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Wipro Exec Offers Cloud Computing Perspective

Anand Ramachandran: "We're Moving Beyond the Standard Objections"

Noting that "we're moving beyond the standard objections," Wipro executive Anand Ramachandran outlined his view on "Cloud Adoption in Enterprise Applications" at the recent two-day Cloud APAC Conference in Shanghai.

The concept of enterprise applications moving to Cloud means, of course, SaaS, and Ramachandran made note of four types of apps that Wipro is seeing move towards Cloud: CRM, ERP, SCM (supply-chain management), and HR Management.

Ramachandran is based in Bangalore, from where he serves as Global Practice Head, Enterprise Cloud Applications. He recently returned to India after spending several years based in the US. He offered up numerous statistics regarding SaaS adoption, taken from IDC research:

* the SaaS share of the total software market ranged from 19 percent for healthcare down to 3 percent for government. Other notable niches include insurance at 13 percent, banking at 12 percent, manufacturing at 9 percent, and retail at 7 percent.

* the SaaS market size by the year 2012 will be led by discrete manufacturing at $4 billion (US) and banking at $3.6 billion.

* Compound annual growth rate (CAGR) between 2007-2012 for a group of 15 major industry segments ranges between 19 and 28 percent, with healthcare and process manufacturing leading the way, followed by discrete manufacturing and utilities.

The Opportunity for Asia Pacific
Specifically for the Asia Pacific region, Ramachandran urged attendees "to break the cycle of under-investment, get globally competitive, (and) build processes to global standards." Noting that "legacy IT impedes the move to Cloud," he urged attendees to turn their relative lack of legacy IT into a strength, as they have "no compulsion to safeguard huge investments in legacy IT," as do most enterprises in more-developed nations.

Ramachandran also outlined Wipro's four-step process, as follows:

Evaluate - in which a company "needs to understand Cloud's impact to its applications and find which applications to move onto Cloud"

Define - in which a company "has already identified which application(s) to move to Cloud but are unsure of ROI"

Deploy - in which the applications that will be moved are identified "and now they need to migrate to Cloud"

Run - in which an application "has migrated to Cloud but requires steady-state support for Public or Private Cloud."

The standard objections to which he referred include security, data latency, and other technical issues. He said that he is now seeing more enterprise-specific concerns such as availability as well as SLAs and their enforcement.

He noted the importance of the business side and how in some cases truly new thinking has evolved; for example, Cloud providers being paid a percentage of each transaction processed rather than for computing power per se. Internally, businesses need a new mindset with Cloud, too, as budgetary concerns move from capital expenditures (capex) to usage-based operational expenditures (opex).

Noting that accounting questions come to the fore with Cloud, he urged companies "to get your smartest IT person and your smartest finance person together" when it comes time to consider Cloud Computing. Yet this won't be a one-sided conversation; as he also noted, "IT support in the Cloud is different, but it's not going away."

More Stories By Roger Strukhoff

Roger Strukhoff (@IoT2040) is Executive Director of the Tau Institute for Global ICT Research, with offices in Illinois and Manila. He is Conference Chair of @CloudExpo & @ThingsExpo, and Editor of SYS-CON Media's CloudComputing BigData & IoT Journals. He holds a BA from Knox College & conducted MBA studies at CSU-East Bay.