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Achieving the cloud’s transformative potential: What we can learn from the Multiverse  

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Article written by Dominic Targett, Head of Group IT Management Office, AIA

The cloud offers businesses many pathways to innovation and efficiency, but reaching that destination is no easy task.

A look at global trends highlights this challenge with cloud transformation. According to a 2022 Accenture global report, only 42% of surveyed businesses achieved the expected improvements to data access and analytics after a few years into their cloud journey. In Asia, a separate 2022 Forrester study shows that 96% of Asia Pacific businesses surveyed are overspending on the cloud by underusing and overprovisioning their cloud resources.

The struggle to fulfill the cloud’s potential can be a frustrating experience for businesses. New inspiration is needed to push businesses along this journey, and that can come from everything or everywhere, maybe even all at once.

Enter the Multiverse

A closer look at the Oscar-acclaimed film “Everything Everywhere All at Once” (EEAAO) reveals some valuable insights to help businesses achieve their expected business outcomes from cloud transformation.

EEAAO follows the story of Evelyn – an immigrant Chinese laundromat owner, played by Michelle Yeoh – who suddenly has to defeat a threat in the multiverse. Using technology that allows travel across universes, Evelyn and her allies are able to retrieve unique memories and abilities from their alternate selves. This strongly mirrors what the cloud can do for businesses, by helping them access consolidated resources across the organization beyond physical boundaries.

Aside from its kung-fu scenes and philosophical discussions, Evelyn’s experience with the multiverse teaches her valuable lessons about herself and her potential. These same lessons could also be pivotal in fulfilling the cloud’s potential for businesses.

Be intentional with your resources


Dominic Targett, Head of Group IT Management Office, AIA

Early in the film, Evelyn realizes that every action or decision leads to vastly different outcomes. When thrown into the action, a random act like tickling her nose grants her martial arts abilities. In the larger scheme of things, she becomes a movie star after choosing an acting career over settling down in a marriage.

Every action has a consequence, and this idea is a good reminder of the cloud’s resource impact on businesses. During cloud migration, the effort to bring every workload or application will incur resource costs. If cloud asset migration activities are left unchecked, it can lead to unnecessary resource spending and expensive outcomes, which hinders the cloud’s cost-saving potential.

Cloud operation dashboards can help teams to monitor resource impact. Aside from tracking cloud resources and services utilization, dashboards monitor application metrics such as response time and error rates. This data will help businesses make smarter decisions by providing visibility over the actual business improvements brought about by cloud-related activities.

Processes such as Infrastructure as Code (IaC) can also contribute to effective cloud resource use. IaC uses programming to automatically set up networks, data storage and compute layers, which reduces man-hours and allows organizations to only pay for what they need.

A collaborative effort like the multiverse

Evelyn gains more confidence as she harnesses the power of the multiverse, but soon realizes that she cannot do it alone. Saving the day is a team effort that transcends universes in the film. Evelyn not only works with alternate universe versions of her husband but also draws on skills and memories from her different selves from the multiverse.

Cloud transformation requires a similar collaborative spirit. The cloud’s benefits will be felt by the whole business, and its implementation has to involve different functions. Just like harnessing the skills from the multiverse, businesses can also benefit from different perspectives across domains.

A holistic approach like FinOps is one way to develop this collaborative spirit. An amalgamation of “Finance” and “Operations”, FinOps is a cultural practice that gives finance, operations, and engineering teams visibility on cloud management and cost to make informed decisions. This helps to pinpoint exorbitant costs, rightsize expensive assets like databases and highlight charging anomalies.

FinOps is gaining traction in large businesses like AIA. Dedicated to a holistic cloud journey, more than 600 AIA employees across finance, IT, engineering and even media services are undergoing cloud skills training at Cloud Academy, an online continuous learning platform.

A meaningful solution from all possibilities

In the film’s climax, Evelyn embraces the possibilities beyond laundry and taxes to achieve her full potential. In doing so, she discovers a meaningful solution in practicing empathy, which saves the day across the multiverse.

Cloud transformation’s possibilities can go a long way in fulfilling businesses’ potential by helping them to discover meaningful solutions. Cloud transformation does not just enable faster product development. Businesses must be open to all its possibilities, as it can be a pathway to innovative solutions serving the people that matter – their customers.

The cloud can free up agents from routine tasks so they can focus on serving customers better. The insurance industry harnesses cloud-based solutions to automate lengthy and complex procedures such as claims processing. For example, AIA Korea has reduced the time needed to approve a claim and settle payment with no human interference from several days to under 25 minutes using straight-through-processing (STP) facilitated by the cloud.

A cost-effective migration, all at once

By being intentional, collaborative, and open to all possibilities, businesses can pursue meaningful solutions to fulfill their potential with the cloud. However difficult cloud migration can be initially, it gets smoother with the right practices, just like how Evelyn becomes natural in multiverse travel.

AIA, Asia’s largest pan-Asian life and health insurer, followed these principles and is on track toward realizing its potential with the cloud.

This success is a good sign for businesses – that by learning to grapple with the cloud’s possibilities, they too can be on the pathway to successful cloud transformation.


The view in this article is that of the author and may not reflect the views of Tech Wire Asia.