Deconstructing the state of cloud computing with Veeam Software.
Cloud computing has garnered significant traction over recent years. In fact, Gartner predicted that this year, the worldwide public cloud services market – which encompasses segments such as Cloud Business Process Services (BPaaS), Cloud Application Services (SaaS), and Cloud System Infrastructure Services (IaaS) – is expected to grow by 18 percent to US$246.8 billion (approx. RM1.057 trillion), which translates to an USD$37.6 billion (approx. RM161 billion) increase from 2016.
We spoke to Asanga Wanigatunga, who was recently appointed as the Senior Director of Cloud and Service Providers for Asia-Pacific and Japan at Veeam Software, to learn more about cloud computing and its adoption in the region.
Can you tell us a little bit about your role at Veeam?
It’s been two and a half months since I joined Veeam. Peter McKay, the President and CoChief Executive Officer of Veeam Software, has four big priorities for the company, and one of them is the cloud.
This means we need to look for ways to increase our partner ecosystem, figure out how to enter markets, and also how to monetize the cloud. Part of my responsibility is to build the execution capability of the Asia-Pacific region and Japan.
The market for us in this part of the world is quite interesting, because the market maturity of the various countries is very different. There are also factors such as virtualization and cloud adoption that
“We absolutely believe that the future will be a hybrid world.” Asanga Wanigatunga
needs to be taken into consideration as well. We have already identified a couple of key priority markets, such as Australia and New Zealand – they are probably the most mature in the world. Japan is also a key market for us.
When we look at the ASEAN region, Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, and Thailand would be the more matured markets. There are a couple of reasons for this: firstly, the virtualization penetration rates in these countries are much more advanced than some of the other markets. Secondly, we’re finding that the enterprise and commercial markets – and even governments to a certain degree – of these countries believe in the whole notion of digital transformation. That’s an indication of where we need to invest in. We have teams on the ground that allows us to execute into these markets, so my focus in the next couple of years is to build an ecosystem in them. Are there any companies that are still skeptical about switching over to the cloud? Yeah, absolutely.
Why do you think this is the case?
Security. Data sovereignty. We’ve found that customers have an inertia of moving [to the cloud] because they’re not sure where their data is. They don’t want their data to be located off-shore, because of compliance, government regulations – it could be a myriad of things.
So what we spend more time telling our customers is that ‘one size doesn’t fit all.’ We don’t believe that if you’re doing 100 percent of your workload on-premise today, you’re going to be putting all 100 percent of it in the cloud. You’re going to have to figure out what workload in your platform or datacenters are actually right for the cloud, based on the compliance and security regulations of your company.
The second reason would be security: companies don’t know if their data could be hacked or exposed because they can’t control the variables. That usually tends to be another reason why they’re reluctant to move to the cloud.
And the third thing could be network connectivity. Bad communications is never a good sign for cloud adoption, especially when one of the definitions of the cloud is being able to access data and applications over the network. So if your networks aren’t good…
In its Q1 2017 State of the Internet connectivity report, Akamai mentioned that the average internet connection speed in Malaysia is 8.9Mbps. Would it be sufficient enough for businesses and enterprises to implement cloud-related strategies?
It honestly depends on the workload. Let’s use a SaaS (Software as a Service) application as an example: Veeam uses Salesforce internally, and you don’t necessarily need a high bandwidth to use Salesforce. Would I be moving terabytes of data over an 8.9Mbps link? Probably not. So again, it comes down to having the right workload.
What would be your single biggest reason for companies to embrace the cloud?
I would encourage them to make the journey, but it would make no sense for a company to forklift their entire infrastructure to the cloud unless there’s a compelling reason – like whether or not their on-premise infrastructure is currently at its end-of-life status, or if it has a three-year lifecycle, and whether it’s going to be refreshed. There has to be a commercial reason to do it. An infrastructure refresh would be the perfect time to assess whether the workload is ready to go to the cloud.
If I have a CRM (Customer Relationship Management) product, an ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) product, or a finance product that needs an upgrade or is approaching end-of-life, the question now is whether do I now go SaaS? All these platforms can be backed up or recovered into a cloud stack without needing our customers to build another datacenter for it – so there’s a commercial benefit.
All the digitally-driven companies that are born today are riding on cloud-native apps because it allows them to scale out globally. If I was a Malaysian company running my entire business on an application stack and planning on going global in the future, I would be thinking if that would be the right structure to scale out. It depends on the aspiration of the business.
What is your expectation for cloud computing over the next couple of years?
The future is definitely a hybrid world. I think there will be on-premise solutions, there will be cloud, there will be hyperscale cloud, and even purpose-built clouds. And I think that’s why it’s going to get quite interesting for our customers, as they will need to figure out how to architect a platform that is visible to all of them. There’s no longer a ‘one size fits all’ solution – they’re no longer just protecting their on-premise stuff. We absolutely believe that the future will be a hybrid world.