During a recent webinar, we talked with Rajesh Ajmera, Traveloka’s Head of Engineering, and Nitish Jha, Gojek’s Head of Engineering, about the state of cloud and open-source technology adoption in the APAC region (Asia-Pacific).
This past year, businesses in the APAC region have seen first-hand how cloud and open-source technologies help their businesses thrive. But integrating such technology isn’t easy – there’s a lot to consider if you want everything to go smoothly. Rajesh and Nitish give expert advice on how businesses can harness the power of cloud and open-source technologies to scale smartly, and how to do it so that it fits unique business demands.
Of course APAC (along with the rest of the globe) wants to maximize the benefits of cloud tech. The question is - how? No one wants to be blindsided by unexpected costs and security issues. Not to mention the tribulations of redesigning and migrating systems, and retraining employees.
It all boils down to this: APAC companies need cloud providers that don’t just provide the tech and innovation, but can also help them with implementation and managed services.
How open-source and the cloud support APAC businesses in 2021
“Things are changing, always,” Rajesh Ajmera said. “And the open-source and cloud technologies were very much the catalyst for this.” Here are some of the dynamic ways cloud technologies support APAC companies:
- Gathering business and marketing insights from data
- Creating immersive experiences for consumers
- Automating customer service
Here’s a quick snapshot of how it’s going so far:
- APAC enterprises are expected to increase spending on public cloud services by a total of 38% by the end of 2021. The APAC region has largely embraced the benefits of cloud tech and is looking for ways to expand on it and use it more efficiently.
- Australia ($5.2 billion) and India ($3.5 billion) will be in second and third place respectively in terms of cloud spending in the region. This is driven by fast adoption across enterprises, and the presence of major global cloud providers in the region.
- Based on the increasing demand for custom solutions and the focus on controlling cloud costs, Rajesh predicted that in the next 1-2 years, 80-90% of enterprises would offer mixed bag solutions.
But with new innovations come new challenges. Let’s take a look at these to further understand how to roll forward.
Key challenges for APAC businesses - and what cloud providers can do
APAC businesses already understand that cloud and open-source tech is necessary to bring their business forward. The next step is to find out how to use it in mindful and cost-effective ways.
#1 Too many options leads to choice paralysis
With continuous innovations and increasing functionalities, businesses are getting swept up by all the possibilities that cloud tech brings. But what companies really need now is focus and clarity. They need to know which features and capabilities really matter for their businesses and how to implement them.
#2 Cloud costs can get expensive fast
Without a strategy in place, companies run the risk of mismanaging their cloud resources. Leaving a simulation on overnight, for example, can rack up a huge cloud bill. Companies need an easy, transparent way to understand how the cost of their cloud tech accrues, and how to match that up with its benefits.
#3 Cloud providers need to offer custom and strategic solutions
According to Rajesh, “Cloud data management isn’t about one specific platform or infrastructure anymore. It’s about choosing the solutions for the job at hand. Businesses are starting to take advantage of solutions that give them very industry-specific offerings.”
Cloud providers can no longer compete based only on who can innovate or release features the fastest. To be valuable to businesses, they also need to provide:
- Business development strategy - expert knowledge into how the tech solves real-world problems
- Migration and implementation guidance - making sure the tech and the business are compatible, which means including a concise blueprint and the right skillset to get the job done
- Cost-effective use cases
- Custom and industry-specific solutions that match individual business needs
How APAC businesses can prepare for digital transformation
With any big change, preparation is key. Here’s how you can ensure your business and team are more than ready.
Step 1: Assess your company’s readiness for the change
Executing a readiness assessment helps you plan and identify the right products for you by:
- Helping your teams rethink their security and governance strategies. For instance, planning for any potential breaches, failures, or disaster recoveries.
- Developing more secure systems and increased security standards.
- Helping all stakeholders understand the roles and responsibilities connected to cloud technologies.
When it comes to cultural readiness, Nitish had the following thoughts: “In terms of preparedness, cultural readiness is an important prerequisite. Outline the roles, responsibilities, and expectations for the team. Appreciate that this is going to be a challenge.”
Step 2: Train your people
Find or hire an internal team with the right cloud development and operations knowledge, experience, and skillset to make the most out of this change. At the executive level, ensure that finance, marketing, and business development teams are on the same page.
Step 3: Choose a hybrid solution
No matter what stage of digital transformation they are in, businesses always need to consider the “how” behind scalability. That’s where hybrid solutions provide a major advantage.
Hybrid clouds integrate public cloud resources with your existing infrastructure, opening doors for new business capabilities while simultaneously reducing costs. So if you’re looking to take your business to a new level, think hybrid.
Step 4: Develop a plan for scaling
Get your teams together to develop a cost plan and a precise roadmap. Set limits for how the cloud tech will work for your business: define what the cloud is good for and which parts of your business will benefit from it.
Step 5: Keep track of costs
Companies often either underuse what they’ve paid for, or underestimate the budget they need. Make sure you choose a provider with flexible options, consistently review your budget vs. actual use, and develop a strong implementation strategy within your team.
Managed services are a better choice than DIY
Going with a managed service eases the pain of migrating to the cloud. Having expert guidance from cloud providers saves you time, resources, and stress. For example:
- You're not responsible for complex installation processes
- It’s much easier to integrate everything
- You can go to market faster
- Less in-house resources are required
Nitish Jha gave this advice to determine which route is best:
“What I recommend is doing a total cost of ownership evaluation rather than just an investment evaluation. A lot of this adds up. So yes, there is a financial cost [to managed services], but [in DIY] there are also staff costs, operational costs, invisible opportunity costs as well, which have to be brought into the mix for an organization to evaluate the actual investment.”
The final step? Find a cloud provider that understands and aligns with your specific needs. You don’t just want a cloud provider, you want a trusted partner during this transition.
Cloud providers have a new role: strategic partners
Business needs evolve as fast as cloud providers innovate and deliver new solutions.
We’ve seen demands change from “more features and functionalities” to “more strategic guidance and tech implementation”. Cloud providers must adapt to a new role if we want to stay useful and relevant.
As our guests Rajesh and Nitish have shown us, businesses now need:
- Top-of-the-line security
- Great cost-efficiency
- Confidence to wield cloud tech to grow their business
This is why Aiven has developed a service to help you improve your systems and processes so you can scale in the most efficient manner.
There’s no “one-size-fits-all” solution for your business. But take a look at real benefits that we offer, and together we can figure out what’s right for you.
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