Compiled by Yamini Sequeira


Arjuna Nanayakkara urges companies to capitalise on cloud technologies

Q: What are the benefits of centres of excellence for companies? And what type of companies would gain from them?
A: Centres of excellence drive the efficient use of resources while ensuring sustainable operating models to define, deliver and measure the quality of products and services.

Operational excellence as a framework improves over time with the reduction in operating costs – i.e. by eliminating inefficient practices, and cutting implementation time for new skills and technologies.

Repeatable competencies lead to excellence on a consistent basis. Large organisations with high volumes and throughput in transactions, repetitions with patterns and a preference to embrace technology vis-à-vis their business models should explore the benefits of setting up centres of excellence.

Q: Should cloud enablers have power in decision making in business or are they merely the architects so to say?
A: The cloud is the most profound change in infrastructure since the mainframe to distributed computing and it’s transforming the underlying structure of the tech industry.

Shift-left testing is a practice that’s intended to identify and prevent defects early in the software delivery process. This powerful concept enhances decision making, agility, efficiency, and the quality of products and services.

The cloud has redefined the next generation of skills needed to run an organisation. This is due to the inclusion of cloud architecture, cloud engineering and operations-reliability engineering, to deliver products with auto scaling and self-healing capabilities.

Regulatory compliance, FinOps and security roles ensure optimisation, and the assurance needed for public and hybrid cloud environments.

Further, the cloud will naturally enhance continuous integration and delivery platforms, and rely extensively on data science, AI and ML to create intelligent platforms that will contribute to a paradigm shift in resilience.

Q: Is this framework more for tech companies and offshore operations or do you see homegrown organisations investing in cloud technology?
A: Cloud adaptation is driven by the needs of customers, supported by healthy competition among cloud platform players as it changes fundamental assumptions in the tech industry.

This will introduce agility to the software development life cycle, stateless architecture, fault tolerant engineering, tool-based monitoring and alerts.

Q: Are local universities up to speed when it comes to teaching cloud related advancements?
A: Local universities have realised the shift in the industry, which is moving at a rapid pace. However, there is a lack of enterprise level expertise and exposure to cloud technologies, and this has created a vacuum on the supply side.

Sri Lanka’s tech industry has a unique opportunity to capitalise on a global trend and create a brand name for cloud technology. There is a need to enhance curriculums, and ensure that fresh graduates are cloud competent in architecture, engineering, and operational competencies and practices.

Professionals with traditional tech skills should be able to upskill and reskill, and rapidly adopt cloud technology as a career.

Q: How much has the pandemic and working from home accelerated the move to cloud?
A: COVID-19 created opportunities in the cloud offering as services available under infrastructure, platforms and solutions (IaaS, PaaS and SaaS).

Further, the cloud provided low-cost practical solutions to delivery on time, data capture and analytics, regulatory compliance, IT security and improvements to the scope of software patching. These are complex scenarios in a physically controlled environment.

Q: What is your take on the pace of tech development across businesses?
A: Companies are realising the need to include comprehensive cloud adaptation strategies as part of their strategic planning. They will gain exposure to cloud insights and mature capabilities as an advantage, and be able stay ahead of the wave.


Q: Finally, what are the top three trends to look out for in cloud services?

A: The cloud will change the fundamentals of product architecture and design to capture stateless processes. It will drive pay levels as we consume cost advantages while managing demand bursts and high resilience, due to auto healing characteristics in products and solutions.

Traditional skills matrices in the infrastructure services industry will shift to IA, ML-based tooling, automation, data science, enhanced continuous integration and delivery, and operational analytics vs. On-Prem roles. This will create the need to upskill and reskill professionals offering individuals opportunities to move up the value chain.

There will be pressure to lift and shift existing applications to cloud infrastructure. Multiple adaptation journeys will create hybrid and heavy lifted variations in the cloud, creating a new wave of application refactoring.

The next generation of cloud friendly applications will evolve with full benefits – and this will shift demand and supply for cloud platform capacity, value offerings, skills availability and marketability of professionals in the ICT industry.

The interviewee is the Director of Cloud Operations at LSEG Sri Lanka