AWS unveils RM25.5b investment, pioneering digital transformation

The company has revealed plans to invest in Malaysia over the next 14 years, further solidifying its presence in the region 


IN A momentous move, Amazon Web Services Inc (AWS) has revealed plans to invest a staggering RM25.5 billion in Malaysia over the next 14 years, further solidifying its presence in the region. 

Recently, AWS, the leading cloud computing giant, announced a groundbreaking commitment to Malaysia, reaffirming its dedication to the country’s digital transformation. 

In 2016, AWS embarked on its journey in Malaysia by opening its sales and marketing office. 

Since then, the cloud service provider has achieved significant milestones and experienced remarkable growth and has received conditional approval from the government in 2021 to establish hyper-scale data centres in the country under the MyDigital initiative. 

The following year, AWS made history by becoming the first international cloud service provider to sign a Cloud Framework Agreement (CFA) with Malaysia, aimed at accelerating cloud adoption in the public sector. 

Unlocking Malaysia’s Digital Potential

AWS Malaysia and Asia Emerging Markets country GM Peter Murray highlighted that with the launch of the AWS Asia Pacific (M) region, Malaysian customers can gain access to a comprehensive and widely adopted cloud infrastructure, fostering innovation, boosting productivity across industries, and positioning Malaysia at the forefront of digital transformation. 

He said several milestones have already been achieved by AWS in Malaysia, including supporting digital transformation in the financial services industry by becoming the exclusive cloud provider for Al Rajhi’s digital bank, Rize, and Bank Islam’s BeU digital banking service. 

He said the company has also focused on aiding small and medium enterprises (SMEs) through the AWS Lift programme, which provides cost savings and operational efficiencies to accelerate their digitisation journey. 

“To support building Malaysia’s digital workforce, AWS also launched the AWS Academy programme, by providing AWS-authored Cloud computing curricula to prepare students for industry-recognised certifications and in-demand cloud jobs. 

“It is free for institutions to enrol, providing complimentary training for educators with AWS certifications before delivering AWS Academy courses to students,” he told The Malaysian Reserve (TMR). 

AWS Academy currently runs courses in Malaysia that cover Cloud Foundations, Cloud Architecting, Cloud Operations, Cloud Developing, as well as specialty certifications related to Big Data, Machine Learning, and other domains across 20 universities nationwide. 

Additionally, Murray said AWS is making generative artificial intelligence (AI) more accessible by introducing new services like Amazon Bedrock, Amazon EC2 Trn1, Amazon EC2 Inf2, and Amazon CodeWhisperer. 

These services, he said, offer a diverse range of AI capabilities, such as image recognition, forecasting, and intelligent search, which can be easily integrated into applications using a simple application programming interface call. 

AWS has also committed to investing US$100 million (RM454 million) into the Generative AI Innovation Centre, a programme aimed at assisting customers in creating and implementing Generative AI solutions. 

Murray says AWS emphasises that security is its topmost priority

Data Security at the Core 

Asked how AWS ensures data security and compliance for businesses operating in Malaysia, Murray said AWS emphasises that security is its topmost priority. 

Hence, AWS boasts a cloud computing environment that is both highly flexible and exceptionally secure, setting a benchmark for the industry. 

Murray explained the core infrastructure of AWS has been meticulously architected to meet the rigorous security requirements of not only military entities but also global banks and other high-sensitivity organisations. 

This, he said, emphasises on security to ensure that customers can entrust their valuable data and operations to a reliable and well-protected platform. 

“We have a world-class team of security experts monitoring our systems 24/7 to protect customer content. We will not disclose customer content in response to requests unless required to do so to comply with a legally valid and binding order, such as a court order. 

“We use the same rigorous standards to protect our customers’ content regardless of which AWS region they use,” he added
Murray said they also abide by 

the Shared Responsibility Model, which outlines security and compliance as a shared responsibility between AWS and the customer. 

The model, he said, outlines the specific areas for which AWS is responsible and those for which the customer is responsible. 

By understanding this shared responsibility, Murray said AWS customers can better manage and secure their workloads on the AWS platform, while AWS maintains the security of the underlying cloud infrastructure. 

Empowering Large and Small Businesses

Murray also shed light on the benefits of AWS for Malaysian start-ups and small businesses which is evident through its collaboration with Carsome. 

Through the partnership, he said Carsome leveraged deep learning models to enhance the accuracy of its car inspection process and the deployment of an automated system significantly accelerated image masking by 29 times, thereby boosting inspectors’ productivity. 

This successful implementation allowed Carsome to optimise its inspection process, paving the way for further integration and efficiency in its business operations. 

“We actively work with industry associations, business chambers, and government agencies across the region to raise awareness on the value of digitisation and how SMEs can use the AWS Cloud to digitally transform,” he said. 

Murray further explained with over 99 availability zones within 31 geographic regions around the world, AWS’ Global Infrastructure provides businesses with the flexibility to take advantage of the cloud. 

This, he said, means that SMEs have the flexibility of scaling their business up or down based on their needs, as well as quickly exploring alternative business revenue opportunities as they arise.
On March 30, AWS introduced 

AWS Lift in Malaysia, a specialised initiative aimed at assisting businesses in commencing their cloud journey with minimal risk and optimal cost-effectiveness. 

As part of this programme, participating SMEs have the opportunity to receive AWS Promotional Credits of up to US$83,500 in the first year. 

On the other hand, AWS enterprise segment head Malaysia Azhar Abdullah explained that the reason businesses choose to work with AWS is due to its flexibility, cost-savings, reliability, scalability and security. 

Businesses will have access to essential services in the computing, storage, database, containers, networking and security and compliance categories, which cover all the primary needs of customers as they transition to the cloud. 

“In short, customers can innovate faster, quickly develop resources as they need them, and pay for what they consume and use,” Azhar said. 

Businesses choose AWS on its flexibility, reliability, scalability and security, says Azhar

Transformative Success Stories with AWS

Azhar named StoreHub, Maxis Communications, Johor Corp (JCorp), The Department of Statistics Malaysia (DoSM), The Department of Polytechnic and Community College Education (DPCCE), Pos Malaysia, Cancer Research Malaysia and Silverlake as some of the companies that migrated to AWS and benefitted from enhanced efficiency, cost savings, and innovative solutions. 

He said StoreHub launched the Beep Deliver y food deliver y app using AWS technology and within three days, it onboarded 105 restaurants. 

Meanwhile, he said Maxis aims to enhance customer experience through personalised product recommendations by leveraging the AWS Machine Learning Ops Framework and has successfully built a tailored product recommendation engine, leading to new revenue streams, cost reductions, and operational efficiencies. 

DoSM became the first federal government agency to migrate to AWS which allowed it to optimise resource utilisation, leading to significant cost savings, improved scalability, and enhanced IT security governance compliance. 

Pos Malaysia Bhd also moved critical applications to the AWS Cloud which led to seamless deliveries, a 50% reduction in IT costs, and the development of data-driven models predicting high demand for delivery services. 

Azhar said the success stories serve as inspiring examples of how AWS has revolutionised businesses in Malaysia, providing them with the tools and capabilities to thrive in the digital age. 

  • This article first appeared in The Malaysian Reserve weekly print edition


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