Thursday, November 12, 2009

The Future of The Cloud Belongs to Asia

People often ask me where I believe the biggest opportunities for Cloud Computing currently are, at first I thought they were asking about the technical particulars like public clouds, platforms etc, but recently I've come to realize it isn't so much the technology as much as where the technology is being adopted that is important. Really what they're asking me is where is the money? I'm here today to tell you, it's in Asia.

One of the more interesting side effects of creating the CloudCamp series of events around the globe has been as a market research vehicle. As interest in Cloud Computing increases in various geographic regions, so does the interest in folks on the ground who want to help organize local CloudCamp events. This network of local organizers has become an invaluable resource into new markets. These events have also done a tremendous job of forecasting potential high growth markets and more importantly the opportunities for Cloud computing within various emerging markets. And lately it seems that by far the largest opportunities are coming from one particular region of the world.

To give you some background, we have an upcoming CloudCamp next week in Tokyo (November 17th) organized by NTT among others as well as next month in Seoul, South Korea (Dec 16th) organized by the Korea Institute of Science and Technology Information and the newly formed Korea Cloud Service Association. The Japanese, South Korean and Chinese markets have been particularly strong for CloudCamp. Based on the this interest, we will also be doing a series of CloudCamp's in China (Shanghai, Beijing and Hong Kong), which will mostly likely take place in early 2010. (If you're interested in sponsoring one of these events, please get in touch)

As a more personal example, I will be in Tokyo next week for a CloudCamp Tokyo event on Tuesday as well as a number of business meetings. Purely from a demand point of view, from the moment I get off the plane on Monday until I leave on Sunday, I have non-stop meetings from 9am through dinners late into the evening every night of the week with various Japanese firms looking to capitalize on the booming Cloud Computing sector. We've seen so much interest from Japan that we've started to have to turn down meeting opportunities. To say the least, the interest in "Kumo" Japanese for cloud is astounding.

We've seen similar levels of interest in China as well where there seems to be a technological renaissance occurring. China is a very unique place when it comes to Cloud Computing. First of all they don't have the legacy infrastructure that most Western economies suffer from. It's in a sense a greenfield opportunity where the Chinese have the opportunity to choose the latest & best technology solutions without regard for how it may effect legacy systems -- since there really isn't any.

For instance, look at the massive adoption of mobile phones over the last several years, the traditional landline was almost completely bypassed for the newer and more efficient mobile options. Computing is also seeing a similar bypass, with projects such as national wifi networks being built in conjunction to a masssive multi-billion dollar national railway system. The Chinese seem to have realized that a national infrastructure is more then just a physical one, but also virtual.

I'm not alone in making this conclusion about the Asian market, In a recent report, Gartner said infrastructure software will account for 64.4 percent of overall enterprise software spending in the Asia-Pacific region next year, with APAC enterprise software spending to grow 10.2% in 2010 - the fast growth in any of the various global software markets.

Following upon the same sense Amazon Web Service has just announced an expansion into the Asian region in the first half of 2010. Saying "AWS customers will be able to access AWS’s infrastructure services from multiple Availability Zones in Singapore in the first half of 2010, then in other Availability Zones within Asia over the second half of 2010. AWS services available at the launch of the Asia-Pacific region will include Amazon EC2, Amazon S3, Amazon SimpleDB, Amazon Relational Database Service, Amazon Simple Queue Service, Amazon Elastic MapReduce, and Amazon CloudFront."

“Developers and businesses located in Asia, as well as those with a multi-national presence, have been eager for Asia-based infrastructure to minimize latency and optimize performance,” said Adam Selipsky, Vice President of Amazon Web Services. “We’re very excited to announce the expansion of AWS infrastructure into Asia to help our customers plan their technology investments and better serve their end-users in Asia.”

Tom Lounibos, CEO of SOASTA had an interesting comment on the opportunity in a twitter post earlier saying "AWS announces Singapore site 7 hours ago, and I wake to three SOASTA customer requesting Cloud Testing from Singapore! "Demand" wins!"

Although I am just one man from just one company I believe that in some small way that both Enomaly and CloudCamp represent the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the opportunity to offer Cloud Computing related products in service to the Asian Market and from where I sit there is no bigger opportunity then in Asia.

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