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Why aren’t enterprises in Singapore moving to the cloud?

Andy Waroma | May 26, 2014
Cloud adoption by enterprises for their mission-critical applications on the public cloud has been slow in Singapore, compared to what we hear from the West.

Private cloud in enterprises and public cloud with SMEs are probably as successful in Singapore as anywhere else amongst the leading countries in the world, led in large part by the governmental efforts to increase the country's competitiveness. However, cloud adoption by enterprises for their mission-critical applications on the public cloud has been slow in Singapore, compared to what we hear from the West.

Large multinational companies are lifting and shifting thousands of their core enterprise applications to the public cloud. This is not done just because of cost savings but also because these companies have realised that seeing the "lights blinking" on premise no longer creates any differentiation over the competitors. Quite the contrary; remaining on premise will hinder the speed of change and ability to innovate.

Large companies in Singapore need to learn, like what the song from the movie, Frozen, says, to "let it go, let it go".  By putting old values and beliefs aside, the enterprises here can also start bringing their infrastructure to its inevitable destiny. Any decision-maker who is now considering major IT investments, needs to think carefully about whether they want to be on the "right side of history".  If a company is doing a data centre refresh now and the IT management is proposing ordering cardboard boxes full of "boxes", it should probably relook its HR policy.

While the current public cloud offering is still very much in its formative years, there is no longer a justification to choose the horse over the automobile or an oil lamp over electricity. In the past 10 years or so, infrastructure-as-a-service has become mature enough to be the preferred choice for many of the very large multinationals. It should be the same for us here.

Connectivity and latency are probably some of the last valid objections moving to the public cloud but thanks to best-in-class public infrastructure which we have in Singapore, we cannot make those excuses anymore. Security is probably the other pet excuse that tends to be brought into every conversation; people who have never studied security offerings from public cloud providers mostly make these assertions. Few if no companies here can afford such elaborate security mechanisms that the leading cloud providers can provide. And even if they are able to, they may not be able to put together a team with the requisite expertise to manage them. The cloud companies are scooping up all the best and the brightest in the industry.

So what can enterprises in Singapore do? Enterprise decision-makers, IT managers and the CIOs in Singapore must start recognising that the value of the cloud comes in many forms. The cloud has had such a massive impact on how IT is delivered, that many of the metrics and KPIs that are typically used at many enterprises do not capture or justify it. The value derived from the cloud can be found in both soft and hard measures. For example, how does one measure agility, efficiency, improved quality, greater collaboration or better customer service in ROI cost savings?


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