Author: Ron Goh, President, Southeast Asia and Korea at VMware
Besides the latest EPL results or my children’s report cards, one other score that I eagerly look out for is the Cloud Readiness Index by the Asia Cloud Computing Association. Being based in Southeast Asia for the past 37 years, I have witnessed the evolution of this region into today’s growth hotspot. I find it immensely gratifying to celebrate the milestones that our cloud industry here has hit and enjoy tracking its exponential progress.
According to the 2016 Cloud Readiness Index, Southeast Asia has made huge gains in cloud readiness with Singapore, Malaysia and Indonesia markets steadily climbing the ranks. This is however punctured by a widening gap between these top performers and markets such as The Philippines and Vietnam.
Does the onus lie completely on the government to uplift a country’s cloud readiness? Although favourable regulatory policies can impact the development of cloud, I strongly believe that the private sector has an equally important role to play as well in accelerating cloud adoption.
From my conversations with CIOs, the barriers to cloud adoption stand aplenty. Top amongst these are fears that their technology purchases will become a white elephant quickly in today’s rapidly advancing technology landscape. How can businesses mitigate such risks and dial up cloud adoption in their own organizations? Simple – be pragmatic. CIOs need to put aside the technology and ask: What is the business problem being solved? Greater business agility? Cost savings? Better customer satisfaction? Clearly understanding business goals will lead to better technology decisions.
Once the business case is built, accelerating cloud adoption is heavily dependent on three elements – price, people and process.
Price: Understand hidden costs. The ingress or egress charges and data transfer costs can significantly inflate prices. Projecting how cloud technologies will be used both today and tomorrow will yield better understanding of ongoing maintenance costs.
People: The talent pool of cloud experts is thin. It’s a pool requiring a new generation of qualified cloud-native developers and, as software permeates all aspects of the business, software programmers. Needless to say, it will take time to build this qualified talent pool. In addition, current IT employees will need to learn new skills in order to remain productive in multi-cloud enterprise environments.
Process: Existing processes will need to be re-examined, updated, and transitioned in order to reap the benefits of automation that cloud-based technologies provide. And major changes to processes or complex environments may take significant manual work.
To move faster on the cloud adoption continuum, organizations need to tackle the challenges of price, people and process head on. When choosing between competing products and services, my advice is to think comprehensively through each specific use case. Is this a one-time project or a long-term transition? Will this workload need to be redeployed to a different app in the future? Answering these questions will help inform provider selection, eliminate inappropriate choices, uncover true costs and most importantly, speed up the cloud adoption journey.