Alibaba Cloud, the digital technology and intelligence backbone of Alibaba Group, in a survey commissioned in November 2020 found that 84% of Malaysian businesses believe cloud-based tools or digitalisation efforts has been the most important factor to their business continuity and disaster recovery during COVID-19, and 66% respondents have become more supportive of using cloud-based IT solutions to grow their business as compared to before the pandemic.
The survey also found that 76% of Malaysian respondents believe cloud-based tools have helped them cope with their business and operational needs during COVID-19. Although a significant proportion of Malaysia businesses are already using cloud-based IT solutions (72%), it was lower than the number in neighbouring Singapore (87%), indicating an opportunity for greater adoption and an area of focus for providers.
As remote working has become the new normal for many people, 40% of respondents from Malaysia believe that the most significant benefit of cloud-based IT solutions has been enabling a flexible workplace, the highest among the markets surveyed.
Jordy Cao, General Manager of Malaysia, Alibaba Cloud Intelligence, said, "The pandemic has transformed many businesses, advancing them along the path of digitalisation. We have seen numerous companies prioritising investment in cloud-based IT solutions to enable a flexible workspace, making it the starting point of their cloud migrations. As a leading cloud service provider in APAC, we will continue to support Malaysian businesses on their cloud transformation journeys with solutions that are easily deployed, readily integrated into companies' existing IT infrastructure and secured with cutting-edge technologies."
Since COVID-19, over half of Malaysian respondents (54%) said that their companies work more with cloud vendors for remote working, building new products and managing workload, indicating its perceived benefits.
However, businesses in Malaysia were also found to be the most cost-conscious among the markets surveyed, with most stating that the cost of a new solution was their primary consideration when deciding on its adoption.
Opportunities for cloud providers
The survey found that over half of the companies in each of the markets surveyed have adopted solutions from providers originating in Asia, including Malaysia (59%). This is supported by 78% of Malaysian companies believing that cloud providers deliver on their promises.
However, Malaysian respondents also reported a small talent pool, low confidence among the business community and the lack of an ecosystem to nurture innovation as the biggest challenges to growing Asian innovation, indicating the areas needing greater focus in the future.
In Malaysia, Alibaba Cloud launched its first local data centre in 2017, and since then, has been working closely with partners and customers from various sectors across the country. As the leading public cloud service provider in the Asia Pacific, Alibaba Cloud's localised solutions include elastic computing, storage, database, and network and security services. Since 2020, Alibaba Cloud has partnered with several customers from across Malaysia, including CIMB, Genting Malaysia Berhad, Touch N Go, PrestoMall, Sabah Pay and Permodalan Nasional Berhad (PNB).