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A Better View from the Cloud

An intelligent world is here, and it will bring about enormous changes in society. We simply have no way of knowing how deep and far-reaching these changes will be. However, we can be sure of one thing: Information and Communications Technology (ICT) will be its cornerstone.

The intelligent world has three defining characteristics: All things will have the ability to sense, all things will be connected, and all things will be intelligent. Our ability to achieve this depends on advanced ICT. Devices will be ‘the feelers,’ giving all things the ability to sense their environment. Networks will connect everything, and the cloud will be the source of intelligence behind all things. These three elements form a synergetic architecture of devices, information pipes, and the cloud, and they are the strategic focus of Huawei’s investment.

In the future, all people and all things will have the ability to sense their environments, serving as entry points to the intelligent world. In the next five to ten years, beyond smartphones, we will see all kinds of smart devices that automatically adapt to different use scenarios. Optical fiber and wireless networks will provide us with ubiquitous, super-high bandwidth and low-latency connections — and interconnected computers distributed across the world will aggregate vast oceans of data, generating a ‘digital brain’ in the cloud. The intelligence it provides will evolve in real time, and it will never age.

The cloud’s impact has gone beyond the confines of technology. It has affected business models and the way people think, and is responsible for a nonstop series of commercial transformations. The past 10 years have been the Cloud 1.0 era. Over this period, emerging Internet companies have leveraged cloud technology and cloud architecture to connect their customers better, and more effectively share resources between them. The last decade marked the beginning of business models based on agile innovation, better user experiences, and lower operating costs.

In the next 10 years, we will enter the era of Cloud 2.0, where enterprises will be the main players and we will see the rise of countless industry clouds. We estimate that, by the year 2025, the vast majority of enterprises will employ cloud technology and cloud models, and that 85 percent of enterprise applications will be deployed on the cloud. Companies will integrate their core businesses with the cloud and will always be on the lookout for new solutions that best suit their plans for growth.

At Huawei Connect 2016, we talked about the importance of generating practical value from the cloud, focusing on three steps that can help companies do just that.

To start, enterprises will need to change their mindset about the role that ICT is playing in their future: By recognizing ICT as a production system instead of a support system they can proactively use technology to jumpstart business innovation and redesign operations.

The second step is to rethink talent: The technical and human-factors skills for working with cloud-based ICT should become a basic requirement for all employees in a corporation — especially leadership teams.

And finally, companies need to think big and act small — find tactical points of entry, resolve practical problems, and create value. Gradual improvements will build lasting confidence in new technologies and the strategies that employ them.

Huawei’s cloud strategy is to:

  • Stay customer-centric
  • Focus on ICT infrastructure
  • Provide innovative cloud technology
  • Become our customers’ preferred partner
  • Proactively contribute to cloud ecosystem development

Over the past 28 years, customer-centricity has been an integral part of Huawei’s DNA — the most important guideline for everything we do. For Huawei’s people, customer-centricity implies a down-to-earth approach, a willingness to learn from customers and to garner a true understanding of special needs in their industry. Customer-centricity means developing innovative cloud technologies and solutions that address those different needs — in effect, becoming ‘Huawei On-demand.’

Our hybrid cloud solutions strongly emphasize openness, security, and enterprise-grade performance to provide integrated one-stop environments. These specifications are built on carefully honed insight into customer needs. When developing solutions, we recognize that customers need more than just a vendor — they need a partner that will work closely with their teams. Huawei is ready and willing to enter this type of strategic partnership.

Huawei will not release handfuls of clouds on our own. As an ecosystem enabler, we aim to help our customers develop a limitless array of clouds. We believe that the entire cloud ecosystem must be built around creating value for customers and that every member of the ecosystem needs to bring its own unique value to the table. As for Huawei, our role is to make good products and serve our customers well. A healthy, sustainable ecosystem needs the support of superior technology and products. Without them, success will be short-lived, and we will have carved a river with no water to fill it.

The road to digital transformation is bound to be long and hard, one full of challenges and opportunities. If we want to achieve our objectives, we need to get a better view from the cloud — see trends with greater acuity and build a grander vision. For any business, change is a process of rebirth; it brings hope. And through action, we can create the future. So, as we’ve always done, we will continue to put one foot in front of the other and, together with our customers, keep pushing forward.

By Ken Hu

Rotating CEO, Huawei Technologies Co., Ltd.

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