DSA was recently presented an opportunity to interview the very busy Asanga Wanigatunga, who is Veeam’s Senior Director for Cloud and Service Providers for Asia Pacific & Japan, based in Sydney, Australia. He is responsible for leading teams across the APJ region to grow Veeam’s cloud business across the region. We spoke to him over the phone on the future of the cloud, where it is headed and what should leaders in the space prepare for in the coming months or years.
The APJ region, Asanga shares, has some of the most varied adoptions of cloud. “Some customers have started the journey 5 odd years ago, some of them a couple of years ago and some of them are starting their journey now. What we’ve seen is across time, customers have got quite good at especially understanding what workload makes sense in what cloud.”
Having the ‘right’ options for cloud has become the new mantra that makes the cloud a useful tool for companies today. In fact, although many workloads are being moved to the cloud, such as CRM and SAS platforms, there are certain workloads that won’t need to or perhaps are better off on-premise.
“Some workloads will stay on-premise and will never go on cloud because it might be security, or it might be because it’s a steady state workload that would make the most commercial and managerial sense to actually run on-premise and manage it by themselves.”
Asanga sees this as where the evolution of cloud will be. A truly hybrid cloud with service cloud, SAS cloud and other applications that may be cloud native.
“We see organisations now developing applications (that are) cloud native applications. We see the next generation of applications will be developed that way. And I think what most organisations are trying to do, because one size doesn’t fit all, how do they now develop an architecture strategy that they could manage and protect all these platforms in a single view.”
This looks to be the wave of the future for the line of business that caters to the digital transformation. Asanga even suggests bringing in AI engines in the cloud that would run high performance and predictive analytics for line of business.
“We see a lot of these interesting projects being developed and driven in the market. That is what we see (with cloud evolution). The market is definitely changing. I think the role of IT will change significantly over the next 5 years. The world is moving to a world of hybrid. The future of IT is to understand (we need) management and governance across all of this.” He continued, “We see the role will change. The scope of on-premise IT will change. It won’t be replaced. It will have a different set of skill sets to manage this hybrid world.”
All this change and modernisation come with their perks, but without doubt have their challenging moments. Especially as companies try to encapsulate their business philosophy within the digital arena.
“We spend a lot of time with customers, helping them with strategy to on-board. There are probably two things that are really important to consider. On-boarding is important (and) what is just as important is off-boarding. Or exiting the Cloud. There are a couple of reasons for that. One of them would be across time, you would find different providers with different commercial constructs that are probably more competitive because of the different advantages they have.”
“Or they have different capabilities that the customer wants to leverage that the previous cloud providers didn’t. So as much as the on-boarding (is recommended), think about how you get off at some point as well. It might be because of the features or the cost, or it might be that that service provider is no longer financially viable,” he explained.
The option to move workloads out seamlessly is often not thought of when first signing your SLAs with a provider, but it nonetheless needs looking into. It would not be a bad idea having a backup that offers an easy option to do that.
“Obviously moving big infrastructure and applications would be quite disruptive to the line of business. To do that with minimal effect and downtime, that would be a consideration as cloud is evolving and at a hyperscale that is constantly innovating.”
From the range of cloud options available today, he says it’s important to look at the right cloud that would fit the business to get the best out of it and be able to move the workloads around. And this then comes back to the different support mechanisms of cloud and on-premises.
“How do you control all the variables in that infrastructure? Because you might only be controlling a part of that app now when it’s running on the cloud, and there might be dependencies to what the cloud might have in SLAs with you.”
Asanga concluded, “So we believe as you transition to the cloud, the second most important thing is you definitely need to think about how you build the operational process effectively. Those are some of the key things we ask our customers to think about as we go about this journey.”