[Prof. Yang Jae-soo's Talk] netKTI Kim Sung-yong, “SaaS will break the cloud services market in 2017.”
In the era of intelligent information technologies where everything gets connected and intelligent, vast amounts of data collected through the IoT and mobile devices will be analyzed in real time by taking advantage of cloud computing and big data technology. And then another value of intelligent information will be created though artificial intelligence (AI).
The Korean government has also announced that it will build a ‘data free zone,’ where open government data is converted into forms that can be used for big data analytics and machine learning and then encrypted for unbridled utilization, and will set up a ‘data exchange’ where big data trades like stocks.
The advent of the 4th industrial revolution has thrown into the limelight big data analytics, the IoT, AI, etc. These industries, based on cloud infrastructure, have been rapidly expanding the cloud services, data management and analytics markets.
The worldwide public cloud services market is projected to reach 195 billion dollars by 2020, more than double the previous forecast of 96.5 billion dollars.
As 5th generation mobile networks (5G) are expected to become operational in the next 4 years and connected cars and infotainment technologies are making progress, data use is expected to grow on a continuing basis.
As a result, companies shift away from hardware towards cloud services in order to efficiently manage their data. And many companies are keen on investing in data centers and more companies are building eco-friendly data centers to cut power consumption.
As such, the Korean cloud market has seen fierce competition between global companies and local, homegrown businesses.
KT ucloud biz is an affordable public cloud service, which delivers a wide range of on-demand IT resources such as infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), platform as a service (PaaS), SaaS (Software as a Service)). Users can selectively use and pay for as much as they use.
As the Korean cloud market is getting bigger, global cloud providers like Amazon and Microsoft are aggressively making inroads into the Korean market.
Korean companies led by mobile carriers are accelerating their efforts to gain ground in the Korean cloud market. KT, the second largest mobile carrier in S. Korea, has been speeding up its entry into the cloud market since ‘G-Cloud,’ KT’s cloud service for public institutions, was certified by the Korea Internet & Security Agency (KISA).
To predict the future of the Korean cloud market that is likely to bloom in 2017, The Korea IT Times, a Korea-based global news network, arranged a meeting between Dankook University Professor Yang Jae-soo (who is also serving as a cloud expert at the Ministry of Science, ICT and Future Planning) and Kim Sung-yong, CEO of netKTI (which has been the 1st exclusive distributor of KT’s cloud services since 2014). netKTI provides ‘xTrain Cloud’ services to the public education market, as well as the private market. --Ed
The government is promoting private cloud services, but the growth of the cloud services market is taking baby steps.
The government is rolling up its sleeves to galvanize the cloud services industry. In particular, various institutional tools have been put in place to encourage public institutions to tap into private cloud services. Public institutions are given extra points for adopting private cloud services in Government 3.0 Evaluation of public institutions’ managerial performance. Nevertheless, the spread of private cloud services doesn't live up to expectations. What’s the problem?
Kim: It takes more than institutional changes to change the way informatization officers of public institutions view cloud services. They shouldn’t feel like they are forced to use cloud services. It’s important for them to actually feel the need to use them. However, the difficulty of acquiring new technologies and adjusting to a paradigm shift are holding them back. In addition, given the characteristics of public institutions, the timing of budget execution seems to have something to do with public institutions dragging their feet.
Therefore, successful cases of public institutions’ use of cloud services need to be made widely known. To that end, proactive education and consulting efforts are required, accompanied by effective, practical institutional measures and budget increases.
Yang: I’ve heard that netKTI, as the exclusive distributor of KT’s cloud services, is offering private cloud services. Could you describe your company’s competencies in the provision of cloud services?
Kim: First of all, consulting capability is needed in order to build platforms for providing cloud services, analyzing the current situation of customers and recommending the optimum services. And then managed service capability is a must for managing services for customers and providing systems engineering (SE) and technical assistance. Therefore, nurturing and educating experts and having the experts on our team are all important.
Over the past three years netKTI has strengthened consulting and managed service capabilities in the process of providing cloud services to various sectors including the public education sector, manufacturing, medicine and finance. Also, we are continuously pursuing the sophistication of our ‘xTrain cloud’ service platform.
Our customers can simply apply for cloud services through our ‘xTrain cloud’ portal and use IT resources at reasonable prices and pay for as much or as little as you use. On top of that, customers can enjoy immediate access to KT’s cloud infrastructure through the ‘xTrain cloud’ portal after signing up and filling out an online application form. Thus, they can use high-quality services in real time in a convenient, sustainable manner.
Yang: I’ve learned that your company carries out numerous projects in the public education sector. Could you tell us about the current situation of the public market and the adoption of cloud services?
Kim: Until 2015, KT Cloud, a private cloud service, had been used by public institutions mainly for their provision of services to the public, education, R&D and PR activities
In 2015, the enactment of the Cloud Development Act and Ordinance, the establishment of a K-ICT cloud computing revitalization plan and 2016 amendments to the Notification on Personal Information Protection helped open up the cloud market. Numerous customers are expressing their willingness to tap into cloud services next year, so the cloud services market is expected to grow in 2017.
However, much emphasis is still placed on maintaining existing systems, server virtualization or building private cloud systems, rather than on public cloud systems. In my opinion, this is probably because of C-Level executives and public institution security officers’ propensity to do so and organizational culture, rather than because they set store by stability, performance, cost effectiveness, security and compliance.
I believe that this issue will be addressed naturally in line with global trends once more public institutions embrace cloud services and policy support expands. It is only a matter of time.
“SaaS (Software as a Service) will dictate the success or failure of Korean cloud projects.”
Yang: What is netKTI’s future plan to provide cloud services? What field of business does netKTI want to expand further into?
Kim: We have been making efforts for the promotion of cloud services by participating in the National Information Society Agency’s cloud consulting project. In addition, we have been offering ‘xTrain Cloud’ and ‘xTrain Backup’ through Ceart ( http://www.ceart.kr/korean/pt/index.do), a cloud marketplace for public institutions.
As such, in the future, SaaS (software as a service) based on the combination of IaaS and PasS should be offered in the form of solutions combined with contents in order to enhance customer convenience. Therefore, I think that the spread of SaaS (Software as a Service) will dictate the success or failure of cloud projects in S. Korea.
Though netKTI has thus far focused on providing public cloud services, we plan to expand into the private cloud sector. And we hope the cloud services market will grow on the back of the big data and IoT platform rush across various sectors and thus give an impetus to the government’s push for the 4th industrial revolution.
Yang: Please tell us about a cloud service security certification designed to address security issues that stunt the growth of cloud services.
Kim: On April 4, the Korean government announced guidelines on the information protection of cloud computing services. According to the Act on the Development of Cloud Computing and Protection of Users, the guidelines specify information protection procedures needed for ensuring stability and credibility in cloud computing services. The guidelines consist of managerial, physical, technical protection measures and additional protection measures for public institutions.
KT’s G-Cloud was certified on October 20, 2016, therefore becoming the first certified cloud service in this country. And other cloud service providers are also working hard to get their cloud services certified.
Yang: Does netKTI have some specific plans and make any preparations for big data and the IoT?
Kim: Our experiences and technologies in the commercial development of big data and IoT analysis platforms, such as a vehicle telematics project which we carried out as a provider of GPS-based services, have helped us to join forces with KT in expanding KT's GiGA IoT Vehicle. netKTI is also planning to join hands with other companies that have relevant solutions and platforms.
We are also internally pushing to develop big data analytics and IoT services for public institutions and municipalities’ provision of services to the public and to develop a big data analytics platform for research centers. We are currently working on a new-concept LTE IoT CCTV service in collaboration with KT, which is nearing commercialization.
High-speed LTE infrastructures have been sufficiently spread across the nation. Thus, we are scheduled to launch affordably-priced IoT services in rural and remote areas where there is a limit to building wired CCTV camera systems and in areas where price-sensitive customers demand efficient control.
Yang: netKTI has recently forged an agreement with the Gyeonggi Information Industry Association (GIIA) to promote the spread of cloud computing services.
Kim: netKTI and the Gyeonggi Information Industry Association (GIIA) struck an agreement on November 14, 2016 because both believed that a virtuous cycle should be created by connecting cloud consulting services to the creation of private markets in order to prime the pump of the cloud computing services industry.
Both sides have reestablished their roles in efficiently promoting the use of cloud services in the public sector. GIIA has agreed to make efforts for promoting the spread of public financial cloud services, improving awareness and finding out demand while netKTI has agreed to provide cloud consulting services, technical support and cloud services.