US-BASED NetApp and Ducati of Italy have demonstrated the power of data in world-class motorbike racing at Thailand’s Chang International Circuit during October 5-7, a feat that could be emulated by corporate CTOs.
According to Weera Areeratanasak managing director of NetApp in Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia, the circuit in Thailand’s Buriram province is one of the 19 race-tracks for MotoGrand Prix (MotoGP), the world’s top motorbike competition where NetApp’s technology is used in partnership with Ducati to optimise performance.
During the October 5-7 competition, the Ducati teams were among the top-ranked performers facilitated by the extensive use of data to boost racers’ performance.
In other words, MotoGP is undergoing the digital transformation itself in which data plays an increasingly important role in winning the race.
To have a better chance to win, teams need to have powerful engines, highly-capable drivers and a massive amount of technical data pertinent to the drivers’ and motorbikes’ performance so that incremental improvements are feasible during rounds of rehearsals.
In partnership with Ducati teams, NetApp has put as many as 60 electronic sensors on Ducati bikes to collect crucial data while their drivers practice their rounds ahead of the actual competition during which no real-time electronic devices are permitted.
These data-driven exercises allow drivers and their teams to improve performance before they actually enter the race tracks with data on aero-dynamic, circuit landscaping and other factors which affect performance are all taken into account to optimise the outcome. According to Weera, about 8 gigabytes of data are collected during one round of a MotoGP circuit which is about 5 km in length during practice rounds. The data is uploaded using flash technology to connect with cloud computing facilities for further processing to achieve optimal performance during the actual competition.
For other businesses, they could learn from the Ducati experience in leveraging the potential of data which is becoming the new “oil” in the digital economy.
As head of NetApp in Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia, Weera said the tech firm aims to be the data authority in the digital transformation journey of Thai and other Asean companies.
At this stage, NetApp focuses on hybrid multi-cloud computing and storage facilities to make data migration easy for corporate customers as well as tech start-ups preferring to use the cloud service to avoid the upfront investment cost and get to pay as they use the service.
In Thailand, NetApp has partnered with Inet to provide the service to customers in banking, telecom, oil and gas as well as manufacturing sectors.
Data fabric solutions as well as cost optimisation methods are needed to help boost the competitiveness of companies in an increasingly data-driven business environment.
This is obvious in banking, telecom, retail and other sectors where consumer data and analytic are becoming the key competitive advantage.
For example, major Thai banks have already moved millions of their customers to mobile banking apps which are also becoming the new business platforms for banks and their business partners where payment, lending, shopping and other services are available at the fingertip around the clock.
Weera said NetApp is also focussing on the modernisation of data centers as not all computing facilities for many companies are going to be cloud-based so there is still the need for better data centres.
Besides banking, telecom, retail and other service sectors, the automotive, food, electronic and other manufacturing sectors are also among those undergoing the digital transformation process in Thailand.
Regarding Indonesia, he said, a growing number of Indonesian firms have adopted more hybric cloud-based computing service while Malaysia appears to witness a slowdown due to the recent change of government.