Malaysia’s Chipsmore Theory for the Local Cloud Industry
It was a familiar sight, I will be honest.
The document, more specifically, MyDIGITAL showed a huge overarching multi-year blueprint. And then all the various steps or key thrusts and strategies were outlined. To be exact, this time there are 6 strategic thrusts, 48 national initiatives, 28 sectoral initiatives.
The last time I saw a national overarching blueprint, it was last year. This blueprint was for the cybersecurity industry in the country. And something good came out of it because 2 government agencies now appeared to be finally talking to each other.
The heads of 2 of these agencies even appeared on national television together, to talk about cybersecurity in Malaysia (Cyber Security Malaysia and NACSA).
IDC has highlighted initiatives like cloud, 5G, and cybersecurity key significant areas to look at for MyDIGITAL to move forward. The blueprint aims to continue to transform Malaysia into a high-income regional lead in digital economy.
For now, let’s look at cloud in Malaysia.
Four cloud service providers (Microsoft, Google, Amazon Web Services, and Telekom Malaysia) have been given conditional approval to build and manage hyper-scale data centres and cloud services in Malaysia.
Any industry observer reading that paragraph would have a hard time digesting the wordings.
We have heard before, whispers of hyperscale players setting up shop in Malaysia.
The most famous rumour is the Microsoft one with a data centre being built down south. Speculation and insider stories were rife when the Johor Sultan mentioned it, while Microsoft (Malaysia) simply would not make any official statement that denied or concurred. They only managed a ‘We will let you know when it happens” statement.
That was a some years ago. Today, there are reports and some may insist that there IS a Microsoft data centre being built somewhere in Sedenak, Malaysia. Does anyone know?
In contrast, other hyperscalers like Google and Amazon Web Services have built data centres in neighbouring countries like Indonesia and Singapore. And they do not keep it under wraps but very unabashedly promote this fact.
Questions, questions, questions
Back to the paragraph in question: Four cloud service providers (Microsoft, Google, Amazon Web Services, and Telekom Malaysia) have been given conditional approval to build and manage hyper-scale data centres and cloud services in Malaysia.
My questions are as follows: What does conditional approval mean?
How is the current situation different from previous situations (ie. Microsoft in Sedenak) that it now requires the application of “conditional approval”?
There is also a portion in the press release that states three local ICT companies have been appointed Managed Services Provider (MSP) and that they will help achieve key government targets such as 80-percent cloud storage by 2022.
Cloud storage? Is that all these cloud players are going to be good for?
Will hyperscalers be allowed to be hyperscalers in Malaysia? Can businesses still leverage the economies of scale, and other benefits hyperscalers offer (ie. pay-as-you-use), if there is a MSP layer (and extra costs) added to the whole equation?
A source familiar with how the events are playing out, has shared, “None of (cloud service providers) have confirmed anything.”
The source also alludes to the MyDIGITAL statement as having jumped the gun in terms of players who are interested (to invest) or who have confirmed their investment.
Yet another observer of the data centre industry commented, “It doesn’t seem to make sense on the surface, The requirements would be very specific and proprietary.”
I agree that there are many questions that need to be answered.
IT BYTES BACK! says: In summary, are we are so desperate for good news that we seem to have made something appear out of nothing. Now We See It. And Then… We Don’t?