How SMEs can use Cloud to globalise biz
Published 26 February 2021
A year on, the COVID-19 pandemic continues to affect economies all around the world, forcing enterprises to turn towards technology to stay afloat or continue to maintain leadership in their business.
The Philippines is no exception. As an emerging market in Southeast Asia, cloud computing is helping small and medium enterprises (SMEs) to set in motion a radical digital transformation journey because many now realise that cloud is the key to diversifying and globalising their corporate footprint for greater returns.
Although there are many cloud native startups in the Philippines, there are still many SMEs who feel anxious about migrating to the cloud. Even as this is the case, Rhea Siangko, Cybersecurity, Risk Management and Compliance Manager at logistics firm GEODIS is of the view that it is less about whether enterprises are ready but more about whether they are obliged to given the current socioeconomic circumstances.
She was addressing delegates at W.Media’s Digital Week South East Asia 2021 virtual event.
Siangko cited legislation in the Philippines as an example. “The Philippines’ 2012 Data Privacy Act that requires SMEs to comply with data protection laws could push SMEs to digitalise,” Siangko explains.
Moving to the cloud saves money, time and effort
One strong selling point that cloud vendors make to hesitant SMEs is that cloud solutions save costs. How so? Henry Nguyen, Senior Manager of Information Security at Fullerton Health, explains.
He says that as cloud-based applications have a fast turnaround time, companies do not need to spend money on purchasing and maintaining in-house infrastructure. Next, many cloud services provide on-demand or as-a-Service (aaS) services, meaning that companies can place a ‘one-off order’ for any cloud service depending on the size of their project, and it will be completed as is.
Therefore, both these cloud features help save large amounts of money. “What we see is a shift from a capital expenditure model to an operating expenditure model,” Nguyen points out.
So which industries stand to benefit most from hopping on to the cloud? Any business where their core business is not in IT but rely heavily on data and analytics, says Siangko.
In this context, “startup enterprises in, for example, digital banking, are really slated to be successful when it comes to adopting cloud technologies compared to large corporations, because migration takes time,” adds Leonard Ong, Region Information Security Officer for APAC at GE Healthcare.
Infrastructure challenges still lay ahead
However, as much as transitioning to the cloud shows itself to be the best digitalisation plan, there are obstacles that need to be addressed.
Johnny Sy, Technology Adviser for the Philippine Rotary Magazine, reveals that the biggest cloud challenge that the Philippines faces right now is the country’s telecommunications infrastructure.
Compared to its Southeast Asian neighbours, network connectivity in the Philippines still trails behind. As such, e-commerce that is already booming in Malaysia, Singapore, and Indonesia still has much room for penetration in the Philippines.
Cloud is about achieving more with less. SMEs should view their journey to the cloud not as a burdensome infrastructure change, but an exciting business opportunity that benefits both the company and its customers.
With high flexibility, smooth deployability, and cost-efficiency, it is a matter of time that SMEs will eventually embrace this next-generation technology and transition to the cloud. The key is to start small and start early, seeemd to be the consensus amongst the panelists.