The 10 Most Prominent Leaders in Cloud Computing, 2018

Dimuth Samaranayaka: Simplifying Adoption Of Public And Private Cloud Infrastructure

Dimuth Samaranayaka Ascension IT

Established in 2014, Ascension IT PTY LTD is a Brisbane-based cloud service provider, which has extensively worked in the market to develop a suite of applications intended to deliver value and tackle broad range of business challenges. By moving ahead with time, the leading cloud service provider company has updated its offerings to meet the increasing demands of the cloud industry.

Ascension IT’s efforts into cloud computing have resulted in creating a Platform as a Service (PaaS) product called Cloudshed. It is a cloud orchestration and deployment tool designed to enable organizations adopt public and private cloud infrastructure with minimal complexity.

The Founder and CEO of Ascension IT PTY LTD, Dimuth Samaranayaka, is a multi-talented technology leader who runs his own consultancy practice with Ascension IT and has been engaged as a Consulting CTO/Advisor by a number of startups and mature organizations seeking to take advantage of emerging technologies. Dimuth strives to develop technology solutions that meet the rapidly changing business environment.

In a special interview with Mirror Review, Dimuth chats about his personal journey, the birth of Ascension IT, company’s future plans, and the challenges he faced while leading the Brisbane-based company.

From its introduction to dominance, how far has cloud computing technology changed the conventional IT scenario?

I would say cloud computing technology has given rise to much of the acceleration of application growth over the last 3-4 years. It definitely has fueled the ability for many startups to run and operate cost effectively. In addition, Software as a Service (SaaS) has provided many businesses with solutions that have only been limited to blue-chip companies previously. The new wave of digital transformations is being enabled with cloud computing capabilities. Many organizations are adopting a ’cloud first’ to their conventional IT spending and procurement plans. There are some downsides too, many organizations lack the ability to cost solutions, initial adoptions of cloud computing have increased costs which could potentially overrun budgetary numbers. Increased adoption of cloud computing solutions with poor security controls makes organizations vulnerable to cyber-attacks. The ability to purchase software as a SaaS model is also giving rise to increased ’Shadow IT’ capabilities that are difficult to control and sustain for internal IT teams.

What type of solutions and services does Ascension IT offer? Elaborate its highlighting features.

The spaces that Ascension IT offers has many names; PaaS and Cloud Management Platforms are a few of them. Our main advantage is the ability for any organizations regardless of their size to adopt cloud computing with no vendor lock-in and they have freedom of choice to move between cloud computing vendors such as Amazon, Google Cloud, and Azure seamlessly. We also provide hybrid computing capabilities that offer cloud computing features like, cloud automation, cloud workflow, and cloud spend analytics. Every business has different challenges like the adoption of cloud computing, integration points, legacy software challenges, licensing challenges, size of systems and system performance requirements etc. Our expertise is the ability to customize a solution that achieves these outcomes, which are commercially viable and have fixed cost exposures.

What attracted you to start a venture in this ever-expanding technological industry? Who mentored and guided you during your initial career days?

The concept of PaaS solution started just after the Global Financial Crisis (2008/09). Taking a step back, we noticed the teaching content being delivered by many educational institutes from IT and found that some of these universities were diverting the programs to multi-media, gaming development, and web application development, where traditional IT practices about management and skills required to manage complex ERP or Enterprise needs were being missed. Therefore, we started the bold venture to develop a PaaS solution to standardize the IT practices and simply the journey. This is how Ascension IT was formed in 2015 and our offering of Cloudshed was launched. Since then we have been expanding the platform to offer ’as a service’ capabilities.

From a mentoring point of view, we found that we were on a journey that no one really understood or have been through before. As a result, things such as how to commercialize the software, develop differentiator capabilities to Amazon, Azure and Google including VMware’s solutions was more a learning process and many lessons were learned. The mentoring we used to seek was more for helping us understand how to break the market so that traditional blue-chip enterprises would bet on our solution and that was the key to our success. We are still learning to deal with this journey on daily basis by consulting with our customers.

Our readers would like to know about your faiths, beliefs, and philosophy for life and success.

I have some fundamental beliefs and I believe that hard work always pays off; being patient and humble helps win customers. Understanding customers and helping them grow through both sales and sustained growth will help both companies establish partnership for future success. I always say, take pride in the work you do, celebrate success and learn from failures.

The future is unclear, the direction of IT being crafted by the likes of Amazon, Azure, and Google can change how we operate and the robotic processes would also change the nature of workforce in the future. As an individual, it is your responsibility to develop your own career path. I have found that continuous learning of both business and technology skills is highly invaluable.

Many years ago, I read an article that said on an average, individuals will change career three times in their lifetime and I think that is so well predicted. To succeed in this era, one has to play more than a single role. To elaborate, you need to understand technology extremely well and at the same time; you also need to be able to understand customers’ perception. Today, being commercial minded is must to close out the opportunities.

I believe that success can be measured in many ways; we offered our solutions to a not-for-profit organization for free, as they were doing extraordinary things for the society, and that felt so satisfying.

What are your future plans for the company? What role will Ascension IT play in the coming future?

The IT landscape is altering rapidly as traditional models are changing and it is causing traditional service providers to re-visit their offerings to the market. Our focus to provide a solution that has no vendor lock-in and provides customers the flexibility of moving between cloud platforms seamlessly, have not changed.

Our platform is an enabler, when understood and used as designed, will also assist traditional IT companies to transform their market offerings and be more competitive in the marketplace. Our focus will remain the same, which is to expand the ’as-a-service’ capabilities to offer complementing solutions for cloud computing options currently available in the market.

What would you suggest to an aspiring entrepreneur willing to enter in this industry?

Embarking the startup journey is difficult; there is no prescribed ’playbook’ for success. If you believe, your idea is good and has value, back yourself and build up till the startup accelerators exist, while the competition is immense and sharing your idea is a risky business. If you start something to be sure, know what success looks like and drive towards it. The good things in life are too difficult to achieve, self-belief and hard work will always bring success.