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Cloud for Good – Stories from Southeast Asia

Kaustubh Patwardhan, Director I Southeast Asia and Hong Kong, Ashnik
Singapore, 11 Apr 2018

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Southeast Asia is becoming a focal point for the ongoing digital transformation wave amongst the emerging markets. More than half of Southeast Asia’s population now uses the internet, with the number of internet users in the region growing by 30 to 40 percent year on year. Digital transformation of economy and society has accelerated greatly; and emerging economies are increasingly using digital technologies to forge ahead in areas like e-commerce, banking and healthcare and other public services.

As, we the people and our devices have got connected through networks, tremendous amounts of data is generated, every second. To house this avalanche of data, especially with trends in IoT, Blockchain and AI, Southeast Asia will become an important market place for cloud service providers, data centers and increasingly, edge computing infrastructure. The very recent AWS Partner summit that was held in Singapore, talked of the ecosystem around this. It helped reinforce my belief that time has come for cloud computing to make its presence empathetically felt in South East Asia.

Earlier last year, per our observations, public cloud adoption was higher in small and medium business whereas hybrid cloud adoption was on the roll in larger enterprises with legacy applications and significant on-premise infrastructure investments. Large Banks, Telcos were using cloud for storage and scale-out capabilities and new customer-engaging workloads (like mobile), but were keeping most critical workloads on premise.

But, that has changed drastically since the past year.  Many of our customers are now orienting their Enterprise IT and businesses on public cloud providers and SaaS, PaaS or IaaS models – be it on AWS, Azure, Google Cloud or Alibaba Cloud.  Many large organizations are becoming more open and willing to move their critical workloads on public cloud overcoming their previous hesitations about security and governance. Since Monetary Authority of Singapore has given a big push to cloud adoption early last year, the BFSI sector of Singapore has been boldly embracing public cloud. Amazon’s Aurora kind of service is fastest growing service platform today. In Philippines, Telcos like Globe are running around 50% of their workloads on public cloud. IOT, Serverless, Fintech, Blockchain and AI/ML are the 5 key areas in which public cloud adoption in large enterprises is growing dramatically.

The power of the cloud is making the public sector more efficient and better integrated in many areas – such as front-line services and the building of smart cities. Cloud computing is helping deliver access an estimated 438 million people who are “unbanked” in the ASEAN region, to financial services. It is helping organisations to retire their technical debt and explore areas on new revenue growth and line of businesses driven by innovation. It is aiding to reduce IT costs, provide well-connected healthcare, allowing for data analytics, providing tele-medicine in rural areas or diagnostic support, disaster recovery as a service, and even backup as a service.

Alibaba has also announced its plans to open an additional data center in Jakarta, Indonesia before the end of Q1 in 2018, in addition to their current facilities in Malaysia and Singapore. While, Microsoft Asia Pacific has recorded triple digit YOY growth for Azure in the first 10 months of 2016; Vietnam has witnessed the fastest growth among ASEAN countries in cloud computing spend in 2016.

As large organizations are seeing more competitive benefits from Public Cloud adoption by freeing up their capital investments for servers, software, it is becoming better accepted and adopted with confidence. I have no iota of doubt in my mind, the timing for Public Cloud service providers is good and and going to stay for the good.

Kaustubh Patwardhan, Director – Southeast Asia and Hong Kong, Ashnik

Kaustubh (KP) is the Director – Southeast Asia and Hong Kong, Ashnik. He heads Ashnik’s SEA enterprise open source business with responsibility for strategic planning, channels and partners, sales and operations. Playing a key role in Ashnik’s multi-fold sales growth trajectory, his key accomplishments are building a solid partner ecosystem across the region and being highly responsive on customer engagements. Apart from his usual work responsibilities, he is passionate about photography, cricket and other sports. He is also an enthusiastic participant in poetic circles and plays.


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