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A study commissioned by SAP and conducted by IDC estimates that the cloud sector in the Asia Pacific region is growing faster than it does in North America. The report also asserts that SAP's cloud and managed services partners in the region may earn US$4.1bn in the next five years.

Specifically, the cloud ecosystem is predicted to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 67.9 percent in the Asia Pacific region, which is more than the predicted growth of 54.6 percent in North America, or 46.6 percent in Latin America, though is lower than the 70 percent for the EMEA (Europe, the Middle East and Africa).

Speed of adoption
Fuelling this growth is a shift in the IT industry that IDC calls “the Third Platform of computing.” This is made up of four key areas - namely the cloud, analytics, mobility, and social business - sometimes also known as the SMAC stack. IDC says that 53 percent of companies have already adopted some form of cloud services.

IDC also identified some of the benefits that are persuading companies to migrate from traditional IT platforms to the cloud. This ranges from the ability to reduce costs and IT staff size, the ability to shift expenses from capital expenses to a pay-as-you-go subscription model, quicker access to new functionality, improvement in resource utilization, increased control over IT, and the ability to generate revenue faster.

Indeed, the cloud was a heavily talked-about topic at the recently concluded DCD Converged Singapore 2014 conference, held at the Marina Bay Sands Expo & Convention Center earlier this month. In a panel session titled “The great app to cloud transition”, top IT executives from various industry verticals based in the Hong Kong, Malaysia, Singapore and the Philippines related their experiences of moving to the cloud, and offered tips on how to pull it off.

For example, Keith Chan, the first vice president of IT at the Philippines Business Bank, advocated a gradual cloud push starting with less critical systems. Ramesh Narayanaswamy, the group CIO of Singapore Post cautioned that cloud services are not automatically more robust, though it does represents scalability beyond what traditional IT is capable of delivering.

Ultimately, there was a general agreement that the cloud is here to stay, while greater standardization and interoperability can be expected over the next few years.