Why We’re Focused on Asia

IO Singapore Colocation Data Centre

For several years now, IO has been committed to growing globally – including in Asia. We opened our Singapore data center a year and a half ago, and in January this year, my wife and I moved to Singapore. Both moves are reflective of a commitment to continue growing in the region. Here are four reasons why we’re focused on Asia.

1. Because Asia is the emerging center of Internet

There are 639 million Internet users in the Americas and 467 million in Europe – 1.1 billion all together. There are 1.3 billion Internet users in Asia – and a population of 2.7 billion who have yet to get access.[1]

Just as they did in Silicon Valley, innovative digital companies are rising up to serve that demand. Less than two years beyond its IPO, Alibaba could become the largest company in the world.[2] The company’s success represents the definitive move of the Internet’s center to Asia. What Intel did for Silicon Valley, Alibaba is doing for Asia.

2. Because the world’s fastest-growing countries are in Asia

2015 will be a year of unprecedented economic growth in Asia. Low-cost capital, low-cost energy, and most of all internal demand will drive significant economic emergence in the region. A real internal economy is emerging throughout Asia. And Singapore is securing its place as the region’s top financial center.[3]

U.S. companies will follow that growth: Already, 82 percent of U.S. companies are looking to international expansion, half of which are targeting Asia Pacific.[4] No surprise: Asia Pacific is the fastest growing multi-tenant data center market in the world.[5]

3. Because Asia is our high-growth market

As a region, Asia is set to grow 6.7 percent in 2015. The U.S. is predicted to grow 3.2 percent and Europe, 1.1 percent.[6] We’re seeing the rapid emergence of homegrown Asian powerhouses like Alibaba, Samsung, and Tata.[7] The Chinese startup Xiaomi, founded less than five years ago, is already the world’s third-largest smartphone maker – and the company has to date only sold in Asia.[8]

U.S. companies are growing fast in Asia, too. Apple reportedly sold more iPhones in China than in the U.S. last year, for example.

IO has a tremendous opportunity to provide both regional and U.S.-based companies in Asia with secure, reliable data center colocation services. I believe that the best leaders lead by example. What better way to demonstrate to my colleagues at IO, and to our customers, that I see Asia as central to our future.

4. Because IO can solve two important challenges in Asia

Energy consumption in Asia grew 58 percent over the last decade.[9] As in the U.S., sustainability is a huge and important challenge in Asia. Increasing the efficiency of energy and water use is essential. These are challenges that the modular data center is perfectly equipped to address. IO data center modules are engineered and proven to utilize less power and water than traditional raised floor.

Today, there are both Asia-based companies (like StarHub) and U.S.-based companies (like Goldman Sachs) colocated in our Singapore data center. But some U.S.-based companies are still reticent to locate data center operations in Asia. My colleague Lauren Hendeles explained why a global data center footprint is important for global companies. A global footprint enables companies to deploy rapidly, safely, and sustainably in emerging markets.

I hope that through our commitment to growing in Asia, I can help take some of the fear out of colocating overseas. And show our customers and our employees why the future is in Asia.

George Slessman is Founder and CEO of IO. Founded in 2007, IO provides the data center as a service to businesses and governments around the world. Learn more about Singapore colocation. [1] ITU World Telecommunication, ICT Indicators data

[2] Alibaba CEO Jonathan Lu has said the company expects to triple the volume of transactions on its marketplaces to $490 billion by 2016, overtaking Wal-Mart as the world’s biggest retail network. See CNBC. Alibaba’s 2014 sales are estimated at $420 billion. See Forbes.

[3] Financial Times, “Singapore jostles with Hong Kong for financial crown,” 16 Oct 2014.

[4] IDC, “Taking the Fear Out of International Expansion for US Companies,” 2014.

[5] 451 Research, “Multi-Tenant Datacenter Global Providers – 2014,” 15 Aug 2014.

[6] World Bank, Global Economic Prospects data

[7] The Economist, “Business in Asia: How to keep roaring,” 31 May 2014.

[8] CNN, “Xiaomi’s new phone wants to be an iPhone killer,” 15 Jan 2015.

[9] World Bank, Energy Use data