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Rethinking infrastructure

Jason Krupp | June 17, 2014
Roundtable attendees:

Roundtable attendees:

Cally Chan - Managing Director, HP Hong Kong

Mui Chee-Leong Vice President & Chief Technology Officer, Asia Division, Manulife International

Stephen Langley - Deputy Chief Information Officer, Securities & Futures Commission

Paul Siy - Executive Director, Technology, JP Morgan Chase

Raymond Lee - Head of Information Technology, Hsin Chong Construction Group

Arthur K L Wong - Head of Information System Division, China Construction Bank (Asia)

Gerrit W. Bahlman - Director of IT, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University

Iris Liu - CIO, North Asia Pacific, DHL Global Forwarding

Francis Fung - Chief Technology Officer, Midland Realty

Micky Lo - MD, Head of Information Risk Management APAC, The Bank of New York Mellon

Jean Hung - Chief IS Services Manager, MTR Corporation

If you are seeking a project to challenge even the most skilled IT executive try this on for size:

Imagine a property management business in Hong Kong which has 13 malls, four office buildings, 90,000 residential units and 10 million square meters of floor space in its portfolio. This is managed by a team of 1,300 employees, based in 56 locations across Hong Kong.

Now add this: each branch is responsible for running their own networks and servers, used to run software with high system-loads (AutoCAD, Photoshop) as well as a host of non-standardized applications.

And all data from these respective offices is stored on disparate silos, with very little security due to the scattered nature of the arrangement, and no central data center to ensure the reliability of applications.

That was the situation the MTR Corporation (MTR) saw at the beginning of 2012, when it decided to come to grips with how to standardize the IT resources of its property management division.

Dynamic user environment

Although the details in the above situation are unique to MTR, many businesses find themselves in a similar position. Rapid growth in the boom years, the need for cost cutting, daily security concerns, and regulatory requirements put pressure on many businesses to consolidate their IT platforms.

To share this essential knowledge, a cross-section of high level IT executives gathered at a roundtable lunch to find out how the MTR handled the headache of a rapidly changing user environment and a growing infrastructure, and of course share their own experiences.

The MTR's Chief IS Services Manager, Jean Hung, explained that virtual infrastructure and virtual desktops (VDI) were an immediately appealing solution, but the scale of the project presented a challenge in itself. To circumnavigate this, the company turned to HP in late 2012.

Completed by end-2013, the end result fundamentally changes the MTR's IT environment and the corporation is already reaping tangible benefits, said Hung.


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