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Security top cloud for APAC SMBs

Security and data backup cloud solutions favored by small and midsize businesses in region, with Japan's adoption rate in 2011 to rival advanced economies, finds new study.
Written by Tyler Thia, Contributor

Security services are expected to be among the first cloud initiatives to be adopted by small and midsize businesses (SMBs) in the Asia-Pacific region, according to a new survey by AMI-Partners.

Released Thursday, the Worldwide SMB Cloud Services Study revealed that the region's SMBs are more keen on adopting software-as-a-service (SaaS) security solutions, than counterparts in the United States, United Kingdom, Germany, Canada and Australia, which have already adopted these applications.

In addition, Asia-Pacific and Southeast Asian countries are also more likely to invest in a remotely-managed security service than the leading advanced countries, said AMI-Partners.

Yuki Uehara, senior cloud analyst at AMI-Partners, noted in a statement that while many countries in the Asia-Pacific region were relatively slower adopters of overall cloud services, "2011 will be the dawn of their increased cloud services adoption."

According to the research firm, security and data backup are "easier to implement", making them preferred cloud "starter items" for SMBs over other critical applications that require more complex configuration and migration.

Japan leads region in cloud uptake
Japan, recovering from an economic slowdown and a "static" technology investment state,is leading cloud services adoption in the Asia-Pacific region, AMI-Partners said. SMBs in the country will expand their use of cloud services significantly, and its adoption level in the next twelve months will "rival" that of other advanced economies, it added.

The study also found that SMBs in Southeast Asia lack the internal capability to manage complex IT environments, given that many smaller organizations are just coping with present infrastructures to support their Web site, e-commerce and mobile device use. Many SMBs, said AMI-Partners, are "novices" in the use of cloud services--most find cloud applications attractive as these allow them to "alleviate the painful overhead cost" of implementing the various IT infrastructures.

And with the current economic environment still uncertain, the research firm said the region's SMBs are still looking to cloud services for visible cost savings optimization.

Uehara pointed out that cloud security services providers can look to "vast opportunities" in the high-growth markets in the Asia-Pacific region, but they will need to work at comprehending local requirements.

"Security vendors should understand the unique environment and preferences these countries represent [in relation] to the context of overall cloud practices," he said.

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