Talktech: Bringing business resilience to HK firms: from cloud to hyper-convergence

Talktech: Bringing business resilience to HK firms: from cloud to hyper-convergeWith more enterprise applications and data-driven workloads running in cloud environments, managing them is getting complicated. When incorporating cloud into their data center infrastructure strategies, many Hong Kong IT executives are juggling data and applications between the public, private, and hybrid cloud environments.

In a recent CIO roundtable jointly organized by Computerworld Hong Kong and Lenovo, industry leaders noted that hybrid cloud supports a company's digital business. Hyper-converged infrastructure (HCI) can further bring a simplified IT infrastructure, flexibility and cost efficiency to enterprise data centers.

Cloud adoption in different firms

Retail firms City Super and New Balance have adopted cloud to enhance customer experience.

City Super Group deployed an array of cloud offerings few years ago, including recruitment, CRM systems and loyalty program. The retailer also runs VMware on the private cloud.

"We are customer driven and willing to explore cloud solutions for optimizing the whole customer journey," said Jeff Yeung, head of IT for Hong Kong market at City Super.

The supermarket will continuingly invest in digital marketing, increasing customer experience via omni-channels engagement. To cope with the growing number of data and information, the company has recently used public cloud for data archiving. Anchor

Like City Super, New Balance has digitized its retail business such as using digital displays in its flagship stores worldwide. To link up IT systems resided in different places, the footwear company has embraced the public cloud.

"We have deep dived into the public cloud, and will continue to move more things to the cloud. One of our initiatives was the deployment of DRaaS (disaster recovery-as-a-service)," said Tony Karton, Asia Pacific IT manager at New Balance.

To some tertiary institutions in Hong Kong, digital transformation is a way to address teaching model changes and students who are born digital.

Hong Kong Polytechnic (PolyU) is taking advantage of a hybrid cloud environment to bring digital learning. It moved its learning management system and IT support resources to the public cloud a couple of years ago.

"In the old days, most software vendors released two major upgrades in a year. We had to upgrade our software every six months, otherwise we might lose technical support," said Ricky Cheong, associate director of IT services at PolyU. "It makes our life easier after we have moved to the public cloud. Our service provider will take care of all the upgrades."

Providing a cloud environment for the millennials is not only a consideration for tertiary institutions, but also large enterprises like Hopewell. The company employs a number of fresh graduates from local universities every year.

"When we hire new graduates to join our company, we have to provide an environment where they can work with. So, we have introduced cloud solutions," said Tony Mok, head of IT at Hopewell.