March 10, 2021

In the News: Demand for cloud services seen rising in 2021

Published in Manila Standard on March 6, 2021.

As the pandemic continues to accelerate digital transformation among businesses, Amazon Web Services is seeing robust growth in new customers and partner signups for cloud services through its Amazon Partner Network.

“Our top consulting partners have grown their business by up to 200 percent year-on-year. There is some softening due to the pandemic, but organizations in the Philippines are hopeful that they will have good recovery this year,” Stanley Chan, head of technology partners for AWS Asia-Pacific, said in a recent virtual press briefing. 

The APN is AWS’s global partner program focused on helping companies build cloud-based solutions and services by providing business, technical, and marketing support. It is composed of tens of thousands of partners around the world with over 60 percent headquartered outside of the US.

According to Chen, Philippine companies’ migration into cloud is expected to grow rapidly this year, back to its robust 2019 level as enterprises accelerate adoption of new technologies.

This outlook is shared by Stratpoint Technologies Inc., an APN member-company in the Philippines. Stratpoint chief executive Mary Rose Dela Cruz said: “There is a lot of demand and growth for data engineering and data analytics. Enterprise customers are demanding more of that.”

Dela Cruz said the market for modern technologies such as engineering and data analytics was three times higher when compared to software application development.

As a company that specializes in digital transformation, Stratpoint offers a full suite of cloud-based services built on AWS—including software development, cloud, data engineering and artificial intelligence.

“Much of that growth is happening in Asia,” said Chen. He cited an IDC report that expects the APAC cloud market to exceed $80 billion in the next two years. “We see our partners as key to realizing that opportunity.”

Over 90 percent of Fortune 100 companies and most Fortune 500 companies use AWS Partner solutions and services. This is because AWS Partners are uniquely positioned to help businesses take full advantage of all that AWS has to offer and accelerate journey to the cloud, said Chen.

In the Philippines, AWS provides cloud solutions for some of the country’s most iconic companies, such as Jollibee, Globe, and PLDT.

In the Asia Cloud Computing Association’s Cloud Readiness Index 2020, the Philippines remains one of the countries in the Asia-Pacific that is yet to mature in terms of cloud adoption. According to Stratpoint, however, the country is quickly catching up—citing the growth of fintech firms in the past year as a key indicator.

“I think, we are very much comparable to other ASEAN countries,” said Dela Cruz, citing that the only difference is the amount of money allocated for cloud usage. She attributed this to lower levels of economic development and lack of regulations to fast track cloud adoption.

Last year, the Department of Information and Communications Technology amended its Cloud First Policy to provide clearer instructions on policy coverage, data classification, and data security as well as its policy on sovereignty, residency and ownership. While these are notable improvements in cloud policy, Dela Cruz urged for the development of more guidelines that focused on accelerating the implementation phase of the cloud.

According to Chan, some domestic regulations that may need updating are those that cover production use of cloud, security frameworks, data sovereignty, and the right to data consumed. He said that AWS continues to work closely with local government regarding public cloud usage.