The current macroeconomic climate is compelling companies in APAC to use cloud computing to build resilience and recession resistance.

Further, demand for data-driven digital transformation remains top of mind for CIOs and CDOs the world over as they brace for the storm ahead–meaning the cloud continues to rise, even in the face of strong headwinds.

In this Q&A, Steven Seah, Managing Director, ASEAN-India-Korea, Informatica, shares some valuable insights on what’s next in the cloud’s evolution and acceleration, as well as emerging trends, challenges and opportunities for APAC in 2023 and beyond.

What challenges are prevalent in the cloud’s evolution?

Steven Seah:  Data continues to grow in complexity – fragmented across diverse applications and environments as companies scale their enterprise workloads to not one, but multiple clouds that don’t ‘talk’ to one another. It is the number one challenge for Chief Data Officers (CDOs) today as it’s harder to create  a single source of truth from data for accurate reporting, analytics, and insights to drive better-informed decisions.

In partnership with IDC Research, we found 82% of APJ organizations are managing over 100 data sources, while 32% are managing more than 1,000 sources — this is the highest proportion in the world.

In times like these where companies are more prudent in costs while still tackling IT talent crunch and skillsets, they need a better, faster and more reliable way to integrate and deliver timely data and analytics for their businesses. As companies move to multiple, hybrid cloud environments, they will be faced with the challenge of trying to stitch data together across their on-premises and across multiple clouds to deliver trusted, relevant data at speed their data consumers required.

Taking these challenges into account, how can an organization leverage the cloud to build resilience?

Steven Seah: Covid-19 pandemic has shown us how cloud services can help us move and transform at speed. With high agility, flexibility and scalability cloud can offer, organizations can make resources available just at the click of the button to meet the changing demands.

Take Informatica’s Intelligent Data Management Cloud (IDMC) – our cloud-native, cloud-first AI-powered end-to-end data management platform as an example, this SaaS-based solution empowers organizations to innovate with agility, with seven main product suites which customers can start small in modules and scale according to their needs. The customer’s operational aspects of maintaining the infrastructure and data management modules and capabilities are alleviated alongside costs as such.

Powered by our AI engine, CLAIRE, IDMC is optimized for intelligence and automation and can help customers automate many menial operational tasks as they focus on getting their teams on high-valued tasks. The IDMC platform is connected to the data consumers where trusted data is democratized across the organization to empower their users beyond IT, to scale analytics and gain insights faster to drive growth and sustain competitive advantage.

Steven Seah, Managing Director, ASEAN-India-Korea, Informatica

Why is Informatica’s new suite of cloud data management services seen as “democratizing data” to users, developers, and engineers “across all skill levels”?

Steven Seah: By democratizing data across enterprise and empower users not just IT users but also business users, allow organizations to act swiftly to demands and changes. Being able to provide the easy-to-use data “shopping” experience to the users on the foundation of trust and governance, organizations can uncover more insights and accelerate data-driven decision making, while making sure that data is tracked with automated end-to-end lineage.

Being self-reliant and more data-driven, companies can increase data literacy among employees across the organization, and the empowered self-service also allows organizations to increase efficiency and productivity in the people.

As such, Informatica’s cloud data management services empower departmental users across all enterprise levels to find, populate, govern and analyze data on the cloud, moving quickly from data ingestion to insights in minutes, which ultimately supports our customer’s goal of driving value creation from their data-led digital transformation.

Does that data management service entail retraining an organization’s non-IT personnel?

Steven Seah: If we’re talking about technically implementing the technology, the low-code/no-code features in our IDMC platform allow developers to plug their codes easily for any transformation or modernization project, without the need to have deep coding expertise and handing coding skills. We have even simplified data management for departmental users with Informatica Data Loader which is a no-cost, zero-code, zero-DevOps, zero infrastructure required cloud data management SaaS offering that helps departmental users across the organization to move from data to insights potentially in minutes, as opposed to weeks.

Ultimately organizations need to drive a data-driven culture among their broader workforce, breaking down the data silos, enable data empowerment across the organization to drive value creation from trusted data democratized to consumers of all skill levels.

What is the best incentive for organizations to implement a cloud modernization strategy?

Steven Seah: Far too many organizations today are data-rich but insights-poor – so they end up taking a stab in the dark instead of developing strategies based on hard facts.

Getting the correct, trusted data to flow to the individuals, teams, and information supply chains is a vital first step to overcoming this: energizing research and development, reducing costs, optimizing data for performance, enabling new services and upskilling the current and future workforce for data-driven business culture. Hence the need for cloud modernization.

In a digital era where the only thing many organizations truly own is their data, data must flow freely – transformed, secured, connected, trusted, ethically managed and democratized by design to power digital innovation, in order to achieve business value faster.

Do you see more organizations in other APAC countries availing of this data management service, regardless of expenditure?

Steven Seah: Today, Asia-Pacific accounts for a third of the worldwide cloud market – and continues to grow far more rapidly than North America or EMEA. According to Synergy Research, South & Southeast Asia have the highest growth rates of all.

We’ve also seen from our recent study with Forrester Consulting that the Consumer-Packaging Goods, Healthcare, Finserv sectors in Asia have ranked top in prioritizing intelligent Master Data Management solution for seamless operation. There’s market appetite for cloud-native master data management, which is why Informatica has recently expanded our multidomain MDM SaaS on Microsoft Azure for Asia to Singapore and Japan to support the demand.

For example, HDFC Bank, India’s largest private bank and the world’s 10th largest bank, has chosen to partner with Informatica to deploy Informatica’s MDM Customer 360 and data quality solutions into HDFC’s Azure cloud to create a trusted 360-degree view of its corporate and banking customers.

Suffice to say, Informatica continues to see tremendous opportunities across the region, helping organizations tackle their data challenges and to drive business outcomes from their data-led transformation journey.