IDC has predicted that at least 55% of organisations will be digitally determined, transforming markets and reimagining the future through new business models and digitally-enabled products and services by 2020 in the Asia Pacific region. As one of the fastest growing economic regions in the world, Southeast Asia is leading the digital readiness and transformation for businesses. This would mean more businesses will be using cloud services to compete in the digital era.
The demand has led to cloud service providers providing more opportunities for businesses to enable and embark on their digital transformation. Multi-cloud implementations being the preferred choice, allows businesses to plan and strategize their digital journey.
According to Maria Da, Vice President of Oracle Digital Prime Technology for JAPAC, “In Oracle Digital, we are working with mid-size companies, and the observation is that emerging companies or start-ups are highly practically ready to adopt a digital way of IT services and, even more, majority of emerging companies are digitally native, meaning their business strategy is built on digital way of services to the market.”
Maria added that younger companies are unburdened by legacy systems and processes, hence making their IT development fast, more cost-effective and more agile to future potential business demands. This, she believes, creates a unique environment in Southeast Asia, where younger companies are creating great competitive pressures for different industries, making market giants move faster.
“Overall, having worked previously in the Middle East and Africa as well as South Eastern Europe, I think Southeast Asia represents the best small and medium digitally ready business ecosystem in the world.”
As small and medium companies populate 95% of all ASEAN businesses, Maria added that cloud is not just part of their recommendations but also their core strategy. Younger companies, she said, are much easier to handle as they would understand the needs of the cloud since their IT strategy started with the cloud. However, when it comes to dealing with larger companies, it’s a different scenario.
“When migrating large companies to cloud, we come across common, often mythical, concerns like ‘Oracle will get access to my data’ or ‘we will lose control over our IT systems’ or simply ‘cloud is high risk’. We’re helping our customers to path their way to cloud seamlessly, providing hybrid cloud options, where customers can run a cloud subscription model with data residing on-premises.”
Looking at Oracle’s largest customers, Oracle is not just another vendor but a well-reputed partner as these organisations were relying on Oracle’s database years before the cloud era. Oracle’s strategy now is to help every Oracle installed base customer to migrate to cloud.
While large companies are carefully assessing and introducing Cloud in their IT strategy step by step, SMEs, on the other hand, rapidly embracing Cloud. This is because most SMEs are ‘digitally native’ and have much less legacy to deal with – the major profit factor is driven by speed to the market and speed of managing the change.
“Our Cloud pricing model allows SMEs to enter at Pay As You Go rate, without any upfront commitment or investment and further scale their usage as required with the Monthly Flex model.”
Once Cloud has become business as usual for the company, the next thing that comes to mind to businesses is the type of cloud they should use. Should they opt for a multi-cloud strategy or just a single cloud service?
For Oracle, they believe that whether a business chooses a multi-cloud or single cloud, Oracle will always respect the choice of the customers. Both have their pros and cons. If companies don’t want to be locked in to a particular vendor, they should pick a multi-cloud approach. If they want a single point of cloud vendor responsibility for all their cloud services, they should opt for a single cloud. Oracle will still support both strategies.
Having said that, businesses need to opt for cloud providers that are scalable to support updates in the industry. Today, artificial intelligence and machine learning are key selling points for most cloud providers.
According to Maria, “Our key focus in Oracle is Autonomous Cloud, meaning that our database cloud service comes with the best of AI/ML incorporated, which allows our customers to run Oracle Cloud in an autonomous manner where the database manages itself; self-securing, self-patching, self-upgrading, plus provides customers with ML-enabled, extensive predictive insight based on available data.”
In other words, Oracle Cloud runs on an AI/ML enabled platform. Mid-market companies that are looking to save costs to invest more into business, will be able to save costs on Oracle’s Autonomous Cloud in various ways. This includes using a subscription model vs. CAPEX expenditure upfront, through Oracle enabled automation of its Cloud services which relieves IT expenses and allows re-direct them for business transformation vs. maintenance and through best in class predictive business insight functionality of Oracle Cloud services which allows businesses to take decisions faster.
The bottom line is businesses need to understand that it is not whether to move to cloud or not, but when to move to cloud. As Maria puts it, “Cloud is unavoidable. The longer you resist to accept it, the bigger the business risks.”
SMEs who are interested to learn more about emerging technologies that can help them shape the future of their business can check out Oracle OpenWorld Asia in Singapore from March 26-27. Join innovators as they challenge assumptions, design for better outcomes, and leverage transformational technologies to create future possibilities now.