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Why PaaS is important to Malaysia's digital development: interview

AvantiKumar | Sept. 30, 2015
Chin Ying Loong, ASEAN VP for Oracle Fusion Middleware, talks to Computerworld about the PaaS market.

In an interview with Computerworld Malaysia, Chin Ying Loong, ASEAN vice president for business solutions provider Oracle's Fusion Middleware division, said the Malaysian government is strongly encouraging the adoption of cloud computing in the country through various initiatives. This means that cloud has become a key component in enterprise IT strategies with the national ICT agency Multimedia Development Corporation (MDeC) supporting the implementation of cloud application platforms such as platform as a service (PaaS) to turn Malaysia into a digital economy, while the 11th Malaysia Plan includes cloud computing as a core element for a high-income nation by 2020.

Chin said that while the majority of organisations have shifted to the cloud, many are still struggling to attain agility critical to success - innovation slows as developing, testing and deploying new projects takes weeks and costs continue to rise in this phase. "PaaS has the breadth and depth to address these issues by make infrastructure more consumable and easier for developers to test and deploy applications."

According to IDC, the PaaS market is expected to grow from US$6.2 billion in 2013, to more than US$20 billion in 2018, with businesses offering PaaS functionality by 2020. As such, it is no surprise that PaaS is emerging as a cost effective key enabler to accelerate application development in both public and private clouds with features that include:
- The key features of platform-as-a-service (PaaS) to innovate, integrate and collaborate
- The flexibility of PaaS to enhance workflow and increase overall efficiency
- How Oracle PaaS can maximize the strategic value of businesses in a cost effective manner
- Insights into Oracle Cloud and their solutions for various organisations
- The future outlook for PaaS within the region

Chin Ying Loong - Oracle Asean

Photo - Chin Ying Loong, ASEAN VP for Oracle Fusion Middleware.


What do you think are the main issues to cloud adoption in Malaysia and which sectors are falling behind?

Cloud adoption in Malaysia is a rising trend as CIOs and business owners are looking for more cost effective ways to run their IT infrastructure. While cloud adoption provides cost saving benefits in the long term, the adoption cost remains a concern for most of these decision makers as they question the upfront investment needed for the migration itself.

Aside from hardware and software concerns, there is also the people factor, where some businesses face challenges in training their staff to adapt to new systems. This can put a strain on overall business productivity as they learn to utilize new tools effectively. Such concerns weigh on the minds of any decision maker, regardless of their sector and this is where Oracle excels as we strive to provide the best support and service solution to our customers.

Be it people, infrastructure or software, as The Cloud Company, Oracle has the capabilities to support our clients' specific needs. We are the only company that offers a complete cloud solution including SaaS, PaaS and IaaS, and this is why we have a competitive advantage when it comes to solving the specific issues raised by clients.

Cloud is a key component in enterprise IT strategies, with more than 90 percent of companies adopting cloud computing to some degree. With this many businesses already enjoying the cost savings and flexibility that comes with cloud adoption, it is fast becoming a necessity for businesses to do so just to remain competitive.

The use of PaaS has reported operational savings of up to 50 percent compared to using siloed technology stacks. This could mean a significant impact for company bottom lines especially when it comes to the time and resources required to perform certain workloads, processes or functions.

Among the biggest benefit of using PaaS is overall faster deployment of new applications. In a traditional on premise deployment, the IT department has to procure, install and configure hardware, database, and application servers along with the development and test environment. This can take months from procuring to installation and deployment, even before an organisation writes a single line of code.

For example, without the help of an efficient PaaS to develop and deploy applications, companies have to suffer the complexity of managing underlying application platforms along with the headaches of additional administration and management of the infrastructure, database and middleware. The additional time and resources spent on managing the above complexities will cause slower deployment and ultimately affects the outcome and results of new applications.

In today's competitive landscape, organizations demand their IT department to respond within days and not months. This is where Oracle's comprehensive PaaS offerings come in to enable an organisation to start building or deploy an application or data in an out-of-the-box, standardized environment.

Time to value is an incredible advantage that we offer our customers today.

What is your view of the Malaysian government efforts to help the ICT industry meet the opportunities presented by cloud, the Internet of Things, and of course big data analytics?

The government has been very supportive, launching various programmes that help address the economic and human capital challenges in the local Malaysian IT industry. For example, the Malaysia Multimedia Development Corporation (MDeC)'s drive to have 1,500 data scientists by 2020 to unleash the power of Big Data Analytics (BDA) has resulted in public and private institutes offering data science courses to students.

This is an important development as it is a testimony of the increasing demand for BDA technologies and a boost to the local BDA industry. At Oracle, our clients require powerful analytic capabilities that combine any data from any source (cloud, on-premises, big data repositories, IoT) with ease and flexibility. As such, having the right people and talent behind implementing or recommending such solutions for our clients is key. 

What more needs to be done by the government to enhance the country's current economic and work culture climate to achieve high-income nation status by the year 2020?

The current initiatives provided by the government to enhance IT knowledge, incentives and the talent dilemma as mentioned has certainly given the local business community a push in terms of the economic and work culture enhancement. It would be good to see these initiatives continued and accompanied by efforts to reward or encourage businesses to adopt the latest IT trends by way of incentives and training.

In addition, Oracle Cloud continues to show strong adoption, supporting 70+ million users and more than 33 billion transactions each day. It runs on 54,000 devices and more than 700 petabytes of storage in 19 data centres around the world.  What we are doing is very rare in our industry as we are getting bigger and our growth rate is expanding.

The growth is a reflection of the demand from our customers for a robust cloud solution to support the increasing number of business challenges that they face today. The benefits of cloud adoption are evident and we feel that this is definitely a trend that the local business community should invest in given the right solutions partner.

How is Oracle's approach and portfolio helping companies to meet the challenge to 'cloud agility' head on?

Oracle has played an integral role in transforming many Malaysian businesses with our solutions. Some of the benefits experienced by our clients from using the Oracle Cloud Platform include being able to move workloads to the cloud, extending their SaaS applications, integrating the applications with other cloud and on-premises systems whilst providing analytics for better business insights.

We also have customers that have benefited from our Oracle Mobile Cloud Service that provides businesses with the tools to develop a strategy for supporting mobile development through out-of-the-box services. The service also has the capability to define and implement new enterprise-ready APIs quickly and cleanly, while API calls from Android or iOS client applications are made via uniform REST calls. This creates a cohesive development environment that's easy to control and maintain.

Essentially, Oracle Cloud Platform enables businesses to integrate with existing business-critical IT systems by running workloads where they run best - on-premises or in the cloud - and integrate business processes across these environments. This is especially important in Malaysia where businesses may have concerns regarding integration with current legacy systems and people training.

Additionally, we help accelerate enterprise application innovation, where our clients can enjoy faster application development with easy-to-use tools and instant cloud access. This enables them to focus on innovations rather than on the administration work related to patching, backup, restoration, etc.


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