Here are the best photos from an excellent first day of Cloud Asia Forum, Sheraton Hotel and Towers, Hong Kong. Be sure to join us on day two!
Archive for the ‘cloud computing asia’ Category
Looking forward to the Cloud Asia Forum in three weeks’ time, we spoke to Lincoln Lincoln, Practice Manager, Cloud Service Providers, Emerging Markets APJ at EMC, Headline Sponsor at the event, about “The Transformational Wave of Cloud in APAC“.
- How this transformational wave is affecting the dynamics of some traditional vendors
- The opportunity that this brings for service providers in Asia
- The interesting partnerships he is seeing in the Cloud space
- Finally, given these dynamic changes, how can consumers best equip themselves to leverage all the benefits of Cloud?
August Chan is Head of IT at Delta Asia, and is participating in a cross-industry panel session at Cloud Asia entitled What Challenges Does X Industry Face When Adopting the Cloud, alongside Senior Representatives from Swiss Re and City University of Hong Kong. The session promises to offer a diverse approach to Cloud implementation, adding value for enterprises from all industry verticals.
Looking at August’s specific vertical, the financial sector, we looked at how Delta Asia has implemented Cloud computing so far, what models they have chosen to deploy at this stage, and why. He details that, as Delta Asia’s businesses are highly regulated (including banking, brokerage, insurance), they are vigilant in adopting Cloud, in view of possible (often time-consuming) regulator challenges, questions over compliance, and other non-technical considerations. In terms of rollout, they are ‘cloudifying’ peripheral systems first (that is, non-core systems such as their information portal and marketing-related applications). Cost effectiveness is one of the main objectives of their cloud strategy, with other main reasons being fast provision and easy scalability. August concludes that “all things considered, at this stage, IaaS is what we are working at”.
Looking more closely at those main objectives, we ask what cost and organisational benefits August expects to see from implementation. With IaaS being a relatively simple cloud adoption, he states that they can maintain lot of controls on the platform running on the ‘rented’ infrastructure, while the ‘landlord’ will handle the hardware availability, maintenance, aged equipment replacement. He goes on to say that “other than the cost saving by avoiding up-front capex investment, we are expected to be able to cope with some short-notice changes in business requirements, such as time-to-market and scalability”.
Many enterprises have concerns before adopting Cloud, and it was no different for Delta Asia. The reasons being that, in August’s words, for a highly regulated industry, those current and possible future regulatory requirements, internal due care and compliance considerations drove them to think about the security and control of data, the location and accessibility of it, and exit planning. But they always remind themselves to “get a good control on what you have and on what makes your business run. We are thus still at the IaaS stage”.
To conclude, we consider the enterprise landscape in Asia as a whole; are enterprises in the region taking full advantage and seeing benefits from technologies such as Cloud? August’s response is straightforward: “Obviously not. I see many companies not utilizing cloud when it may be more cost effective than all in-sourcing”. So what advice would he offer for enterprises looking to develop their IT infrastructure? “I would suggest when you need to procure a new server or commission a new system, try thinking about cloud; don’t necessarily go for cloud, but think if cloud can help or not before spending on your capex”.
You can discuss this with August Chan and all of our industry experts at Cloud Asia, taking place in Hong Kong on 24-26 November. Enterprises can claim a complimentary full conference pass, with exhibition passes complimentary for all company types.
We caught up with Ben Dornier, Director of Corporate and Community Services, City of Palmerston, Australia, for a quickfire Q&A about the challenges of and opportunities presented by, deploying Cloud services in his public sector organisation. Ben will be hopping across the South China Sea in December 2014 to speak in the Enterprise Cloud stream at Cloud Asia, about ‘Getting Cloud Ready: Building Your Cloud Agenda’. The full brochure is available now, and Enterprises and Public Sector organisations can claim a complimentary pass for the event.
How has your organisation implemented cloud computing so far and what models have you chosen to deploy, and why?
We are using office365 for email as well as office product licences. We also used specialised cloud apps for asset management and contract management, as well as Council (board) and committee agendas and minutes. This sounds small, but if we get it wrong it is a big problem! Elected officials in particular expect access to information anytime and anywhere. Our cloud road map includes moving all our virtual servers into a cloud datacentre within the next 18 months, allowing us to be fully in the cloud, fully mobile – and most important considering our weather conditions and disaster management problems – no longer tied to our physical infrastructure.
What cost and organisational benefits do you expect to see from implementation?
Cost has not been the primary concern. The Northern Territory of Australia experiences annual cyclones and extreme weather conditions (not to mention deadly crocodiles and jellyfish!), so the primary concern has been the ability to open Council services from just a few laptops and mobile devices in order to protect our community in extreme conditions.
This said, Council has experienced cost savings related to reduced capex spending and reduced overheads for specialised IT staff. We are happy with our managed services providers, and we are enjoying having SLAs rather than employment contracts.
Can you tell us more about how the public sector is embracing cloud services in Australia, the concerns you had before adopting ‘cloud’, and how they were eased?
This of course depends on a working definition of ‘cloud’! A large number – maybe 90 of the 580 – local governments in Australia are purely cloud-based. Staff there might not even know it! Every local government makes use of some cloud based solution to varying degrees. In an era where doing more with less becomes increasingly important, cloud solutions are allowing IT staff to become more strategic, agile and responsive to the needs of the organisation.
I have been publicly engaging in cloud discussions for 15 years or so, and conversations always turn to ‘security issues’ (some things will never change!). For certain sectors of government, this is a reasonable discussion, but for local government (with a few caveats!) most our data is regarding mowing schedules, road conditions, facility maintenance, sewage and water quality, etcetera. This stuff does no good being kept secret. In my opinion, the security constraints for local government are drastically less than other levels of government. With this comes issues of data sovereignty and data centre location. In many states there are rules around this, but the flexibility and affordability offered by cloud solutions is mature enough to provide great options for us in the local and international space.
Do you think the public sector is taking full advantage and seeing benefits from technologies such as cloud and data analytics and management?
Absolutely not – we have a long way to go before the insights afforded by big data solutions will mature in our sector. Like the old TV show said, “we have the technology” – we just aren’t terribly good at figuring out how to use it as a tool to improve services to our constituents. We are making inroads, however, and it often means considering our data from a citizen viewpoint – ‘what would a resident want to know about waste management?’ for example. These insights need to further drive the use of analytics, and not just better executive decision making dashboards.
What are your next IT objectives and how do you think your business processes can be made more efficient going forward?
We are a rapidly growing community, and are seeking to be agile. We will be totally cloud and scalable by 1 Jan 2016. Our IT staff will be totally focused on delivering value and solutions to staff without being hampered by infrastructure. They will be focused on data analysis and strategy, rather than administration. I believe the biggest benefit of cloud based services has been the commodification of server admin and network services, and we will make this a strength moving into the future.
Why attend Cloud Asia?
• 1 trip + 500 Delegates = efficient use of your personal & business time
• 100 + Speakers = fast lessons with the minimum effort
• 50 x (Sponsors + Exhibitors) = Quick updates + LIVE software building demos & deployments
• Visit the stands you want & only see the newest solutions you need= No tiresome product pitches at Cloud Asia!
• Enterprise Apps + Advanced Data Analytics + Cross Device Software Knowledge = Bundles of facts to take back to the office.
• Best in class SME, enterprise & government organisation IT experts dominating the agenda = Bundles of business cards!
• Telco and OTT cloud providers – they’re coming along so you can tell them how they can improve the services and deliver what you want!
• Application developers who have that je ne sais quoi when it comes to supporting the cross device software needs of today’s enterprises and SMEs!
• Forms part of the 2014 Global Entrepreneurship Week (GEW) China – Hong Kong.
We guarantee you will be networking, learning, and contributing to the development of industry actions alongside pioneering technology developers such as AWS, Google, EMC, Microsoft, AppDirect, Vision Solutions, Orange Business Services, PCCW, and crucial enterprise & SME IT decision makers!
Ahead of Cloud Asia, we speak to Rocky Scopelliti, Group General Manager, Industry Centre of Excellence, Telstra, Australia in order to determine some of the winning steps companies should be taking when approaching data analytics.
When thinking about those companies that are successful in terms of their data analytics, there are inevitably some common characteristics in terms of their approach to them, and the company-wide policy with regard to them. Rocky is in agreement with this, stating that for these companies “their analytics support a strategic, distinctive capability, while the approach to, and management of, analytics is enterprise-wide”. What’s more, “Senior management are committed to the use of analytics; and the company makes a significant strategic bet on analytics-based competition”.
It’s not just the responsibility of the enterprise, however; ICT organisations have a vital role in enabling more competitive and effective data analytics, by creating an environment for them to succeed. Looking at a specific vertical – Financial Services – this is something that Telstra refer to as a Smart Connected Financial Services World. This, according to Rocky “will enable data analytics to benefit financial institutions; it will be used to respond to the changing competitive environment, and how the design of experiences will be valued by consumers, delivering growth. Demand for ‘trading at the speed of light’ and the need for shaving nanoseconds of latency has seen organisations like Telstra make significant investments in cable systems linking global markets and exchanges”. Trading at the speed of light is paramount, where a fraction of a second can cost millions. As global technology infrastructure develops even further, consumers across all verticals will inevitably become more demanding – what will be next, retailing at the speed of light? Data mining at the speed of light?
Looking specifically at what Telstra can offer to enable a Smart Connected Financial Services World, they have a wide range of cloud and leading edge digital services to enable institutions to reduce risk, improve productivity and create growth. When discussing this, Rocky makes the point that “Our research demonstrates that there is very strong customer demand for the personalisation and convenience that relationship managers typically provide. Unfortunately, direct relationship management is relatively expensive and is typically restricted to very high value customers”. However, there are several options: “Contact.Me brings together the best of a virtual IPA and a real, but remote, relationship manager in a single, engaging interface. Also we have Branch.Me, which is all about personalising the customer’s experience while they are visiting the branch – should they opt in for this level of service. In terms of a personalised customer experience, we have Digital.Me, it isn’t just about using analytics to help the customer manage their finances more easily and effectively, it’s also about creating a platform that will allow providers to offer new services that customers will value”.
Finally, talk turns to this November’s Cloud Asia event, where Telstra are the exclusive Enterprise Cloud Partner. Rocky’s reasons for Telstra’s participation at this important industry meeting place are that “Cloud Asia brings together new insights from leaders breaking new ground. I look forward to contributing my thought leadership on how Cloud can create new business models to compete in an increasingly data-fused environment”.
We look forward to it too. You can join Rocky, and all our event participants, by registering today. With a free-to-attend expo, and complimentary conference passes for enterprise, make sure you’re part of the conversation.
The Asia Cloud Computing Association (ACCA) published its third Cloud Readiness Index in 2014, assessing 14 countries in the region against ten criteria, including broadband quality and data sovereignty, which indicate the infrastructural and regulatory preparedness for cloud computing adoption. This assessment indicated three distinct groups forming in terms of development: Ready Leaders, Dedicated Improvers and Steady Developing.
The big improvers in the Index, each moving four places up the rankings, were New Zealand, Australia and Thailand. A commonality between these countries is having a governmental ICT and Cloud policy. Primary among these is New Zealand’s “cloud first” policy, which is explained as “where State services agencies would be expected to adopt approved cloud services either when faced with new procurements, or an upcoming contract extension decision”. Lim May-Ann, Executive Director of the ACCA, stated that “a proactive government-led cloud first policy will have profound and productive implications right across the economy – as we are now seeing from the policies adopted by the successful economies”.
Ready, Dedi and Steady
In making the country assessments, the ACCA saw three development-stage groups emerging. Firstly, the Ready Leaders, comprising Japan, New Zealand, Australia, Singapore, Hong Kong and South Korea. These economies look at fresh approaches, and foster innovation and creativity when looking at the next generation of cloud computing services. Looking at individual strengths, the broadband quality in South Korea and Hong Kong is consistently excellent; Japan and Singapore score highly when it comes to protecting intellectual property, and Australia and New Zealand have developed whole-of-government cloud computing policies.
The next band of economies are the Dedicated Improvers, consisting of Taiwan, Malaysia, Thailand and the Philippines; economies that, while showing good levels of growth and development, are less developed in some areas. Nevertheless, there are indicators of excellence in each of these states: the Philippines in terms of freedom of information access; Taiwan in international connectivity and business sophistication; Thailand in green policy and power grids, and Malaysia with a low data centre risk index.
Finally, there is the Steady Developing group, which includes China, Indonesia, India and Vietnam. While these countries may be the lowest-ranked, the ACCA stresses that they are still showing good development, particularly in terms of physical infrastructure and government policy. The ‘Broadband China’ policy is forecast to provide nationwide coverage by 2020; free city-wide wifi services have been rolled out in various Vietnamese cities thanks to public-private partnerships; Indonesia’s tax e-billing system has been a success and India’s nascent GI Cloud initiative (aka ‘Meghraj’) is showing promise.
Given the speed and nature of the development across the entire region, it will be of great interest to see how the rankings look in 2015. As Bernie Trudel, Chairman of the ACCA says, “in a region where you have to run just to keep pace, these countries will need to keep their eyes on the goalposts to stay the course”.
The ACCA is a supporting association of Cloud Asia in Hong Kong, November 24-26 2014.