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CIOs count complex billing schemes among worst cloud experiences 

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With digital transformation, the number of companies who shift their business models from some traditional sales model to a flexible consumption one, has been continuously increasing. The enterprises go for the flexible consumption models so that their customers can consume the products and services as per their needs.

Many businesses have embraced digital transformation and consumption-based cloud computing offerings including SaaS and IaaS, to enhance their IT, infrastructure and reduce associated costs.

Recently the senior IT executives and CIOs shared their best and worst experiences with the cloud vendors, at the Cloud Tech Forum 2017 that took place in September.

In the beginning of the cloud journey itself, there’s a need to understand the cloud vendor’s billing scheme properly, else one may end up paying a ‘fortune’ later, when ordering additional services.

MTR, the leading railway operator in Hong Kong, adopted cloud computing to offer better operational efficiency and services to its employees, and to serve the customer needs in a better way. The railway operator also uses cloud services for MTR mobile apps to support service messages, and cybersecurity.

The IT head at MTR ,Ted Suen said, “There are quite a number of very good cloud service providers in the market. In general, all the cloud service providers have been improving, and have been providing better services to their customers.”

Suen mentioned his worst experiences with cloud vendors too. He added, “One of the worst experiences that I encountered with a cloud vendor was they gave me a website and asked me to read through them to understand their charging scheme. I had to click on so many buttons in order to fully understand it. And I didn’t think the local sales fully understood the charging scheme either.”

The reason behind the billing complexity is the integration of traditional and flexible consumption models, and the impending revenue standard.

With a cloud service provider, one needs to understand the billing scheme properly, else they may end up paying a ‘fortune’ later when on-demand services, like storage, are provisioned, Suen suggested.

Another worst experience in the list was that even the cloud service providers’ sales people didn’t understand the payment structure. 

Wayne Moy, the IT director at advertising company DDB Group, Hong Kong, also voiced his disappointments regarding the complex pay structure of cloud services. He said that DBB has been using Microsoft Office 365, and private cloud for their business for last six years.

“The worst experience for me was that even salespeople didn’t understand their own structure of pay. This was because their charging scheme always changed, or they had a very strange and weird way of charging people such that even the salespeople didn’t understand,” Moy said.

“Cloud is enabling all those things that we are doing for our clients,” Moy added. “Because we are in advertising, we act like a first-mover in many things.”

One of the other concerns shared was related to the data format during the cloud migration.

Cloud vendors provide all the data migration tools to the businesses for migrating their data to cloud. The Chief of Staff Ash Shah of the Hong Kong-based insurance company AXA, said that they faced challenges while retrieving the data back from the cloud. The cloud providers should enable the businesses to retrieve back the data, in case they can go for another cloud provider.

“Insurance companies over the last few years have become digital, and AXA has been successful in maintaining its digital presence,” said Shah“With our mobile apps, our clients can notify us of a loss claim by taking a picture of their loss, then submit it onlineWe are also looking into adopting a cloud-first strategy when we consider making future investments in our IT infrastructure.”

Also read: Asia/Pacific CIOs ahead in adoption of AI and IoT

The expectations of businesses are changing, and so must the business models. The IT enterprises not only want choices but also the simplified bills. The complex charging and billing schemes have been the worst experiences for the CIOs.

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