This post is the second part of a series exploring the cloud in Asia Pacific. It covers the current cloud situation across the region, how is the cloud being used, what is holding back further adoption, and how the cloud can be used for innovation. It will also examine the cloud in the FSI sector.

In the first part of this series, we looked at the current situation with cloud in Asia Pacific, its adoption and what is preventing further uptake. But how are those enterprises who’ve adopted cloud actually using it?

Enterprises in Hong Kong often see clouds providing benefits in two main areas: Cost reduction and improved competitiveness. Many have embraced cloud to shift their IT expenditure model from a CAPEX-driven one to an OPEX-based one. By subscribing to resources on demand, enterprises can easily scale up or out according to business needs without having to invest time and monies in deploying these in-house. As a result, organizations are becoming more agile and flexible to market demands, improving overall competitiveness as well as operational readiness.

Provision of new application is now easier, as clouds become the preferred platform for delivery. This allows businesses to quickly meet new demands or explore new opportunities, without having to purchase and deploy new hardware, and worry about utilization rate.

Software as a Service, through the cloud, is also changing the way enterprises work. Mission critical processes, like finance and HR, can now done easily through subscription-based services. These allow enterprises to let their IT departments focus on value-adding or core activities, and not be bogged down by administration concerns and enabling IT for other departments/divisions. In addition, enterprises do not have to employ additional specialists for IT management, which is a huge concern for many in Asia. Besides, they also benefit from best practices and global expertise from service providers.

Overall, cost of doing business using IT has gone down considerably. Storing data and email can now be provisioned as a service, as well as other mission critical processes right up to disaster recovery. This has flattened the playing field allowing medium enterprises and smaller peers to challenge established incumbents. In addition, it has allowed other enterprise functions, such as the COO and CMO, to change the way they work with the CIO to meet business goals.

In the next post we’ll take a look at the FSI industry and the cloud before wrapping the series up with thoughts on how the cloud can be used as an innovation engine.