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Cloud computing adoption rising

The Star | 07 Feb 2011 09:38 AM

Microsoft is bullish of the positive growth of cloud computing adoption in the country.

Although he did not want to go into specifics, Microsoft Malaysia managing director, Ananth Lazarus said a rising number of organisations in Malaysia have expressed interest in adopting cloud computing compared to eight months ago.

“The Government sees cloud computing as a catalyst for small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) to be more competitive,” he said in a media briefing on the sidelines of the Microsoft Cloud Summit.

He added that customers today are quickly gaining an understanding of the cloud computing concept.

Ananth’s forecast is supported by market analyst company Gartner, which reported that more and more IT organisations are considering to adopt cloud computing to support their business operations.

Gartner research director, Errol Rasit said approximately half of the world’s enterprises have already or are planning to invest in cloud computing or cloud computing services this year and the SMEs are not far behind.

“In line with the global trend, we see increased investment from local and international service providers and end-user organisations,” Rasit said.

A strengthening world economy will also contribute to the quick adoption of cloud computing.

Quoting a study by Global Insights, he said the Gross Domestic Product of countries in the Asian region will enjoy a growth of between 5% and 6%.

“Businesses are forecasted to grow and as they do, IT managers will need to keep up,” he added.

And as it grows, businesses may find it a challenge to balance their IT budget to keep up with the growing computational demand.

Rasit used the Chinese New Year celebrations to illustrate his point.

“Typically, there will be a spike in a business’ infrastructure traffic and Internet traffic. The conventional way of dealing with this is to build new infrastructure or go to a third party provider and rent servers on an annual basis,” he said.

With cloud computing, businesses don’t need to be wasteful and just pay for what they need now.

“When the traffic increases during this short period, businesses can call up a cloud service provider to supply them with the capacity they need for a specified time frame and only pay for what they use. This is business agility,” he said.

He added such practice may even enable profit maximisation.

However, before jumping onto the bandwagon, Rasit cautioned that organisations need to understand how to best work with cloud service providers and what they hope to achieve from the investment.

“They need to be clear on what they require from these providers and keep in mind proper security and availability features,” he said.

Though the cloud computing conversation is intensifying, Microsoft agrees that there are still issues surrounding data sovereignty and security.

Microsoft tackles this by continuing to do research and development on how to better provide the best security in its products for customers.

It also allows users to have a choice on the type of cloud computing infrastructure they want and what to put on it.

“Not everything must go on a public cloud overnight. Keep some of your apps where data sovereignty is concerned close to you and put some on the public cloud or have your own private cloud. That’s the beauty of the cloud, you have a choice,” Ananth said.

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