Singapore businesses already lead Southeast Asia in Cloud adoption. According to a recent survey by Alibaba Cloud “Role of Cloud in Asia and Confidence in Asian Innovation Survey”, nine in 10 IT decision-makers here report that their companies are using at least one Cloud-based technology. However, with broad adoption comes maturity. Our survey also found that Singaporean companies are the region’s least satisfied with how Cloud-based tools or digitalisation efforts have helped them cope with business and operational needs during the pandemic.
The maturity of IT and Cloud adoption, and attitudes in Singapore have grown over the years, but how can businesses derive more value from the mature tech infrastructure and reap more rewards for cloud?
Cloud saturation dilemma
Of all the technologies that surround us today, Cloud Computing has become the foundation to power the vast, cross-border daily Internet-powered reality. Even if it has not proven to be a silver bullet for all, the move to Cloud in Singapore is still accelerating. More than seven in 10 local IT decision-makers reported that their companies have adopted more Cloud-based solutions since the pandemic started, with 72% noting their companies are even more supportive of using Cloud to grow the business as compared to before the pandemic.
However, this impetus can easily be checked or discouraged. Companies have reaped the immediate benefits from moving their operations to the Cloud, including faster, more elastic and flexible IT resourcing to removing a heavy capital expenditure of owning IT infrastructure. Yet these quick gains often lead companies to overlook the need to further dive into their Cloud investment to maximize its power and potential, including laying a strong digital foundation based on their business models.
Finding an effective way out
The step up from simply moving to the Cloud and readily adopting plug-and-play tools, to creating tailored solutions for each company’s unique needs is not an easy one. However, businesses don’t have to do it alone. In our conversations with companies here, a major source of dissatisfaction with putting Cloud at the centre of the business is the costly and time-consuming nature of implementing it, especially when many are lacking the right talents and resources to take full advantage of the Cloud.
Working with global Cloud providers means businesses can access the critical mass of experience and expertise accumulated from supporting companies of all shapes and sizes. In fact, close to three times more local IT decision makers in our survey prefer to work directly with hyperscale Cloud providers than with their in-house teams. 64% of IT decision makers here also agree that working with a third-party IT provider would help their companies react quicker to black swan events like COVID-19, as compared to relying on in-house IT resources only.
Apart from working with a trusted partner, businesses should thoroughly socialize their transformation to a Cloud-based operating structure within the heart of any company: its people. This means getting buy-in from employees right from the start with a clear articulation of the strategic direction and educating them on the purpose and potential of Cloud, beyond the technical aspects.
Innovation often comes from throughout the business. Creating Cloud advocates beyond the IT department is key to cultivating Cloud affinity and a Cloud-first culture, increasing the productivity of Cloud beyond just having on-demand IT resourcing, when needed.
Building a virtuous circle
Utilising Cloud to power emerging technologies like Artificial Intelligence (AI) and machine learning eventually can give businesses the opportunity to understand their customers through technology. In addition, once companies start with the habit of purposefully feeding the understanding of their businesses back into their Clouds, more actionable insights and improvements for business can be derived, further unlocking the potential of Cloud Computing.
Companies in Singapore need to seed their technology Clouds and create the right conditions for purposeful business growth and innovation through it, instead of sitting back and waiting for outcome to be delivered. After all, both Cloud Computing and businesses rely on the right structure and investment to thrive.