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January 18, 2019
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Sampling the Zeitgeist: Fresh Findings From DataWorks Summit 2018

The 2018 Hortonworks’ DataWorks Summit events offered me a unique opportunity to talk to customers about the technology zeitgeist. I attended the Hortonworks events in Singapore and Japan, and I came away with a clearer understanding of several emerging technology trends in Asia that are shaping the future of business and fuelling the adoption of hybrid cloud. These events also provided a chance to hear how Fortune 500 executives are creating next-generation data platforms to support future innovations.

As-a-Service Models Are Taking Over

As I traveled and talked with current and potential customers, one of the main topics that emerged is the rush to adopt service-based models—not just for software, but for hardware, too. Companies in Asia are exploring consumption-based pricing to help them move from a capital expenditure model to an operating expenditure model, and thus move assets off the balance sheet to profit and loss. This trend is being driven by the increased flexibility it offers the fast-moving technology environment. According to Accenture, 62 percent of Asia-Pacific buyers view “as-a-service” models as critical to their company’s success, outpacing North America and Europe.

This Is the Year of the Cloud

I’ve often heard as-a-service models and cloud computing often go hand-in-hand, so it’s not surprising to see cloud computing as another dominant trend in Asia. Public and private cloud are both heavily featured in APAC computing plans, and there are a variety of models offered: AWS, the market leader, offers cloud computing direct to customers, while Asian players like Alibaba Cloud and Huawei use their aggressive pricing model to partner with service providers. Accenture finds APAC adoption is keeping pace with the global average, with 68 percent of companies in the region moving to the cloud at a steady rate.

Open Source Has Taken Off in Asia

Almost three-fifths of large companies use some form of open source software. Software like Apache Spark, Kubernetes, and OpenShift is driving quantum leaps in innovation throughout the Asian economy. The proportion of Asian contributors to the Open Invention Network, a patent nonaggression partnership started by companies such as IBM and Red Hat, rose from 12 percent to 22 percent in 2016 alone.

DevOps and Agile Development Are Key

Customers recognize that cloud provides elastic computing services that can handle spikes in demand and provide the mobile, 24/7 coverage needed to serve both internal and external customers who are eager to access services anywhere, at any time. I believe, however, it is only one part of the equation for companies that are eager to compete —and where cloud leads, DevOps and agile computing are sure to follow. The ability to accelerate feature development in response to customer feedback is a key factor in unlocking the value of the cloud.

Hardware Procurement Is Changing

The other trend I’m seeing in the Asian market events is that the nature of hardware supply is changing. Many customers say that the traditional model of outsourcing hardware manufacturing to original design manufacturers isn’t working anymore.

Companies that demand computing at scale are saying that they no longer want to pay for third parties to assemble their computing infrastructure. They would rather bring that task in-house in many cases.

One factor driving this change in hardware is the Open Compute Project—an initiative focused on redesigning hardware technology to support the growing demands of compute infrastructure—launched by Facebook in 2011. It is is exposing companies to new hardware models that they can assemble themselves, and it promises new economic benefits for those who are scaling up their hardware infrastructures.

Real-World Results

The trends I’ve seen are underpinning real-world innovations in the Asian markets: One large Asian telecommunications company added hundreds of millions of customers in under two years using these techniques. Another telecommunications company launched a ybersecurity-as-a-service business, and they believe it will help them to drive hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue. And, an automotive company is also exploring the concept of global connected factories using a data-ingestion platforms.

I believe one thing connects all of these trends: the rise of the hybrid cloud. The connection of on-premises computing with cloud consumption models gives companies the best of both worlds: it enables them to take advantage of elastic, scalable computing models while also retaining local data for compliance and security purposes.

For moving to a hybrid cloud model, here are the seven factors companies need to consider:

  • Agility: Be sure that your development and deployment processes are mature and agile enough to unlock the value of the cloud.
  • Procurement model: Tailor procurement models to support the consumption of services rather than products.
  • Cloud economics: Identify use cases that make economic sense in the cloud.
  • Data strategy: The cloud is your gateway to gathering and understanding your data. Develop a plan to aggregate and clean that data, to make it ready for an analytics environment.
  • Analytics tools: Ensure that your analytics tools are capable of unlocking the value of this data by providing actionable insights.
  • Legacy remediation: There will be some legacy applications that are problematic for cloud environments: have a strategic plan for them.
  • Skills: From data science to DevOps and cloud administration, the hybrid cloud requires new skill sets. Be sure you have the appropriate human resources to support your transition.

This is just a sampling of what I’ve gleaned from my discussiuons with customers at DataWorks Summit 2018. There will be more to come next year. And look for me at DataWorks Summit 2019 (in Melbourne, Barcelona, or Washington, D.C.) at one of the sessions or on Twitter (@RickyAbhas).

Comments

tony alonso says:

Software like Apache Spark, Kubernetes, and OpenShift is driving quantum leaps in innovation throughout the Asian economy. run 3 unblocked

diane jeaton says:

The cloud is your gateway to gathering and understanding your data. Develop a plan to aggregate and clean that data, to make it ready for an analytics environment. https://run3i.com

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