Singapore firms favor public over private clouds

Abundance of data centers in country, strong network infrastructure, and comprehensive legislation led local businesses to adopt public clouds over private, survey finds.
Written by Jamie Yap, Contributor

SINGAPORE--Organizations in Singapore exceed the overall average in public cloud usage and are also less likely to adopt private clouds compared to their Asian neighbors, according to an IDC survey on enterprise cloud adoption in the region.

Chris Morris, associate vice president of Asia-Pacific services at IDC Australia, said these findings were not surprising given the "high-quality data centers" and network infrastructure in the country. He also pointed to assurance regarding the use of cloud services, thanks to Singapore's clear legislation driven by the government's regulations and initiatives.

Morris presented the findings on Singapore vis-à-vis the results of IDC's 2012 Asia-Pacific, excluding Japan, survey on cloud adoption during a media briefing here Thursday. Sponsored by IBM, the study was conducted between February and March this year and interviewed some 900 organizations in 12 countries: Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, Vietnam, the Philippines, Australia, Hong Kong, Taiwan, South Korea, China and India.

Apart from Singapore, Australia also showed a high level of public cloud usage, although there was a slight difference between the two, Morris said. Probably due to geographical size, Australia's high adoption of public clouds mostly came from software-as-a-service (SaaS), while Singapore's adoption was on infrastructure provisioning due to its "abundance" of data centers and a "great networking infrastructure". These two characteristics meant faster delivery of cloud services and less network latency, the IDC analyst explained.

Clear legislation drives public cloud uptake
Another critical factor why the Singapore market is "well advanced" in its use of public cloud models is the presence and clarity of cloud-related legislation, Morris noted.

Government agencies in the country, ranging from Infocomm Development Authority (IDA) to Monetary Association of Singapore (MAS), state clearly "what can and can't [be used with] cloud", he said. This ensures cloud providers adhere to regulatory standards and liabilities, and offers end-user organizations governance and assurance.

In contrast, in other countries where legislation is not as comprehensive or clear, most organizations would go with "the safer choice [which] is private cloud", he added. China, for instance, showed "heavy bias toward private clouds", which the IDC analyst said was also due to a cultural mindset of data and asset ownership.

Asked if Singapore's preference for public clouds might be due to lax attitudes toward data ownership and security, Morris replied this was not necessarily the case.

Looking at the commercial environment in the city-state, companies here go to cloud to achieve speed, market agility and cost savings, and not to "hug their servers in the morning" in display of asset ownership, he said.

Overall, Morris said the survey showed countries in Asia do have a high level of cloud readiness and cloud--both private and public--has now become "business as usual" in the region.

Chung Hao Ning, country leader of cloud computing at IBM Singapore, who was at the event, said public cloud services ranging from infrastructure to software generally see greater acceptance among small and midsize businesses (SMBs), compared to larger corporations which have their own data centers.

Since Asia is home to numerous SMBs, public cloud adoption in the region will continue to grow, Chung said.

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