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SingTel CIO Day: CIOs faced with fixed, mobile and cloud convergence

Ross Milburn | March 28, 2012
Rapid IT change can be disruptive, but as the cloud matures, it promises to offer solutions as well as efficiency.

Jack Uldrich
Jack Uldrich

Uldrich gave a list of key technologies that are going to grow exponentially and revolutionise our lives in the next few years, including CPU power, data storage, bandwidth, genomics, 3D printing, software, biotechnology, nanotechnology, and knowledge processing.

As an example of how we need to “Jump the curve,” Uldrich asked the audience which of two models of online encyclopaedia they would have invested in 10 years ago: Microsoft’s prestigious online encyclopaedia, or an idea by the unknown Jimmy Wales, who simply put some of his copyright material online for free, then asked other people to do the same? “Wikipedia looked like a non-starter to some, but now it appears in over 250 languages and is twice as big as the Encyclopaedia Britannica,” said Uldrich.

Spending money on in-house infrastructure is becoming a thankless task. “Users always want more servers, and management wants to reduce costs, which typically leaves 20 percent of the IT budget for business innovation,” said Paul Harapin, VP Business Development & Cloud, AP & Japan, VMware. “CIOs need to manage their capacity issues without having to continually refresh and grow the infrastructure. They want to reduce their infrastructure spend so they can use IT to innovate.”

Cloud is the solution, and VMware partners with SingTel to offer three types of cloud solutions. Private clouds can provide enterprise-class performance and security and the ability to scale the data centre to new business operations. “Private clouds are especially suitable for highly regulated applications, with predictable demand,” said Harapin. “Public clouds are good at supporting workflow with unpredictable or seasonable demand. They can deliver fast access to new computer resources at low cost, and they have become popular for development projects initiated outside of corporate IT.”

The hybrid cloud can combine the benefits of private and public cloud to enable easy portability of applications between them. “Hybrid clouds provide improved IT agility together with enterprise-class software performance, security and control,” said Harapin. “For most enterprises, the hybrid cloud is the most economical model.”

Irving Tan, Managing Director, Asia South, Cisco, described how rapid change in user behaviour is creating ‘the new collaboration workspace.’ “Smartphone and tablet use has outpaced PCs and laptops combined, while 65 percent of enterprises are evaluating enterprise versions of social media such as Facebook and Twitter. A third of organisations use video at least weekly,” noted Tan.

Tan described four major trends: The explosion of mobile devices provides communications anytime, anywhere; Social media leverages expertise and service in the enterprise environment; Pervasive video replaces voice for more nuanced communication and collaboration; and all are combined in virtualisation and cloud computing. “These trends support innovation, collaboration, greater intimacy with customers and growth,” said Tan. “As we move to this new collaborative workspace, we need a holistic architecture and approach for the workforce, customers, and business partners which permits use of any kind of device or application.”


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