If you thought cloud computing was important only in the U.S. and in Europe, you are sadly mistaken. That is a good thing. VMware is out with its 3rd annual VMware Cloud Index that looks at Asia Pacific cloud computing trends, and things in AsiaPac are looking as if not more cloudy than in the rest of the world.
The VMware Cloud Index 2012 is a commissioned study conducted by Forrester Consulting and ITR in Japan. The 2012 study surveyed approximately 6,500 senior IT practitioners across the APJ region in eleven countries (Australia, China, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Singapore, Taiwan and Thailand) in September and October 2012.
The results are interesting because they track what is being seen globally.
The rank order of cloud drivers is in line with research from a variety of analysts firms with not surprisingly that order being:
1. Enabling the business to optimize IT
2. Reduce costs
3. Support a mobile and flexible workforce
While these results are consistent with similar results in other regions, what is noticeable is that this list is different than ones from even just a year ago. Despite the continuing impact of the global recession for instance, the fact that reducing costs has dropped into the number two position on this list is illuminating. One could argue these are actually two different sides of the same coin, but reality is that the metrics are totally different and it represents the shift of the enterprise-wide focus on improving the customer experience. This means internal end users as well as external stakeholders and customers.
The other thing that is different from recent such looks at drivers is mobility weighing in at number three on the list. The virtualization of work (not just data centers) and BYOD phenomenon as seen here are global in nature, and the cloud actually fuels all of this by creating a virtuous circle where inexpensive anywhere access to business tools feeds desirability of facilitating BYOD, especially for C-levels, which generates even more need for virtualization and quality experiences which drive data center and networking upgrades.
In line with the last observation, the fact that 55 percent of respondents said their CEO is the final decision maker (albeit down 6 percent from last year) on things related to the cloud is telling. The other numbers about cloud importance are encouraging - but the fact that management and not IT is driving this ship is critical.
Finally, I would be remiss in not at least acknowledging the ordering of concerns listed as well.
1. Data privacy
The same three always top the list regardless of region, but usually in the U.S. and Europe forecasts I have seen numbers one and two tend to be flipped. This is driven by regulatory and other compliance issues, and can vary country by country within a region.
The cost issue remaining on the list is important to note because as much the industry likes to tout the “E”verything as a Service (aka “XaaS”) benefits, realities are that on a life-cycle basis the total cost of ownership (TCO) of a solution still is greater when you lease rather than own, even taking into account the off-loading of certain IT personnel and operating costs to a service provider. Particularly for larger enterprises, private and hybrid clouds are going to be attractive alternatives going forward and there is going to be fluidity as to the percent of things moved between clouds and between clouds and premises based a host of risk management and strategic imperatives.
A more granular look, including country specific detail, is available from VMware by downloading the entire report on APJ. I for one can’t wait to see other regional and global results.
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