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Cloud On Your Terms – The Hybrid Multicloud Vision of the Future

Ho Chye Soon, Nutanix’s Singapore Country Manager and Avinash Gowda, Nutanix’s Malaysia Country Manager answer Enterprise IT News’ questions about their recently ended annual conference.

Brief intro of .NEXT Digital Experience

Avinash Gowda, Malaysia Country, Nutanix

The .NEXT Digital Experience brings together the latest and greatest in enterprise data center and cloud technologies across the globe, discussing topics such as hyperconvergence, hybrid cloud, DevOps, automation, security, and more. The conference also explores the various ways businesses across the region could leverage the cloud on their own terms, to run their operations faster, better, anywhere.

At this year’s .NEXT, Nutanix unveiled several new features to its solutions, focused on addressing the common challenges that many enterprises face in hybrid multi-cloud environments. These include providing a unified platform for businesses to manage all types of data across environments, and security innovations to keep all data secure.

EITN: What are some of the challenges customers in Singapore and Malaysia have faced as they navigated cloud computing, including before and now during the pandemic? How can they address these challenges?

Ho Chye Soon: The pandemic has raised the profile of IT across the region, and with it, the importance of cloud computing. Across the board, organizations are fast realising the urgency of adopting a digital-first mentality, which requires modern, specialised IT environments to support a transformation of their people, processes and technology. In the past, businesses may have been able to ‘make do’ with clunky, legacy infrastructure — but the pandemic has now proven that this is insufficient to support the evolving needs of enterprises today.   

Singapore Country Manager, Nutanix, Ho Chye Soon

While a rapid, almost knee-jerk acceleration of digital technologies and disruption may provide a solution for businesses in the short-term, this will ultimately prove ineffective in the long-run.

True transformation cannot be a one-size-fits-all approach. Instead, organisations need to chart their journey to the cloud on their own terms and adopt a strategic and tailored approach for their enterprise — customising and adapting their cloud strategies for their specific business needs, applications, workloads and costs as they scale.

Another common challenge for businesses today is the issue of vendor lock-in. Agility and scalability have proven key for businesses to thrive in these uncertain times. Thus, it is critical that they are not bound to one vendor once all IT environments and systems have been moved to the cloud. To mitigate this, businesses can consider hybrid multi-cloud solutions which grant them the flexibility to move between multiple service providers and customize the offering of each to best suit their needs.

Avinash Gowda: Security and compliance issues present another critical part of the equation. If enterprises do not ensure that they have stringent security protocols in place to safeguard sensitive business data during cloud migration, they risk exposing or losing critical data to malicious cyberattacks. These are important considerations that must be sorted out before organizations make their pivot to the cloud — thereby eliminating any potential opportunity for negligence.

However, complex security systems may also fall short if staff are not equipped with the technical skills and know-how to navigate these processes. To address these pitfalls, businesses need to seek out cloud solutions which provide a simplified management console that is easy to navigate. This can be pivotal to helping businesses deploy their enterprise workloads safely and securely, with minimal difficulty.

This is also where cloud solutions with built-in protection really make a difference — enabling enterprises to have the agility and flexibility to conduct their business however they want to with protection enabled, versus having security dictate how they should run their business.

EITN: Why is it important for businesses to leverage the cloud on their own terms, and how can Nutanix enable them to strategically deploy cloud to unlock business benefits?

Ho Chye Soon: Businesses today are demanding greater agility and scalability than ever, and these considerations are shaping cloud consumption. A flexible hybrid multi-cloud solution enables businesses to select the cloud architecture and solution that makes the most sense for their needs — whether that is public or private cloud. Furthermore, being able to select from a subscription-based consumption model that delivers resources as needed enables businesses to scale with their demands, whilst eliminating the wastage of any resources in the process.

This model also presents the smartest economics for businesses, reducing total cost of ownership (TCO) by allowing enterprises to leverage and adapt their existing investments, processes, and skill sets accordingly, without necessitating an overhaul of their entire organisation at once.

Nutanix was founded on the simple premise of making cloud accessible. We are proud of the simplified cloud architecture we’ve developed, which significantly streamlines the cloud management process for businesses and uses, relegating cloud complexities a thing of the past. Our hybrid multi-cloud platform does what legacy IT simply cannot do —unify divided operations, break down silos, support all business apps, data, and services. As a result, IT teams and developers can refocus their efforts and resources on driving the core competencies that truly shift the needle for their organisation.

Our straightforward subscription-based pricing model also lets businesses decide how and when they pay for their cloud infrastructure, granting them the freedom to choose the best hardware for their software, and allowing them to select their ideal cloud environment to run on a single, unified, and easy-to-manage platform.

EITN: What are the current hybrid multi-cloud trends in Singapore and Malaysia, and which industries are leading the way?

Ho Chye Soon: We are seeing a significant demand for hybrid multi-cloud across both markets. According to our Nutanix Enterprise Cloud Index Report (ECI), 61 percent of Singaporean respondents have upped their hybrid cloud investments as a direct result of the pandemic. An overwhelming 88 percent of Singaporean respondents also agreed that an integrated (hybrid) mix of public cloud and private cloud is the ideal architecture for their organisation.

Avinash Gowda: This trend is also mirrored in Malaysia, where 51 percent of respondents reported having increased their hybrid cloud investments due to the pandemic, and a whopping 96 percent respondents agreeing that hybrid cloud is the way forward.

We are also seeing certain industries rise to the fore in leading this adoption. In Malaysia, the financial services sector leads this charge, with our ECI report revealing that 64.7 percent are already in the process of developing a cloud strategy. This is compared with only 15 percent of global FSIs who have adopted hybrid cloud solutions, putting Malaysians ahead of their regional and global counterparts.

This trend is no coincidence. Hybrid and multicloud solutions will only continue to grow in popularity as FSIs now look to navigate an increasingly complex and saturated landscape, alongside evolving consumer demands and the advent of digitally native fintechs and FSIs. Embracing hybrid cloud can offer FSIs the agility and speed to innovate and scale alongside these shifts in the landscape and carve out a competitive edge for themselves in the digital economy.

The future of hybrid multicloud is bright, and within the next five years, we can expect more businesses and industries in Singapore and Malaysia to be running this type of cloud environment.

EITN: What role will hybrid multicloud play in the future of Singaporean and Malaysian businesses as we embrace an endemic?

Ho Chye Soon:  As businesses emerge from the pandemic and embrace an endemic, they are racing to strengthen their business agility, innovation, and speed to market to offer better products/services for customers. At the same time, commerce has continued to grow increasingly complex, leading businesses to demand greater simplicity, which in turn means we are seeing a shift to open, hybrid and multi-cloud environments.

Hybrid ways of working will continue to be a priority for businesses across the globe. Enterprises are now expected to be able to offer and successfully implement remote work models for their employees, anytime and anywhere.

Transformation initiatives have also been accelerated by leaps and bounds. In today’s hyper digital world, it is imperative that every business pivot digitally, or risk falling behind to their competitors.

Hybrid multi-cloud will be key to supporting this transition — and trends indicate that this will continue to be the cloud architecture of choice, delivering agility and flexibility for the new age of business.

EITN: How has Nutanix helped businesses in Singapore and Malaysia drive digital transformation initiatives through hybrid multicloud?

Ho Chye Soon: Today’s businesses seek the trifecta of business agility and continuity, operational resilience, and speedy innovation. Achieving this delicate balance, however, requires a deep expertise in hybrid multi-cloud and acute understanding of business needs.

Nutanix holds this unique expertise. We ensure that businesses have the flexibility to chart their journeys to the cloud, on their own terms, without getting locked into a single solution or provider, or having to refactor their applications to take advantage of cloud elasticity. This enables businesses to run their workloads where they see fit, and to get the maximum value out of a hybrid multi-cloud strategy.

In Singapore, we worked with homegrown heritage brand, NTUC Enterprise, to drive their digital transformation into a forward-looking enterprise that better serves employees and customers. We integrated Nutanix’s hybrid multi-cloud platform with NTUC’s shift to digital and data-centric strategies, and this was essential to managing and protecting the truckloads of data generated across the company’s group of social enterprises.

Avinash Gowda: Similarly in Malaysia, we’ve supported various companies, spanning industries like FSI, logistics and manufacturing sectors, in their transformation journeys. On example is Alliance Corp Manufacturing (ACM), a manufacturing company headquartered in Penang.

We worked closely with ACM to accelerate their Smart Manufacturing initiatives and increase their business efficiency without additional resources. This equipped them well to navigate the pandemic and pivot quickly in the face of disruption — ultimately, paving the way for the company to lead in an Industry 4.0 future.