIM) Lucknow Campus. These MBA students come from diverse backgrounds and geographies in India.

The topic of conversation was about data protection considerations for Hyper-Converged Infrastructure (HCI). The students had varied experience (from 5-20 years of work experience), so it was a very stimulating discussion about new data protection trends. 

I began with how data is the oil of the 21st century! I doubt if any venture, private or government, is not dependent on data and is not touched by digitization. For many businesses, data availability is directly related to their business performance. So, it is no wonder that data has become a soft target for attacks. The sudden rise of ransomware attacks is related to the growing importance of data to enterprises.

While enterprises are progressing on the digital transformation journey to achieve their business outcomes, it is very important to understand how to safeguard data. This is where a data protection strategy for any enterprise has come out front and center factoring in hardware and software infrastructure trends.

Companies must be able to manage and protect their data regardless of where it resides. The solution should not address a section of HCI, but rather it should offer a single pane of glass for easy data management. The data protection strategy should carefully plan and segregate backup data and metadata. Most often, metadata helps in critical decision making. A single-size-fits-all approach is never a good one, so plan a flexible strategy to configure data life cycle policies.

Last but not least, enterprises should factor in the security of backed up data, identification of infected infrastructure elements clubbed together with a robust audit mechanism right at the start. It was great to see that the students had a lot of interest in these IT trends, and they asked about trends in the health and pharma industries. It's not only health and pharma, but IT trends that we talked about are seen across all sectors and industries. It felt good that the students could correlate the topic to their associated industries. It was also proof that the trends are industry agnostic.

While the session was technical, a few students had questions about leadership and management. One of the questions was, "what does it take to collaborate in an enterprise across functions?" It was a very relevant question considering that many of the students would be working in larger companies with diverse functional presence. I shared multiple best practices that facilitate collaboration across functions, including a good understanding of each function's roles and responsibilities, an effort to build good working relationships, and regular cross-functional connect meetings.

Another student wanted to discuss cultural diversity in multinational corporations and how to master it. Building cultural sensitivity takes a conscious effort, and seeding some individuals with cross-cultural experience is a good beginning. Other efforts that help immensely include traveling to meet in-person or rotating employees for short durations internationally. I had the chance to share some of my experiences working in the US and multinational corporations in India.

It reminded me that such forums are a great way to exchange ideas and best practices with students. While they study the theory in their courses, it will strengthen their learning if they can relate it to industry practices. I thoroughly enjoyed the hour with the students and thought it was well worth it. I look forward to more such interactions with our future innovators.

Veritas is actively recruiting in Pune now, so if you are interested in innovating at Veritas, please do get in touch. You can check out our available positions on our careers page.

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