25 April 2012

NetEvents APAC Press Summit, Hong Kong - Day 1 - Debate 2 Summary

The CIO's challenges - moving business processes and applications to the cloud


The session opened with Andrew Milroy, VP and analyst at research company Frost & Sullivan, asking how 'cloud' translates into other languages, and whether it's not a metaphor too far.

He said that the media industry will be transformed by the cloud, citing Apple, Amazon and Google. Mobile devices are windows to the cloud, he said, and the issues are not the usual ones, but integrating cloud into legacy investments and making it work properly.

Milroy said that the cloud will change a range of industry sectors, such as banking, utilities, IT, media retail and healthcare. "It challenges latency, integration, quality of services, complexity, privacy, security, customised applications."

Moving on to the panel debate, Milroy asked whether people are still talking about privacy or complexity in the cloud. Jan Alvin Pabellon (NetSuite) said that there's a shift and that people now talking about integration, such as cloud applications and infrastructures.

Vasile Radoaca (Alcatel-Lucent) said that telcos are also enterprises so all this applies to them too. "The challenges are about controlling and managing applications," he said. "How do you deploy an application's back end in the cloud?".

Daniel Kwong (Citic Telecom) said: "We are a service provider of security and cloud, and different people have different cloud models. China is about security but state-owned enterprises don't worry so much about cost, while in Taiwan they think about integration and cost-savings."

Irit Gillath (Telco Systems) said that people want what they're getting from existing systems then more. "It's about connecting via the cloud and getting a better experience, being flexible and more bandwidth," she said.

Radoaca said that people want to be sure that they can understand where the policy comes from and they can trace it, and that this is especially important in China but that you need to move towards thinking about applications.

On moving to the cloud, Kwong said: "You need to know where the data is, because of compliance, it's a complex environment." He suggested organisations use IaaS at the start because integration will be easier, and that they start moving non-critical applications to SaaS.

Radoaca said that it depends on size of the organisation. "You have different dialogues with SMB and enterprise. Big enterprise is more complex and has legacy apps, so we advise hybrid," he said.

Gillath said that enterprises should demand this advice from their service provider, and look at the service levels they need for each service and how the SP can provide that.

Pabellon said that you need to ensure that security and compliance are in place.

On whether network managers are going to become just managers of plumbing, Gillath said moving to cloud was more about interoperation and standards.

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