Week in Review: Cloud to be the new normal for businesses

  • Traditional tech companies little impacted by disruption from digital
  • HPE enter the machine learning space with its ‘The Machine’


IN this new digital economy we are moving into, one powered by ubiquitous connectivity and mobility, we often hear about how the status quo is being disrupted by digital and the new wave of digital enabled businesses, startups, that could eat up the slow to adapt old economy businesses.

But I find it interesting that the technology companies that have enabled the old economy, for the most part, seem to have escaped the disruption threatened by startups. Just witness how Microsoft has adapted to digital while keeping most of its traditional business customers. Remember how Google Docs was being hailed as the harbinger of things to come from startups that had acquired enough scale to take on (and beat) the traditional tech giants?

And while cloud is certainly changing how businesses operate, the traditional tech players have also embraced cloud. No tech company has been disrupted by cloud to the extent that it has shut down. Traditional tech players have embraced and taken as fact that digital is changing how businesses need to operate and are championing digital solutions to their customers. No disruption here.

But the rise of the cloud has brought about a new global tech player, e-commerce giant, Amazon through its Amazon Web Services or AWS. I cannot think of any other consumer business that has successfully created a tech business as well, and both at global levels. And yes, I have started seeing Amazon as more of a consumer company, and this was before they started experimenting with physical retail.

Back to its tech business, so how large has AWS grown to? Well, citing Gartner’s yearly cloud scorecard – The Gartner Magic Quadrant for Infrastructure-as-a-Service report – AWS CEO Andy Jassy claims that AWS’ cloud is 10 times larger than the next 14 competitors reported in the Magic Quadrant combined! How about that for scale.

From a revenue perspective, AWS reported US$11.1 billion (RM49.5 billion) in revenue during the 12-month period ending in September 2016. And according to Edwin Yapp, who attended the annual AWS conference in Dec, it sees a lot more innovation coming from cloud. And who is going to bet against its belief that cloud will be the new normal for businesses?

I am curious to know how much of its cloud business comes from Southeast Asia but it doesn’t break down its revenue by region.

Meanwhile, another traditional technology player, HPE (HP Enterprise) has just launched its own machine learning play joining the big boys, Google, Microsoft, IBM. Just quickly, machine learning combines elements of or is enabled by cloud computing, data analytics and Artificial Intelligence.

Called The Machine, Hewlett Packard Labs has spent the last five years developing the memory-driven computing, photonics, and fabric that has gone into creating it. Showing that is has picked up a lesson or two in hype from startups, HPE claims, “The Machine is a computing architecture so radically different than any which has come before that it will affect everything we do in the future.”

Our contributing editor in Singapore, Zafar Anjum, had an exclusive sharing session with two HPE heavyweights to find out more about The Machine. I found it a fascinating read and I encourage you to read it as well, if the future tech is what interests you.

And do check out our other Editor’s Picks this week as well where we are presented with yet more proof that when it comes to e-commerce in the region, mobile is going to be the main platform.

With that, I wish you a restful weekend and a productive week ahead.

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Editor’s Picks:

Hedging its bets, AWS evolves into holistic cloud provider

Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Yoga: A sleek 2-in-1 business notebook

Bridestory connects brides-to-be with wedding vendors all over the world

iPay88 expects better 2017 for e-commerce with mobile dominating

New fitness platform, Wanderclass, aspires to shake up fitness community

Bukalapak posts best year in 2016, daily transaction value at US$3.8 milThe Ghost is out of HPE’s The Machine

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