PHOTO - Michael Barnes, Vice President, Research Director, Forrester Singapore.
Malaysian CIOs, along with their regional and global peers, are grappling with the speed of change in both the business and technological environment, according to analyst firm Forrester.
Speaking on July 11 2012, during the launch in Malaysia of HP APJ Converged Cloud solutions including the CloudSystem Quick Start Kit, Forrester Singapore vice president, research director, Michael Barnes said that IT departments are under pressure as their users turn to alternative IT services in order to meet their performance reeuirements.
"IT departments must be ready to be a true 'service provider' to their internal clients, in order to remain relevant," said Barnes. "Previous disruptive IT changes have brought similar demands for change but cloud computing, although well-hyped, does include a different and very real challenge for CEOs and CIOs. This is the sheer speed of the rate of change."
"Both IT usage and user expectations have accelerated dramatically, which means IT cannot continue to use standard traditional approaches," he said. "Of course, another item that has not kept up with the increased demand for IT services by the business is the IT budget: the cliché of 'doing more with less' is now a daily fact of life."
Barnes said that a Forrester study (Forrsights Strategy Spotlight: Cloud in Asia Pacific excluding Japan, third quarter 2011) indicated that cloud procurement is becoming more formalised. The survey of 530 IT and business decision-makers from Australia, China, India, Hong Kong, Malaysia, and Singapore (from companies with 20 or more employees) showed that the percentage of organisations currently using or actively planning cloud initiatives has more than doubled from 2009 to 2011.
"For example, 74 percent of respondents said 'we are centralising procurement and management of services through IT,' and 68 percent said 'we have a strategy in place and are executing a multi-year plan,'" he said.
"Though 52 percent of organisations have a formal or structured pilot programme for using cloud services, Malaysia is lagging behind due to perceptions that broadband is not reliable or fast enough," Barnes said. "However, even in Malaysia the adoption of cloud approaches in data centres is gaining ground."
The 'leapfrog' and the three common cloud steps
"There are indications of a 'leapfrog' effect in emerging markets," he said. "For instance, 52 percent of global mobile workers juggle with three or more mobile devices during the working day, according to a February 2012 Forrester report ['Info Workers Using Mobile And Personal Devices For Work Will Transform Personal Tech Markets']. It is interesting, that in emerging markets such as Malaysia, which showed 63 percent are using three or more mobile devices, the use of mobile devices is ahead of mature markets."
"The leapfrog effect is caused by the adoption of alternatives to the desktop PC and traditional networks that mature markets passed through," said Barnes. "In addition to new technologies, trends like mobile, social and convergence are changing the way enterprises and users consume IT. In a June 2011 report about the personalisation of the enterprise cloud ['The Personal Cloud: Transforming Personal Computing, Mobile, And Web Markets'], highlighted the core IT portfolio such as e-mail, scheduling and file transfer and storage that IT departments need to regain control of."
"Three common approaches or steps of cloud are: the data centre refresh, data centre renovation and data centre transformation," he said, adding that the underlying drivers behind each step included the need to reduce complexity, optimise capacity and improve provisioning services.
"At least 80 percent of organisations are at step one (the data centre refresh) or the virtualisation phase," said Barnes. "Less than 15 percent of organisations are renovating the data centre and less than 5 percent are at phase three. Mostly service providers will be at the data transformation step."
"IT departments must adapt to the new environment where cloud services are on the increase, otherwise such departments will disappear," he said. "However, what will happen is IT departments will remain relevant by enhancing their business awareness and drive fast provisioning of cloud-driven services."
Industry's first converged quick start solution
According to a recent IDC research, on average, it takes 10 weeks to deploy an IT service from the time of first request, and in many organisations, it can take as long as three to six months. Costs, potential risks and compliance requirements, security and the ease of deployment remain top of mind issues for many organizations, which are still holding back on cloud adoption.
HP Storage WW converged infrastructure strategist Brad Parks said that the company has responded to three global trends that are affecting how clients are delivering IT services such as 'tectonic technology advancements, evolving business models and a rapidly-changing workforce.'
"Speed of delivery is critical, and requires new innovation to meet all of these three trends," said Parks. "In the past, IT has been reactionary, existing in silos of technology - such as the server person, storage person, and so forth - that adds to the expense and complexity of change."
"Underneath all the hype, cloud can be the catalyst for change," he said. "Companies in Asia may be well positioned to fast-track - or leapfrog - the cloud development path. To support this, HP has therefore launched the industry's first hybrid delivery and solution portfolio."
HP Malaysia country presales manager, enterprise group, Raymond Yap, said, "HP CloudSystem Solutions (including the HP CloudSystem Quick Start kit) are designed for organisations in Asia Pacific and Japan (APJ) to help facilitate cloud adoption and simplify deployment to enhance business innovation and agility."
"According to an HP-commissioned study by IDG Research, reducing the time required to provision new applications is an imperative for 78 percent of respondents," said Yap. "The IT decision makers surveyed believe that speeding application delivery time will improve responsiveness to customer demands, reduce time-to-market and provide faster access to real-time information."
"Success depends on an organisations' ability to rapidly respond to changing market and customer demands," said Yap. "HP's unique approach of proactively engaging with partners to build an ecosystem is key to speeding our clients' shift to hybrid cloud models that provide the agility they need to innovate."
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