|This week, we had the chance to interview another top speaker: Dr Steve Hodgkinson, Research Director IT APAC from Ovum. He will present at the Cloud @ CeBIT Conference 2013 on 29 May at the Sydney Convention and Exhibition Centre.
In this interview Dr Steve Hodgkinson share his thoughts on the main issues people are facing in Cloud and the strengths for the Australian industry.
He is presenting on The Organisational Impact of Cloud Services Adoption.
1. Please briefly describe your role and responsibility at Ovum.
I am the IT Research Director for Ovum in the Asia/Pacific region, responsible for the research and advisory services that Ovum delivers to its many subscribers in this region. I work with many CIOs and senior executives on ICT strategy, procurement and organisational strategy conundrums.
2. What are you presenting at CeBIT Australia?
I will be discussing the organisational impacts of cloud services adoption based on research and case studies of early adopters. The focus will be on providing insights into how cloud services actually feel in practice in terms of the benefit/risk tradeoffs and the effect on the role of the IT department.
3. What do you think are the main issues that people are facing in Cloud?
The first issue is that we need to stop referring to “cloud”! It sounds too fluffy and untrustworthy. The reality is that the market leading cloud services are trustworthy, robust and secure shared services. The main issues are all about understanding the new benefit/risk tradeoffs and how to fairly evaluate cloud services vs. alternative sourcing options such as in-house, shared services and outsourcing/managed services.
4. Can you describe a current project you’re working on and how the solution/product is helping business to adapt to the challenges of Cloud?
I believe that there is too much ‘hype and nonsense’ in this marketspace, so my main focus is firstly on providing thought leadership around how to understand the opportunities for cloud services to transform the way ICT capabilities are sourced and delivered, and secondly on documenting and sharing case studies and stories about the experiences of early adopters.
5. What do you see as the strengths for the Australian industry and how do these strengths compare globally?
Australia is a ‘trustworthy’ nation in terms of the quality and integrity of our legal, regulatory and technical environments, and we have a skilled ICT local ICT industry, so we are well placed to become an exporter of trusted cloud services to the world. To do this, however, we need to accelerate the speed with which we embrace both the consumption and production of cloud services so that we are learning as fast as possible how to safely consume and deliver cloud services to support mission critical business processes in both the private and public sectors.
6. What trends do you see as influencing your industry?
Rising competitive pressures to innovate combined with constraints on funding and access to people and skills means that all businesses are faced with rising imperatives to ‘do more with less’. This means that we have to continually re-evaluate the value added by our activities and focus our efforts on the activities that really count and that we can do well. Cloud services provide a way to tap into global economies of scale and iteratively evolving services to source relatively commodity-like ICT capabilities better, faster and at lower cost. We can then focus our effort on driving innovative business outcomes (looking up and out!) rather than on managing technology (looking down and in!).
7. What do you believe the future holds for Cloud?
I believe that it is inevitable that cloud services will become a significant element of the ICT sourcing mix for all organisations. The market leading cloud services are simply shared infrastructure and application services that actually work! Once this simple fact becomes more widely understood we will see rising adoption of a wide range of cloud services provided by robust and trusted ecosystems of local and global providers.
8. Anything else you would like to add.
I use the phrase “cloudy is as cloudy does” to summarise the key benefit of the cloud services model. For the first time in the history of the ICT industry it is possible to fully evaluate the functionality and performance of an ICT solution before making a purchase decision. Amazing! This is a stark contrast to the traditional “pay up front and hope that it works in the future” approach. Cloud services are distinguished by the fact that they already exist, at scale, and are engineered to support many different organisations efficiently and securely. They significantly reduce the implementation risk and long timeframes that too often plague ICT projects. This has intuitive appeal to business executives because they are interested in business outcomes, not technology headaches.
See Dr Steve Hodgkinson, Research Director IT APAC, Ovum, at the Cloud Conference @ CeBIT Australia 2013 in Sydney on 28 – 30 May 2013.