Telcos team up to boost cloud confidence

Five service providers across Asia-Pacific have banded together with Oracle and PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) to form a regional alliance aimed at driving cloud adoption for enterprises via a best-practices framework.
The Asia Pacific Cloud Alliance (APCA), announced in Hong Kong Tuesday, comprises service providers Hutchison Global Communications, VADS (owned by Telekom Malaysia), LG CNS, AAPT and Telstra, as well as vendor partner Oracle (whose Exadata and Exalogic solutions serve as the platform of the alliance).
PwC serves in an advisory capacity in the alliance in the areas of security, data privacy, and regulatory compliance across the different markets where alliance members operate. The firm will also use its position in the alliance to help its own clients use and invest in IT more effectively, and give them greater confidence in addressing the various challenges of adopting cloud services, says Greg Unsworth, Asia-Pacific technology industry leader at PwC.
Indeed, the aim of the alliance is, in part, to provide certainty for an enterprise sector that knows it needs to adopt a cloud strategy but isn’t sure why, Unsworth said.
“When we ask enterprises about cloud, most of them say they are planning to move towards the cloud, but when we ask them why, there’s no clear rationale. It might be for reasons of cost, or scale, or faster delivery of solutions, but in general we’ve found that the value of cloud hasn’t been clearly articulated to them,” he told a press conference.
PwC research also identified a number of adoption barriers that remain unresolved to the satisfaction of enterprises, including security, data privacy and sovereignty, performance, reliability and local support, the ability to modify apps and integrate them with internal IT, interoperability across clouds, and regulatory compliance in different countries.
The APCA proposes to address those concerns with a best practices business framework for cloud service providers based on carrier-grade infrastructure, transformational IT integrated into business processes and analytics, innovation in new business models and revenue streams, and energizing and enhancing communities (to include customers, suppliers and business partners).
All five members will adopt this framework underpinned by common cloud governance and standards for aspects like security, regulatory compliance, service quality and interoperability.
In particular, the APCA claims that each of the service provider members will help alleviate the trade-off between maintaining a scalable global infrastructure and local regulatory compliance by acting as the local partner handling compliance issues for regulations such as data residency and data mingling.
HGC will serve as the main regional hub for cloud services in mainland China, while VADS will serve a similar role for ASEAN. The alliance’s respective network coverage areas span from North Asia (via LG CNS in Korea) down to Australia and New Zealand via Telstra and AAPT.
Members will develop a shared framework of interoperability standards to ensure the same level of performance and security to business clients who subscribe to cloud offerings from any alliance member in any country.
Alliance members will also provide business continuity and disaster recovery protection for business customers.