Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Opening Remarks at Cloud Tech Forum 2013

Opening Remarks at Cloud Tech Forum 2013
Enter the New Business Era with Cloud

Chee, Simon, honorable speakers and friends in IT…good morning!

Photo from William Siu
It's an honor for me to deliver the opening remarks for the Cloud Tech Forum 2013.

For the last couple of years, if you ask people in IT about the latest buzz, cloud is probably the most probable and popular answer.  But when it comes to adoption, the situation is mixed.

Maybe everyone is looking for a champion, an early adopter, a poster model or the cloud.  Who would that be?  What should be leading, the public or the private cloud, or a hybrid cloud?

Would it be the large enterprises with stronger IT development capability?  But even many larger organizations may be struggling to move beyond basic virtualization technologies to adopt cloud technology at a more infrastructural and application level.

What about small and medium enterprises?  After all, they have been using web hosting, web-based emails, and so on for a long time.  Will their relative constraints on IT resources turn out to be a blessing to make them more agile and easier to adapt to changes?

Or how about government?  Many governments, including ours in Hong Kong, are building government cloud infrastructure and services. Surely governments have more than cost saving or process improvements in mind when it comes to the cloud, because they should see themselves as a driver to adoption. But will they face the same adoption challenge as other large enterprises, or will they be making the right selection of technology and implementation to really make a good showcase, or make a mess of themselves?

This is the interesting time we face now.  Users certainly face a changing need to be more agile, to be able to adopt mobile devices, as well as services and infrastructure as services and on demand.

And then, security comes in to the picture in a big way.  Recent incidents only make adoption even more challenging.  Of course, there are a lot of misconception about security issues on the cloud, and for most users, is it really riskier to put their data on the cloud, or on their own?

In the end, as with the Internet itself and many of the technologies we use today, IT managers or users may not have much of a choice, because the most revolutionary change brought on by cloud computing may be that, no matter if you think you are using it or not, you are in fact using it, and a part of it.  Just like the Internet itself.

So, corporate IT users or administrators will better find out how to embrace the cloud trend, in order to answer to shorter and shorter IT project lifecycles.  And we will all benefit from dedicating our efforts to work out the issues we face with cloud computing, to realize the past and future promises of on-demand computing and the Internet itself.

In the end, the game changer may turn out to be a need for a culture change, much as the question of whether an organization is willing to outsource its IT operation.  Are we ready to give up some perceived control in order to be in better control of our IT computing resources, and get better returns on our investment?

Today, in the Cloud Tech Forum 2013, you will hear about the global trend, enterprise experiences, and sharing from vendors, from a long list of distinguished speakers.  It should provide a good mix of perspectives to help you arrive at your own perspective as to how to move forward.  I wish you all a great conference, good networking and sharing.

Thank you!


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