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Wilbertus Darmadi, the CIO, Toyota Astra Motor
Wilbertus Darmadi is the CIO of Toyota Astra Motor and has been with the company for 7 years. Wilbertus has over 25 years of IT professional expertise in the automotive business. Before being promoted to CIO, he worked as an engineer and learned various skills related to IT practice. Through international collaborations with multinational stakeholders, partners, and teams, he has helped Toyota Astra Motors improve its commercial business performance by leveraging smart technology such as IoT and smart data utilization.
What are some challenges in adapting cloud technology that people are facing right now?
Businesses in the modern era must make the transition to the cloud. It is unavoidable if the advantages of the cloud are to be realized. Particularly the pandemic has brought it to light as companies have been forced to operate remotely. The pandemic not only ushered in a digital transformation but also accelerated the use of the cloud. At Toyota Astra, we use multi-cloud channels. However, moving to the cloud comes with its own set of challenges. Infrastructure, platform, and software must be modeled as services to enable a seamless transition to the digital space. It is simple to assume infrastructure as a service because all that is required is to move the same services from a physical to a digital space. However, when infrastructure is the only aspect that is transformed into a service, costs increase and impact profitability. Platform as a service is more affordable and readily available, but switching from infrastructure as a service to the platform as a service requires a complete redesign and re-architecture of the application component.
The next step is to consider security, one of the most significant challenges in cloud migration. Most people must be aware that the cloud service provider is not responsible for security. One of our third-party partners had a problem with misconfiguration during cloud input; we were fortunate to identify it and fix it quickly. We realized that it is the customer’s responsibility to identify security risks from the start to protect them during the cloud migration process. Even though the Internet of Things (IoT) has taken over the digital world and the terms “smart offices,” “smart cities,” and “smart manufacturing” have become hyperbole, customers still need to be aware of the security risks. For instance, we recently began offering telematics services. The challenge is that we are working to establish high-security standards to protect us from security threats that could put us in danger. We also face other difficulties, such as ransomware via web gateway, for which an adequate security perimeter is required, along with re-support.
Infrastructure, platform, and software must be modeled as services to enable a seamless transition to the digital space
What benefits have you derived from cloud implementation in your organization?
The primary advantage we have gained from implementing cloud strategies is cost savings. Unlike physical infrastructure, which requires a one-time investment, cloud infrastructure requires ongoing investment over time. This alleviates the stress of a one-time investment. Furthermore, when a company is well-versed in cloud strategies, the infrastructure can be closed and replaced solely by cloud services. This option also allows for cost savings. In my opinion, the secondary benefit of cloud implementation is access to advanced technology. Due to the costs and effort involved, on-premise machine learning or artificial intelligence has been difficult for businesses to adopt. However, cloud implementations have made these technologies more accessible, so if a business does not take advantage of these benefits today, it may find itself at a competitive disadvantage.
Is there any advice or message that you would like to give your peers or our readers about adopting the cloud?
I would recommend taking advantage of the cloud’s benefits. This is simple for larger companies; however, I would recommend modeling infrastructure as software as a service for smaller companies. Cloud software controls demand, supply, and logistics—one of its many advantages. The cloud also helps with ERP. A wide range of business applications is already available through the cloud. For example, our company used a cloud-based application during the pandemic to remotely track our employees’ working hours. I advise finding the simplest way for the cloud to benefit your company and utilize it to its full potential.