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Hybrid cloud realities 2015: Avanade interview

AvantiKumar | Dec. 19, 2014
Speaking with Computerworld Malaysia, Avanade's ASEAN SVP & GM Kevin Wo talks about the latest hybrid cloud adoption study's findings for Malaysia in tandem with the outlook for companies in Asia.

 How does Malaysia compare with other countries in the Asian region and why the growing interest as we move into the New Year?

Malaysian businesses are more supportive of hybrid cloud adoption compared to global average. The numbers also indicate a better understanding on the implications and benefits of hybrid cloud uptake for their business. While IDC (2013) reported that cloud uptake will be lethargic in 2013, their survey found 50 percent of organisations intent to spend from 5 percent to 30 percent of their IT spending on cloud in 2015, which supports our findings. Here are some local highlights compared to global average:

  • 84 percent of respondents believe that hybrid cloud should be one of the biggest areas of focus for their company in 2015, compared to global average of 69 percent.
  • Companies are investing in hybrid cloud solutions at a faster rate than private or public cloud, with more than half of companies' applications and services to be deployed on hybrid cloud environments within an average of one and half years, compared to global average of three years.
  • 96 percent agree that hybrid cloud will enable their companies to focus on issues that are core to the growth of the business, compared to global average of 74 percent.
  • 93 percent agreed that in the next 3 to 5 years, more critical applications for their businesses will be hosted on a hybrid cloud than on public cloud services, compared to global average of 76 percent.
  • 91 percent agree that adopting a hybrid cloud solution will give their organisation an edge over competitors, compared to global average of 73 percent.

Why do you think Malaysian companies seem keener on the hybrid cloud path over other options?

Hybrid cloud is viewed by them as a strategic asset. An overwhelming majority of companies agree that hybrid cloud will help their organisations to focus on issues that are core to the growth of the business and will give them an edge over competitors.

As such, companies are increasingly recognising that hybrid cloud adoption should be a priority. When asked if could put any functions on hybrid cloud tomorrow, Malaysian respondents said they would prioritise on customer-facing applications, followed by data and analytics, office and e-commerce applications.

On the other hand, Singapore respondents said they would prioritise office applications, followed by e-commerce application and customer-facing applications. Local businesses focus in customer-facing applications indicates the drive and need to implement new strategies to retain their already strong customer base.

What actual business benefits should companies in the Asian region expect from hybrid cloud control? Also, do you have any feedback on specific industry sectors' interest yet?

Because it is inherently flexible and customisable, hybrid cloud may allow better mitigation of security concerns and other issues that are inhibiting adoption and implementation, depending on an organisation's unique requirements. Companies can decide which data and applications they'd like to store publicly, privately or any combination therein. Much more flexible and customisable than public or private-only models, hybrid models' flexibility will give IT a better control point to guide enterprise adoption of cloud services - and in doing so, provide greater value for the business.

Regarding specific industry sectors, hybrid Cloud is still very much in its early adoption stage. We will certainly share local interest and success stories when they become available.

What challenges and barriers to hybrid cloud road do you advise your customers to plan for especially in this early adoption era?

Security and privacy concerns - whether real or perceived - are the biggest barriers to adoption and implementation of cloud solutions today.

More than half of companies surveyed see security as a barrier to implementation of hybrid cloud solutions. Another roadblock companies face is lack of comprehension around what hybrid cloud actually means, as well as a strategic adoption plan. 51 percent Malaysian respondents said do not have a hybrid cloud strategy in place, though many agree there are benefits to hybrid. And even those companies with a hybrid cloud strategy don't have defined steps for implementing it.

Indeed, we do not have any local success stories on hybrid cloud yet since it is very much in the early adoption stage. However, in a 'big bet' agreement designed to drive hybrid cloud past the tipping point for widespread enterprise adoption, Accenture, Microsoft and Avanade are creating the Accenture Hybrid Cloud Solution for Microsoft Azure. The new platform combines Microsoft Azure and the broader Microsoft Cloud Platform used by enterprises around the world; Avanade's experience and innovation implementing Microsoft technologies; and Accenture's specialised industry knowledge and deep business and IT transformation expertise.

It will make it easier for large enterprises to take full advantage of the agility and economics promised by the cloud but with the confidence they have come to expect from their traditional enterprise IT environments. The new platform features robust migration tools and services finely tuned for hybrid cloud and intended to help clients move and manage their workloads between Microsoft private and public clouds. We hope to share local success stories once this solution is introduced to the market.


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