Photo - Laurence Si, Country Manager, VMware Malaysia
Over the last year, Malaysia has witnessed rapid growth of the ICT industry reinforcing its role as a strategic driver to support and contribute directly to the growth of the Malaysian economy. This development has also been critical in achieving the objectives laid out as part of the Digital Malaysia programme; to advance the country towards a developed digital economy by 2020 by creating an ecosystem that promotes the pervasive use of ICT in all aspects of the society, government and economy.
In line with this growth, cloud computing has become increasingly relevant and can play a key role in enabling the development of enterprises - both large and small. According to the results of the 3rd annual VMware Cloud Index - a commissioned study conducted by Forrester Consulting - the majority of Malaysian respondents (72 percent) will grow and/or expand their businesses in 2013, and 70 percent of Malaysia respondents surveyed view cloud as a top priority or highly relevant to their organisations.
In fact, 79 percent of respondents believe that cloud can help them compete more effectively in the marketplace. Top enablers of cloud computing revealed by the VMware Cloud Index 2012 are: the ability to support a more mobile and flexible workforce; the demand to optimise their existing IT management and automation capabilities; and the desire to empower the business by simplifying access to IT resources. In fact, one in two (50 percent) respondents that do not currently have cloud initiatives in place said they plan to implement it within the next 18 months.
Cloud enhances business services
In today's rapidly evolving and challenging business environment, IT has the ability to leverage advances in cloud computing to enable business functions and users to procure services that they need - we call this "IT as a Service". With this, VMware believes that cloud computing has brought a new responsibility for IT. Instead of being solely a builder of services, IT organisations that migrate to a software-defined infrastructure model have the opportunity to act as a broker of services that centrally controls and manages the delivery of applications across the business.
The VMware Cloud Index 2012 revealed the top three barriers to cloud adoption in Malaysia are: data privacy, residency, 'loss of control'; security; and access to reliable and affordable broadband - these are also consistent with some of the most significant barriers faced by countries across the region. The VMware Service Provider Partner Programme (VSPP) can help companies overcome the perceived barriers to cloud computing.
By leveraging VMware solutions on a subscription basis from our telco and service provider partners' customers can be assured that their data resides in a specific country, and only pay for the services that they consume. Service Level Agreements (SLAs) also assures customers of predictable performance and high availability. In this way, they can connect and manage all virtual and cloud environments, gain deep visibility into their virtual resource allocation and consumption, and be assured of high availability with service level agreements in place.
The VMware Cloud Index also revealed that only 56 percent of respondents agree that their IT organisation has the skills and infrastructure necessary to create and manage a private cloud. Likewise, only 53 percent of respondents agreed that their organisation is increasing spending on cloud training for employees. As customers leverage cloud computing to fuel their growth, IT needs to be equipped to plan, develop and deploy cloud solutions that are aligned to organisation's needs.
To address this, VMware organises enablement platforms throughout the year to help customers stay at the forefront of the latest industry developments. VMware Professional Services works closely with customers to architect and successfully implement their cloud infrastructure, and VMware's Cloud Ops intellectual property addresses how customers can build, operate, staff and measure a cloud environment to maximise business innovation and efficiency.
Cloud computing and the mobile workforce are redefining how people choose to work globally and the potential benefits to employee productivity and happiness make a strong
business case for companies to rethink their IT infrastructure and policies.
To evolve, IT must break the cycle and efficiently innovate and maintain while addressing the needs of the business and workforce. This can be done by eliminating the current technology barriers and shifting the focus to delivering services for business agility and workforce productivity by leveraging on effective end-user computing solutions. This flexibility will ultimately enable new levels of user satisfaction and productivity for the year ahead.
Moving from device to the user
Although 71 percent of respondents for the VMware Cloud Index said their organisation is concerned about end-users accessing cloud-based applications and services from mobile devices used for work, only one in two respondents (51 percent) said their IT organisation has a formal strategy in place for supporting end-user computing, including access to cloud-based services from mobile devices. It's not surprising therefore that the ability to support a more mobile and flexible workforce highest as a driver of cloud computing was rated the highest as a driver of cloud computing in Malaysia (90 percent).
VMware's End User Computing solutions seek to free employees and IT organisations from more than two decades of complex, device-centric computing, and delivers a more user-centric experience for the connected enterprise. In this new model, organisations leverage hybrid cloud resources - while maintaining a managed, secure environment - to provide new ways for employees to collaborate across applications and data from any device, where and when a user needs it.
In this tough economic environment, organisations have to grapple with declining budgets and IT is expected to do more with less. We believe cloud computing can play a strategic role in unlocking resources and fuelling innovation for the business which will allow them to transition from just reacting to a never-ending list of demands to proactively becoming a partner with business leaders in the overall success of the business. This will help to ensure that organisations stay competitive, enter new markets, and make a growing base of mobile and demanding employees more productive.
Customers in Malaysia are no longer asking "why" but "how" they can get started on their cloud journey. It is an exciting time to be in the industry and we are continuing on our solid growth trajectory in the country. We see the role of virtualisation and cloud computing being elevated in enabling business transformation during the year ahead and we look forward to the opportunities that will be made available to us in the market as a result of this.