Victor Cheng, vice president, Asia South, CA Technologies:
Interest in cloud computing hit critical mass in many markets around the world in 2011. Suddenly it seemed like every IT vendor has cloud solutions and that every solution had to have some bearing on cloud computing.
In 2012, we expect more businesses to trial cloud-related infrastructure and cloud-based services. At the same time, the initial euphoria about cloud computing will be replaced with more realistic expectations and stronger offerings across the board.
We expect to see enterprises starting to come to terms with a “new normal” as cloud computing, virtualisation and the consumerisation of IT combine with the global economic slowdown to create a world where customers demand an anytime, anywhere, uninterrupted customer experience. In Malaysia, where nearly every working adult appears to own at least one smartphone, sometimes two, the need for such an experience is clear.
Businesses are all scrambling to do more to become more agile and to find more cost-effective ways to support the business. It will not only be a time of tremendous opportunity for competitive differentiation, but also a time of huge strategic challenge. It is all about “IT at the speed of business”, where IT departments have to create outstanding customer experiences while maintaining exceptional capabilities in the areas of service assurance, automation, security and management.
Local CIOs will have to mitigate complexity, automate essential processes and make more informed planning decisions for their IT environments, whether they are multi-vendor, multi-platform, cloud-enabled or a mix of all three. This enables them to successfully shift resources to fulfil customer expectations, innovate and grow, rather than remaining bogged down with maintenance and operations.
Johnson Khoo, managing director, Hitachi Data Systems (Malaysia):
From a business perspective, many IT executives now find themselves in a difficult position. The global economy remains fragile and wracked with uncertainty. Whilst business in Asia has been brisk and for the most part there has been a lot of growth, this belies the situation on a global level where the U.S and Europe are on shaky ground. Here in Asia, the markets of China and India are large and still growing and so, for the most part, business outlook is neutral to positive. Here in Malaysia, the economic fundamentals and fiscal policy remain strong, with the RM50 billion (US$15.88 billion) ICT industry expected to grow by 10 percent in 2011, according to the Association of the Computer and Multimedia Industry, Malaysia (Pikom).
However IT budgets are not likely to grow beyond their current levels as a percentage of income, whereas the demands on IT will continue to rise. Therefore, it is not a surprise that in the current economic climate, there will be a renewed focus by the business on the efficiency gains from their IT investments, which will translate into a new way that things need to be done in the future. Businesses should continue to take advantage of technology to save costs and increase productivity, in preparation for the tough times ahead.
There are three critical approaches for organisations to consider –
• Enhance and optimise existing applications
• Simplify their IT infrastructure
• Manage data growth
Those businesses that leverage IT will move forward and remain competitive. We believe that data is an organisation’s biggest asset thus IT applications and infrastructure must be able to support it efficiently and effectively.
Virtualisation is Key to Efficiency and Better Returns
The big question is “How do I leverage on technology”? Taking advantage of IT does not necessarily mean more costs and investments. By enabling efficient management, streamlining practices and consolidating their operations for virtualised storage and servers, organisations can effectively manage their IT infrastructure with limited staff resources while building a sustainable foundation for future growth.
This concludes Part One of this feature.
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