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Boardroom Discussion: Making cloud a reality

Rosalind See | Jan. 22, 2013
In today's business environment, IT is no longer a support function but a driver of business growth, say participants at an exclusive boardroom briefing sponsored by Dimension Data in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

How should organisations remain relevant and competent in today's highly competitive markets? There are no single solution to face this challenge, but one key area where organisations can change for the better is to view IT as a business driver, rather than seeing IT in its traditional role as a support function.

Chong Hoi Ming
Photo: Chong Hoi MIng

"Boards and chief executive officers (CEOs) are expecting more from IT," said Chong Hoi Ming, Managing Director, Malaysia and Vietnam, Dimension Data (Malaysia). "Businesses need to accelerate time-to-market with new products and services, while keeping costs down. They are looking to IT as enablers of new technology which drives business imperatives."

"Cloud computing, if deployed with proper planning, assessment and with a solid strategy in place will help make organisations more competitive by being able to roll out new services within weeks, instead of months or years," he said.

The emergence of cloud computing has often been cited as a major trend organisations should take advantage of in order to gain business competitiveness. Last December, the exclusive forum themed "Embracing the new cloud era" addressed the business values of cloud and the experiences of joint-hosts Cisco, Dimension Data and Microsoft, in implementing cloud platform, software and services for their clients. Organised by CIO Asia magazine, the event also featured a discussion with a selected group of chief information officers (CIOs) and senior IT executives who spoke of the practical realities they faced in embracing cloud.

Chong suggested that organisations making the first move to the cloud start with a cloud readiness assessment workshop. "This will help organisations carve out their cloud strategy and evaluate the organisation's readiness for cloud," he said. "It provides solutions on how to effectively integrate cloud with legacy, physical infrastructure and services in a structured manner while mitigating risks."

Organisations could then follow up with a pilot project which allowed them to gauge cloud's short and long-term benefits, and how it matched up with their business objective.

Damian Ryan
Photo: Damian Ryan

Damian Ryan, Director, Data Center Business, Cisco Asia, pointed to changing work patterns, the proliferation of multiple devices, the burgeoning "bring-your-own-device (BYOD) to work" movement, and the need to constantly stay connected to social media, as trends driving changes in the workplace.

"Technology is transforming business models. Fast-moving market demands call for a computing architecture which can adapt to such demands," said Ryan. "The conundrum facing businesses today is how to secure and manage their computing environment while optimising productivity."


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