Accelerating Adoption of Digitalization and Cloud in SEA

In a joint IDC-VMware Southeast Asia summit organised on 16 – 18 May 2016 in balmy Bali, Chief Information Officers (CIOs) around the SEA region were held captive in a summit packed with a purposeful agenda. That agenda was for VMware to showcase an end-to-end solutions portfolio in enabling business mobility, future proofing the cloud and enhancing pervasive security.

While there was no announcement of any new products per se, in his opening speech, Mr. Pat Gelsinger, CEO of VMWare, announced a strategic shift in directions for VMware. He envisioned a shift from VMware’s heritage of transforming data centers to a future where VMware fits in synonymously in a multi-cloud world. vmware 1

Hence, “the business of the day” was to earnestly reinforce VMware’s conviction of how its solutions are still relevant and can be transformational in helping SEA enterprises reach their digital nirvana. IDC’s own agenda seems to be to acknowledge and empower CIOs’ sphere of influence within their respective organizations. CIOs’ take-home from this summit is clear-cut… impact their CEOs’ minds to place digitalizing the top priority for their organizations.

It is not surprising to assume that a pivotal CIO of today can be the CEO of tomorrow. Look no further than Mr. Gelsinger himself, who had his role shaped by his over 30 years in Intel and EMC. Many stood in line just to have their selfies snapped with Gelsinger, such is his sphere of influence today.

EITN editor Lorraine Lee with Pat Gelsinger

EITN editor Lorraine Lee with Pat Gelsinger

Nothing Changes

Many were not left disappointed when Gelsinger spoke directly about the impending Dell/EMC merger. To appreciate the buzz, one has to know that VMware is a subsidiary of EMC. To quote Gelsinger, Dell’s proposed USD67 billion acquisition of EMC would be “the biggest merger in IT industry. It will be game-changing …. yet trivial”. Why? This is because Dell is dedicated to the continued independence in VMware at every level from board of directors to culture. Dell just has to so as not to have any customer fall-outs.

Other key messages delivered at the summit are encapsulated as follows:

IDC’s DX Maturityscape survey

In IDC’s 2016 Asia/Pacific Digital Transformation (DX) MaturityScape Benchmark Survey, 34% of ASEAN organizations fall within the opportunistic stage of digital transformation. This means that having already established basic digital capabilities, these organizations must focus on increasing the integration and consistency of digital initiatives to progress to the next stage, i.e repeatable stage.

VMware solutions are touted to equip organizations with transformational IT solutions that come at new levels of simplicity, speed and affordability.

  1. Mobilize and modernize: From infrastructure to application delivery

SEA is considered a mobile-first region where almost half of its population is connected via smartphones. Employees, devices, applications and data increasingly reside beyond the physical walls of the workspace.  Through Workspace ONE, VMware has brought together identity management, device management and application delivery on an integrated platform, so business critical information can be easily accessed by employees regardless of platform, location, device or application.

Businesses in the region require an end-to-end approach to securely mobilize from data center to desktop to device. Mobility solutions like VMware AirWatch and VMware Horizon allow enterprises to access and manage any application, on any device or operating system. VMware’s software defined infrastructure also provides consolidated management of both traditional and cloud-native apps, so businesses can use app and data to reinvent, innovate and differentiate.

2. Future proof your Cloud

The VMware ASEAN Business survey revealed that 91 percent of SEA businesses have acknowledged that cloud computing is a key enabler of innovation. More than half (54 percent) is set to adopt a hybrid cloud approach. VMware offers customers the ability to provision and manage compute, storage, network and application services across hybrid cloud environments at scale.

3.Rethink Cybersecurity

Border or perimeter-based network security has so far proven to be ineffective, with more than 70 percent of successful cyber-attackers gaining insider access through lost, stolen or weak credentials. As organizations accommodate employee demands for workspace mobility, applications and user data are on more devices in more locations than ever before.vmware 2

Cyberattackers can now easily infiltrate or target new gaps or exposed frontiers within an organization’s ever-expanding network. An ubiquitous and all-pervasive layer of security must be installed between physical infrastructure and applications.

VMware NSX, in particular, is still the “star” solution that extols the benefits of micro-segmentation.  NSX creates a virtual network that is independent of the underlying IP network hardware. Administrators can programmatically create, provision, snapshot, delete and restore complete networks all in software.  VMware describes micro-segmentation as “the ability to build security into your network’s DNA. The best analogy is how plants can be engineered at the molecular or cellular levels to be pest and disease resistant.”


As they say, a picture is worth a thousand words. This particular picture envisions the happy coexistence of VMware collaborating with heavyweight cloud providers across all “control planes”.vmware3

Some CIOs in attendance are piqued and want the local VMware representatives to show them more in their own unique organisational environment. One example is P&O Insurance Co. However, the analysts are more measured in their views and want to wait to see if VMware can beat the odds and continue on its growth trajectory.

Locally, Mr. Alex Loh, country manager of Malaysia’s VMware office, expresses one main challenge – which is the ability of CIOs to procure sufficient IT budgetary allocation notwithstanding the general poor economic landscape in Malaysia this year.

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