Is Cloud Still an Exciting Technology in Asia Pacific?

A. Amir

Summary Bullets:

• Overall cloud adoption in Asia Pacific is still low. As the region is very diverse, cloud adoption of a country can vary significantly.

• Despite playing in the market for many years, majority of providers are still struggling to find the right formula to win in this region.

Is cloud no longer an exciting technology? It is true to a certain extent. Cloud has been around for many years. With a matured ecosystem today, service providers are well aware of their positions and competitions in the market while businesses are already seeing both technical and business benefits from their cloud implementations. The conversations have changed from ‘moving to cloud’ to ‘cloud enabling digital transformation’. This is at least how cloud appears to be in the industry.
While the level of awareness of cloud is high, the overall adoption in Asia Pacific is still low. As the region is very diverse, cloud adoption of a country can vary significantly. The adoption of cloud is relatively high in mature countries like Australia, Hong Kong and Singapore compared to emerging Asian countries such as Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines and Vietnam. The buyers’ personal and opportunity area could be different from one country to another. Unique differentiators and value propositions that specifically address market needs will be important to win in each market. While some markets are heavily influenced by price, others care more about security and compliance (e.g., data sovereignty).

On the supply side, there is still a continuous movement in the market, especially among the service providers. Several large players exited the market while several others are entering the competition. As one of the pioneers, IBM excels not only with its comprehensive cloud portfolios, but also with its wide ecosystem partners, service delivery as well as value added services. However, it is still seen as premium provider. AWS has been dominating the IaaS market in the region with its competitive and on-demand pricing model. Carriers have also been offering all types of cloud and data center services in the market: from colocation, private cloud to public cloud. Leading Asian carriers (e.g., NTT, Singtel, Telstra and Tata Communications) leverage their advantage by integrating cloud with network services. There are also new players such as Alibaba and Huawei. Alibaba (also known as Aliyun) focuses on public cloud services, competing directly with big players like AWS and Azure, while Huawei extends its model in Europe to Asia, where it partners with carriers (with Orange Business Services so far in AP) to offer cloud services to the market.

After all, cloud is still an exciting technology in AP. The overall adoption in the region is still very low. While the increasing adoption means a huge opportunity for cloud providers in the region, it is not going to be an easy one. A number of providers exited the business, some are struggling, others are growing and several are entering the market. Despite playing in the market for many years, majority of providers are still struggling to find the right formula to win in this region.

About Alfie Amir
Alfie Amir is a senior analyst in Current Analysis Group. He is responsible for research, consulting and analysis focusing on market and technology trends, competitive analysis and account-based intelligence for ICT spending and modeling future investments. He also works across several trackers (e.g., fixed, mobile and IT) providing market sizing, forecasts and insights across the region. Alfie is quoted regularly in trade press and is a regular speaker at conferences, workshops and other industry events.

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