IBM Distinguished Engineer speaks to commerce students on cloud computing and big data

Manav Gupta, an IBM Distinguished Engineer, Master Inventor and Chief Technology Officer for Cloud Business in Canada
Manav Gupta, an IBM Distinguished Engineer, Master Inventor and Chief Technology Officer for Cloud Business in Canada

Cloud-based technologies are all around us; and as they revolutionizing daily life, their impact on business is big. IBM Distinguished Engineer, Master Inventor and Chief Technology Officer for Cloud Business in Canada, Manav Gupta, addressed Bachelor of Commerce (BCom) students in the School of Administrative Studies (SAS) on why they should keep their eyes on the Cloud.

Gupta has worked in the information technology industry for 20 years, taking on a variety of roles. He is the author of several books about Service Management, Cloud Computing, Big Data and Blockchain. On June 14, for his guest lecture outlining the connection between Cloud Computing and business, he spoke to students enrolled in the Management Information Systems course of SAS.

“Our students always ask for greater interaction with leading practitioners, and I am delighted that we have been able to create such an opportunity,” said Ananya Mukherjee-Reed, Dean of the Faculty of Liberal Arts & Professional Studies (LA&PS).  “Gupta’s talk on Cloud Computing is the first of a number of guest lectures IBM experts will deliver to our students. I am sure it will enhance their learning in many ways.”

Gupta’s talk on Cloud Computing is the first in a number of guest lectures planned to be delivered in BCom courses by experts and executives of IBM Canada.

“Our BCom students are truly privileged to attend these guest lectures, which enable a better appreciation of management concepts and principles as applied in actual practice,” said Adriano Solis, director of SAS in LA&PS.

Cloud Computing is the location-independent practice of storing and accessing data and applications over the internet instead of an on-site computer. Gupta summed up the history of Cloud Computing, from the 1960s to modern-day, noting key advances, including the PC revolution in 1977, the rise of the internet in the 1990s and the launch of the Amazon Web Service in 2002.  He also addressed concerns surrounding the technology, such as real and perceived security risks, and location and control of data.

“My take-home message is that even though you are Commerce students, prepare yourself for the tsunami of information that’s going to hit and come your way when you go into the business world,” said Gupta. “Familiarize yourself with some of these technological trends.”

He named a few well-known, cloud-based technologies, such as Gmail by Google, Dropbox, Netflix, YouTube, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp, among others, and went on to address the industries increasing their use of the cloud, including farming, hospitals, autonomous transportation and the hospitality industry.

“The more you are aware of why these technologies are being used and where they are going, the better prepared you will be to help those companies,” said Gupta, “whether in a financial manner or in terms of cost cutting, or in terms of regulations or even just figuring out what their product pipeline should look like.”

As a follow up to his lecture on Cloud Computing, Gupta returned to York University on July 11 to speak to Commerce students about Big Data, which is extremely large, highly unstructured data sets that are analyzed via computer to reveal patterns and trends, especially relating to human behaviour. The Cloud, Gupta said, is a vehicle for delivering insights derived from analyzing Big Data.

“Even though they may not be working in computer science directly, Commerce students, specifically, will be dealing with a lot of organizational data, whether it is financial data or the performance of the organization or the transaction data, as an example,” said Gupta. “It is absolutely critical for them to have a reasonably good understanding of what they can do with the data that is available to them, or if they don’t have the data available to them, they should be asking for that data from the organizations that they will be working for.”

IBM Canada is involved at the university in multiple ways. Sanjeev Gill, the company’s National Industry Executive for Research, and Dennis Buttera, the Education Lead – Centre for Advanced Studies, sit on the Management Advisory Council of the School of Administrative Studies.

IBM Canada has also partnered with York University  to accelerate a cloud-enabled platform in support of York’s Advanced Disaster, Emergency and Rapid Response Simulation (ADERSIM) Program. ADERSIM enhances disaster and emergency planning through cutting edge simulation technology. Students enrolled in the School of Administrative Studies’ disaster and emergency management programs, as well as professors and researchers throughout York, will have access to this world-leading technology.