Almost everywhere in the world, costs are mounting and it’s making many Asia Pacific business leaders hot under the collar.
While this may be the perfect reason for business leaders to put off large-scale cloud migrations and business transformations, the very opposite is in fact happening.
This is the view of Peter Nikandrow, a Deloitte Australia partner, who specialises in Oracle consulting for the Asia Pacific region.
Speaking to ARN from Oracle CloudWorld, Nikandrow made it clear that despite fears of spiraling cloud and software-as-a-service costs, customers still stand to gain more from digital transformations than the costs suggest.
“Currently all the CEOs are starting to talk about cost management, transformation and re-platforming things on cloud,” he said. “Disruption is no longer an excuse. As long as CEOs are having that conversation, then the cloud and consulting market will remain strong.
“There’s a lot of uncertainty around the economy. Australia has been on the edge of a recession for a long time. But this is not an excuse anymore: CEOs need to keep going with transformations if they want to manage their costs better."
He noted that the ongoing the conversation on whether 'it’s cheaper to go in the cloud’ has “moved on”.
“Governance around cloud is important because you may end up paying more than what you own because you have 30,000 employees,” he explained. “It’s more about business efficiency than just simply cheaper costs. The pockets of savings from certain cloud projects will fund your next [transformation]. You may find it easier to close the month’s end, so you need five finance people instead of 50.”
Nevertheless, he noted, those “with huge on-premises server farms” can benefit immediately from putting applications like Oracle E-Business Suite or PeopleSoft into the cloud.
Not an ERP shop
Deloitte has rapidly built up a strong Oracle practice by way of mergers and acquisitions over recent years.
In 2020, the company bought Melbourne-based Ekulus; a year later it bought Perth-based Magia Solutions and Manila-based Focus IT, the latter of which significantly strengthened its Oracle consulting capabilities across Southeast Asia.
Speaking about Deloitte’s rapid rate of acquisitions, especially in recent years, Nikandrow said: “We have done so many now that we have a good integration method. We know how to find organisations that have a good set of managers and who are culturally aligned with us. You can teach anyone good business, but whether they have common sense is the tipping point for us.”
As to the reasons for such a number in APAC within the Oracle ecosystem, he added: “We are very determined not to be an ERP shop. As we tell the customer, there’s more than finance. There’s customer experience, back office, infrastructure, supply chain and procurement – as well as finance. We are now able to service our customers with everything from Oracle.”
Well, everything but Oracle Cloud Infrastructure (OCI), which, as Nikandrow notes is still an opportunity to be fully realised in Australia and some of the wider APAC region.
In the US, Deloitte acquired OCI specialist BIAS Corporation, but this, according to Nikandrow is still a capability that needs building here.
“Until last year, OCI was still on the outside of the cloud wars,” he said. “However, now it is definitely a consideration on the table. That’s an indication it is an enterprise hyperscaler.
“There still isn’t deep OCI capability in Australia. So, if a partner dedicates themselves to that then [they would make a potential acquisition], but we are also building that capability here ourselves. We are taking a lot of our infrastructure technical experts and upskilling them. But there is definitely a gap and an opportunity to upskill the whole region on OCI.”
Looking ahead, Nikandrow added: “We’re really positive about the next calendar year. I think there’s six to eight months when the market is definitely flattening, especially after picking up gold bars during COVID.”