Growth of cloud services in Asia Pacific is looking good, but will talent gap become a deal-breaker?

Maria Baranowska
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One of the greatest limitations apparent for Asia cloud technology is the distance in progress between the top developed cluster and the bottom

The Asia-Pacific region is gaining serious traction in cloud technology industries. Research from the Cloud Readiness Index (CRI) demonstrates growth, existing and imminent implementation plans, and future limitations. Here’s what’s in store for the future of cloud tech culture in Asia.

Growth

The CRI ranks Asia-Pacific economies on a ten point scale based upon their readiness for full cloud integration. This can be best described as a database which maps progress in entering ‘the cloud’, from connectivity developments to cyber security to gClouds (governmental digitalization strategies).

Findings state that “Asia Pacific outperforms these other markets [Europe, US, etc] on the basis of physical infrastructure,” which indicates there is potential for this region to excel in cloud technology in future years, becoming a greater influencer in the industry.

Also read: Alibaba Cloud, NUS and EZ-Link tie-up for big data initiative in Singapore

The rankings for cloud readiness are split into two clusters. The top group ranks as follows; Hong Kong, Singapore, New Zealand, Australia, Japan, Taiwan, South Korea, and Malaysia. A 12.5 point difference is seen between the next cluster which is made up of the Philippines, Thailand, Indonesia, India, China and Vietnam.

Growth is also evident from external sources. Salesforce, cloud technology leader, has reported growth of 38 per cent in the last year in Asia-Pacific and is showing signs of further diversification plans. The company has gone from a tiny San Francisco start-up in 1999, to one of the world’s highest rated companies as defined by financial dominance, innovation and equality. Salesforce has become one of the pioneers of cloud technology and delivering it to business users across the world. Their growth in the region is symbolic of the area’s cloud potential.

Implementation

Many governments are taking significant measures to introduce cloud data storage.

A considered multi-year cloud implementation plan has proven success. Hong Kong climbed from fourth to first place between 2014 and 2016. Much like Singapore- who placed second, Hong Kong had developed a strong digitalisation implementation programme which, with these results, can be confirmed as successful.

The weaker performers in the ranks are showing promise with future digitalization strategies. Malaysia, (8th place) for instance, has embarked on its ‘Digital Malaysia 2020’ strategy through which they hope to create an economy for which digital contributes 20% to their GDP. Many experts claim that this is not only achievable but also puts them on the verge of tech acceleration.

Another economy which is implementing groundbreaking legislation is the Philippines, a nation which already hugely climbed the CRI. It is currently laying major groundwork from the bottom up, including privacy and cyber-crime laws, which will protect future digital development.

Future limitations

One of the greatest limitations apparent for Asia cloud technology is the distance in progress between the top developed cluster and the bottom. There are arguments which state that if this gap between the two groups of countries is not addressed, this could develop serious problems in years to come. Moreover, the top economies have remained dominant for years, suggesting the divide is already very evident.

Another potential issue could be a future talent gap. Tech Nation 2017 is a report released by the UK government and enterprise which looks do document digital growth. Within this report, 50 per cent of businesses surveyed name tech skills shortages as their number one worry for the future. Asia-Pacific could expect similar trends if they don’t identify potential issues and heavily encourage education during their early digital growth.

Also read: Fintech is driving growth and opportunities in Asia Pacific; Don’t get left behind

“We’re seeing steady growth in the Asia-Pacific jobs market, specifically in Singapore and Japan,” said James Lloyd Townshend, CEO at tech recruiters Mason Frank. “If Asia’s tech market experiences the same growth as the US and Europe, you can expect a significant skills shortage in the coming years. A digital curriculum in schools encouraging the next generation of technical professionals would go some way to bridging that gap.”

Cloud is fast taking over the world as the safest, most scalable and malleable technology. Business and governments alike are embracing the transition and creating future-proof policies to assure they won’t fall behind. Asia is historically innovative and it’s no surprise to see them grow with the cloud. How will the future of this technology shape our world as a whole?

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