Cloud, A.I., big data analytics, DC make key HK tech trends

Alex Tam, Managing Director, Equinix Hong KongAs enterprises place more focus on innovation and become increasingly data-driven, the Asia Pacific market is poised to embrace another year of hyper-growth, particularly in cloud computing, artificial intelligence, big data analytics and data center.

A recent Research & Markets report found that the Asia Pacific data center co-location market generated revenue of US$7,318.3 million in 2015, and is expected to grow at a CAGR of 14.9% during 2016-2022. We expect the Hong Kong data center market to follow this trend and focus its efforts on helping enterprises harness IT capabilities and succeed in digital transformation.

Being the leading interconnection and data center services provider in Hong Kong for over 15 years, Equinix offers unique data-oriented insights into the key drivers that will push local enterprises to break technological and operational boundaries in the year to come:

Age of interconnected commerce

As one of Asia's leading financial hubs, Hong Kong has seen significant progress in the spaces of mobile payments and e-commerce during the past year.

In 2017 we expect to see the rise of an interconnected commerce value chain, where the proprietary siloed approach, that has been the standard for payment services delivery, begins to fade away, opening doors for new technologies and business models at the intersection of commerce and payments. Payment providers will need to create new opportunities for the integration of payments, commerce, data, and marketing, enabling new solutions and partnerships around the globe.

However, to unlock the infinite potential of interconnected commerce, financial services providers will need to identify a central hub to manage this complex payment ecosystem. Only the right central hub and standard protocols could create a world-changing network of commerce enablement that, linked with the payments infrastructure, could redefine global commerce for the 21st century.

The year of multi-cloud convergence and implementation

According to market forecasts, global cloud workload will more than triple from 2014 to 2019 and global data center traffic will increase at a compound annual growth rate of 25% over the same period.

We see similar momentum in Hong Kong as cloud adoption continues to mature to a stage where enterprises are now reliant on cloud infrastructure, particularly multi-cloud, hybrid-cloud models, to accelerate their business and support digital transformation.

Looking ahead, 2017 will be the tipping point when the convergence of multiple clouds across the enterprise -- data, applications, infrastructure and personal clouds -- will fundamentally change the way people and businesses operate.

Companies will look for all-encompassing ecosystems that connect employees, customers, partners, vendors and devices seamlessly whilst supporting the implementation of cloud-based applications across different functions and touch points. 

As a result, cloud service providers will be focused on providing best-of-breed solutions and cloud architecture designed to tackle vendor lock-in issues and meet enterprise demands for digital transformation.