How Asian Businesses Are Leveraging the Power of Cloud Computing

Cloud computing, the delivery of computing services over the internet, has emerged as a game-changer for businesses around the world. Cloud computing offers many benefits, such as scalability, flexibility, cost-efficiency, and innovation. However, not all businesses are equally prepared or willing to embrace the cloud. According to a report by McKinsey & Company, cloud adoption in Asia is rapidly increasing, but still lags behind other regions. What are the drivers and barriers of cloud adoption in Asia, and how are Asian businesses leveraging the power of cloud computing to gain a competitive edge?

One of the main drivers of cloud adoption in Asia is the growing demand for digital services and solutions. Asian businesses are changing in response to consumer demand. And as a result the digital transformation of many industries and sectors, such as e-commerce, online education, telemedicine, and fintech. These sectors require high-performance, reliable, and secure computing infrastructure, which can be provided by cloud services. For example, Alibaba Cloud, the largest cloud service provider in Asia has supported the online operations of many businesses during the pandemic, such as Lazada, an e-commerce platform in Southeast Asia; DingTalk, a remote work and education platform; and Ant Group, a fintech giant.

Another driver of cloud adoption in Asia is the increasing availability and affordability of cloud services in the region. Many global and local cloud service providers have expanded their presence and offerings in Asia, creating a more competitive and diverse market. For instance, Amazon Web Services (AWS), the world’s largest cloud service provider, has launched new data centers and services in countries such as Indonesia, Malaysia, and Thailand. Similarly, Tencent Cloud, China’s second-largest cloud service provider2, has established new data centers and partnerships in countries such as Japan, Singapore, and India.

However, there are also some barriers and challenges that hinder cloud adoption in Asia. One of them is the lack of talent and skills in cloud computing. According to a survey by PwC, 80% of Asian CEOs said that they are facing difficulties in finding people with digital skills. This means that many businesses lack the expertise and resources to migrate to the cloud or to optimize their cloud usage. To address this gap, some cloud service providers have launched training and certification programs for cloud professionals. For example, Google Cloud has partnered with Coursera, an online education platform, to offer courses and certificates on various aspects of cloud computing.

Another barrier to cloud adoption in Asia is the regulatory and security concerns. Many Asian countries have strict data protection and sovereignty laws that require data to be stored or processed within their borders. This limits the options and flexibility of businesses that want to use cloud services across different markets or regions. Moreover, some businesses are wary of entrusting their sensitive or confidential data to third-party cloud providers, fearing data breaches or cyberattacks. To overcome these concerns, some cloud service providers have invested in enhancing their security and compliance capabilities. For example, Microsoft Azure has obtained various certifications and accreditations from different authorities and regulators in Asia.

In conclusion, cloud computing is a powerful tool that can help Asian businesses improve their efficiency, agility, and innovation. However, there are also some obstacles and risks that need to be addressed before fully embracing the cloud. By understanding the drivers and barriers of cloud adoption in Asia, businesses can make informed and strategic decisions on how to leverage the power of cloud computing to gain a competitive edge. As Wang Liang, a partner at a Singapore-based hosting company explains,“Cloud computing is not only a technology trend but also a business imperative for Asian businesses going forward.”