cloud smart

VMware Explore 2022 in Singapore.

Becoming cloud smart can enhance Asia Pacific’s potential to succeed

For many, the journey to the cloud has been complex due to the numerous challenges faced during migration. Despite proper planning, businesses find themselves in what might be described as cloud chaos as they often end up investing too much or too little, especially when it comes to the multi-cloud. While cloud chaos may not be disruptive to their business operations, it can prove to be a rather costly affair in the long run.

According to the Multi-Cloud Maturity Index Report, by VMware and Vanson Bourne, 95% of all APJ organizations surveyed believe a multi-cloud approach is critical to business success, and 56% go even further, saying that organizations that do not adopt a multi-cloud approach risk failure. Statistics show that the embracement of the multi-cloud has also spiked during the pandemic. 43% of APJ organizations reported using multiple public clouds two years ago, but the number has now increased to 70% and is expected to grow to 80% over the next five years.

While 99.8% of respondents in APJ believe a multi-cloud approach has benefits to business such as enhanced employee flexibility, the development of higher-value applications, and getting apps into production faster, this doesn’t mean that more clouds are necessarily better. In fact, the majority (79%) of organizations report that they haven’t yet embarked on the multi-cloud journey or are struggling with various aspects of ‘cloud chaos’ — everything from talent gaps to governance to security risks.

Interestingly, only one in five businesses have reached the tipping point of their cloud journey, whereby the strategic advantages of multi-cloud outweigh the inherent complexities. These organizations, which have taken a cloud-smart approach have achieved a more sophisticated and mature approach to multi-cloud, which enables them to gain strategic business advantages. Simply put, cloud-smart organizations are experiencing the freedom to choose the best cloud for each application. They have the ability to say ‘no’ to vendor lock-in and the skyrocketing costs that result as well as have the power to control their data and not the other way around.

At VMware Explore 2022 in Singapore, Sumit Dhawan, President of VMware stated that the cloud smart approach is working well for their customers. They are using the power of what the cloud provides to build new applications and have that flexibility and agility in a smarter way including running the right apps on the right cloud so they don’t have to compromise on their development.

“From a customer end, we continue to see increased adoption of solutions and platforms accelerating. We are solving real customer challenges. In Southeast Asia and Korea, customers are coming with challenges to take advantage of tech while avoiding cloud chaos as they accelerate to cloud smart. What’s interesting is that the regional consumers are tech savvy and can have their pain points solved faster as we have already dealt with these issues in the US and Europe,” commented Dhawan.

At the same time, Paul Simos, Vice-President & Managing Director of VMware, Southeast Asia, and Korea explained that becoming cloud smart also enables businesses to leverage tech to deal with talent shortage. This includes freeing staff for more high-level activities of work. Organizations will not have to reduce their workforce but can remove lower-level activities from teams and can get them to focus on architecture and security.

“Organizations need to make their investments in multi-cloud work harder. It is time to shift gears and transition to a cloud-smart strategy not just to weather what is to come, but to continue getting the scale of productivity and profitability they have been enjoying when they first moved to the Cloud far into the future,” said Simos.

Sumit Dhawan, President, VMware shared about the perils of Cloud Chaos and the journey towards becoming Cloud Smart at VMware Explore Singapore

Embracing a cloud smart journey

As such, there are six key areas organizations across the Asia Pacific need to consider in the next phase of the journey toward becoming a Cloud Smart organization:

  • Unlocking revenue and profitability potential: While Asia Pacific organizations surveyed say having a multi-cloud environment is key for business growth, the benefits are a lot stronger and clearer for Cloud Smart organizations. 97% of Cloud Smart organizations across the Asia Pacific region report that their multi-cloud approach has positively impacted their revenue and profitability.
  • Transforming data into money: Data monetization is growing as a significant source of revenue. For APJ organizations surveyed 30% report data monetization as a significant source of revenue versus 22% two years ago. When looking at the segment of Cloud Smart organizations, , 41% report data monetization as a significant source of revenue currently, with 75% anticipating this to be the case by 2027.
  • Demystifying visibility to control on cloud costs: The lack of visibility and control over multi-cloud operations is directly impacting the bottom lines of businesses. Trailing organizations are more than twice as likely to report a struggle with cloud costs than Cloud Smart organizations (32% to 70%)
  • Tackling data sovereignty and management: Organizations are increasingly collecting data from customers around the world. In tandem, governments are requiring enterprises to keep the data that’s collected within sovereign borders. Multi-cloud clearly helps organizations address the growing data sovereignty considerations, with 92% of Cloud Smart enterprises saying it’s easy to manage data in whichever nation it resides as compared to 63% of Trailing organizations. Further to this, 89% of Cloud Smart enterprises report it is easy to secure the data in whichever nation it resides compared to 60% of their Trailing counterparts.
  • Strengthening security and control: With more clouds, comes more potential entry points for bad actors, prompting organizations to cite ‘increased cybersecurity risks’ as the most likely challenge associated with multi-cloud at 42%. Given the lack of visibility and control over their multi-cloud environment, it is perhaps not surprising that 61% of APJ organizations surveyed say they need to improve their cybersecurity strategy in order to successfully secure apps and data across multiple clouds. In comparison, more than nine in 10 Cloud Smart organizations say little or no improvement is needed in securing their organization’s data (93%), their end-user employee data (93%), and customer data (92%).
  • Bridging the talent gap: Another obstacle in succeeding with multi-cloud is the talent gap. 46% of Asia Pacific respondents agree their organization does not have the skills in-house to achieve a multi-cloud approach, and even Cloud Smart organizations are struggling with this issue, with 42% saying the same. Having a clear multi-cloud strategy is crucial, with 91% of Asia Pacific respondents acknowledging it plays an important role when it comes to recruiting and retaining the best talent.

“In the world of cloud, you’re assembling your application by leveraging functions and services already written and developed and available in the cloud. That’s why application development has been democratized and made simple in the cloud. In that world, application changes happen without you knowing about them because these are services running in the cloud. New versions of them get knocked up by developers all over. Our Tanzu portfolio enables you to build a platform to have control over. You can require certain versions of your applications that are running in the cloud to be at a certain version and as a result, all your applications using those services are updated with the right level of visibility. You have visibility, you have control which allows you to have much higher governance.

The same thing is happening at the network tier. You can see visibility in a consistent way for all of your modern applications. Hence, when you’re out of compliance, you can control it. This exists in the enterprise applications as well, because you have one infrastructure, one way of operating one way of networking, you can provide the right security and governance for all your applications,” explained Dhawan.