Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Microsoft Survey: Business Leaders in the Philippines Prioritize Hybrid Cloud for Digital Transformation

Wazzup Pilipinas!

Microsoft recently held a press launch of the Windows Server 2016 on November 18 at the Hexagon Lounge of Tower 2 of RCBC Plaza. Herns Hermida of Microsoft gave us an overview of how the new Windows Server 2016 and System Center 2016 accelerates transition to a digital business.

As expected, cloud technology is primarily a significant part of the digital transition if we really want to be more competitive, innovative, and revolutionary, in a sense, as we embrace advance technology with trust and vision.

I do believe it is the way to go since everyone, even traditional media, is going digital. Now that the cloud has gone hybrid - a merging of both public and private solutions, the possibilities are becoming endless and infinite too.

True enough, businesses are evolving especially those who courageously joined the ICT bandwagon ahead of others. Being pioneers in technological innovations makes us look more credible and stronger in the yes of not only our customers but also our peers in the industry.

I've been a Systems and Server Administrator for several years and I couldn't really catch up with how speedy the development of technology has been. It seems there's a new technology coming up every second that there no longer is a specialist that could say he or she knows everything about a certain technology.

But this amazing situation need not stop us from implementing our IT infrastructure now. We do need to make the first move, and go on from there even if there seems to be no solution that lives on forever. Upgrades, new versions, higher models for both hardware and software, and even peopleware needs to constantly update and re-train regularly in order to catch up with the changing and varying demands of the industry.

With so many IT solutions out there, business leaders must also keep themselves knowledgeable and equipped with enough information to guide them in their decisions. They need to have a perceptive mind to identify between what are the necessities and what are the "nice-to-haves" only.

Trusted Hybrid cloud, Azure, Nano Servers, Containers, Higher Security, VMWare to Hyper-V migration, are just some of the things that are available now and that we need to consider in implementing on our Data Centers of which Microsoft is offering solutions that we should consider. Trust is actually the key word since businesses and users are only going to embrace technology if they trust it.

Below is their official press release:

Business leaders in the Philippines are making firm steps towards transforming their approaches to complement their organization’s digital transformation requirements despite having to also manage legacy IT infrastructure. 38% of business leaders in the country are prioritizing hybrid cloud over public only or private only cloud solutions for their organizations in the near future. These are some of the key findings in the Microsoft Asia Pacific survey of 1,200 IT department leaders[1],[2] across 12 markets[3] to understand how they are evolving their IT infrastructure strategies to meet the needs of a digital business.  

Digital Transformation is now more than ever – an important business decision
The next few years will be critical to enterprise decision makers as they execute on plans for a transition to a modern cloud-based IT infrastructure needed to serve their digital business needs. According to IDC, 60% of top 1,000 Asia Pacific organizations will have a digital transformation at the center of their corporate strategy by the end of 2017.

Digital Now or Digital Mess
IT department leaders within these businesses are constantly struggling to balance legacy IT needs, budget demands and the need to modernize to meet the demands for a digital future. The survey found that currently, 31% of respondents in the Philippines are already on the hybrid cloud journey which is expected to increase to 46% in the next 12 – 18 months. 45% are still only using private cloud and 15% are using purely public cloud solutions. The study showed that respondents are not likely to increase their investments in private or public only cloud solutions, reinforcing the demand for a more integrated, hybrid approach.

IT department leaders are facing increasingly complex IT environments to manage and crave simplicity:
·         They still have to manage traditional IT assets to support legacy applications and compliance needs
·         The innovation in cloud is causing the usage of cloud apps to explode. On average, it is estimated that there are 401 apps being used per organization in the Philippines (compared to 340 in Asia Pacific) and they need robust tools to manage them.   
·         They spend about 50% of their time on maintenance, compliance and operational issues, 26% on developing next generation digital capabilities and 24% of their time working with business leadership on digital transformation initiatives.
·         In terms of addressing digital transformation, respondents in the Philippines are spending more time on optimizing operations than on engaging customers, empowering employees or innovating with new products, services or business models.
·         They are concerned about the skills gap in their organizations, citing the top 3 skills most needed in their organizations are in the areas of security (65%), data analytics (58%) and cloud app management (57%)   
·         Security continues to be a concern in a world facing increasing cyber threats every day. The top three reasons driving their concerns are:
1.     Malware and data theft by cyber criminals
2.     Theft of data by employees
3.     Employees connecting their personal devices into the organizations’ networks
·         Organizations in the Philippines already use an average of 51 security products.
o    In the Philippines, 72% of respondents in agree that there is a need to invest more in IT security solutions and services, and 61% agree on the need to reduce complexity of managing the increasing portfolio of IT security solutions and services.

In the Philippines’ fast-growing consumer economy, the Hybrid Cloud is the best option
In a fast-growing consumer-demand driven economy like ours, businesses need to have the latest digital tools to keep up with that demand or else get eaten up by competition.  But what about the opportunity costs in additional investment and time required for digital transformation? 

Adopting the hybrid cloud study is then the best option in looking to take advantage of modern cloud computing capabilities while continuing to manage their traditional assets. 

Of the 46% of IT department leaders prioritizing the hybrid cloud, 8 out of 10 said they would prioritize an integrated hybrid cloud, with common management tools across both public and private cloud.

Herns Hermida, Microsoft Philippines Cloud & Enterprise Business Lead said: “Hybrid cloud is a natural progression for all enterprises in the Philippines, regardless of size and budgets, to digitally innovate their processes to make their businesses highly competitive. The cloud holds rich new applications which will enable better management tools, intelligent applications and advanced analytics to not just reduce cost and increase efficiency but to also innovate and enable faster time to market. As such, it can’t be ignored but it needs to be managed.”

However, the study also showed that most IT department leaders in the Philippines have traditional views of the cloud. While 83% said they would be comfortable hosting all their business applications on the public cloud in the future, respondents are only using it for basic applications such as email (74%) and customer facing applications (43%). Only 22% of respondents are using the cloud for application development and operations.

Hermida shared: “There are four areas where businesses need to step up to enable digital transformation. First, they need to get up to speed with the modern tools of managing increasing security and complexity. Second, gain control of your infrastructure with software management tools spanning across public, private, and multiple branded clouds. Third, move quickly to an integrated hybrid cloud which will allow them to benefit from the best of both worlds. And last, they need to drive more sophisticated workloads in the cloud to innovate, shorten time to market and maximize the potential which new digital technologies have to offer.”

Microsoft Introduces Windows Server 2016 and System Center 2016 to accelerate move to a highly secure Hybrid Cloud

Enterprise decision makers need to start the planning of their organization’s digital transformation journey today, and it starts with a clear hybrid cloud strategy. By bringing a cloud model to the business, IT department leaders can add scalability and flexibility to their current model, without sacrificing control or security.

Hermida explained:” The transition to a digital business can be a jarring one for most businesses due to legacy systems and processes. Business leaders need to have the urgency to kick start this digital journey, or risk being disrupted. Microsoft is committed to helping Philippine businesses in their digital journey, regardless of size and budgets.”

Microsoft has uniquely built-in security to all its cloud and hybrid infrastructure services in an integrated way and at all levels– devices, applications & infrastructure. A firm milestone in Microsoft’s commitment to enabling digital transformation is the General Availability of Windows Server 2016 and System Center 2016 in the Philippines.

·         Windows Server 2016 is the cloud-ready operating system that supports the organization’s current workload while introducing new technologies that make it easier and safer to transition to cloud needed for digital businesses. It delivers powerful innovations including advanced multi-layer security to prevent cyber-attacks and detect suspicious activities; software-defined compute, storage and network features inspired by Azure; and a cloud-ready application platform to deploy and run existing and cloud-native applications.

·         System Center 2016 makes it easy for organizations to deploy, configure and manage virtualized, software-defined datacenters and hybrid cloud infrastructures. The latest release of System Center offers an array of new capabilities that amplify the ability to meet the most demanding business requirements, providing support for everything from provisioning the physical and virtual infrastructure to IT process and service management. When complemented with Operations Management Suite, organizations will be able to effectively simplify and manage multiple cloud solutions from a single console.

Customers can get started now by trying out the System Center 2016 evaluation, Operations Management Suite as well as downloading the Windows Server 2016 Evaluation.

[1] Breakdown of respondents: 55.5% of respondents make IT decisions. 44.5% of respondents influence IT decisions.
[2] Size of organizations: 41% of respondents are working in organizations with 250 to 499 PCs; 59% work in organizations with 500 and more PCs.
[3] Markets involved in survey are: Australia, China, Indonesia, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Korea, Malaysia, New Zealand, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam

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