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USD160 billion in future GDP: the cloud imperative, and Asia Pacific’s unmissable economic and business opportunity

Singapore, 19 August 2021 – The Asia Pacific region could benefit from a significant USD160 billion future economic boost – and that incudes around USD6 billion (1% GDP) for Singapore – if businesses increase investment in, and take greater advantage of, cloud-based technologies.

A new Deloitte Asia Pacific report – The cloud imperative, and Asia Pacific’s unmissable opportunity – examines the challenges and barriers, explores opportunities and looks at case studies that examine how cloud is driving business success in difficult times.

Partly based on a survey of nearly 600 business leaders across eight focus markets – being Australia, China, Hong Kong (SAR), India, Japan, New Zealand, Singapore and South Korea – key report findings include:

  •   The adoption of cloud services is forecast by Deloitte Access Economics to contribute a further USD160 billion to the Asia Pacific economy from 2020 to 2024 
  • Public cloud expenditure will grow at 28% per annum, from USD32.1 billion in 2019 to USD116 billion in 2024, deliveing significant productivity (and economic) benefits
  • Industries that comprise 50% of the Asia Pacific economies are facing the most significant levels of disruption that could benefit from greater cloud adoption
  • Only 10% of businesses across the region believe they have a high level of cloud-readiness, while 46% are hesitant, or totally unprepared
  • 62% expect their level of cloud adoption to grow in three years time (although just under 30% expect adoption to remain unchanged).

Boy Kester, Deloitte Southeast Asia Cloud Transformation Leader said, “COVID-19 has driven a fundamental shift in cloud strategies for multiple enterprises, accelerating adoption and migration. With majority of the workforce remote, major cloud providers have witnessed a huge surge in demand for their services as such volumes added stressed to virtual private networks, forcing organisations to lift and shift to the cloud quickly. The wider adoption of cloud services is projected to contribute USD6 billion to Singapore’s economy from 2020 to 2024.”

Deloitte Asia Pacific Cloud Transformation leader, Dan Newman, said: “COVID-19 has turned the world on its head in too many ways, but also forced governments and businesses to rapidly respond to changes in demand for their products and services.

“They’ve pivoted to challenge the status quo, tapped into new growth opportunities to maintain and improve their competitive edge, or reimagined operations to become more agile and resilient.

“And much of this innovation has been enabled by cloud-based digital technology. Cloud helps unlock organisations’ digital potential, address multiple challenges and offers strong foundations to ensure they are prepared to tackle new shocks and future disruption caused by the likes of climate change, increased competition and exposure to cyber risks.

“Cloud has endless potential to enhance operations, support competitive advantage and drive opportunities for significant business value and growth across the likes of productivity, operational efficiency, new customer segments, market share, revenues and profit.

“That it can also deliver significant economic benefits makes the argument even more compelling, for individual businesses, for industries, for nations and for the wider Asia Pacific region.”

Deloitte Access Economics partner, and principal report author, John O’Mahony, said: “Our research finds that cloud can be vital in making businesses more flexible, agile and prepared to respond to disruption, and that businesses making greater use of cloud-based technologies can deliver significant national and regional economic benefits and improved living standards.

“Beyond operational efficiencies and lower business costs, cloud services, along with other digital technologies, create significant value throughout the broader economy by helping to drive productivity growth – in terms of efficiency, but also in terms of innovation and the creation of new and improved products and services.

“Looking across individual markets, the economic contribution of cloud varies with the level of cloud maturity and the size of individual economies. Those that have invested the most have also received the largest productivity benefits, while those with lower public cloud expenditure received a smaller economic benefit.

“Encouragingly, International Data Corporation (IDC) forecasts that, across the eight focus markets in our study, public cloud expenditure will grow by 28% per annum, from USD32.1 billion in 2019 to USD116 billion in 2024. And based on our forecasts, this rapid growth in investment will deliver significant productivity benefits, and additional Asia Pacific GDP of USD160 billion from 2020 to 2024.

“Looking forward, the growing adoption of cloud services, their ever-increasing sophistication, and the forecasted take-up of cloud-based applications, suggests that the productivity benefits of cloud will only increase.”

The report finds that, with its uptake accelerated by the pandemic, the cloud will continue to unlock and fuel innovations, which will lead to the formation of new, as yet unimagined, products, services and businesses in the future, and benefits in the broader economy, importantly growth in productivity, job creation and better living standards.

“How cloud-ready companies are will be important for the next steps they take. On the upside, 46% of companies in the Asia Pacific region being unprepared or hesitant suggests  there could be signficant business value available to them. Certainly, the better organisations are prepared and ready to embark on their cloud journey, the more likely they are to see an impact from their investments in cloud technology,” Newman said.

“The pace of change is unequalled, and organisations cannot afford to ignore the accelerated disruption and transformation. Speed and agility in responding to ongoing challenges are critical and only adaptable businesses will  survive and thrive.”

The report also examines a range of factors considered most relevant to assess the disruptive forces, and assesses them for 18 industries across the Asia Pacific region. The result is a new Deloitte Digital Disruption Map that shows businesses operating in mining, finance, manufacturing, information, media and technology (IMT), wholesale and arts and recreation services are expected to face the most significant level of disruption. These industries comprise around 50% of the Asia Pacific economy.

And it offers insights into cloud adoption across Asia Pacific, and outlines steps businesses can take to prepare their journey into cloud, or build on their excisting capabilities:

  • Set out a leader-led cloud strategy
  • Don’t be held back by legacy systems – look beyond them to realise cloud’s potential
  • Be bold in experimenting – go further with business innovation
  • Work with partners, don’t go it alone
  • Develop a cloud-fluent workforce
  • Rethink risk – it will look different and business leaders need to shift their approach.

About the report

The report focuses on the value of cloud transformation across organisations in Asia Pacific. It covers eight markets in Australia, New Zealand, Japan, South Korea, China, Hong Kong (SAR), Singapore and India, and six key industry groupings.

The analysis is based on consultations with industry experts from across Deloitte, publicly available information, public cloud spend data from International Data Corporation (IDC), and a bespoke survey of close to 600 organisations across the focus markets and industries. The survey was fielded by Ipsos in May 2021.

Drawing on a combination of data from these sources, econometric modelling was undertaken to estimate the benefits of cloud technology to businesses and the extension of these benefits to the broader economy.

Press Contact

Marie Li
Tel: +65 6800 3717

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© 2021 Deloitte Asia Pacific Services Limited

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