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‘Go to fewer conferences and start doing something’

Zafar Anjum | May 27, 2011
That’s the advice of Avanade’s Global CEO, Adam Warby, when it comes to cloud computing.

"We are focused on growth -helping our customers and grow our capability," Adam talks of his plan for the company. Apart from growth, his other focus is to maintain Avanade's market leadership position (with Microsoft as the company's core mission), he affirms.

Technologies that will fuel growth

What kind of technologies will fuel Avanade's growth, I ask him. "It is an exciting time in terms of technology," Adam says. He mentions cloud services and software-as-a-service (SaaS) as the technologies that are driving enterprise IT today. "People are adopting new cloud models. They are doing it in more straightforward areas like e-mail, collaboration or customer relationship management (CRM) and we are in all of those businesses." Going forward, he says, the expectation is that infrastructure will move to the cloud. Other pressure points, forcing the companies to move to the cloud are globalisation, and the ever present need to tighten costs.

Apart from the cloud and SaaS, the third technology that is pushing Avanade's growth is applications. Applications help companies edge past their competition through innovation.

Yet another major area of Avanade's involvement is managing big data. "If you are making bad decisions because you can't get to the right data then it is an important issue." And it really is. Avanade conducted a global survey on the business impact of data last year. The study found that the data deluge is real-overwhelming employees, especially the C-Level executives. In Singapore, for example, 93 per cent of C-level executives, IT decision-makers and business leaders reported that they were overwhelmed by the amount of data their companies managed. The global average was 56 per cent.

Cloud: Less talk, more action needed

Enterprises have been talking about cloud computing for the last two to three years. But have they taken concrete steps in terms of adoption? Adam laughs, agreeing to my point that there has been more talk than action when it comes to cloud adoption. "My advice to our customers is: go to fewer conferences and start doing something," he says. "We are helping people implement Microsoft's cloud Office 365. We have our own SaaS offering that complements Microsoft's Dynamic CRM and the last one is Microsoft's Azure capability. We have a development centre that specialises in that. "

Should enterprises go for public or private clouds, I further ask him. "It depends on the type of business," he says. "There are important questions about security and data management. How good is your network? At the end of the day, most people will have some form of hybrid environment."

He provides the example of testing that can be taken to the cloud. "People can use cloud for testing as an extension of development, with dummy data," he says.


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