It was in late 2009 that HP came out with the book — Cloud Computing For Dummies— seeking to dispel notions and misconceptions about what everyone is talking about as being the next big thing in the IT industry. But, the book that sought to provide readers with knowledge about how to use technologies that provide computation, software, data access and storage services without having any end-user knowledge of the physical location and configuration of the system also highlighted a major shift in HP’s strategy of how it saw itself in the IT business space.
Says Mohan Krishnan, Vice President & Managing Partner of APJ Consulting, TS, APJ, “cloud computing can be difficult to understand at first, but the cost-saving possibilities are great and many companies, especially in the Asia-Pacific, are getting on board.” Today, the company has in place a cloud-computing service that allows developers to create applications for consumers and businesses using HP tools, all of which run on HP servers. Cloud computing delivers IT services dynamically over networks by pooling resources—including networking, storage, computing, and software—within and across multiple data centres.
Cloud computing continues to gain acceptance as a critical way to deliver on-demand information and resources to customers. Says Krishnan, “Only HP’s technology consulting services span a client’s facility, IT infrastructure, people and processes to help them effectively transform their data centres for increased agility and business continuity in the cloud era.”
At the foundation of HP’s cloud computing offerings is the broader concept of infrastructure convergence and shared services, allowing users to get their applications up and running faster and with less maintenance even as it allows them to adapt to any technological changes to meet fluctuating and unpredictable demand. As Krishnan says, “cloud computing is today enabling businesses to establish greater linkages between their businesses and IT, leading to improved productivity and products, delivered in a more timely fashion and with greater costeffectiveness.”
This is especially true of the Asia Pacific region, where the business model transformations that are taking place are leading to a demand for new technologies. And, it is to meet this demand, that HP has recently unveiled a new set of products, solutions and programmes. Says Anant Sharma – Product Manager, BCS, Hewlett-Packard, APJ, “these are virtual systems offerings in the mission critical space, and not just in the low or middle-tier space, targeting customers in different industry verticals.” These offerings are all aimed at helping enterprises increase the efficiency of their infrastructure and to build the foundation for cloud computing.
Today, HP is incorporating its lifecycle management software and its security acquisitions as part of its overall cloud strategy. It is leveraging all HP services to offer a hosted private, public and hybrid cloud and traditional outsourcing as part of an overall plan
Here, HP is following what appears to be simple market logic, backed by Forrester Research: “IT spending in the Asia-Pacific region is the highest in the world. The GDP growth rate in this region is the highest. A youthful and fast growing population that has the highest number of users of social media and mobile phones is driving the adoption of the latest technologies – prompting faster technology adoption rates among enterprises in the region.” It is a market that HP is ready to cater to with a complete portfolio, says Sharma. It is also a move that is in keeping with the strategy outlined by its former Chief Executive Officer Leo Apotheker. “Everything that we do in the future will be delivered as a service. It’s the first time HP is trying to put all of the elements of what it’s doing together,” Apotheker has been quoted as saying.
Today, HP is incorporating its lifecycle management software and its security acquisitions as part of its overall cloud strategy. It is leveraging all HP services to offer a hosted private, public and hybrid cloud and traditional outsourcing as part of an overall plan. HP is hoping to leverage its services expertise in running large enterprise packaged software. This all is part, says Sharma, of the company’s strategy to unleash the power of an ‘Instant-On Enterprise’ where everything and everyone is connected. This requires that enterprises have IT environments that are flexible, automated and secure, and are able to quickly adjust to changing demand. To be an ‘Instant- On Enterprise’ and successfully adopt new delivery models, organisations need to transform their rigid infrastructures by eliminating costly legacy environments, siloed processes, and physical and virtual sprawl. With limited financial and human resources, enterprises also must reduce costs and increase the efficiency of their data centre operations, adds Sharma.
What is more important is that governments and enterprises that had so far been going slow on their IT infrastructure and offerings are now leapfrogging both technologically and service provision to catch up with other nations. The potential for leapfrogging seems even brighter owing to the emergence of technologies like cloud computing and virtualisation. Says Krishnan, there are unique requirements in moving to a cloud-based environment, whether managing legacy infrastructures or newer IT models. HP enables a smooth transition for organisations with the expertise of HP technology services as well as the HP converged infrastructure solutions portfolio.
Globally, the market for cloud computing will grow from $40.7 billion in 2011 to more than $241 billion in 2020. The Asia-Pacific is a particularly dynamic region in terms of growth where, according to Forrester Research, organisations are forming comprehensive cloud strategies faster than in North American and Western European markets. The percentage of organisations in Asia-Pacific, who view the cloud as directly relevant to their organisations, has almost doubled in recent times.