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Everyone knows about it. Some are terrified of it, others are intimidated by it, and most don’t even have the faintest idea of how it works. Yet, everyone seems to want to get in on the action. What is it? Well, it’s the Cloud, of course.

For several years, Cloud technology has taken the world by storm. Everyone from small business owners to corporate giants has been racing to find unique ways to leverage the Cloud for their bottom line. Rightfully so, considering it’s a fact that companies adopting innovative technologies deepen their relationships with customers and grow commerce – think Amazon, Uber, and Facebook.

Today,72 percent of organizations have at least one application or a portion of their computing infrastructure in the Cloud. Yet, despite all the hype, companies are still fearful because of a range of concerns. I often find myself wondering why we in South East Asia are still reticent about using innovative and intuitive technology within our organizations and within the B2B context.

This is not just my assertion. According to a recent Forbes study, the biggest footprint and growth of Cloud solutions is still in North America followed by Europe.

So why are we slower on the take-up?

  • Do we believe that Cloud is too expensive? It can actually save you money, considering it uses less electricity, requires zero upfront capital costs and saves you money on your IT staffing budget.
  • Is it because for many of us in the industry, the end-customer is more important than internal users and suppliers? It’s true that serving the customer is probably the most important thing a service organization can do to ensure success, but there’s more than one type of customer. Employees are internal customers, and failure to meet their needs can increase employee turnover and heighten external customer dissatisfaction.
  • Or do we fear that we may appear less professional if we make it too easy and too intuitive for our internal users and suppliers to engage with us? This is simply a misconception. The Cloud should be seen as an extension or alternative method rather than as something new. The only difference is that with the Cloud, you shift responsibilities for certain roles to people outside the company.
  • Maybe the North American and European regulatory environments are less complex? While in Asia-Pacific, certain factors such as longer timelines for approval do make the regulatory framework complex as compared to North America and Europe, studies show North American regulations implemented by governing bodies such as U.S. FDA and ASTM are now beginning to be followed as international standards by different countries across the region.
  • Or does Cloud simply not gel with the South East Asian ways of working? Another misconception – according to the International Data Corporation (IDC), it’s expected that 70 percent of enterprises in Southeast Asia will commit to a hybrid Cloud strategy.

Whichever question resonates with you, the facts cannot be overlooked:

  1. According to Gartner, 2016 is seeing a rapid 16.5% growth in public cloud usage worldwide
  2. Business case models show the hard dollar benefits of Cloud versus on-premise solutions, for speed of innovation, rapid implementation and IT cost savings
  3. Many studies conducted by renown consulting and research firms highlight the benefits of intuitive back office applications that drive improvements in control, process efficiencies, ability to react to changing business goals and drive operational cost savings (Gartner, ATKearney, Forrester)
  4. Moreover, according to the World Bank, South East Asia is the fastest growing region in the world, with unparalleled opportunities fueled by highly skilled labor benefited by years of ‘offshoring’, diversification into high-tech industries and cheap oil prices.

So despite all the reticence, there is a compelling Cloud case for change that executives in South East Asia often overlook at their own peril. The quicker companies can adopt and leverage the Cloud correctly, the quicker they can reduce data storage liabilities, lower business costs and increase profitability.

So, how do you make up your mind and decide whether a cloud application is right for you? Here are three things to consider:

  1. Speed of deployment. Implementation timelines of Cloud vs on-Premise vary hugely. For similar functionality, on-premise implementations usually take three times as long as Cloud. This clearly impacts costs, internal change management effort as well as senior management attention span.
  2. Ease of adoption. Users access cloud applications on standard web browsers anytime, anywhere. Using web-style user interfaces – mobile, tablet, or desktop – allows for widespread adoption across the company without the need for detailed training.
  3. Transparency and lowering risk. With a subscription-based service, customers have more transparency into the total cost of deploying and running the systems, and ability to cease the service after the subscription expires. Hardware capacity and IT staff planning are no longer in the hands of the customer, but are the responsibility of the cloud vendor. This allows companies to respond quickly to any business changes that may arise unexpectedly because redeployment of resources is not the concern of the customer in a cloud service model.

There is a huge amount of insight, networking, and information sharing available end of this month at our first Ariba Live in the region, taking place here in Singapore.

This is where you’ll hear from our special guest speakers, some of the best and brightest leaders and experts in business, technology, commerce, and entrepreneurship. Where customers, suppliers, and organizations new to the cloud are invited to share their experience, learn of new developments, and see the power of intuitive and collaborative cloud solutions.

Come and join the debate and find the answer to the question that is holding you back from adopting the cloud and leaping into the future of business.

See you at Ariba Live!


Victoria is a seasoned Sourcing, Procurement and IT practitioner with 19 years of experience. Victoria held leadership positions across Barclays Bank, PriceWaterhouseCoopers and Procter & Gamble. She has worked across South East Asia, Europe, and Russia, making use of her fluent English, German and Russian languages. Victoria specializes in large scale change programs, driving optimum IT strategy creation and implementation, evangelizing about the importance of master data and end user adoption as the critical success factors of any change program.

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