Cloud-based offerings outshine traditional products amid current COVID-19 scenario in APAC, says GlobalData

The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated the demand for digital technologies to ensure resilient enterprise business operations. Subsequently, a surge in demand across the Asia-Pacific (APAC) region has resulted in cloud-based offerings outshining traditional products, says GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company.

Anshuma Singh, Technology Analyst at GlobalData, comments: “Key verticals like banking and financial, healthcare and manufacturing sectors are witnessing a surge in demand for cloud computing-based solutions, owing to features like remote data storage capabilities and provisioning of privileges for hosted applications.”

This crisis has derailed the economy of Asian countries to a certain extent. Governments in these countries, therefore, are encouraging the adoption of advanced digital capabilities amongst small & medium enterprises (SMEs) and large enterprises.

For instance, the Infocomm Media Development Authority of Singapore (IMDA) has introduced GoCloud to support SMEs involved in Infocomm Technology (ICT) and associated activities to migrate from legacy software development procedure and architecture to cloud-based applications delivered as Cloud Native applications or services. This will help businesses to perform effectively in this pandemic situation and support the economy of the country.

Anshuma continues: “Cloud service providers are witnessing a surge in the adoption of their cloud-based communication and collaboration tools, like audio conference calls, video collaboration solutions and virtual schooling via collaboration tools. Amidst this scenario, the majority of organizations are providing work from home facility to their employees in countries like India, Singapore, Australia, Hong Kong and New Zealand.”

Cloud-based offerings like Zoom, Slack, and Microsoft Teams, and other remote learning tools are increasingly being used for office collaboration amongst businesses and remote education and training amongst educational institutions. Public cloud providers like AWS, Google, Microsoft and Salesforce are providing products-as-a-service to empower companies with increased computation and storage capabilities at a relatively low investment. For instance, Nutanix announced an enhanced free trial of its Frame Desktop as a Service (DaaS) for enterprises in the APAC region in February 2020 to enable remote working for enterprises amidst the COVID-19 outbreak.

Additionally, vendors indirectly associated with cloud services are also witnessing increased product demand. Leading graphics processing units (GPUs) providers like Inphi and Nvidia are providing products critical for moving large amounts of digital information quickly between and within data centres. In May 2020, Nvidia launched its first Ampere chips designed for cloud servers and high-performance computers.  Nvidia stated that leading cloud-computing providers located in the US and China are planning to incorporate A100 chips. Some of these leading cloud computing providers include Amazon, Microsoft, Google, Alibaba Group, Baidu, Tencent etc.

However, increased cloud adoption, in turn, has increased the potential cyber-security threats at the user end, owing to the lack of robust security configurations, most prominently in instances like remote working by a majority of the people. To mitigate these threats, cloud vendors are providing various solutions for data security via virtual private network (VPN) connection, secure and encrypted network aided with robust authentication factors for hustle-free communication.

Anshuma concludes: “There is a high demand for Software-as-a-service (SaaS) based offerings from enterprises, specifically for teleworking and remote conferencing. Low staff presence to monitor local servers or data centres has compelled them to opt for public cloud offerings. Benefits of cloud services align directly with broader enterprise strategies like new product and services developments, resulting in the creation of new revenue streams and adopt an agile transformation model to align their operations as per changing business requirements.”

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