ASEAN embraces cloud services as customers make investment priorities clear

ASEAN embraces cloud services as customers make investment priorities clear

Growth projected across IaaS, PaaS and SaaS in Southeast Asia

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Cloud services look set to remain “resilient” across Southeast Asia during the remainder of 2020, providing “robust growth” opportunities as both customers and partners reposition for growth.

That’s according to IDC findings, with infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) investment expected to increase by 26 per cent during the next six months, triggered by increased demand for business continuity and collaboration technologies. During the same period in ASEAN, platform-as-a-service (PaaS) deployments are expected to increase by 38.5 per cent, alongside projected growth of 22.8 per cent within the software-as-a-service (SaaS) space.

“It is clear that organisations have benefited from cloud technology during this crisis,” observed Duncan Tan, senior research manager of Malaysia at IDC. “As ICT spending overall is seeing a decline, we are expecting to see more organisations shift budgets towards cloud based applications and technologies in the near future.”

In assessing the regional market, Tan indicated “strong sentiment” towards increasing investments in cloud services during the short- to medium-term, offering growth potential for forward-thinking partners as a result.

“As organisations in ASEAN are looking to rebound from the pandemic, there are changes that many businesses are looking to adapt to moving forward,” Tan explained. “Remote working and distributed workforce will be prominent owing to the prolonged effect of the pandemic, as well as organisations building business continuity and resiliency on cloud technologies.”

In response, Tan said such a shift in market dynamics “sets precedence” for sustained growth of cloud services across ASEAN in 2020.

“Cloud alleviated woes for many organisations during the lockdown where IT had to scramble in short period of time to support remote working by providing the scalability and elasticity required,” he added. “This included ensuring applications and data was accessible remotely and proper tools for communications, which included video conferencing were working in a secured environment.”

As ASEAN countries emerge from respective “lockdown” periods, Tan said organisations are also “re-looking” cloud strategies from a mid to long-term perspective, in addition to focusing on how IT budgets will be allocated.

“The acceleration around the adoption of digital transformation initiatives in the region is expected to be heavily driven by cloud; automation, business resiliency, continuity, communication and collaboration tools, as well as data analytics will see an uptrend owing towards businesses having to respond in a quicker manner in the future,” Tan said.

Assessing the future of work

Delving deeper, 50 per cent of organisations across ASEAN and the wider Asia Pacific market are expected to expand or add remote working to HR policies, in recognition of a shift in future of work thinking.

IDC defines the ‘future of work’ as the applications of new talent management practices along with 3rd platform technologies and innovation accelerators to “fundamentally change” the concept of work and how it is done.

“Organisations behaviour and the way they adopt technology has been changing in ASEAN, especially during the pandemic and these changes will continue moving forward as well, leading to a shift in the transformation strategies and future of work initiatives,” added Mohit Raizada, research manager of Malaysia at IDC.

As a result, new operating models will be digitally enabled with increased usage of Internet of Things (IoT) and other innovation accelerators, backed by an enhanced focus on automation, contactless solutions and video-based collaboration offerings.

“Organisations are focused on addressing the current challenges they are facing, and technology will play a key role in addressing those in the road to recovery,” Raizada outlined.

Specifically, and according to IDC findings, businesses will also embrace a “secure and modern” working environment with increased collaboration between human and digital workers.

By 2021, contribution of digital co-workers across the region will increase to 30 per cent, with customers leveraging technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI), robotics, augmented reality and virtual reality (AR/VR), and intelligent process automation (IPA).

For Raizada, this will lead to an evolution of talent management strategies deployed by businesses to attract and retain best talent, motivated by a desire to offer more creative and productive work by integrating automation, augmentation and AI to enhance employee capability and productivity.

“Organisations have adopted themselves by quickly migrating to remote working models during crisis taking a step towards an agile, flexible work environment and we expect to see more organisation across different industries will formalise policies around remote working,” Raizada stated. “The workforce of the future will be operating in a borderless but high secure, integrated and collaborative environment.”

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