Cloud Thinkering: Boon or Bane for IT Pros?

Sebastian BlogThe cloud vendor list is getting crowded and vibrant these days. EMC recently made a number of announcements including EMC Enterprise Hybrid Cloud and the acquisition of 3 cloud innovators Cloudscaling, Maginatics and Spanning. Now, Enterprise IT have the capability to build out its cloud blueprints and IT-as-a-Service consumption model with greater agility, efficiency, performance, security, control and choice. With the fast maturing cloud technologies and the promise of hybrid cloud services in enabling seamless management and provisioning of private and public cloud services, it is a sign and the coming of age of cloud computing for becoming one of the decade’s most disruptive technologies.

My visit to the recent Cloud Expo Asia 2014 event held in Singapore attests to it. Cloud Expo Asia is a marquee cloud event in the region, with international vendors showcasing their latest cloud plays and innovations. It is interesting to see more data centers and hosting facilities springing up in the region in the last couple of years since the end of the dotcom era. These data center players are now adopting cloud services and offering them to their customers with defined SLAs. Quite impressive, if you compare them to the standard shared and dedicated server hosting, co-location services and managed hosting services — a hallmark of hosting service providers for the past decade.

In my recent conversations with IT professionals, the talking point du jour is the perceived precipice of IT job loss with their organization’s adoption of cloud technologies. Nothing can be further than the truth.

In a hyper-connected world, change is the only constant. The demand for faster, control, visibility and lower cost IT solutions is fodder for business application users looking outside enterprise IT where the latter has been inapt in fueling such requirements. This is already happening and it’s just the tip of the iceberg. Enterprise IT needs to recognize the hybrid cloud trends and incorporate a cloud strategy in their IT blueprints. As the saying goes, “resistance is futile”!

Not everything is doom and gloom for IT professionals. With the advent of cloud services adoption, herein lies a once-in-a-decade opportunity for enterprise IT to transform itself from a cost center to a business enabler. In the greater scheme of things, enterprise IT may aim to adopt data analytics to provide business leaders with real-time and accurate data for better decision makings. It cannot however, leave data protection or business continuity out of the cloud adoption strategy. If the backup operations still rely on legacy backup infrastructure such as tape storage and backup silos, you just won’t stand a chance to meet backup windows service levels or provide granular data recovery for born-in-the-cloud and next-gen applications.

With the slew of new cloud service providers and their differentiated plays in the market, it seems that the kickshaws will find no place in the cloud vernacular. Organizations are future-proofing their cloud investments with cloud vendors that have seamless data protection in the cloud service model. Likewise, IT pros need to future-proof their career by embracing cloud technology trends and offer value add to their business users in providing managed cloud-based IT services.

The data center players and hosting service providers have transformed their business models from offering plain vanilla hosting services to cloud-based service subscription model. I believe it is also the right path for enterprise IT for their business users.

About the Author: Sebastian Yiang

Product Marketing Consultant, Dell EMC Storage & Data Protection, Asia Pacific and Japan I started out in the IT industry almost 25 years ago as a systems analyst in a large telco within its Internet Service Provider business unit to drive product and business development for consumer and enterprise Internet services. I then had the opportunity to do business development and product marketing for connected consumer electronics, managed hosting and data center services, and storage solutions before I joined EMC. My current role at Dell EMC is product marketing consultant for Data Protection Solutions for Asia Pacific and Japan region. I am based in sunny Singapore and enjoy traveling with my family.