Author: Robert Shimp, Group Vice President, Product Management Infrastructure Technologies, Oracle Corporation
Modern enterprises are constantly adapting their business strategies and processes to respond to evolving market conditions. This is especially true for enterprises serving fast-growing economies in Asia Pacific. For these businesses, cloud computing is an invaluable means to accelerate change. From quickly deploying new applications to rapidly scaling infrastructure, enterprises are using cloud computing to create new value, build better solutions, and expand business.
According to Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC), the increase in the use of big data analytics, cloud computing and data recovery is expected to double more than RM2 billion by 2020. This move is essential not only for enterprises and their continuous digital transformation efforts, but also for small-medium enterprises (SMEs) as they adopt Industry 4.0. Cloud computing could also provide incredible opportunities for enhanced e-governance for government services in the future.
To cope with the rapidly changing technology landscape, cloud providers are introducing new ‘cloud native computing’ services to offer even more dynamic application development to further elevate the service industry. This new technology will make cloud application developers more agile and efficient even as it reduces deployment cost and increases cloud vendor independence.
Malaysia Businesses: The battle for cloud adoption
Despite being intrigued by the idea of cloud adoption, many enterprises are also feeling overwhelmed by the rapidly changing cloud native technology landscape and aren’t sure how to proceed. While cloud native computing has demonstrated success among early adopters, harnessing this technology has posed a challenge for many mainstream businesses.
There are several ways that an enterprise can bring cloud native computing on board. One option is to build their own cloud native environment from open source software. This comes at the price of carefully evaluating many different open source projects before choosing which software to use. Once the software is selected, the IT department will need to staff and train hard-to-find talent to provide in-house support. All in all, this can be an expensive and risky way to adopt new technology.
A second option is to contract with a software vendor to provide a complete cloud native solution. But this compromises the freedom to choose the best open source technologies in exchange for better vendor support, not to mention the added perils of a closed contract. This struggle can be resolved by using a technology provider that offers the best of both worlds -- i.e., delivering standards-based off-the-shelf software from the open source projects designated by the Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF), and also provides integration, testing, and enterprise-class support for the entire software stack.
CNCF uses experts from throughout the industry to evaluate the maturity, quality, and security of cloud-native open source projects and give guidance on which are ready for enterprise use. Selected cloud-native technologies cover the entire scope of containers, microservices, continuous integration, server-less functions, analytics, and much more. Once these cloud-native open source projects have been declared ‘graduated’ by CNCF, those projects can confidently be incorporated into an enterprise’s cloud native strategy with the knowledge that they are high quality, mainstream technologies that will get industry-wide support.
Winning the battle
Nonetheless, adopting CNCF’s rich cloud native technology framework is only half the battle. Businesses must choose a technology provider that will package these CNCF-endorsed technologies without proprietary extensions or other lock-in, and provide the necessary integrations, testing, support, documentation, training, and more.
A well-designed software stack built to the CNCF guidelines and offered by a single vendor has many benefits. First, it reduces the risk of technology adoption. Second, it provides a single point of contact for rapid support resolution, which means faster time to market and higher customer satisfaction. Third, it helps make cloud native applications portable to any popular cloud. This flexibility can help enterprises improve their operating margin by reducing expenses and unlocking future revenue growth opportunities.
As cloud native computing becomes an every-day part of mainstream cloud application development in Malaysia, businesses are given the options to choose from different cloud delivery models to cater to different business sizes and needs. Business leaders can also easily deliver robust applications while shifting the mix to a pure open source model over time through mixture of cloud services.