Businesses in the Asia Pacific region who use cloud services are more than twice as likely to have a greater presence in international markets, according to new research from NetSuite and Frost & Sullivan.
The study, which surveyed more than 800 mostly C-suite executives across Australia, Hong Kong, New Zealand, the Philippines and Singapore, found 70% of cloud-enabled firms surveyed were “internationalised” compared to 22% of their non-cloud brethren, while similar figures appeared for businesses entering new geographic markets over the past five years (71% cloud, 31% non-cloud). Globalisation was seen as an opportunity, rather than a threat, by 83% of organisations.
According to respondents, the main competitive advantage of the cloud was lower operating costs, increased responsiveness to customer needs, and a greater ability to enter overseas markets. All features were seen as key to accelerate the push towards internationalisation.
And similar to companies that were ‘born in the cloud’, the NetSuite research argues there is a rise of firms which are ‘born global’ – businesses which have successfully internationalised by entering overseas markets at an extremely early stage of development. The top three challenges to internationalisation in Singapore were recruiting suitable employees, taxation issues, and IT issues, with almost three quarters (73%) seeing cloud as a competitive advantage.
For Frost & Sullivan, the findings are indicative of an evolving industry in general. “Our research has shown how industry change is not just continuing, but accelerating,” said Mark Dougan, Australia and New Zealand managing director at the research firm. “Two new key factors that are driving this change have emerged from this study: significant increase in business costs and evolving customer needs.
“These trends may create new challenges for organisations, but at the same time they also create significant opportunities for growth, with internationalisation topping the list,” he added.
In April, the latest paper from the Asia Cloud Computing Association (ACCA) found that Hong Kong had overtaken Japan as the most mature Asia Pacific cloud nation. Singapore, Australia and New Zealand were all in the top five.