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Stratospheric imperatives

Gerald Wee | April 28, 2011
Cloud computing in one form or another is expected to take the world by storm, and like it or not, organisations must prepare themselves for the inevitable.

Without a doubt Cloud computing is one of the most talked about models of deployment in enterprise information and communication technology (ICT) circles today. And as enterprises embrace the paradigm in a big way, incorporating them into their operating environments to leverage the well-known costs and efficiency benefits, there are a host of issues to consider, including strategic perspectives, security considerations, product and services options, as well as a host of human resource and management considerations.

These were the issues discussed at the Computerworld Singapore Forum: Future Enterprise | Twin IT Concerns: Cloud Computing & Network Management event at the Marina Mandarin Hotel in Singapore on February 18, 2011.

According to opening keynote speaker Ian Cook, Founder of the We Innovate Network and former CIO and Senior Vice President of Chubb Insurance Group of Companies, Cloud computing is everywhere.

“I thought it would be a flash in the pan five years ago,” he said. “But it is inevitable and already happening as part of the natural evolution. Ignore it at your own peril.”

This must happen in spite of all the well documented issues surrounding Cloud like trust, liability, security, loss of control and privacy.

“These are just problems looking for solutions,” Cook said. “At Chubb, we did a major reorganisation, and many thought they would lose their jobs, but the reality is the organisation got bigger, not smaller.”

And while there is still a continuum of opinions on whether to adopt this technology, most companies seem to be taking a proactive approach with research from networking equipment vendor Ipswitch revealing that over 60 percent of companies plan to invest in Cloud technologies in one form or another this year.

One catalyst of this is that the digital universe is expected to grow from 0.8ZB (Zettabytes) in 2009 to 35ZB by 2020, of which one third will be touched by Cloud related services, according to technology research house IDC.

Innovation Crunch
As such, Cook encourages CIOs and strategic IT managers to take advantage of the Cloud platform as an ideal opportunity to innovate for the future. “The digital economy is new and not governed by old rules,” he said. “Companies that embrace innovation will persist. If not, we will be history.”

He cited eBay, Skype and Facebook as prime examples of successful organisations that have leveraged the tremendous potential of the digital economy.

“We have always been developing new ways of controlling our environment,” he said. “The Cloud is here, and now it is figuring out the use of that technology to innovate. It is up to us to innovate and help businesses use it.”


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