In addition, the provider should also be conversant not just with the technological challenges to make things click, but to also be knowledgeable in the relevant areas in terms of legal compliance. "It's about convenience, performance, security, and last but not least, the network of offices, support team and resellers we have who can help your cloud implementation a real success, with all the advantages that you could gain," said Truls.
So, how should organisations approach cloud? Truls used the term "cloud readiness" to refer to an organisation's preparedness to embark on their digital transformation journey. To be ready, organisations should look at three areas: standardisation, virtualisation and whether the business itself is ready to take that digital leap. While standardisation ensures that infrastructure is kept up-to-date to align with new technology, virtualisation will enable organisations to take advantage of cloud services to keep up with the competition. Truls reiterated that in all his engagements with customers, he would not push beyond the POC stage unless there is buy-in from the businesspeople who should have a stake in the entire cloud initiative.
Following the lunch proper, Truls joined moderator T.C. Seow to take questions from the audience. Through an informal question-and-answer style of communication, he touched upon issues on what customers want when they go with T-Systems. As an example, he emphasised the close relationship T-Systems has with SAP, in that various enterprise-class applications, as well as those highly integrated ones for small- and medium-sized enterprises, could readily be deployed via T-Systems. He also talked about the "data centre in a box" approach to helping SMEs to embark on a hybrid cloud platform where private on-premise data centres could be implemented without requiring complicated connectivity requirements.
One question raised during the discussion was that on the apparent dearth of skills in managing cloud services from the customer's point of view. Truls answered that some retraining would be necessary, but the more competent cloud providers would take a step further to help organisations bridge that gap and possibly transfer some knowledge. Nonetheless, investment in human resources would be necessary in the long term.
When asked if T-Systems has comprehensive security measures to ensure that its cloud solutions would remain operational in the face of a disaster strike, Truls talked about the deep investments his organisation has committed to ensure there are various points of presence in several geographical locations to maintain high-speed links with redundancies. In addition, he talked about T-Systems' support centre based out in Malaysia, and the new data centre sited within the International Business Park in Singapore. He also highlighted further investments his organisation is making in ensuring adequate technical support for its customers in the region.
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