Microsoft to make huge infrastructure investment in Taiwan
Microsoft is dramatically ramping up its investment in Taiwan amid the US-China trade war. In a press conference this morning, the Washington-based tech firm announced plans for a major expansion of its cloud infrastructure in Taiwan, representing the company’s .
The investment will see Microsoft develop four major projects in the country over the next few years, including the creation of a Taiwan based data centre region which will form the base for Azure cloud in the APAC region, the creation of a new cloud hardware team, the launch of an industrial ecosystem and an expansion of its cybersecurity capabilities, according to a report by Taiwan News.
Microsoft’s decision to further invest in Taiwan as a base for its cloud, AI, IoT and edge solutions in APAC is expected to support the government's goals, as well as creating significant benefits for the country’s economy and create “tens of thousands of jobs.”
commented on the announcement: "Technology has a critical role to play in supporting economic recovery and opportunity everywhere. Microsoft is committed to fostering local innovation to support digital transformation across the public and private sectors in Taiwan. Our new investment in Taiwan reflects our faith in its strong heritage of hardware and software integration. With Taiwan's expertise in hardware manufacturing and the new datacenter region, we look forward to greater transformation, advancing what is possible with 5G, AI and IoT capabilities spanning the intelligent cloud and intelligent edge."
Investment by Western tech firms in Taiwan is not a new phenomenon. In 2018, Google announced plans to hire 300 technology professionals in the country, and to train another 5,000 AI students, following its acquisition of Taiwanese tech giant HTC, and IBM also expanded its own R&D centre in the country around the same time.
“There’s no lack of hardware as well as soft talent that these institutions can take advantage of,” said Tony Phoo, an economist at Standard Chartered bank in Taipei, in . “Taiwan has some of the best talent around the region, and it comes cheap as well. If you want to establish a data center to be located in Northeast Asia, Taiwan looks attractive.”
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.