THESE DAYS, people are used to getting information instantly, and this has led to more and more businesses adopting cloud computing in order to keep up with the increasing expectations of customers. One of the major players in developing cloud services for businesses is HP, which has created several platforms and products in order to help "harness the power of the cloud", says Chong Fook Hing (right, top), HP’s sales director for enterprise servers, storage and networking.
"Today, people expect instant results," he explains, "so companies must adapt. They have to become more dynamic, with a faster response time (on the internet).
"Look at the example of a no-frills airline. They need to respond quickly to factors such as the rise of global oil prices, and their online booking system needs to reflect the increase in fuel surcharges.
"By going on the cloud, they can make changes to their website immediately."
HP refers to these companies as Instant-On Enterprises.
On the cloud-computing platform (far right), companies require IT environments that are flexible, automated and able to quickly adjust to changing demands.
However, while the benefits of going on the cloud system are numerous, there are concerns regarding security, availability and ease-of-integration.
"Businesses are expecting more and more, so we need the cloud to help broker and build a hybrid delivery service environment," says Chong.
In a hybrid cloud system, data is handled both on and off premises, with business owners being able to dictate their exact requirements for the service.
To better help potential customers understand how they can build their own hybrid cloud system, HP has organised the HP Cloud Discovery Workshop, aimed at informing customers of the various capabilities of a cloud and decide which applications best suit their business.
Kok Ee Mann (above), director, technology consulting, HP Technology Services, explains: "The workshop is a vital first step to help companies decide what they need. There, our experts offer consulting services to plan, design and implement the cloud, based on our customers’ requirements."
HP also offers many different products and platforms to help customers build their eventual cloud.
"For example, we have something called HP CloudStart," says Kok. "Like its name indicates, it helps build a cloud in 30 days. The companies that are best targets for going on the cloud system would be large corporations and government departments, who deal with huge flows of data daily."
While most end-users might not immediately recognise the effects of a cloud computing system, both Chong and Kok say that should be the ideal situation.
"What we want is a seamless integration of the system, so that the public doesn’t even notice the difference," says Chong. "What people will see is that the new system is more user-friendly and that it responds faster."
– Anansa Jacob