THAILAND should adopt the cloud computing model for its digital economy to take advantage of cost savings and other benefits, according to a senior executive of business software firm Oracle.
Zakir Ahmed, general manager for Asia of Oracle CAPAC Services, said the cloud computing model, which has gained popularity over on-premise computer facilities, will allow companies in Thailand to better leverage its technology edge.
Based on the Thailand 4.0 initiative, cloud solutions for business software will boost the country’s international competitiveness and accelerate the economic growth rate.
At present, Thailand’s GDP growth rate, projected to be 3-3.5 per cent this year, is still lagging behind other Asean countries whose average growth rate is 4.8 per cent per annum over the past decade.
According to Ahmed, the technology advantage using the cloud model is crucial to uplift economic growth because companies from small and medium-sized enterprise to big corporations need the latest business software to stay ahead of competition.
This digital transformation can be done better with cloud solutions for enterprise resource planning (ERP) software covering finance, supply chain, payroll and other management.
Besides ERP software, cloud solutions are also preferred for e-commerce, human resource (HR) and customer relationship management (CRM) software.
In terms of cost saving, he said, the cloud model means that companies do not have to invest heavily in new IT facilities but can get the software as a cloud-based service.
This will turn the IT spending into an operating expense instead of a capital expenditure while companies can pay for the service based on what they actually use.
The cloud model also has a time saving, he said, adding that new products and services can now be launched more quickly since IT facilities will be ready to make the launch possible within a matter of weeks or within 3-6 months rather than 1 or 2 years.
Thirdly, he said, the cloud model allows companies to focus on their innovation and core business so as to stay ahead of competition since IT and related services are outsourced.
In terms of security, he said, cloud-based facilities are better protected by the service providers who have more expertise when compared to on-premise computing facilities which could be more easily threatened by malware such as Wannacry and Petya.
Oracle, which acquired Netsuite last year, now operates a total of 25 data centres around the world, including those in China and India, that can provide business software services on the cloud. Given the scale, the service provider has more experts to ensure cyber-security than individual companies operating their own on-premise IT facilities.
At present, IT spending in Thailand is growing at an annual rate of 2.5 per cent with more companies expected to move their computing facilities to the cloud model. Ahmed said retail and wholesale as well as distribution and logistic sectors are among the top industries expected to take advantage of the cloud solutions.
In addition, manufacturing industries such as automotive, food and beverage firms as well as services like hotels, tourism, and healthcare businesses will likely turn to cloud solutions due to better value for money spent on the digital transformation.