More than 370 technology experts and enthusiasts came together for our first Power Talk, sponsored by Keppel Data Centres, to explore the state of our industry and the digital economy in these challenging times.
We kicked off ‘Inside Asia – Technology & Market Next Moves’ with a pre-show interview from young cybersecurity pioneer Ben Chua that was both empowering and gave hope for a bright post-pandemic future.
Mr Chua, the CEO of Cyber Youth Singapore, gave some advice to his younger peers looking to break into the industry: “The key thing is to never give up. When we first started Cyber Youth Singapore, we faced many rejections and people didn’t take us seriously. It’s really the perseverance and strength of us banding together that made everything work.”
Mr Chua added established generations in cybersecurity can help by mentoring and keeping an open mind by giving youths a chance.
In attendance, Rendy Rinaldy, Data Center and Client Administrator at Alfamart, said: “Ben Chua, you give us inspiration that cybersecurity is important.”
A new hope: The digital economy and tech spending post-pandemic
Amongst the negative news surrounding the pandemic, our first panel session, led by DC1st’s Ka Vin Wong, gave us an optimistic outlook for the digital economy’s future.
The Co-founder and COO of Princeton Digital Group, Varoon Raghavan, said it was business as usual, despite the pandemic.
Mr Raghavan discussed a positive view on the data center industry: “ There is extremely high demand that’s not related to the pandemic, that’s just the way that the business is.”
With surges in internet usage from more remote working and data center operators considered essential workers throughout the world, the necessity for data centers is becoming even clearer.
Mr Raghavan added: “We are doing all we can to keep up with that demand to ensure that the digital economy goes on and gives people some diversion in this difficult time.”
And it’s not just data centers seeing increasing demand. Jason Frisch, the CEO of Tsukaeru Group, is finding that cloud services are reaping the benefits from the work from home situations that many of us are currently in.
Mr Frisch said: “Obviously there’s going to be a big shift to cloud services and I don’t see it going backwards.”
But Mr Frisch warned that costs may start to rise with all the new money flowing around, but this is difficult for providers to do when trying to make a profit margin, particularly for non-hyperscale players.
The rising use of cloud applications like Zoom has also brought concerns of cybercrime to the forefront.
Cybersecurity expert Anthony Lim said: “All these issues make the end user become more aware of cybersecurity and cyber hygiene requirements … which is good because it heightens the awareness of cybersecurity.”
How 5G, Cloud and Datacenter Outlook have been shaped by recent events
In the second panel session, we explored the current state of the 5G, cloud and data center industries and opportunities for investment.
Our panel agreed there will be a slow down in 5G rollout schedules due to the pandemic. But Sachin Mittal, the Head of Telecom, Media and Technology Research at DBS Bank, believed the outbreak will generate new use cases to further enable remote work in industries such as healthcare where there was originally some hesitancy in adopting 5G.
Importantly, 5G will enable much more data creation from faster surfing speeds and more device connectiving, placing greater pressure on data centers.
There is no doubt that 5G can enable new revenue streams and open up new business opportunities. The new technology is likely to improve smoother accessibility and efficiency for cloud-based applications with its promise of low or zero latency.
Kok Chye Ong, the Head of Global Strategy and Investments at Keppel Data Centres, said: “We look forward to seeing how 5G will evolve, and how data centres will continue to play a critical role to support network latency and network architecture of this new technology.”
Telcos could see a lack of increased revenue when traffic increases due to the rollout of 5G. But we have seen attempts to monetise existing customer bases in the past with Singtel and Grab teaming up for a digital banking venture.
Ajay Sunder, the Deputy Director of Strategy at SC-Nex, said: “There is a use case for 5G which is not being talked about, which is the private networks.”
Private networks allow for non-carriers of 5G to come into the ecosystem and explore monetizable new use cases, splitting the infrastructure spend between non-traditional carriers like industrial and public safety players.
How will new investments and technologies digitally transform business?
Along with the pandemic forcing the world online, advancing technologies in data centers, cloud services and 5G will open the door for organisations to consider or rejuvenate strategies to digitally transform their business.
Explore how SMEs and C-level staff can successfully implement digital transformation plans and avoid common pitfalls at our next free digital event Digital Transformation – Through the Lens of CXOs and SME Business Owners.
Watch this space for more in-depth analysis from ‘Inside Asia – Technology & Market Next Moves’
In the coming weeks, we will take a deeper look at the sessions from our first Power Talk, including answers to your unanswered questions!
Thank you to our sponsors at Keppel Data Centres and our supporting partners across Southeast Asia for helping to make the first Power Talk a huge success. And a big congratulations to Darmadi, the CIO of Toyota Astra Motor, who won our grand prize for asking the best question during the Power Talk.