By: Vincent Tang, Regional Vice President, Asia, Epicor
The shift to the cloud is intensifying in Southeast Asia, as a growing number of industry leaders gain a deeper appreciation of the flexibility and agility which can be achieved by migrating their business operations away from legacy network solutions. IDC found that half of enterprise IT budgets in the Asia Pacific region are dedicated to cloud architectures, a figure which is expected to increase in the next two years with the adoption of hybrid cloud. Companies are demonstrating a greater awareness of how hybrid cloud and on-premise approaches help shape the business and better meet its needs. They are also seeing tangible benefits from enhancing enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems and embracing innovative advanced technologies like AI and blockchain.
Challenges facing Southeast Asia-based businesses include not only the need to manage costs but the ability to compete with industry rivals, who are bringing innovative products and solutions to market. Adopting cloud technologies can help address these concerns and can also have a positive impact on data security. Once seen as a significant issue and adoption barrier by organisations considering using public cloud, data security is now seen in a more positive light. In fact, according to an Accenture report, many IT and business decision-makers in the Asia-Pacific region said moving their infrastructure and applications to the public cloud can bolster data security.
Asian business owners that take the plunge and give cloud technology a try are realising multiple benefits. Improvements in speed and productivity can be a revelation, with the potential to get new applications up and running in a matter of hours rather than six to nine months. Cloud dashboards, real-time statistics and active analytics can dramatically reduce the administration burden.
Exposure to risk, too, takes on new complexities when a business can prove value using free or next-to-free services in the cloud for a few weeks, instead of buying all the hardware and software needed to create 128 virtual machines.
Cost savings are rightly top-of-mind for business owners. Along with low initial costs and pay-as-you-go being attractive attributes of cloud, companies can also avoid the significant costs of building and operating their own data centres.
However, faced with a plethora of cloud solution options to choose from, IT decision-makers will need to determine which approach best meets their needs. This requires an understanding of the areas where technology can help them meet their goals and prioritising those areas that will provide the most value. In order to ensure that organisations implement systems that best support their objectives of delivering new and innovative services, and foster growth, businesses must have a clear process in place for selecting the right technology and for managing the transition to the cloud.
In addition to the obvious efficiency returns, business leaders are seeing as a result of automating their processes, investment in cloud technology is being driven by a variety of factors. Today’s organisations want systems and processes that are simple, easy to use, flexible, scalable, and capable of supporting digital transformation. Similarly, employees have a much louder voice in the selection of ERP systems and little is left to the IT team to decide in isolation.
Organisations now have a choice in how they can solve their problems, with key decision-makers looking for the best-fit solution to provide the most productivity. Solutions providers can help businesses define priorities and understand where technology can help them to clarify the decision-making process. To make full use of the potential created by cloud-based offerings, organisations should partner with a provider that understands their business and its unique requirements.