Photo - Chiew Kok Hin, CEO of the AIMS Group
Cloud trickles to DC
One of the highlights of 2013 for the Data Centre industry was the launch of The Malaysian Data Centre Alliance (MDCA). MDCA's formation means Malaysia's data centres will speak as one clear and unified voice, helping drive our industry and hopefully result in Malaysia becoming the preferred data centre hub in the region.
Malaysia's data centre industry is set to achieve its target revenue of RM562 million (US$174 million) this year, a 20 percent increase over 2012 as recently announced by Dato' Seri Ahmad Shabery Cheek, Minister of Communications and Multimedia. Not only does this indicate that we overcame the slow start to the year business-wise, it also gives us the momentum to start 2014 on a strong note.
According to IDC, the digital universe will grow to 35 zettabytes (i.e. 35 trillion terabytes) globally by 2020, while social media usage is booming every day. While cloud adoption has increased tremendously, the trickle effect towards Malaysian data centres is very much in the early stages and not quite reflective of the massive uptake of cloud adoption worldwide. The key challenge therefore is to attract these cloud players into Asia and for this; the industry needs to be fully prepared with the necessary foundations.
In 2014, AIMS hopes to see more growth and opportunity through initiatives by MDCA and the government. We will continue to be a carrier neutral data centre as this has been one of our key differentiators for our customers. Disaster Recovery sites are another key area of business for us which will be in line with Bank Negara regulations for financial institutions.
Just like the BRIC (Brazil, Russia, India and China) nations and other economic blocs such as the European Union and the Latin American nations, Southeast Asia is on the
verge of an economic supercycle: data will be a key driver and enabler of this megatrend.
Photo - Wong Weng Wah, Regional Vice President, Application Services, Fujitsu Asia
Second largest cloud market
Overall, the local ICT sector is growing steadily and Gartner has projected that Malaysia's total IT spending is expected to grow by 6.4 percent over 2012 to reach RM61.9 billion (US$19.2 billion). The growth of the ICT market this year is mainly driven by Big Data, Cloud, Mobility and Social trends, which are also the key four pillars shaping the future of the global ICT world.
Cloud remains as one of the top IT priorities for Malaysian CIOs. Being the second largest cloud computing market in the Asean region, local organisations in Malaysia are becoming more aware of the business value that cloud computing brings and are taking steps towards transitioning to the cloud especially the CIOs who need to handle a variety of applications. However, security is still a major concern for companies looking to adopt cloud technology into their IT strategy. Major firms are reluctant to use it for highly sensitive and business-critical information.
Recent analyst reports have forecast growth in IT spending among Asia-Pacific businesses, especially cloud computing where growth rates are expected to outpace IT spending growth. Cloud will continue to be an essential part of many organisations' IT transformation to support business growth and the breadth of operations within organisations.
Furthermore, we are entering into a decade where big data moves from being a hyped topic to becoming a part of our everyday business lives. The spread of smart devices including smartphones, tablet devices and other smart devices, as well as various kinds of sensors and IC tags have caused the amount of data produced in our daily lives to grow at an explosive pace.
With the variety of data, many companies will be looking for methods to leverage on big data to secure the competitive advantages for their businesses. Generally, local organisations will start to consult their ICT solution providers to understand the availability of additional information to be paired with new analytical methods. This includes discovering trends and predictions from various logs and data sources, and thus leveraging this information to improve existing operations and explore new business opportunities.
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