AWS on the ‘incredible’ cloud tech response of the crisis

Cloud computing services have become some of the most in-demand digital tools given the circumstances of the last few months

Public cloud service providers have been doing their part to support new and existing customers in sustaining their business operations during the pandemic, with cloud-hosted digital solutions ranging from collaboration tools to virtual learning opportunities.

Not too long ago, analysts at IDC were reporting that more than 85% of APAC organizations were still in the early stages of their digital maturation curves. But even as the COVID-19 crisis undermined so many aspects of life, the pandemic has certainly accelerated the digital transformation of many companies, and the overwhelming take-up of digital services like cloud are the proof.

“We are continually impressed by our customers all over the world, including ASEAN for their endless ingenuity even before the pandemic. But their response to this crisis – the way our customers are using technology to overcome enormous adversity – has been incredible,” Paul Chen, the Head of Solutions Architect for AWS in ASEAN, told Tech Wire Asia.

But cloud services didn’t just help white-collar enterprise continue to tick, they played a crucial role in supporting medical and caregiving services over the past few months.

Thailand’s leading telemedicine service provider Doctor Raksa, turned to cloud services to provide convenient, on-demand virtual healthcare consultations.

“The majority of Doctor Raksa’s infrastructure runs on AWS, which allows the organization to focus more on delivering the best patient experience it can deliver, by tapping into more than 700 registered doctors across 30 specialties and integrating with hospitals, insurance providers, and pharmacies to keep patient data consistent, and online prescriptions within reach,” Chen said.

Jakarta-based healthtech platform Halodoc uses AI and telehealth to connect patients, doctors, and pharmacies, and likewise migrated to cloud. This allowed the start-up to cut its IT costs by 20-30%, launch new app features approximately 30% faster than before, and improve patient-physician mobile call response times.

“Since its relaunch, the Halodoc app has notched over 500% growth in its user base,” Chen said.

Particularly in Southeast Asia, enterprises are placing increased importance on adopting cloud-based technologies so they can engage their customers more effectively or shift their employees to virtual environments.

“For instance, one key benefit is the massive economies of scale compared to on-premise infrastructure. By using cloud computing, customers can achieve a lower variable cost than they can get on their own,” said Chen. “Because usage from hundreds of thousands of customers is aggregated in the cloud, providers such as AWS can achieve higher economies of scale, which translates into lower pay as-you-go prices.”

Besides supporting medical and remote working needs via its Amazon WorkSpaces cloud-based virtual desktop, AWS is also enabling virtual contact center deployments to allow companies to stay in communication with consumers, such as with enterprise client Accenture.

“The sudden closures and enforced work-from-home policies have necessitated a re-evaluation of the solutions used for contact centers, and how employees can continue to deliver quality customer experiences,” Chen said. “To help leaders deal with the significant and sudden increase in call volume, Accenture focused on enabling rapid deployment of contact centers using industry-specific templates and responses to common queries about Covid-19.”

Adopting cloud-hosted services can also have the added benefit of helping organizations save on costs in an uncertain post-pandemic economy. “Instead of having to invest heavily in data centers and servers before they know how they’re going to use them, AWS customers can pay only when they consume computing resources and pay only for the amount they consume,” explained Chen.

“Cloud deployments on AWS also eliminate guessing on an enterprise’s infrastructure capacity needs. When an enterprise makes a capacity decision prior to deploying an application, they often end up either sitting on expensive idle resources or dealing with limited capacity. With cloud computing, these problems go away.”

Like many of its competitors, AWS’s tech giant parent Amazon has been providing support for businesses and partners in a variety of ways to cope with the effects and aftereffects of COVID-19. “The very nature of our business – enabling organizations to access scalable, dependable, and highly secure computing power – has meant we are naturally playing an important role in the response to COVID-19, both at the global and local level.”

“Firstly, we are making it as easy as possible for all customers to access the technology and technical support they need right now, Chen stated. “Secondly, we are focused on lending our unique capabilities to the long-term recovery effort. One of the areas where we can meet an urgent need is supporting diagnostic research. By providing data and cloud-based tools, we aim to help experts better understand and track the coronavirus, and more effectively test people for COVID-19.”

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