It has been a great 2015 and coming to end of the year, SRKK COO, Mr Yeoh Kai Hearn shared 2016 IT Trends and Beyond with Freda Liu in TechTalk Session. Everyone in SRKK was nervous as this is our first experience but Mr Yeoh was cool and awesome, as always.
Click below to listen to the interview session :
Or you may read the details below :
1) SRKK was established in 1997. Way before the mobile and cloud revolution started. What has changed since then Yeoh?
The most obvious one is the changes of the internet speed, from 56k modem, ISDN all the way to 100MB and up to gigabit in certain countries. Of course, technology have been evolving from the traditional operating system centric to Client Server based, the rise and burst of dotcom era, open sources push, virtualization, booming of internet, mobile networks that drive the smartphones & mobility growth, and the cloud revolution. So many things have changed. And the changes are getting faster than ever with the high speed of internet. From my opinion, there is the only thing remain, the internet speed is going to be faster and more affordable.
2) How do you keep up with vast changes in the IT space? What sort of partnerships do you have?
Well, for a new startup company at that time, we have been trying all sort of business strategy in order to persevere. Ending up with, our rule of thumbs is always partners and working closely with market technology leaders. In this case, we have been working closely with Microsoft. As their products and services are for the broader market from SMB, medium size company to large enterprise. Furthermore, we are getting strong support covering from sales to technical, including the internal use rights of licenses products. Currently, we are the Microsoft APAC Platinum Partner of Office 365 Cloud solutions.
3) Now there’s a whole range of different technology solutions that you provide to your customers, so let’s talk about trends. What trends did you see happen in 2015 based on your experience?
In this year, the demand on Cloud solutions especially for the Microsoft Office 365 is still going strong. Let me provide a better picture with numbers comparison. We started our cloud offering way back in 2012. In that year, Cloud is a pretty new concept to Malaysian businesses and we only managed to secure one customer with about 200+ subscription seats. In three years’ time, SRKK have more than 15,000 subscriptions and the numbers are still running. By the way, my customers cloud subscription churn rate is very minimum. Mean, overall they are satisfied with the solutions.
4) Have businesses in Malaysia be more towards adopting new technologies in your opinion?
In the IT industry, there is a common perception that Malaysian businesses are always few years behind in adopting new technologies by benchmark against developed country like USA. I would have said it depends on the business segments and markets. Large enterprises usually are fast in adopting new technology followed by medium size corporation. For SMB market, it depends on the total cost of investment needed of that new technology. One good example; virtualization started as early as year 2000 in US, it came to Malaysia large corporates in about year 2006. While it took four more years to SMB after the cost of adoption becomes lower. That’s about 6 to 10 years behind. Back to the topic we discussed earlier; for Cloud solutions, it only takes less than three years.
5) What are some of the challenges that are faced by organisation in Malaysia that technology can help?
Firstly, I think for Malaysians especially SMB market, IT is always treated as a cost center where business most of the time find challenges in managing it. On one hand, business go nowhere without IT investment. But with IT system in place, business find it difficult for them to manage it as it involves additional cost for IT talent recruitment. My experience is that SMB usually are facing high turnover of IT personnel, in the end they no longer maintain the IT Dept. Secondly, organizations are also facing the data protection and data lost risks with the lost or stolen devices like notebook, smartphone. Lastly, system down time that causes serious productivity lost. Regardless large or small business. They all faced the same issues. Of course, there is additional challenges on software license legalization. Cloud solutions is one of the technology that is helping organizations in solving these challenges with its maintenance simplicity, always up services availability and online cloud storage for data lost prevention.
6) What is a typical “modern” business and how do organization set themselves on this path?
To me, the modern business must be in bare minimum able to provide instant information to the business owner that collaborates with his team; anywhere, anytime. So businesses can judge the situation, monitor business performance and make instant business decision. This includes the back office system, email messaging system, collaboration portal, business application software, instant messenger. It sounds pretty simple, but we found most of SMBs in Malaysia still lack all these requirements. The good news is, this type of setup is getting affordable and faster to build with the Cloud revolutions. In fact, businesses have more options they could choose.
7) When you talk about “smarter business challenges”, what do you mean by this?
It basically refers to getting ICT system to work for your business proactively & intelligently. Businesses can pump in investment in the system hardware and software but it does not necessary get the on par resources like manpower, capable suppliers for the system delivery and maintain it. The competition game has changed, where business now need more information about their business for better strategies. Business intelligences is going to be another trend to assist. It is a challenge that keep businesses hesitate in investing into ICT solutions for a smarter business.
8) With the rise of the Internet of Things, Advanced Analytics and Rich Data, how do businesses keep themselves up to date while still being cost efficient?
How does technology help them in keep cost down when there’s continuous change every quarter in the industry? If you observe to all these new trend of technology, they all related to high speed internet. Theoretically, with high speed internet availability, business’ system or data can be in anywhere and any place as long as there is connectivity with proper data security and privacy protection. Cloud services provider seen this. They sense the huge business opportunity by providing such services to business with disruptive subscription pricing model. They take care of system services availability, update and technology changes as when needed. In short, the Cloud service provider take most of the hassle out from the business by understanding the pain point businesses are facing. Out of a sudden, things that used to be costly and only affordable by large enterprise turn affordable to all level of business. For smaller business, they are using exactly the same technology as large corporate used while most of the maintenance and changes are being take care of by the Cloud Service provider and partners. To me, this a very positive revolution in helping Malaysian business.
9) 2016 is approaching and what are you planning to push forward to Malaysian businesses?
Our primary focus would still be the cloud solutions. Simply, Cloud is another new wave of IT revolution that it will change the whole IT eco system. But the most important thing is that, businesses are the one who benefited the most. Business owners have to own advanced systems in order to compete and expand business.
10) What advice would you give to business owners here in Malaysia as they plan ahead for 2016 and are looking to grow their business?
Well, businesses environment has changed. ICT solutions is no longer a cost center, instead it is an investment businesses should seriously explore into in order to stay relevant. Cloud is the solution Malaysian business should be looking into to grow their business. There is a prediction by year 2020, 70% of the corporate ICT system will run on cloud. This is an unstoppable trend as the benefit of cloud to the business is simply too attractive, once business get a clue on it. Of course, it will be our challenge to deliver the values to the Malaysia business awareness.