In an era marked by rapid technological advancements, the evolution of traditional methods across industries is inevitable. One such transformation that stands at the forefront is the gradual replacement of conventional data storage and computing methods with the sweeping tide of cloud technology. With about 60% of corporate data now stored in the cloud as of 2023, Startups in Southeast Asia have warmly embraced cloud computing by leveraging its advantages to cultivate dynamic, agile, and robust businesses. 

This technology empowers businesses to access and employ computing resources over the Internet, eliminating the need for substantial infrastructure investments and unwieldy on-site setups.

VC trends in the Southeast Asia data centre market and the move to the cloud in 2022

Why harness cloud technology?

The march of modern technology marks a paradigm shift that has the potential to revolutionise the way people conduct business and manage their affairs. One of the most profound impacts of innovative technology lies in business operations. Traditional methods often involve extensive physical infrastructure, taking up valuable space and increasing costs and time-consuming processes. 

By using cloud computing, businesses can transcend these limitations, embracing virtual environments that allow greater flexibility, scalability, and cost-efficiency. For instance, traditional data storage often requires vast server rooms and complex hardware maintenance. On the other hand, cloud computing offers scalable solutions that adapt to a business’s needs, eliminating the need for constant hardware upgrades. Over 99% of companies adopting a cloud computing solution claim to improve their cybersecurity posture significantly.

One of the key challenges that startups will encounter is the need to adjust to shifts in the market and the ever-evolving expectations of customers. Traditional approaches often create constraints that hinder businesses from swiftly and effectively responding to these evolving demands. Particularly for startups, the advantages derived from cloud technology’s capability to offer resources as needed are significant. This use of cloud resources eliminates the necessity for substantial initial investments in physical infrastructure, thereby permitting startups to concentrate their efforts on enhancing their offerings and promptly addressing feedback from the market. 

Cloud technology offers a significant advantage in fostering productive collaboration among various parties, such as team members, partners, customers, and investors. It is possible to achieve this agile collaboration by utilising digital tools and platforms provided by cloud services, which streamline communication, coordination, and the exchange of information. Examples of well-known services include Google Workspace, Microsoft Teams, Zoom, and Dropbox.

Regional startups incorporating cloud solutions

The startup ecosystem in Southeast Asia is witnessing a technological renaissance of significant proportions. Unicorns like Grab, Zenyum, and Xendit are disrupting conventional industries such as eCommerce, finance, and healthcare. 

Consider Grab, the ride-hailing giant that has transformed into a comprehensive super app. In October 2018, Grab chose Microsoft Azure as its primary cloud platform through a strategic partnership. This partnership aimed to revolutionise digital services and mobility across the region. 

One notable area of collaboration is the exploration of innovative authentication methods. For instance, they now use mobile facial recognition with AI technology for drivers and passengers who opt in. This technology can replace traditional ID checks and ensure driver and passenger identities accurately match the reservation. The identity verification process adds a level of safety for all parties concerned. 

It has recently introduced an audio protection feature that allows audio recording during a ride to add further protection. Unless there is an official complaint, the audio is saved in the cloud for five days and then automatically deleted. Additionally, Grab is leveraging Microsoft Azure’s powerful data analytics and fraud detection services.

Similarly, healthtech startup Zenyum employs Salesforce’s Sales Cloud and Service Cloud solutions. Through this decision, Zenyum has been able to reap the platform’s advantages as a central hub for all customer-related information. This consolidation has granted Zenyum a holistic and comprehensive perspective on its customer base. Furthermore, this platform offers insightful and intelligent recommendations to identify the most promising leads for Zenyum. These valuable insights become user-friendly formats, such as reports and dashboards, intentionally designed to support Zenyum’s sales leaders and staff members in effectively analysing a wealth of data spanning various business functions and countries.

Xendit, a fintech company operating in Southeast Asia, is pivotal in facilitating payment processes and enhancing financial infrastructure in Indonesia and the Philippines. The operational mechanism of Xendit revolves around leveraging the cloud infrastructure provided by Indonet, which hosts the essential application logic of Xendit’s services. This approach ensures the comprehensive management of fundamental components such as software, hardware, and networking. These measures collectively meet the stringent requirements of internationally recognised security standards, positioning Xendit as a reliable and secure partner for businesses seeking to navigate the digital financial landscape.

The fusion of cutting-edge technology and emerging startups in Southeast Asia embodies a complex dance between innovation, disruption, and metamorphosis. Unicorns like Grab, Zenyum, and Xendit highlight how cloud technology can fundamentally reshape traditional sectors and cultivate thriving digital networks. As the startup landscape in the region advances, this technological foundation will remain a crucial pillar, driving startups toward exceptional expansion and global recognition.