Tapping the power of connected data through the Cloud

  • TECH
  • Wednesday, 30 Mar 2016

Cloud potential: In the APEJ region alone, there will be 8.6 billion connected "things".

The proliferation of connected devices is transforming the way we interact with each other and with objects around us. While the number of connected devices is already impressive, the key to business success lies in being able to use the data streamed from each device to extract insights that are both practical and intelligible.

Asia is expected to be at the forefront of the connected ecosystem revolution within the next five years, with analyst firm IDC predicting the Internet of Things (IoT) to be a US$678bil (RM2.7tril) market opportunity for Asia-Pacific, excluding Japan (APEJ).

In fact, in the APEJ region alone, there will be 8.6 billion connected "things". Recognising this opportunity, a number of governments across Asia have pushed ahead with digital economy initiatives that involve connected devices and the Cloud. Many companies in Asia Pacific are taking the initiative to innovate and disrupt their industries with the Cloud.


Digital connectivity is changing how healthcare services are being delivered. Remote areas that lack modern healthcare facilities and experts now have increased access to them. Lifetrack Medical Systems, an innovative healthcare solutions provider based in Manila, is addressing a shortage of radiologists by leveraging advanced cloud computing technologies.

Specifically, Lifetrack Medical Systems pairs resident radiologists with experienced local and international practitioners through the Cloud. Resident radiologists analyse medical scans in a browser-based viewer that supports their assessments with interactive educational content. A senior radiologist then reviews the report and provides comments. This cloud-based approach has greatly accelerated the learning process and raised the standard of resident radiologists.


Location-aware technologies and their sensors in our mobile devices, cars, and the environment have become ubiquitous. But the key to improving location services is data – lots of it. By analysing data collected about users' preferences, location-based services providers can develop offerings that let them improve customer experiences.

A great example is Grab, the Southeast Asian ride-hailing app. Grab leveraged the Cloud to create and deploy a system that matches customers to the nearest ride. Location-based services also afford Grab's customers a sense of security as the driver is tracked by the system throughout the journey.

Using the Cloud enables Grab to manage up to 1.5 million bookings in a day across six countries in South East Asia (Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, Philippines, Vietnam and Thailand) and analyse data related to the usage, location and trip experience of both the passengers and drivers to continually improve their customer experience.


In the quest to make financial services available to more people, a new breed of financial-technology companies are tackling the challenge of assessing creditworthiness. Traditionally, individuals who do not have a bank account or credit history will not receive credit.

Lenddo, a provider of credit scores for financial institutions with offices in India and the Philippines, is introducing thousands of new variables, such as social media data, to more accurately assess one's ability to pay. The analysis of vast numbers of data points is enabled by big data analytics, powered by today's most advanced Cloud Computing technologies.

Food & Beverage

It's not enough anymore to perform historical analysis. In situations where one needs to make well-informed decisions, the available data and insights must also be timely and immediately actionable. Cloud allows real time decision-making with on-the-fly processing of data, powering real-time dashboards and analytics.

Cloud platforms can scale as businesses continuously capture and store many data points from diverse sources such as website click-streams, financial transactions, and social media feeds to power data feeds that affect business decisions like dynamic pricing.

Akindo Sushiro (Sushiro), the market-leading sushi restaurant chain in Japan is a great example, with over 409 conveyor belt restaurants throughout the country. Harnessing the power of Cloud Computing, Sushiro analyses billions of data points on ordering behavior to forecast demand, reducing wastage and ultimately lowering costs.

Each plate on the conveyor belt is equipped with a RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) tag, allowing instant feedback to the kitchen whenever a customer lifts the plate off the belt. Displays in Sushiro restaurant kitchens show the type of sushi eaten and the raw materials required to replenish the belt.

The data is updated in two intervals of 60 seconds and 15 minutes from the point in time when customers place their orders. By deploying this unique Cloud-based real-time business intelligence model, Sushiro reduced raw material inventory and food disposal loss by 98.5%.

Today, the Cloud is the "new normal". Connected data that is driven by real-time, contextual and location-based insights has become increasingly ubiquitous, and Cloud Computing is playing a critical role in data collection, fast processing, analysis and collaboration, in turn enabling organisations to quickly gain the useful insights that have driven many successful business outcomes.

Given the enormous volumes of data that are generated by connected devices today, it is impossible to do it anywhere else efficiently but in the Cloud.

Shane Owenby is the managing director of Amazon Web Services, Asia Pacific.  

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