APAC IT heads still using cloud only for basic business tools

While most say they are okay with hosting all business applications on the public cloud, more than half of IT leaders in Asia-Pacific are tapping the platform for basic tools such as e-mail and websites.

Some 80 percent of IT heads in Asia-Pacific say they will be comfortable hosting their business applications on the public cloud in the future, but more than half only are doing so for basic tools such as e-mail and websites.

Just 35 percent were tapping the cloud for application development and operations, revealed a Microsoft survey that polled 1,200 IT heads and decision makers across 12 markets in the region, including China, Singapore, Australia, South Korea, and Thailand.

Some 48 percent said they were prioritising hybrid cloud over public or private cloud offerings in the near future, with 42 percent already tapping hybrid cloud platforms. This latter figure was projected to hit 48 percent over the next 12 to 18 months, according to the report. Some 36 percent currently used only private cloud, while 22 percent were running purely public cloud products.

The survey indicated that respondents were unlikely to pump more investments in either private or public cloud services, signalling a move towards a hybrid cloud model.

The findings also revealed that the IT executives were spending most of their time, 52 percent, on issues related to maintenance, compliance, and operations. A quarter of their time was spent on developing next-generation digital capabilities, while 23 percent of their time went towards working with business leadership teams on digital transformation initiatives.

According to Microsoft, the increasing use of cloud applications had resulted in an average of 340 applications used and, hence, that needed to be managed, within each organisation.

Not surprisingly, the survey respondents expressed concerns about the skills gap, with 62 percent pointing to security as the most needed expertise in their organisations. Another 56 percent highlighted cloud app management skills, while 52 percent cited data analytics.

In terms of cybersecurity concerns, the IT executives were most concerned about malware and data theft--committed by both cybercriminals and employees--as well as the risks involved when employees used their personal devices to access the corporate network.

According to the report, the organisations each used an average of 40 cybersecurity products, with 74 percent of respondents acknowledging a need to invest more in such services.

Andreas Hartl, Microsoft's Asia-Pacific general manager of cloud and enterprise, said: "It's a tough balancing act for IT to manage both current and future digital needs of the business. The cloud holds rich new applications that will enable better management tools, intelligent applications, and advanced analytics to not just reduce cost and increase efficiency, but to also innovate and enable faster time to market. As such, it can't be ignored but it needs to be managed."

Source: Microsoft Asia-Pacific