Alibaba Cloud Empowering the Backbone of Malaysia’s Economy with Cloud Solution Services

According to Ernst and Young, 98-percent of businesses registered in Malaysia are in the small to medium size range. This segment also employs 65% of Malaysia’s workforce, and contribute about 40% to the GDP.

This firmly places the SME segment in the backbone position of the nation’s economy. This said, the economy is not immune from digital disruption in recent times as well as a market landscape that is fast evolving.

For example, the local business community anticipates virtual banking licenses to be handed out end of this year, upping the ante for the banking community to compete.

Fintech companies that take on these virtual banking licenses as well as e-commerce players, cannot afford to let up their efforts – all eyes are on them to deliver services with high availability and reliability.

Retail and finance are two sectors that use cloud computing and digital technologies to enhance customer experiences and grow their offerings in the market.

It has come to a point that to be able to compete, leveraging cloud computing is an option that must be seriously looked into.

CaptRecent statistics from SME Corp Malaysia on the state of SMEs

Kanags Surendan (left) from CIMB and Syahrunizam Samsudin from Touch ‘n Go in front of their portraits during the recent Alibaba Cloud Summit in Kuala Lumpur

 The case for technology

Within the SME segment itself, technology adoption rates vary too much. Technology investments usually take some time to pan out and show some substantial benefit and ROI.

Time is a resource that many SMEs cannot afford to “spend.” At the same time, if they do not, they run the very real risk of being left behind. But each industry is unique with its own unique landscape and trends.

For example, a traditional Chinese medicine hall, would be quite happy sticking to doing things the old-fashioned way. They may not see the need to digitalise their operational processes, the way that a retail chain would. On the other hand, a medium-sized financial institution would look to the cloud to help them digitise to be one step ahead from their competition.

A local bank’s experience dealing with SME customers leads them to observe recently that most SMEs prioritise these three things:

  1. being able to run their business cost efficiently,
  2. having access to credit and
  3. having access to markets outside of Malaysia.

Financing is also a major issue they need to address, a fact recently echoed by MDEC that has observed revenue trumps productivity for most SMEs.

Where does technology fit into this whole equation? Learning how to use technology is something very far removed from an SME’s current reality when they have a laundry list of other things to worry about, not least of which is financing.

Cloud to deliver IT resources and services

Cloud technology has become popular in recent times, due to the low cost of setting up. Not only do businesses only pay for what they use, it is easy for them to use technology solutions immediately, without needing to worry about how to set the solution up.

There is no need to purchase large and expensive computer machines. Any computing, storage or network resources that businesses need, can be subscribed to on a monthly basis from global cloud service providers like Alibaba Cloud. Malaysian companies can benefit from Alibaba Cloud’s extensive products and solutions, ranging from Elastic Computing, Database, Storage & CDN, to Networking.

Expertise and experience

All the big global cloud service providers such as Alibaba Cloud have a very large infrastructure footprint in regions like Asia Pacific. According to Gartner research, Alibaba Cloud is the top Infrastructure-as-a-Service or IaaS provider in Asia Pacific, with 4.7-percent growth in market share in 2018 compared to the previous year.

This puts it in a strong position to ensure high availability of applications, something which SMEs value as they cannot afford any type of downtime at all.

In this part of the world, Alibaba Cloud is the only global cloud provider with local data centres in Indonesia and Malaysia. This is testament to the amount of investment that the company has poured into this region, something which is reflected by the partnerships it has struck within the regional countries.

One other thing that all of Alibaba’s initiatives in this region show, is that they are well-equipped to co-develop with Malaysian companies via their local partners.

Within Malaysia itself, the organisation has successfully transformed homegrown enterprises like the Genting Group, TNG Digital, Sena, and AirAsia with actionable data intelligence, as well as help them grow with local cloud availability, seamless service and compliant products and services that are developed according to global best practice.

All these organisations and more, are reliably served via a digital infrastructure that spans across 56 availability zones across 19 economic centres around the world. Two of the availability zones is available right here in Malaysia.

The SME segment in Malaysia, especially companies in the e-commerce and fintech space, must make quick decisions that lead to quick wins for them to sustain in the long run. This calls for a cloud computing partner that will deliver IT resources reliably, as well as connect them to a larger market ecosystem outside of Malaysia.