by AZALEA AZUAR / pic credit: Ruma Balasubramanian’s Twitter
MALAYSIA’S digital economy is set to be worth US$35 billion (RM156.1 billion) by 2025, says Google Cloud South-East Asia (SEA) MD Ruma Balasubramaniam (picture).
Balasubramaniam said the country sits within a very robust SEA ecosystem which is expected to hit US$363 billion and reach a value of US$1 trillion by the end of 2030.
“Digital transformation, if fully-leveraged, could create up to US$61.3 billion in annual economic value in Malaysia by 2030 and that’s the equivalent of 17% of the local GDP in 2020.
“So, these are really important figures, because it really talks about what an amazing digital ecosystem that sits here, and it will be in Malaysia today,” she said during the announcement of Malaysia’s first cloud region today.
This initiative is also in line with the government’s plans to enhance Malaysia’s economic development.
“A fast-growing start-up ecosystem and the fact that eight in 10 Malaysians already use digital services in their daily lives is testament to the country’s rich creativity, strong entrepreneurial spirit and openness toward embracing new technologies,” Balasubramaniam added.
The cloud region will then deliver high-performance and low-latency services to local companies with three zones which offer protection against disruptions, as well as benefiting from high security data residency and compliance standards, including specific data storage requirements.
Its existing Dedicated Cloud Interconnect locations in Cyberjaya and Kuala Lumpur will complement it and provide direct connections between an organisation’s on-premises network as well as its global network.
Currently, there are a total of 34 cloud regions and 103 zones worldwide and Malaysia has joined the other three countries which include New Zealand and Thailand.
Malaysia’s cloud region will join Google Cloud’s 11 existing regions in Asia Pacific and Japan including those in Singapore and Jakarta.
The company has also collaborated with companies such as Affin Bank Bhd, Axiata Group Bhd, Capital A Bhd, Hong Leong Bank Bhd, JB Cocoa Sdn Bhd, KPJ Healthcare Bhd, Malaysia Airlines Bhd, Mass Rapid Transit Corp Sdn Bhd, Maxis Bhd and Media Prima Bhd.
“In terms of a public cloud region for the cloud infrastructure, there are hardware and software involved in the build out, and there will be a cloud data centre involved in this as well.
“To differentiate between a public cloud region and a Google Data Centre, a public cloud region is all about the apps and services that are being leveraged to serve our Google Cloud customers,” she explained.
Moreover, Google Cloud Singapore and Malaysia country director Sherie Ng said having a cloud region in Malaysia will be beneficial to small and medium enterprises (SMEs) as they are able to tap into the global innovation and accelerate that growth. It also brings more digital opportunities in the country.
“Beyond Malaysia, into the region, there’s an estimate of about US$1 billion of economic opportunity across Asean. So, this is a huge impact for Malaysian SMEs.
“Secondly, with the cloud region being here, we have an ability to accelerate the digital migration of the digital transformation for public sector and regulated industries, who want to ensure that they have an opportunity for secure sustainable interval and scalable infrastructure to meet the enterprise requirements,” she said.
Google Cloud has also ensured that its customers’ data as well as their critical assets are secure.
Balasubramaniam explained that they never shared it with any third-parties and they are all encrypted.
Google Malaysia has also conducted many programmes such as “Mahir Digital Bersama Google”, “Go Digital Asean” and “Gemilang” for local SMEs, women and entrepreneurs to grow their businesses online, as well as for those from poorer backgrounds to enhance their digital literacy skills.
It has delivered a total of RM7.1 billion benefits to businesses and indirectly supported 31,000 jobs nationwide.
Meanwhile Google Malaysia MD Marc Woo explained that it has successfully assisted a total of 40,000 SMEs with digital tools and skill sets.
“YouTube is a platform where Malaysians go for education — they go for inspiration, they go for information and it is also an economic engine.
“Just last year, we had over 60% more Malaysians who earned more than RM10,000 on YouTube,” he said.