S’pore on brink of a cloud computing tipping point

Singapore is slated to reach tipping point where majority of enterprises will become cloud-first within the next two years, reveals ServiceNow’s “Cloud Computing Tipping Point” survey.

The report surveyed 225 mid to senior managers evenly split among IT, DevOps and Line-of-Business managers (LOB) in large enterprises to obtain their insights about shifting from traditional data center computing to cloud computing (SaaS, IaaS and PaaS).

The results revealed major implications for IT, with three key findings:

Reality is catching up to the hype for cloud computing

For years, pundits have predicted an enterprise shift from traditional data center computing and results have shown that for the first time ever, almost half (44%) of respondents are taking a cloud-first approach.

This is specifically with new apps and services being hosted in the cloud as opposed to on infrastructure that the enterprise owns and manages. This is projected to grow to 59% within two years, revealing how quickly this shift is occurring.

DevOps is leading the charge to a cloud-first world

DevOps is a recent trend that was born out of the agile development movement that aims to reduce the cycle time between software development releases. This movement aims for early and frequent communication between IT and developers – which had not traditionally been the case – and puts pressure on how enterprises deploy new applications.

Nearly every respondent (97%) reported that they are involved in some way with the DevOps movement. Seventy-three percent of respondents said that the rise of DevOps is driving the IT shift. More than half (59%) of respondents see DevOps more as an operating philosophy to be taught to existing departments, rather than an entirely new division.

A cloud-first world demands new IT skill set

A majority (85%) of companies who have completed making the shift to a cloud-first model said their current IT staff lacked the required skill sets to help them make this shift.

Ninety-two percent of respondents feel that the cloud could be a replacement for a formal IT department. Yet, while IT is in danger of becoming obsolete or marginalized in this new order, there were two data points that showed a silver lining in Singapore.

Seventy-one percent of respondents said the cloud shift actually raised IT’s relevancy to the business. Sixty-five percent said IT will be completely essential in the future.

“Cloud computing has been around since the late 90s and is finally about to reach its tipping point here in Singapore.” said Jimmy Fitzgerald, Vice-President and General Manager of ServiceNow Asia Pacific and Japan. “At this point, both opportunities and dangers arise – enterprises must ensure that they are paying attention and not let themselves be lulled into inaction.”

Moving to a cloud-first world changes about everything

Instead of IT diminishing, an opportunity presents itself for IT organizations to become strategic partners to the enterprise by shifting from being a builder of computer infrastructure to a broker of cloud services. Here are five steps IT leaders can take:

  1. Ask yourself: What are the services we provide the business? Identify and clearly describe what “service” means to your organization and how this aligns to key business initiatives at an enterprise level
  2. Measure what matters: Focus on the key performance indicators (KPIs) and communicate progress against them to the larger organization
  3. Ask hard questions of the leaders of this change: Leaders need to identify any inefficiencies and hold each other accountable for the service dependencies between their teams
  4. Make IT matter: Streamline the IT organization to align more towards more revenue-driving initiatives that are important to LOBs to regain the trusted partnership with the business and provide higher satisfaction overall
  5. Focus on what you do best. Let industry leaders take care of the rest: IT organizations need to focus innovation and top-line revenue generation instead of trying to be a system builder and operations center