These days, it is commonplace to hear talk of businessmen moving their investments and business processes “into the cloud.”

Those in the know would immediately relate this to that widespread phenomenon called cloud computing, but for the technology-challenged, certain questions come to mind: If the cloud is here, where is it? What is it exactly? What are its risks and how do businesses prepare for it?

In a nutshell, cloud computing is simply using Internet-based services to support certain processes of the business. And whether they realize it or not, most Filipino businesses have already set foot on the cloud.

Using Gmail or Yahoo for business e-mails, for example, implies that a company is going into the cloud to let Google and Yahoo’s computers handle their e-mail. Most of us have been using Internet-based services for more than a decade, but it is only now that enterprise-based solutions are becoming available online, including those that may be vital to running one’s own company.

A Natural Progression

According to Jerry Rapes, CEO of Exist Global, nowhere is this “interesting space” more apparent than in the healthcare industry. “We have a hundred million people in our country and they get sick whether in good times or bad,” Rapes begins, “so the ability for healthcare institutions to deliver healthcare services more efficiently, priced more reasonably, and more consistently is important. If you see the hospitals and the way they’re spending today to upgrade their infrastructure and facilities, the natural progression is that they would offer web-based services.”

Trends are pointing toward an increasing number of people getting connected to the Internet. Rapes further predicts that compounding that trend is the advent of new media, which indicates there will be a lot of initiatives in terms of putting up the necessary infrastructure, a large component of which is developing web applications.

“Having the right infrastructure in place ensures the continuity of the business,” he states. “There’s going to be a lot of ‘blurring of the lines,’” he adds, “because mobile is going to do a lot of things beyond call and text. It will grow and the whole vertical mobility will really change the way we do things and the way we run our businesses. So it’s really important to be in it.”

Making Cloud Implementation Easier

Today more than ever, IT departments of different enterprises are continuously faced with the need to provide new services—at reduced costs. This has led IT departments to look toward public clouds as a means to enhance their existing infrastructure.

But Morphlabs CEO Winston Damarillo asserts that the shared nature of these services poses a threat to data security. “Implementing a dynamic IT infrastructure within a company’s firewall is really the best bet, but the problem lies in how to properly implement it and the length of time it takes to acquire these resources,” Damarillo says.

This is where Morphlabs’ mCloud Data Center Unit (DCU) solution comes in.

A U.S. based company with an engineering team based in the Philippines, Morphlabs came up with the mCloud DCU solution to enable companies to control their cloud infrastructure with no capital expenditure necessary. “The best thing about mCloud DCU is that it only takes the enterprise a matter of minutes to acquire the IT resources it needs,” injects Morphlabs Product Manager Mark Maglana.

“It reduces the complexity of cloud computing by leveraging pre-configured and fully-tested components so that businesses can build private clouds at a lower cost. When you implement the mCloud DCU,” he adds, “you get Dynamic Infrastructure Services (DIS), which means your IT developers can focus on creating innovative business solutions instead of the nuances of setting up fault-tolerance, load balancing and addressing other cloud environment issues.”

Great potential in the ASEAN region

Over the past year, Morphlabs has forged strategic partnerships to innovate, build and push the boundaries of cloud computing. Under the partnership, Globe Telecom, Pratesis and Exist Global have already expanded their product offerings to include the mCloud DCU solution.

“Morphlabs understands that organizations must make intelligent capital investments in an emerging market, and its pay-per-use model reflects a commitment to fueling growth for ASEAN companies,” says Singgih Tjahjono, president of Pratesis.

“If you look at the global economy today,” he adds, “there is no denying that the ASEAN region is growing faster than the United States and Europe. And Morphlabs mCloud DCU provides an ideal combination of globally compatible technology, at Silicon Valley Enterprise standards, from which my company can achieve maximum scale and reliability without making costly investments.”

Exist Global CEO Jerry Rapes concurs: “The ASEAN region has long been a hidden opportunity for cloud computing, and I believe the phenomenon of cloud computing will prosper faster in Asia than in any other region.”

It is crucial, however, to localize the cloud. “Jumping into a digital strategy is good,” Damarillo asserts, “but companies in the Philippines better know what they’re doing or else they’re just wasting money. People end up buying the most expensive technology, but often it isn’t even what they need. Sometimes going for the more popular brands is overkill for a business.

Technology,” he concludes, “should adapt to your growth, improve as you grow, and not the other way around. And we at Morphlabs believe that efficient computing is an important step to a better, smarter future for your business.”

For more information about Morphlabs and the mCloud DCU Solution, visit www.morphlabs.com.

Published in the Business Agenda section of Manila Bulletin, October 10, 2011

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