Mobile devices will also continue to enter the workforce, and this will further propel cloud adoption and usage. In fact, more than 80 percent of Malaysian respondents surveyed have said that cloud computing will enable them to support a more mobile and flexible workforce.
The next phase of end user computing has arrived and the transition to the post-PC era has begun. According to IDC, manufacturers shipped more smartphones than personal computers in the fourth quarter of 2010, crowning mobile devices as the computing platform of choice earlier than many industry-watchers had expected. Employees are carrying more than two devices, for example, smartphones and tablets, and they are using these devices for work as well as using do-it-yourself technology and applications.
A diverse range of mobile applications are being created on multiple platforms. Users want and have anytime, anywhere access through new devices and applications. However, empowered users with such freedom are creating more challenges for IT. Traditional desktop management binds users to the operating system and applications in their hardware. Existing IT stacks can easily be broken when one component requires or encounters a change. This leads to compliance and security risks and increased help-desk calls, which impact service level agreements (SLAs) and ultimately drive up IT costs.
Against this, difficult fiscal conditions make our virtualisation product even more attractive, because of the industry's need to drive down costs. The VMware-commissioned Forrester survey found that 81 percent of Malaysian respondents expect cloud-related investments including virtualisation, the technical foundation for cloud computing, to reduce hardware spending. Our customers in Malaysia have seen significant cost reductions after deploying VMware solutions.
Iskandar Malaysia, for example, saved half a million ringgit in hardware costs alone, freeing funds for software development and ICT projects. iPerintis, the ICT arm of PETRONAS, migrated PETRONAS' ICT environment into a private cloud on a virtual data centre infrastructure, with an anticipated cost reduction of between 20 and 30 percent compared to running a physical server environment. University of Malaya's ICT and CSR Cluster cut server hardware costs by 60 percent through minimising the need to purchase new physical servers after deployment of virtualisation solutions.
As more companies embrace the cloud, IT departments in the public and private sectors alike will have to rethink how they manage IT - to make it efficient and agile. They will have to simplify IT management by automating more processes, using analytics and other business intelligence tools to guide their decisions, run IT like a business while seamlessly managing both private and hybrid clouds.
As cloud computing enters the mainstream, we also expect more companies to adopt a virtualised desktop environment to provide their users an enhanced desktop experience, greater data security and simplified desktop management. This approach is built around their personas, rather than the devices they carry, and allows greater flexibility for employees to access their corporate environments safely, anytime, anywhere.
Sign up for CIO Asia eNewsletters.