17 September 2019
For Microsoft in Hong Kong, about 40 percent of its business comes from cloud. Photo: Microsoft
For Microsoft in Hong Kong, about 40 percent of its business comes from cloud. Photo: Microsoft

Why HK firms are increasingly eager to tap cloud technology

Until one to two years ago, the business sector in Hong Kong did not appear to be much excited about adopting cloud technology or using cloud services, but there has been a significant shift in its attitude.

In a media gathering organized by Microsoft and its local partners, participants said companies from different sectors, big and small, have become much more interested in finding out what the cloud can do for them.

One major benefit of cloud, particularly for small and medium-sized enterprises, is that they don’t need to invest in expensive equipment and hire someone to look after them. Monthly cost of services can be as low as a few hundred Hong Kong dollars. It is also far more flexible.

To cultivate market demand, one of the important steps is to do the “translation” work, said HKT’s Steve Ng, senior vice president, product marketing and solutions consulting. Because customers are not always tech savvy, they may not know much about the latest technology but they are always receptive to tools that can help them do more business. Ng said they need to understand customers’ businesses and show them how they can harness cloud or digital technology and what sort of analytical data to focus on.

User-friendly and budget-friendly are thus two key features critical to the expansion of the market.

Meanwhile, confidentiality used to be a hurdle. Since customer data has always been regarded as top secret, Mirum CEO Win Mak said until 18 months ago, it was still highly challenging to ask companies to open up.

But now, more of them are eager to tap the analytic power of intelligent cloud services to mine useful insight from such data. Citing the digital platform of West Ham United FC, Mak said his firm has created the platform and helped the club understand more about their fans, like which particular player they like most, in order to shape the business strategies accordingly.

Such eagerness to know more about customer behavior also contributes to the shift to cloud and a quickened pace of digital transformation.

Microsoft director Serena Cheung said the US tech giant has invested US$640 million globally to support and help its partners market their products. About 40 percent of the business of Microsoft Hong Kong comes from cloud.

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EJ Insight writer