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Making the cloud journey

Making the cloud journey

Are CIOs jumping onto the cloud bandwagon? What issues should they be mindful of before taking the leap? David Caspari, senior vice president of enterprise services, Hewlett-Packard Asia Pacific and Japan, talks about the changing role of CIOs in the era of cloud computing.

Are CIOs jumping onto the cloud bandwagon? What issues should they be mindful of before taking the leap? CIO Asia talks to David Caspari, Senior Vice President of Enterprise Services, Hewlett-Packard Asia Pacific and Japan, about the changing roles of CIOs and how HP is working with CIOs on their journey to the cloud.

CIO Asia: You've been in touch with many CIOs around the region. What are they focusing on today? David Caspari: CIOs are always focused on providing reliable, secure infrastructure for IT operations. For example, in the financial services industry, customers are making investments in core banking in Asia, and CIOs in the FSI are into making things more stable, changes that can bring greater harmony in what their enterprises do. Consumerisation is becoming a very important trend in the adoption of social media. CIOs and senior executives realise have to interact with customers, and to interact with employees through social media. Talking about interactions, social media and technology change the way people interact, internal blogs becoming more important. The younger generation are talking far less, using SMS, other social media platform to communicate, so their expectation of IT is changing. Using this technology to interact and to communicate will become important. CIOs have to enable that, and for talking to customers too. So where do you think CIOs are spending money on?Overall, CIOs in the region are spending a little bit more than before; there seems to be a small uptick. In the last six months, there is a major shift. They are under enormous threats, major security breaches, large, external attacks. CIO are trying to get their head around peripheral security, threats, and to manage the environment that is now further complicated by social media. Another area is big data. They are now storing 12 months of data, rather than 12 weeks. That is far more than before, but making sense of that huge amount of data is becoming even more crucial. How to turn big data into business intelligence is one core area to focus on. As far as cloud computing is concerned, I think we have passed the point where CIOs are working on the value proposition of the cloud. Instead, they are still grappling with the practicality of cloud and next-generation network. Separating the hype from reality, there is a lot of attention and a lot of data on primarily finding ways to save money -- shifting capex to opex, accelerating time to market, and so on, because if they have something to leverage then they don't have to go through the cycle of procurement, integration and operation that could take days, not hours. The real conversations about cloud are, what do you put on cloud, how fast can you get on it, how do you get to cloud? How do you manage and govern cloud? These are the conversations we're hearing. Not why go to the cloud but how? It's about "Where does the hype stop and the practicality begin?" A lot of things aren't ready to move to cloud. If you're in banking, you're running a core banking platform. From the enterprise standpoint, not a chance to move to the cloud, and from legislation standpoint, that move wouldn't be allowed. And from the governance standpoint, it wouldn't be possible either. But that's an extreme example. CIOs see the benefits but, even the simplest app like email, are they willing to put their CEO's email in a public cloud? The value of the cloud is clear; to me, the conversation that's much more important is, tell me how I can get to the cloud, how I can get to a place where I have the right processes and the right environment that allows me to transact and to consume -- except for the peripheral stuff, which is really where a lot of the cloud is. Cloud is having a dramatic effect on the services model. If you look at what it does to my business, cloud is having a dramatic effect on what the future services relationship is. The outsourcing contract of a decade ago which was a monolithic environment -- give us your pick, let me run your environment, give us your access, we'll run it for you, we'll transform it, we'll give you savings, we'll continue to drive innovation -- that doesn't exist anymore. It's much more about grappling with issues around consumerisation, you're grappling with how do you shift your spend from the operations to areas to drive differentiations. One of them is security, one is intelligence, but the big one obviously is cloud. You also have talent issues in your organisation. They adhere to the maintenance of your existing systems, and your internal transformation capability is anywhere from zero to limited. And you know you have capex and opex spikes, if you want to drive the transformation. But your board and CEO aren't willing to give you the money to do that. You have CIOs talking to HP about cloud seriously? Conversations at strategic level now with CIOs are about trying to help them deal with those issues. It's about a view of the end-state architecture; a standardised, modular, flexible end-state environment which leverages a lot of cloud. We believe it's the right architecture for you, and by the way, it's not much different from what others are going to do. Where we think we can help you is in the journey to the cloud, and at the end of that journey, we know that you don't necessarily want to be locked in to HP. The whole principle of the cloud is the flexibility and portability. And so, what becomes more important is, let us help you transform to the cloud, and then when you're at the cloud, let us help you manage a multi-supplier environment where you've got some apps and some infrastructure that are fully in-sourced. You might have some that are fully outsourced to HP, and you've got some that you consume from the private and some from the public. Let us help you with issues like integration, governance, coordination. What you're saying is HP managing other vendors for your customers. Yes, HP can manage the other vendors for you. We all know that the majority of CIOs' spend in maintenance is their applications. Here's HP's proposition: why don't we help you transform your IT organisation into the end-state that you want. That includes sitting down and going through the issues, rationalising, and full assessment of the enterprise apps that you've got. We will come and sit end-to-end with your app staff, we'll talk to you about which apps should sit in the cloud, versus which apps to sit in the enterprise, and come up with an end state app environment, with less apps to worry about. We'll take the responsibility for the modernisation outcome, we'll take responsibility for the end-state apps, and we'll take responsibility for the sales. And we might, if you want us to, take your people. We will focus on the transformation and we will teach them and at the end of the transformation, you can have your people back. Is HP acting like a business consultant then? No. We partner with business consultants. There are other people in the market who are very good at IT strategies. Our strategies usually stop at the process level. We drive business application cum technology transformation which, at the end of it, your architecture might be consumed from the cloud, partially in-sourced or partially outsourced, or a hybridised environment. How to provide you with warranties on business outcomes, even in a multi-supplier environment is what we hope to do. We can manage end to end, for example, the different apps you have with your partners, and subject it to establishing the right relationships, and the right underlying boundaries, and we will guarantee and warrant the outcome across the entire multi-supplier environment. CIOs don't want to be locked in to a single vendor but they want the outcome, the warranty and all the other things. We're now getting to a point of sophistication where we believe we understand how to do that. This is transformational to where services conversation and services models were five to 10 years ago.

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