Cloud service adoption and build-out in Southeast Asia is not new, as evidenced by the rapid pace in which Thailand, Malaysia, and Singapore took key positions in the data center and cloud service provider categories in 2011. Indeed, in 2012, the Singapore government offered incentives to companies to adopt cloud computing, and according to the Singapore Economic Development Board, Singapore was home to 50 percent of the Southeast Asia data center capacity in 2012. Then, in late November 2013, Amazon Web Services (AWS) rolled into the APAC region. With data centers located in Singapore, Japan, and Australia (in addition to those in Europe and the Americas), and locally staffed offices throughout Southeast Asia, the company focuses a great deal of attention on bringing the cloud to the startup environment.
Security and Compliance
So what do companies, both enterprise and small-medium business (SMB), need to focus their attention on as they look to embrace the cloud? No doubt security is a top concern, and in fact, in the 2014 RightScale State of the Cloud Report, 31 percent of the respondents among cloud usage beginners identified it as a significant challenge — though remarkably, only 13 percent of those respondents who categorized themselves as "cloud focused" viewed security as a significant challenge. The number two concern for the "beginner" was compliance, which led the list of important topics for the "cloud-focused" respondents. This was an important distinction because being compliant does not always equal being secure.
The good news for the enterprises and SMBs, regardless of locale, is that the costs associated with moving into the cloud will continue to drop, especially as the larger service providers continue to offer incentives and services to increase adoption. As indicated in the RightScale report, many cloud service adopters (the businesses) are using more than one cloud service provider — perhaps hedging their bets and ensuring they continue to receive the most bang for their proverbial dollar.
An example of cost reduction is provided by the Integrated Health Information System of Singapore and their Consolidated Healthcare Cloud. The IHIS went from purchasing IT components to purchasing IT services. Instead of every hospital having its own data center, shared resources allowed for access to highly available, flexible, and service-on-demand systems at each of those same hospitals. Provisioning went from six to eight weeks for computing resources to one to two days, with the claimed optimization moving from 15 to 20 percent to almost 80 percent.
What Does the Future Hold for Cloud?
According to Manufacturing Business Technology, the future is very bright. Indeed, they posit that the cloud has evolved to become the default option when businesses select software tools and applications, and they believe it will eventually become the standard for all applications. This transition has been made possible by enhanced speed and ubiquitous access to the Internet, assuring a more positive user experience. The abundance of cloud service providers in Southeast Asia makes it possible for regional companies to adopt the "cloud first" mindset. And with this mindset, the cloud computing future is very much alive and well in Southeast Asia.