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Security a key factor in choosing a cloud vendor, Alibaba survey reveals

Written by Wed 14 Jun 2023

In a survey of 1,000 Asian businesses across the APAC region, respondents said that security concerns were the top factor in their choice of cloud vendor. Respondents to the survey commissioned by Alibaba Cloud said security was number one for 69% of businesses, outweighing other considerations like availability (58%) and cost (55%).

Security was also the primary consideration for organisations when designing their cloud strategy, which is a determining factor in selecting a private, hybrid, or public cloud architecture.

With APAC holding the dubious distinction of being the most attacked region in the world, accounting for 31% of cybersecurity incidents and the highest growth in cyberattacks, it is no surprise that businesses are prioritising security.

Cloud Security is Key

The importance of security in cloud decisions was consistent across all eight countries in ‘The Next-Generation Cloud Strategy in Asia’ survey: Hong Kong, Malaysia, Singapore, the Philippines, Indonesia, Thailand, Japan, and South Korea. However, respondents in three countries rated security a higher concern than others, namely The Philippines (85%), Indonesia (82%), and Thailand (78%).

Cloud security has been a hot topic in the Philippines lately. Late last year, cyber threat investigators noted that Southeast Asia was being targeted by cyber espionage attackers. More recently, the Philippine Army’s Cyber-Batallion announced a partnership with the certification agency EC-Council to improve cyber competency.

Jinagwei Jiang, Senior Researcher and GM of Infrastructure at Alibaba Cloud, noted that cybersecurity is a top concern for cloud providers like Alibaba as well.

“At Alibaba Cloud, we prioritise the critical importance of security in cloud adoption. We understand the potential impact that cybersecurity incidents can have on businesses regardless of their size,” said Jiang.

While security was the top concern that drove cloud vendor choice and cloud strategy design, survey respondents did note other challenges to successful cloud adoption. These included insufficient training for employees and a lack of budget.

Despite these challenges, an overwhelming majority of survey respondents (91%) said that cloud adoption either met or exceeded expectations.

The Benefits of Cloud Adoption

Across the board, organisations reported that the biggest benefit of cloud adoption is improved operational efficiency. This was consistent regardless of cloud strategy, with 71% of respondents using hybrid cloud saying that it has improved their operational efficiency, followed by 62% of public cloud users, and 60% of private cloud users.

Public cloud users also saw improved business continuity (47%), better support for remote workers (45%), and improved risk management (44%).

Businesses in Asia are also showing a preference for companies that have that understanding of the local market, with 38% of organisations across all markets choosing Asia-based vendors. As with security, some regions had a higher rate of response than others, with 64% of businesses in Thailand utilising Asia-based vendors and 56% of South Korean businesses favouring a local vendor.

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Written by Wed 14 Jun 2023

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