For Tech Mahindra, embarking on a cloud journey is much more than gaining business benefits, CIO News, ET CIO

While the agility, faster time to market and cost reduction from a long-term perspective were the obvious reasons for Tech Mahindra to invest in the cloud, there was one other crucial element too.

“To be seen as the right digital partner for our customers, it was very crucial for us to board the cloud train. It became a need and hence, the board appreciated our decision to get onto cloud very early on, ”said Sudhir Nair, Global Head – Infrastructure and Cloud Services, Tech Mahindra.

According to Nair, before choosing a digital partner, many clients probe the IT services provider in a subtle manner about where they stand on their own digital transformation journey. The capabilities that you are offering, have you already been using them within your enterprise? And if you haven’t brought in those capabilities as an end-user yourself, then you can’t preach.

That became an important consideration for most digital services companies including TechM to drive cloud migration internally.

Tech Mahindra, one of India’s largest IT services companies with close to 145,000 professionals and 1,200 clients first started using SaaS-based solutions back in 2010.

A few years later, the organization formed a cloud strategy by realizing the value of cloud lifecycle management. The workloads selected for cloud at that time were test and development environments.

The flexibility of provisioning infrastructure and scaling up of operations has been an important element that pushed the company to start using cloud for testing and development.

Citing an example of the flexibility that cloud offers, Nair said, there are some discretionary projects that come up and have a 45 day window in terms of development and testing. If there is a need of provisioning a hundred servers for the project, it can be easily done using cloud for that designated time period only.

“With that, we are able to deliver the product to the customer quickly as well as releasing a direct impact on revenue. As customers of the IT services industry expect POCs to be created at a faster pace, for Tech Mahindra, in order to experiment fast, cloud became an obvious choice, ”added Nair.

After running some workloads in the cloud for some time, the company started differentiating between core & non-core applications and migrated the latter. Today, TechM’s core applications, including SAP, run on the public cloud.

Cloud taking up majority of the workloads

With the public cloud, the efforts made by the company’s employees in terms of taking care of IT infrastructure have also reduced a lot. Earlier, the team was responsible for managing and maintaining the IT infrastructure, its power & cooling, hardware refresh, and deploying patches on an ongoing basis.

Tech Mahindra’s internal infrastructure & cloud team has more than 80 people. For its Cloud & Infrastructure services (offered to the clients), the organization has a team of approximately 5,500 people, led by Nair.

Out of total workloads, SaaS-based solutions have a 25 percent share in TechM. The public cloud holds close to 40 percent, and the remaining workloads are on-prem. The reason that some workloads still exist within TechM premises is mainly because of customer requirements (some companies do not want their data to be hosted on the public cloud).

When it comes to public cloud providers, TechM has partnered with various CSPs. In terms of consumption, from each CSP, Tech Mahindra has distributed workloads 30 to 35 percent across each vendor. For instance, one CSP is used for running SAP, another is used for other core applications, and the third provider is used for hosting testing & development and doing POCs.

To effectively manage multiple clouds, the IT giant has deployed an in-house tool called MPAC (managed platform for adaptive computing).

For its India operations, Tech Mahindra has its own captive data centers and deployed HCI (Hyper-converged Infrastructure). For its global markets, the company is using data center co-location services.

As TechM has close to 1,200 customers, Nair calls being in the IT services industry to be a benefit as it offers a chance of getting hands on the numerous interesting cloud strategies.

“What we learn from our internal deployments, we can take those learnings to our customers and what we see happening at our customer’s end, we can implement those strategies within our enterprise. It’s a two-way street, ”Nair said.

TechM has also created many tools and applications for assessing and managing cloud deployment that it offers to enterprise customers.

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