Mega Trend: “Cloud” is Cool!

I have already talked about Big Data in my last article. So, I would like to focus on the equally big trend of “Cloud” this time. How relevant is it to our lives? The business sector in both Thailand and beyond have already invested more in cloud system in terms of both hardware and software so as to boost work efficiency and lower cost. Cloud promises several benefits. With Cloud, enterprises won’t have to handle complicated tasks. They can simply turn to cloud-service providers and enjoy fast, flexible, and secure system. Supported by Cloud, “Anything—as-a-service” (XaaS) has boomed.

XaaS concept has encouraged the Sharing Economy and the maximum use of resources. Anything in our possession can be developed into products and services. We can transform ourselves from consumers into service providers. With XaaS, our role may change from being users/ buyers to lessors. When backed by Cloud, “Sharing Resources” trend has caught on in the market.

For example, Flight Car has now taken off in the United States. Americans heading for a vacation can leave their cars at Flight Car, which will rent them to interested people. This way, car owners don’t have to pay parking fees at airports at all. In Britain, JustPark services are now available. They have matched parking demand with parking-space supply. Schools, churches and pubs, for example, may have available parking lots during some hours of a day and charge less than commercial-carpark providers. Such business ideas may soon come to Thailand too.

            In Europe, Fon has launched new Wi-Fi services. Its members buy Fon routers and share the Wi-Fi signal with others in their area. This way, when they travel around the region and come across Fon’s Wi-Fi signal, they will be able to use it for free. Today, Fon has operated more than 15 million Wi-Fi hotspots in Europe.

            The above examples show how cloud infrastructure can develop new businesses and create income, without requiring big investments.

            Now, let’s review the Thai situation. Conducted by the IMC Institute, the 2016 survey on Cloud Computing in Thailand Readiness Survey has covered organizations in both the government and private sectors. Respondents include organizations of all sizes, large, medium and small. According to the survey, Thailand-based organizations start seriously using Cloud Computing this year. Of all respondents, 55 per cent have used at least one type of cloud services such as Infrastructure as a Services (IaaS) Platform as a Services (PaaS) or Software as a Service (SaaS)   

To people in general, the most familiar form of cloud service is SaaS. It enables them to use various software via Internet. The most popular ones are Facebook, Gmail, and Dropbox. Among enterprises, cloud services have been gaining more acceptance. An increasing number of enterprises have now embraced cloud services because of their long-term cost-efficiency. Cloud services lower their cost as they are charged on the basis on actual usage. Gone are the days when they have to buy traditional licensed software in advance. Now, they can buy software and start using it right away. Today, SaaS has thus been used in almost all departments of enterprises from human-resource management, to time-attendance records, to payroll system, to customer-relations service, and to accounting applications. In fact, the Thai government has also developed the Government Software as a Service (G-SaaS) for government agencies in a bid to ensure that they can access software via the cloud system. This way, programs and data can be linked over the same network. Such moves herald well for the establishment of a national cloud.

            In Thailand, app developers are welcome to jump into the XaaS industry. So, talented minds will find this a golden opportunity for them to leverage current IT and Internet infrastructure in developing and delivering new services to interested people. I believe that very soon, a number of Thai app developers will become “the new waves” of admirable high flyers.

Source: Krungthep Turakij