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SingTel CIO Day: CIOs faced with fixed, mobile and cloud convergence

Ross Milburn | March 28, 2012
Rapid IT change can be disruptive, but as the cloud matures, it promises to offer solutions as well as efficiency.

 

Mobile proves a safe bet
The CIO Insights Panel addressed the subject: Unleash the Power of Business with Fixed, Mobile and Cloud Convergence. Many speakers reported innovatory use of mobile devices. “We are focused on enhancing the service and experience of our customers, and a year ago we began putting an information and betting application on the iPhone,” said Sunny Lee, Executive Director, IT, Hong Kong Jockey Club. “We have had hundreds of thousands of downloads. We recently had an HK$87 million jackpot on Mark 6, and our betting centres were congested, so the application provided a convenient alternative.”

CIO Insights panel
From left: Geoff McClelland of CIO Connect HK, Bill Chang of SingTel, Paul Harapin of VMWare, Sunny Lee of HK Jockey Club, Irving Tan of Cisco and Peter Blanks of Noble Group.

IT is struggling to keep up with consumerisation. “Customer expectations are changing,” said Harapin, “and I had to discuss with a CEO why his five-year-old granddaughter can download applications immediately, while it takes his IT department six months to deliver one.”

In field operations, mobility really pays off. “I work for a supply chain company moving agricultural produce around the world,” said Peter Blanks, CIO Asia, Noble Group. “We are hoping to put mobile devices in the hands of coffee farmers in Vietnam and cotton growers in South America, to get feedback, including photographs, weather forecast, crop diseases and other market variables.”

When users are really remote, satellite has a key role in mobility. Inmarsat is a commercial company that arose from a non-profit organisation for marine communications. Its services include voice, M2M and broadband. The IsatPhone is Inmarsat’s own-designed and manufactured robust mobile satellite phone, offering clear voice telephony as well as low-bandwidth data services. “IsatPhone is a relatively lightweight satellite phone that can be used globally at one rate (US$1 per minute) with no roaming charges,” said Drew Brandy, VP Industry Inmarsat.

HP is seeing an incredibly strong take-up rate for cloud, with 75 percent of customers adopting it. “The scary thing is that we see a large part of the IT spend bypassing the IT department – we expect the figure to be 35% in future,” said John McInerney, VP of Strategic Enterprise Services, AP & Japan, Hewlett-Packard. “It is not difficult for non-IT staff to engage cloud services, but the CIO is left holding the security and performance risks. The CIO should be the buyer, builder and integrator of services.”

HP is encouraging CIOs to retain control of cloud management by providing them with ‘supply chain’ terms of business to facilitate cloud procurement. But, said McInerney: “New enterprises are going to benefit more from the cloud than traditional ones with massive legacy applications. Mainframe applications will migrate to the cloud only slowly and CIOs are in danger of being ‘parked’ along with the legacy applications.”

 

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