The future of cloud – Telstra’s perspective

The number of internet-connected video devices is set to exceed the human population by 2017 thanks to the explosion of smartphone, and tablets and the APAC region is acting as the engine room to this growth. There has been a change in the way we interact with this type of technology, with cloud enabling end-users to access this content remotely. Young tech savvy consumers, dubbed the ‘Y’ generation, have grown up surrounded by technological innovation and are unaware of how the connected and online experience is shaping their lives.

The changing human interaction with the cloud and its importance in our day-to-day lives has created a golden opportunity for businesses to use insights to increase customer satisfaction for both corporates and consumers. Organisations across APAC are embracing the IT transformations within cloud, big data and mobile—and learning how to better serve the needs of their customers.

The opportunity of cloud

Cloud has created transformation on an unprecedented scale, with the public/private cloud storage market predicted to be worth $46.8bn by 2018. Networks are increasingly being defined by dynamic functions and the introduction of business process service level agreements (SLAs). For instance, cloud platforms are being linked with traditional on premise applications, such as a Customer Relationship Management or Supply Chain Management environment. This is enabling the network to reshape itself and categorise its applications based on current activity levels so that network traffic and the needs of remote workers can be easily managed and prioritised.

Innovation in the cloud  

Cloud providers have discovered different approaches to supply companies and consumers building private or hybrid platforms, and have expanded their services accordingly. We’re also seeing a growing number of applications developed by business customers in the cloud, who are more willing to develop their own as they are educated on its flexibility. The idea is simple: buying relevant computing space to test an approach and then shutting if off again when the activity has run its course reduces the risk for the business when compared to the previous options available.

With the cycle of applications gathering momentum, the enterprise app store has arrived on the scene as CIOs provide employees with a selection of applications endorsed and supported by the organisation. Until now this has had limited success, however, with the widespread adoption of Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) and publicly hosted secure applications, it is becoming more widespread as a way of enhancing productivity.

How can businesses maximise the opportunity?

To maximise the opportunity of cloud, businesses must keep flexible and agile, tailoring cloud platforms to offer solutions designed to individual customer needs. As providers recognise their strengths they will also identify partnership opportunities with vendors, offering complimentary technology to their existing portfolios.

For example, businesses that deploy application programming interfaces (APIs), allowing developers to design products based on an organisation’s services, will achieve success. Companies can build their web conferencing capabilities into another web-based application, such as instant messaging, enabling seamless collaboration and communication between individuals.  The reality is that organisations rarely use applications in siloes, meaning those vendors offering API solutions that increase collaboration with complementary products and markets, stand to benefit from increased sales with their customers.

Intelligent insights deliver results

In recent times exploiting big data has been like trying to drink from a fire hydrant—we can access a lot of it but have little time to digest it. However, businesses will start applying different lenses to data sets so that they can identify what is relevant to them or impacting upon their business. By focusing on actionable data, businesses will be well placed to optimise their services and customer experience.

Looking further ahead into 2015, the use of data will become key in predicting future activity and risk management. This will be driven by ‘smart data’ platforms; assessing patterns and delivering forecast and trending data to enable improved business planning. For example, if a customer pays for their movie tickets via near field communication (NFC), the mobile operator could identify the most frequent days the user visits the cinema, and send them discount codes for these days. This approach to data analytics is increasingly becoming the norm in terms of how businesses operate.

Driving change

Confidence will drive changes in the cloud. Businesses across APAC have access to large amounts of tools and services from a variety of IT vendors, and have a greater knowledge and trust in new ways to address business challenges using the cloud.

Proactivity is another catalyst to change. Businesses will be increasingly pragmatic as more companies understand how the technology is making a real difference to their operations. Ultimately, the approaches being adopted will introduce increased elasticity addressing the two biggest ongoing challenges of business today: risk mitigation and profitability.

Almost every business function can be delivered from cloud as a service, enabling departments to take control over their IT spending rather than leaving it down to the specific IT division. For cloud businesses to stay ahead of the trend they must offer flexible and catered business models, especially with mobile becoming an exciting area of growth as consumers become integrated into the wider offering.

Nathan Bell, cloud expert and global director of products and marketing, Telstra Global

The Telco Cloud World Forum takes place on April 28 – 30, 2014, in Munich. 

  • Cloud Native World

  • TechXLR8

  • Cloud & DevOps World Summit

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