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Roundtable: Every cloud has a silver lining

Edward Lim | April 2, 2013
Concerns about security, cost and connectivity when adopting cloud solutions dominated discussions at an Executive Roundtable held in Singapore recently.

While cloud security standards are still on the drawing boards, the Asia Cloud Computing Association (ACCA) has introduced the online version of its Cloud Assessment Tool (CAT), which is designed to help businesses choose the most suitable cloud provider. The vendor-neutral CAT provides a standard framework that allows IT users to measure their requirements against vendor offerings. Said to be the first of its kind, it can help enterprises make more informed decisions as they consider migrating their data and applications to the cloud.

Connectivity Question
Besides security, another area that warrants attention is connectivity.

Suresh Kumar
Photo: Suresh Kumar

"The Asia Pacific is more complex compared to other regions in terms of connectivity, people and culture," said Suresh Kumar, IT director, Asia Pacific Region, Agility International Logistics. "In the logistics business, we have warehouses that are located in the outskirts where connectivity is very bad. Even if we can get the connectivity, the cost is expensive. From the logistics perspective, cloud solution is fantastic. The initial investment looks very interesting but we need to spend more money on more pipes, especially to sites in the outskirts. Just getting an ADSL line to our office outside Perth took six months."

Alvin Khoo
Photo: Alvin Khoo

Alvin Khoo, regional IT director, DSM Nutritional Products, agreed and pointed out that he faced a similar challenge in the Philippines. "The last mile is always about the local player," he said.

Even when connections are established, the quality may not be as desired. "We have offices in China and have been trying to set up connection there. Whatever speed we have in Singapore slows down greatly in China," said Lim.

Andrew Wildblood
Photo: Andrew Wildblood

"We have the same problems as an operator. Asia is a big growth area. We have been operating in China for 20 years. We understand the need for local partnership to do anything. We cannot do it on our own. India is one of biggest challenges. It took us two years to set up six sites. For us, we will go where our customers are going. The network is our bread and butter and the enabler for our customers. As operators, we have to be incredibly strong in our supply chain management to deliver the best cloud services to our customers," said Andrew Wildblood, Head of Asia, Telstra Global.

Cost Concern
Paul Lee, Chief Information Officer, Goodpack, sees a trend where infrastructure cost would be more expensive. "Cost reduction is our major concern," said Lee.

Paul Lee
Photo: Paul Lee


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