Cloud adoption is increasingly becoming a necessity for Singaporean businesses. Cloud Readiness Index (CRI) 2016 released by the Asia Cloud Computing Association shows that countries like Hong Kong and Singapore are well above markets, ahead of the United Kingdom and the United State.
The Asian finance industry is also riding the cloud adoption wave with DBS as the first ever Singapore bank to adopt cloud-based productivity in the workplace. By 2018, IDC Financial Insights Asia/Pacific predicts that at least 80% of Asia/Pacific financial institutions that will run on a hybrid cloud architecture.
The appeal of cloud is huge. By adopting a uniform architecture for running their clouds in shared environments, financial institutions will become much more agile, reducing operational risks and becoming more efficient. Utilising the cloud also enables financial institutions to bring different types of data sets together, creating new insights and being able to learn from that information – bringing business intelligence to the whole organisation.
However, while the analysts are positive that the cloud is the way forward, my own experiences with customers have been slightly different. I often go and see my customers to present the product roadmap or statement of direction so they have a good idea of what we are concentrating on in the future.
A short while ago, I noticed a distinct difference in the reaction from certain customers when I talked about the subject of cloud. It became fairly obvious after a while as to why there was such a difference. The customers who had our software on-premise basically switched off at this point with a belief that what I was talking about didn’t affect them. The fact is that it does affect them. It affects everyone.
Cloud has led to a change in expectations in how business software should look and feel. Software applications can no longer just be functional for business users. The basics of what is required have changed.
They have to look good and be easy to use. People are so used to using well designed web pages and cloud based applications that they don’t even think about it anymore. It’s now very noticeable when applications don’t meet these standards. Business applications for business users shouldn’t be any different.
They have to provide a level of collaboration as standard. Social media has done many things to our lives and we can all debate whether it is a good or bad thing. But one thing that can’t be debated is that is has had a lasting effect on applications. The ability to talk to other users, ask questions, or at least receive notifications is just something that is expected. Business people like to talk to other business people and we’ve all gotten used to electronic devices to do it.
They have to provide a level of self-help. People have gotten used to the idea of helping themselves with software. This has evolved from user guides and manuals to more in-app help. But, this also means access to forums or Wikis and community sites to get assistance and guidance from other users. The idea of calling up a help desk to ask how to type questions is becoming less common and less preferable to an application or platform that allows users to help themselves.