Cloud computing: No more cloudy skies?: Page 3 of 3

 

What about SEA?

 

Cloud computing: No more cloudy skies?: Page 3 of 3

 

Because these are global trends, one might be forgiven to think that they don’t apply to enterprises in Southeast Asia (SEA). But actually, the trend is more similar than you think.

In IDC’s Worldwide Cloud View Survey 2016, where some 709 companies were polled, 91% of the organisations in Asean stated that they were either embracing or deploying public cloud and/ or private cloud in their respective organisations.

Consultant firm, The Broad Group, noted that there is approximately 800,000 sqm of data centre space served by about 131 Providers in 237 facilities in Asean alone as of 2016. Some of the major players in terms of floor space in the Asean are Telkomsigma (Indonesia) CSF Group and VADS (both Malaysia), all of whom will be growing their footprints in the region.

Other regional players will be SingTel, Equinix, Digital Realty and Global Switch, while global players with Asean intentions include AWS, Microsoft Azure, and Google Cloud.

Based on a survey carried out by Tech Research Asia (TRA) of 300 key decision IT makers in Singapore, Indonesia and Malaysia (n= 100 each country) and a poll conducted at a regional data centre conference attended by about 130 key executives last July, the following trends can be surmised:

  • Fifty-eight per cent of enterprises surveyed in Malaysia indicated they are either consolidating all or some of their workloads and moving them either to a cloud provider or a co-location provider. Similarly figures of between 50% and 60% were reported for Indonesia and Singapore respectively;
  • Some 35% of those 130 executives surveyed noted that they are consolidating data centres. Also, 41% indicated that they would be either leasing or building a new data centre in the next 24 months. This includes 11 end-user enterprises;
  • They also indicated that it was very important for their physical data centre location be close to their workloads. Between 40% and 50% of them indicated that they must be in the same cities and on the edge of the network, suggesting that data centre growth penetration, and by extension cloud services, will increase in the coming years and that customer experience is top priority.
  • The most common priority for IT leaders identified are: Disaster recovery-as-a-service (DRaaS), network security and converged infrastructure; and
  • The average expectation was for compute to grow by 24% (median of 20%), while for storage the average was 35% (median 20%) in the coming year.

So what?

Of course the data does not conclusively suggest that every workload from every enterprise will reside in the cloud. But it does at the very least suggest that enterprises today are seriously looking to consolidate their workloads and are moving them to either co-location facilities and/ or cloud providers.

This means the hybrid model is gaining traction more than before. This model means some enterprises will keep certain workloads within their own data centres while other workloads will be reside in established cloud and/ or co-location providers, where many of the good ones are cloud-enabled themselves.

The bottom line is that the adoption of some form of the cloud is on the uptrend and is more widely accepted than before, and the days of not opting for the cloud for the advantages it brings no longer holds true.

So what must CIOs take note of in the light of these revelations? Here are some salient points – and they are by no means exhaustive in nature – divided into three convenient categories for them to consider.

Strategic vision and direction

  • Begin by asking what does your business want to achieve. Ascertain what your company’s DNA is and priorities are before deciding on whether you should have a cloud-first policy.
  • While there is a lot of talk on a cloud-first policy, not all workloads necessarily belong in the cloud. Decide on where to host your apps based on your priorities and how important they are to your company.
  • Once you determine which part of the business goes onto the cloud, the next thing is to evaluate how your cloud-first policy will take into consideration the kind of innovation you want to achieve and business impact you can derive from that innovation.
  • As you plan for your cloud deployment, evaluate if your original motives, benefits and expected outcomes will remain the same or not. Constantly evaluate if they are still applicable to today’s environment.

Choice of providers

  • Customer experience is everything in today’s world. Are you assessing your choice of providers by putting your customer experience as the first criterion? If so, list the kind of characteristics you would like to see from cloud providers that will fit your innovation goals and evaluate if they can fit them.
  • Big global cloud players are likely to expand in Asean. Also, consolidation may still happen, things are still fluid and planning for the future becomes tricky. What kind of contingencies and future plans do you have if the supplier landscape changes? What kind of niche areas can you exploit from your choice of cloud providers and the expertise they bring?
  • Assess what kind of data you’re putting onto the cloud and understand what kind of legal impact and other ramifications you are obliged to be aware of.
  • If you already have relationships with the big cloud/ co-lo providers, think about establishing different relationships outside of your home country in order to achieve diversity.

Assessing readiness

  • Have you established a multi-stakeholder team comprising not just technology executives but a line of business leaders in order to prioritise and plan your cloud strategy, and assess what kind of business outcomes the plan will bring to your company?
  • Have you evaluated whether you have the right people in place to drive your cloud initiatives? Consider how this plan may need to include recruitment of skilled personnel and how this is going to impact your headcount and responsibilities.
  • Partnership is important as you can’t go it alone. Would you be able to fast track the outcomes of your cloud deployments by leveraging the technology and experience of your external partners?

At the end of the day, getting to the cloud is all about doing your due diligence and risk assessment as you would any other IT project. Begin with the end in mind and undertake your transformation with rigour, and you will reap the full benefits of the cloud.

Edwin Yapp is co-founder of & contributing editor to Digital News Asia and Asean analyst at Tech Research Asia, an advisory firm that translates technology into business outcomes for executives in Asia Pacific.

This is the final article in DNA's inaugural Deep Dive on Pulse of Malaysia's Digital Economy 2016. Watch out for the 2017 edition in Jan 2018.

 

Related stories:

Cloud adoption goes mainstream, yet value not maximised

Study urges service providers to join forces to address enterprises’ IT requirements

AWS continues to lead the cloud market: Gartner

 

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