Microsoft to invest US$1 billion in Malaysian data centre
Microsoft is investing US$1bn to build its first data centre in Malaysia over the next five years, the Malaysian Prime Minister announced on Monday.
The U.S. tech company's investment will also fund its "Bersama Malaysia" - Together with Malaysia - initiative, which aims to educate 1mn citizens in digital technology, as well as help to roll-out the government-supported MyDigital Alliance Leadership Council.
The council aims to allow businesses to collaborate on cloud-first and digital-native technology.
Talking of the new project, Malaysia's Prime Minister, YAB Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin, said: “This significant investment from Microsoft further fortifies Malaysia’s position as a potential regional data hub, and we stand to welcome more such partners as we work with our stakeholders to continually improve Malaysia’s value proposition in this big data space.”
Jean-Philippe Courtois, Executive Vice President and President of Microsoft Global Sales, marketing and Operations, believes the new data centre will be a transformation for the country.
He said: “The upcoming data centre region will be a game-changer for Malaysia, enabling the government and businesses to re-imagine and transform their operations to the benefit of all citizens."
Companies such as Petronas - a Malaysian corporate organisation - and Celcom Axiata Berhad have signed to be cloud customers for the new facility.
Microsoft hopes that its investment, partners, and customers will help to create more than 19,000 new direct and in-direct jobs in the country.
Malaysia recently made the headlines in data centre news following its "cabotage policy" which saw Malaysian politician and President of the Malaysian Chinese Association receive criticism for revoking an exemption put forward by the policy.
You can read Data Centre Magazine's story on this here.
Equinix: Digital leaders expect changes to working patterns
A global report released by Equinix has revealed that digital leaders expect long-term changes to the way people work.
As part of the report, the data infrastructure company surveyed 2,600 IT decision-makers from several different businesses spanning 26 countries in the Americas, Asia-Pacific and EMEA regions. The study also highlighted the biggest technology trends affecting global businesses and how the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted digital infrastructure plans.
Talking about companies’ expansion strategies, Claire Macland, Senior Vice President of Global Marketing at Equinix, said: “Many companies are now investing more in their digital infrastructure to enable them to embrace a hybrid working model and thrive in the new world of work we all find ourselves in.
“Despite headwinds in many sectors, many organizations are continuing to expand physically and virtually into new markets and regions around the world”, she said.
The report drew the following conclusions:
- 64% of the 2,600 digital leaders surveyed believed there will be “long-term changes to both how and where people will work in the future.
- 57% of global companies intend to expand into new regions despite the effects of the pandemic
- 51% of businesses worldwide say they have rearchitected their IT infrastructure so that it can meet the demands of remote and hybrid working. Digital transformation has also been accelerated due to an increase in businesses’ technology budgets.
How might digital transformation be affected post-pandemic?
COVID-19 has demanded that companies make several changes to the way that they operate, including digital transformation. According to the study, 47% of those surveyed reported that they have accelerated their digital transformation plans because of the Coronavirus pandemic. A further 42% of organisations said their budgets have increased to keep up with the growth of digital transformation.
Another change in adapting to the pandemic was to businesses’ IT strategies with six in 10 companies saying that it has been revised in response to the situation. 58% said they are looking to invest in technology to “improve agility’ post-COVID.
When asked about their priorities for their digital strategy, 80% of respondents said that digitising their infrastructure was of utmost importance, while 57% viewed interconnection as a ‘key facilitator’ of digital transformation.
"This increasing focus on digitization and expansion is one of the reasons why Equinix has continued to invest in its own growth. We completed 16 new expansions in 2020—our most active build year ever—and expect to continue to evolve Platform Equinix to support our customers as they continue on their digital transformation journey”, said Claire Macland.
Potential concerns disperse over expansion plans being halted by COVID-19
The study has also revealed that organisations’ previous concerns that the pandemic will negatively affect their business expansion plans have been lessened.
57% of businesses have said that they “still have plans” to expand into new regions and of that percentage, nearly two-thirds (63%) plan to do so virtually instead of investing in physical IT infrastructure.
The full Equinix report can be found here.