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Hitachi Vantara Exchange: Innovating with Data

Rod Siebels
Director, Global Events

March 18, 2024

Connecting globally to embrace the new digital era

After several months on the road, the team at Hitachi Vantara has successfully wrapped up its Hitachi Vantara Exchange conferences: a set of global events that started in Paris in late 2023 before progressing through to India and New York earlier this year. Held in major cities across the globe, the event attracted a plethora of C-suite leaders from a range of industries; many of whom consider themselves true data innovators within their respective sectors.

Totalling 200 attendees across all three events in-person, plus another 2,000 for the on-demand replays, many sought to gain insights and perspectives on how their organizations might succeed in what is a currently demanding global environment – one that is not only littered with a plethora of societal and economic challenges, but when looked at through the lens of technology, presents ever-increasing digital innovation challenges in a progressively data-driven world.

The Hitachi Vantara Exchange events specifically held the goal of helping attendees with their technology challenges and how they might navigate the complexity of the digital landscape. This was done by encouraging guests to take part in an exchange of ideas, where they were able to share best practices and personal stories, enabling them to walk away with actionable insights that could form part of their own digital transformation journeys. Additionally, Hitachi Vantara convened a host of expert speakers at all three events, who through a series of panel discussions and keynotes were able to address many of the questions the attending guests had, on subjects ranging from the exponential rise of data and data management, the need for sophisticated data management tools across complex cloud and hybrid cloud environments, understanding the business impact of AI integration, through to how to successfully adopt new technologies and balance profitability with sustainability.

These multiple insights and takeaways were delivered by the range of both Hitachi Vantara and guest speakers, including Hitachi Vantara’s Sheila Rohra, Chief Executive Officer; Bharti Patel, SVP of Product Engineering; Mark Katz, CTO of Financial Services; and Jens Doerpmund, VP, Software Architecture. They were joined by the likes of Cyrus Daruwala, Managing Director for APAC at IDC Financial Insights; David Clemente, Research Director of European Cyber Security at IDC; Debika Bhattacharya, Chief Product Officer at Verizon Business; Dave Malik, Cisco Fellow and CTO; Andrew Chin, Head of Investment Solutions and Sciences at AllianceBernstein; Pradeep Nair, Managing Director for India at Broadcom Software; Ramesh Narayanaswamy, Chief Technology Officer at Aditya Birla Capital; and Narendra Sonawane, Head of Information Systems at Infosys.

“At Hitachi Vantara, we take pride in being valued partners to business and IT leaders across industries,” said Tammy Gollotti, SVP of Corporate Marketing at Hitachi Vantara. “This was all about discovering new ways data is changing our future. From exceeding customer expectations to driving growth through innovation, to balancing profitability with environmental sustainability, exchanging ideas to solve the challenges of today and get ahead of tomorrow.”

While all the sessions piqued the interest of the attending C-suite crowd, a few notable sessions seemed to garner particular interest, including:

Data management and architecture as the base of generative AI efforts

At the New York Hitachi Exchange event, Mark Katz, the CTO of Financial Services at Hitachi Vantara did a deep dive into the intricacies of data accessibility. Katz spoke to the foundational role of data management and architecture in generative AI efforts and stated that the explosion of data, most of it unstructured, meant that businesses must manage data, protect personal identifiable information with segmentation, as well as track lineage. He stated that it wasn’t enough to simply store the data and retrieve it but stressed the need for sophisticated data management tools across complex cloud and hybrid cloud environments. Katz emphasized that the digital environment is a complicated one, and it would be a journey that was “never really done.” He also highlighted the need to choose a technology partner wisely, in order that they might deliver a suite of capabilities that suits various business needs.

Risks and opportunities of generative AI 

Unsurprisingly, AI featured highly on the agenda at the Exchange events, particularly the subject of AI capability versus AI risk. As part of a panel session, Bharti Patel, SVP of Product Engineering at Hitachi Vantara, stressed the importance of infrastructure enabling generative AI for mission-critical applications while Debika Bhattacharya, Chief Product Officer at Verizon Business talked to organizations needing to “experiment aggressively and implement thoughtfully.” I felt that the panel session offered timely and valuable insights, exploring both regulatory considerations and the business objective to enhance personalized experiences for all customers.

Understanding and leveraging the data boom

The session in Paris spoke to some of the factors that customers need to take on board when tackling and leveraging the current data boom. Discussion centered on where and how to host data, the environmental impact of storing it, and the infrastructure required to support new and exciting innovations such as generative AI. Additionally, the session addressed ways to manage the complexity of multiple digital transformation projects, the various solutions required to mitigate cybersecurity risk, and how to deal with the lack of skills needed to underpin these projects from start to finish.

Can a data-heavy world be lighter on the planet?

Hitachi Vantara’s Vice President and General Manager of APAC Rajesh Prabhakaran gave an impassioned keynote speech on how many of our technology-related development needs are in direct conflict with our ability to maintain our environment. Giving India as an example, he spoke to the country’s proactive approach when it came to sustainability and stressed the importance of companies in paying attention to decarbonization. Prabhakaran also spoke to the range of benefits companies can expect in their decarbonization journey, including the ability to reduce energy costs through the reduction in power needed to run operations; how decarbonization can improve company reputation, enhance customer loyalty and attract new customers; and lastly, the ability to build resilience and manage risk, such as those associated with the supply chain.

Success comes through collaboration

The three events proved to be a sterling success with many of the attending guests. Here’s just some of what they had to say:

“Rethinking about cloud strategy was an eye opener for me.”

“The event was very well planned, meaning I was able to get clarity around key issues facing my organization, meet my fellow peers and subject matter experts, and take on advice and feedback to benefit my business.”

The ultimate purpose of the Exchange events was also eloquently summarized by Hitachi Vantara’s Chief Executive Officer, Sheila Rohra, who concluded: “The right technology is critical to build the data foundation for innovation, but technology can take you only so far. Success is anchored on people and the sharing of ideas to harness the opportunities ahead of us.”