Australian businesses need to embrace the cloud in 2014
In the past, businesses need to run applications and programs on physical computers or servers in their buildings. Now that they can use the cloud, they can perform their computing tasks on the Internet.
Cloud computing provides a more convenient and efficient computing solution for businesses, enabling them to save substantial time, effort and money. Many companies in Australia have adopted cloud computing, and they are constantly upgrading their cloud systems to avail of greater benefits. Cloud computing is making rapid advances, and it is expected to become more capable and reliable in 2014.
Here is a look at why your company should reach for the cloud next year >>>
Cloud computing in Australia
Cloud computing is quickly gaining popularity in Australia. According to the Business Software Alliance, Australia is the second most cloud-ready country in the world. A report from the International Data Corporation (IDC) revealed that about 86 percent of businesses in Australia were using the cloud in some aspect in July this year, which was a 15 percent increase compared to the same time last year.
The IDC also predicted that the Australian market for public cloud services will grow at a compound annual rate of 24.7 percent over the next five years, reaching about A$2.6 billion in 2017.
Benefits of adopting cloud computing
It is relatively easy and inexpensive to set up a cloud computing system. You do not have to purchase expensive hardware and software programs or licenses, and you can have the entire system running in just a matter of minutes. The cloud enables you to streamline your computing processes and achieve economies of scale. You can complete your computing tasks in less time and increase your productivity with fewer workers.
With a cloud computing system in place, you and your employees can access company information and work from any place in the world that has an Internet connection, and monitor projects more closely. Another benefit of the cloud is that it provides easy and secure data backup and recovery.
Expected advances in cloud technology in 2014
Although cloud computing already provides great benefits for businesses, it has yet to reach its true potential. Cloud experts are constantly coming up with new technologies to make the cloud relevant to the changing computing needs of businesses.
In 2014, cloud computing is expected to become more personal. Personal clouds will take over some of the tasks that are traditionally performed with devices, and businesses will rely more on cloud services than devices to meet their computing needs.
Additionally, private cloud services will become increasingly hybridized, allowing easier integration and greater interoperability in the future. Efforts will also be made to reduce the cost of networks and the demands that cloud services put on networks.
As cloud technology continues to evolve, it will become increasingly beneficial for businesses to adopt the cloud. Australian businesses should take advantage of the latest advances in cloud computing to reach greater heights of performance and success.
Read more about cloud computing in Business Review Australia
- Could the personal cloud replace the personal computer?
- Cloud computing heats up Australia
- The future of cloud computing in 2013 and beyond
About the author
John McMalcolm is a freelance writer who writes on a wide range of subjects, from small business management to cloud accounting software.
Why Alibaba Cloud is doubling down in Southeast Asia
Alibaba has announced expansion of its cloud business within Southeast Asia, with the introduction of a digital upskilling programme for locals alongside acceleration of its data centre openings.
This doubling down of its cloud business in Southeast Asia comes as the company faces stiff competition at home in China from rivals including Pinduoduo Inc and Tencent and seeks to up its game in a region considered to be the fastest-growing in cloud adoption to compete with leading global cloud providers AWS, Google and Microsoft.
Alibaba Cloud, the cloud computing arm of Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba and second biggest revenue driver after its core e-commerce business, finally turned profitable for the first time in the December 2020 following 11 years of operation, thanks largely to the pandemic which has spurred businesses and consumers to get online.
Southeast Asia growing demand for cloud
In 2020, there was a noticeable increase in interest towards cloud in SE Asia, with the population embracing digital transformation during the pandemic and SMEs across the region showing increased demand for cloud computing.
Such demand has led to the expectation that Southeast Asia is now the fastest-growing adopter of cloud computing with the cloud market expected to reach US$40.32bn in Southeast Asia by 2025 according to IDC.
And there are plenty of players vying for a slice of the cloud pie. While AWS, the cloud arm of Amazon, is the leading player in Southeast Asia (and across all of APAC apart from China), Microsoft and Google are the next two most dominant players in Southeast Asia with Alibaba coming in fourth.
“There is no doubt that during the past year we have seen the acceleration of digital transformation efforts across all industries,” explains Ahmed Mazhari, President, Microsoft Asia. “Asia now accounts for 60% of the world’s growth and is leading the global recovery with the digitalization of business models and economies. Cloud will continue to be a core foundation empowering the realization of Asia’s ambitions, enabling co-innovation across industries, government and community, to drive inclusive societal progress.”
Alibaba’s commitment to Southeast Asia
At its annual Alibaba Cloud Summit, the Chinese company announced Project AsiaForward, an initiative designed to upskill local developers, small-to-medium-sized companies and connect businesses with venture capital. Alibaba said it would set aside US$1bn over the next three years to develop digital skills in the region, with the aim of helping to develop 100,000 developers and to help grow 100,000 tech startups.
But that’s not all. The company, which recently opened its third data centre in Indonesia, serving customers with offerings across database, security, network, machine learning and data analytics services, also announced it would unveil its first data centre in the Philippines by the end of 2021.
Furthermore, that it would establish its first international innovation centre, located in Malaysia, offering a one-stop shop platform for Malaysian SMEs, startups and developers to innovate in emerging technologies.
“We are seeing a strong demand for cloud-native technologies in emerging verticals across the region, from e-commerce and logistics platforms to FinTech and online entertainment. As the leading cloud service provider and trusted partner in APAC, we are committed to bettering the region’s cloud ecosystem and enhancing its digital infrastructure,” says Jeff Zhang, President, Alibaba Cloud Intelligence.
What other cloud providers are pledging in the region
This pledge by Alibaba to upskill both individuals and businesses follows Microsoft’s announcement in April that it was planning to upskill Malaysia’s population and would invest US$1bn over the next five years to build a new data centre centre in Malaysia.
This is the latest in a long line of pledges to the region by the US tech giant, which is fast accelerating the growth of its cloud datacenter footprint in Asia, expanding form seven 11 markets, and recently adding three new markets across Asia – Malaysia, Indonesia and Taiwan. Back in February, it announced plans to establish its first datacenter region in Indonesia and to skill an additional 3 million Indonesians to achieve its goal of empowering over 24 million Indonesians by the end of 2021.
And recent research by IDC shows that Microsoft’s most recent datacenter expansions in Malaysia, Indonesia and Taiwan alone are set to generate more than US$21bn in new revenues and will create 100,000 new jobs in the next four years.
Also last month, Tencent announced it has launched internet data centres in Bangkok, Hong Kong, Tokyo to add to its second availability zone opened in Korea last year and plans to add an internet data center in Indonesia, and Google has also been pushing into the enterprise space in Southeast Asia for several years now.
Expanding data centers allows cloud providers to boost their capacity in certain countries or regions.