The cloud computing market in Asia is expected to quadruple by 2014, and be worth about US$4.2 billion.
That is according to Dell, who wants a piece of the action.
In the current fiscal year, the IT company has pledged to invest US$1 billion in technology solutions, such as cloud data centers.
The way data is accessed is being revolutionized by cloud computing. With cloud computing, data can be retrieved via Internet applications. This removes the need for installation of on-premise software applications and corresponding license fees.
Traditionally, major IT companies charge each user or each desktop an annual licence fee for the use of on-premise software.
Andew Milroy, vice president of ICT practice (Asia Pacific) at Frost & Sullivan, said: “A lot of companies have found that very expensive. So what has happened is, certain types of software companies – Salesforce.com and Netsuite are pioneers of this – have started offering cloud alternatives that are deemed to be much more cost effective, scalable, flexible.”
As more companies find it cheaper to store their data virtually, major IT companies will be forced to restructure their businesses.
And this could give rise to cannibalization of their existing data storage businesses.
Mr Milroy said: “What we have seen is the on-premise guys – like Oracle, SAP, Microsoft – thinking ‘how do we address this threat’ and they have all basically moved into offering cloud solutions that do displace a lot of their traditional on-premise business, or you could say, cannibalize it.”
But Dell is confident that the cloud will bring a lift in terms of opportunities for them.
This is because it will be offering open-architecture cloud solutions. This is compatible with companies which wish to use public clouds as well as those which prefer to use premise-based private clouds.
Paul Henri Ferrand, chief marketing officer of Dell’s consumer and small and medium business (CSMB) and president of Dell (Asia Pacific, Japan), said: “And the lift we see is of course in taking share by leveraging those disruptions in the marketplace, because what is happening is that the data centre is being re-architected and we do not have – compared to other companies – too much legacy in that field; we are coming up with our open solutions.”
According to Dell, 60 per cent of chief information officers are planning to implement “some sort of cloud computing” in 2011, compared to only 20 per cent in 2009.