The Stack Archive

Emerging technologies and the future of business

Thu 24 Sep 2015

chris-kellyChris Kelly, executive director for strategy and business development in commercial sales and enterprise solutions at Dell APJ, discusses cloud and emerging technologies, such as IoT, as strategic developments necessary to fully realise digital transformation in the enterprise space… 

What does it mean to have agility with cloud computing and how can it be an advantage for enterprises?

Agility is not a new concept in the IT industry. However, the proliferation of cloud computing has shone a spotlight on how technology is enabling companies to be more agile. When CIOs and CTOs refer to agility in the context of cloud computing, it can mean two things.

The first is a reference to cloud agility in the technological sense: The ability to achieve true cloud agility is tied to the rapid deployment of computer resources. Cloud environments have the capability to provide new compute instances or storage in minutes, compared to weeks or months taken in traditional IT shops. The second type is business agility that is fostered by cloud computing. With comprehensive cloud strategy and solutions in place, enterprises are more optimized to roll out new offerings, or even manage existing business processes, as efficiently as possible.

Both these aspects are critical components for success, and based on the cloud projects that Dell has executed with customers, we have seen how agility can deliver competitive advantage to enterprises. In a project with Asia Pacific University of Technology and Innovation, a top-tier Malaysian technology institution, the deployment of a private cloud platform helped the institute gain responsiveness by reducing server deployment time from days to minutes. By deploying a pre-assembled virtualized infrastructure, the university was able to reduce staff requirements for server administration by 50 percent. Having their own pre-validated data center has guaranteed access to online educational resources through elimination of downtime.  The ability to manage their own internal processes and guarantee students 24/7 access to their resources has helped the university cope with growing enrolment and scale their business.

 What are the key developments in the Asia Pacific enterprise cloud space?

Enterprise cloud adoption in Asia Pacific continues to grow in 2015. Based on data from the latest Dell Global Technology Adoption Index, nearly every IT decision-maker surveyed shared that their company either uses or plans to use cloud solutions, with only a small 3 percent of respondents in APJ claiming that they are not planning to leverage cloud solutions.

As more organizations in Asia Pacific better understand the value of cloud technology, the industry is moving into the next phase of adoption, where we will see a growing demand for hybrid deployment models. IDC predicted that 2015 is the year where CIOs will move to hybrid clouds as workload priorities move from simple back-end functions to core business processes. According to the report, CIOs will also start to scrutinize any existing deficiencies in service management, which will drive investment in automation and consumption of externally managed solutions as opposed to on-premise cloud deployment.

For organizations that are yet to realize the potential of cloud, private clouds will continue to be the most popular initial cloud adoption platform in 2015.

What are some of the emerging technologies that are influencing the way enterprises work? What are the strategies that organizations can adopt to best leverage these technologies to benefit their businesses?

The growing adoption of cloud, big data and analytics technologies has resulted in the emergence of the Internet of Things (IoT). Gartner’s 2015 Hype Cycle for Emerging Technologies report highlights that IoT is the next big thing that has transformational impact to every consumer and industry in the world. Through some of Dell’s customer implementations, we have seen how IoT is set to overhaul the way products and services are conceived and delivered.

One example is Chitale Dairy, a dairy farm in India, which successfully increased milk yield by tagging their cows with RFID tags and automating its production line on a Dell virtualized platform. In Thailand, Saijo Denki, one of the largest air conditioner manufacturers, was also able to help data center operators reduce utility bills through intelligent air conditioning systems that leverage sensors and data analytics solutions, providing insights on energy consumptions.

At Dell World 2013, we announced a $300 million Strategic Innovation Venture Fund, further expanding our commitment to entrepreneurship and innovation. This fund will enable investment in early-to-growth-stage companies in emerging technologies such as storage, cloud, big data, next-generation data center, security and mobility.

Additionally, there is a growing demand for specific technologies or deployment models to address unique business challenges and application needs, especially for web tech, hosting companies, telecommunications service providers, oil and gas, and research organizations.

To better meet customer needs, we recently launched Datacenter Scalable Solutions (DSS), which is able to meet the high-volume needs of different enterprises and create differentiated and optimized customer offerings. The solution is also able to rapidly create new system designs for this market.

What are the key barriers towards fully realizing cloud and digital transformation in this region?

The Global Technology Adoption Index highlights that security concerns remain the biggest barriers to adoption of cloud, mobility and big data. Out of all the IT decision-makers surveyed globally, a total of 44 percent consider security to be the biggest impediment to expanding mobility technologies, while 52 percent find it to be a challenge when it comes to using cloud technologies.

How will big data and analytics play a role in helping enterprises be future-ready?

As the world evolves, where mobility, software-defined everything, cloud, big data, and evolving security threats are changing how we work, buy, and interact with technology, IT leaders are pulled between the conflicting demands of business leaders. IT leaders need solutions that bridge the gaps on their terms, shaped by a sound strategy that can deliver value now and in the future. Mobile, cloud, and big data and analytics solutions are creating new workloads that require a different approach to IT.

The massive amounts of company data already available and continuously being generated have provided unique opportunities across enterprises to understand trends through insights to create value for the business. As a result, IT leaders are seeking integrated solutions that have the capability to capture, analyze and derive insights from the company data to drive competitive advantage.

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