VOICE OF THE MALAYSIAN TECH INDUSTRY
WORLD CLASS SPEAKERS TO GRACE THE PODIUM AT WCIT 2022
VOL. 4 • NO. 3 • 2021 RM10
Dr William Lim Executive Director
Dr Sean Seah
(DBA) Executive Chairman
of Angkasa-X Holdings Corp
talk about their company’s
Space Tech Journey
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Cover Story Dr Sean Seah, (DBA) Executive Chairman & Dr William Lim, Executive Director of Angkasa-X Holdings Corp
Pikom Chairman Message
An Exciting Frontier ANGKASA X’S Space Tech Journey
ANGKASA-X Secures RM4 million from Crowd Funding Exercise
Taking Off On The Right Launch Pad
New Hope For Malaysia’s Space Industry
Taking Malaysia To Greater Heights
Malaysia Spacetech Aspirations Taking Off With Spacetech Hub Creation
World-Class Speakers to Grace The Podium At WCIT2022
WCIT 2022 Announces Fusinex As Platinum Sponsor and Technology Partner
Netapp Predictions 2022
Vol 4 No. 3
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PIKOM MUST REMAIN RELEVANT IN THESE TIMES, SAYS NEW CHAIRMAN Picking up the baton as Malaysia transitions into normalcy, new PIKOM Chairman Dr Sean Seah is brimming with plans for the association. But, before that, he says PIKOM must take stock of the new dynamics the digital industry finds itself in, and then seek to make itself relevant to all its members.
he pandemic has changed many things. PIKOM Chairman Dr Sean Seah admits that what worked two years ago may not work today and, while PIKOM has been the voice of the Malaysian tech industry for 35 years, he is also brave enough to admit that the very phrase ‘the Malaysian tech Industry’ has to be relooked. “At this point in history, the industry is no longer ONE industry it is an enabler to a whole host of industries. We have startups, the gig economy, eGovernment, eHealth, eSports, and so on. Everyone in these sectors uses digital technology, and so we have to learn how PIKOM, as an umbrella body, can effectively represent every one of them,” says Dr Seah. “At the end of the day, these businesses, even the one-manshow gig worker must be able to say that they were well represented by PIKOM. Only then can we justify our slogan. Only then can PIKOM remain relevant in these times.”
DIGITAL TRANSFORMATION In light of this, he says PIKOM needs to come up with strategies to reinvent itself. While the pandemic has curtailed industry growth by some years, it has also seen the development of a number of outstanding tech innovations. The tech industry must build on these innovations especially in the
areas of artificial intelligence, robotics and space technology. This can create consumer confidence and help the country revive, he says. Another issue of the industry is the widening of the digital skills gap. In the last two years, PIKOM has collaborated with the Human Resources Development Fund (now HRDCorp) on the National Economic
Recovery Plan, better known as PENJANA, to bridge this gap. “We have conducted online training for more than 500 unemployed graduates, youths from the B40 group, SME owners and retrenched workers. We hope to train another 500 Malaysians in the coming months. We are looking at practical and hybrid trainings as well.”
BUILDING A SPACE TECHNOLOGY ECOSYSTEM WILL CREATE JOBS AND BRING IN FOREIGN INVESTORS, HELPING US GROW AND STRENGTHEN THE SPACE INDUSTRY.
Dr Seah also wants to continue collaborating with MDEC in developing the local talent pool. The association also remains committed to working with MQA to drive and develop qualified school leavers through the STEM programme.
MAKING THAT LEAP While overall digital adoption has grown during the pandemic, Malaysia still lags behind international peers in terms of digital adoption by businesses. What would it take for Malaysia to make that leap? Dr Seah says connectivity is key. The pandemic has revealed this and, early this year, the government has responded with plans to spend RM15 billion on 5G technology, but Dr Seah wants to make sure that no group is left behind. “Connectivity is important but PIKOM has to do a balancing act by giving honest feedback to the government,” he says citing the plight of Malaysians in rural and remote areas such as those living in mountainous regions and far off islands who will likely not benefit from the national 5G efforts. “It is important that when we talk about the digital divide, we must look at connectivity for everyone. Malaysia can take the lead in the region by providing equal distribution of internet and connectivity for everyone using a constellation
of low-earth orbit satellites. This is an all-encompassing digital transformation strategy, and I am confident we can do this,” he says. “Right now, for the rural poor, staying connected means keeping in touch with relatives but we can do more. Think digital technology for farming, fishery and agribusiness. After this we must look at developing an ecosystem for the application of these technologies. “Building a space technology ecosystem will create jobs and bring in foreign investors, helping us grow and strengthen the space industry.”
ON THE WORLD MAP In September next year, the association looks forward to hosting the World Congress on Information Technology (WCIT 2022) in Penang. Some 4000 delegates including captains of the industry is expected to attend this hybrid event. “WCIT 2022 together with the 1 0-day TechFest Penang, which will see a total of 45,000 people converging on the island, benefiting the nation by putting Malaysian technology, innovation and hospitality on the world map.” Dr Seah adds that PIKOM has a good standing in the international arena. He is the Deputy Chairman of the World Innovation, Technology and Services Alliance (WITSA) and was re-elected as Chairman of the
WITSA Finance Committee for the 2020-2022 term. PIKOM Councillor Stan Singh, meanwhile, is the Chairman of the Asia Pacific ICT Alliance (APICTA). “For the longest time PIKOM has not been able to separate itself from the PC Fair branding despite abandoning the event eight years ago. Ask anyone what PIKOM is and they will say PC Fair. Needless to say, it was a great event and it’s time to make PIKOM glorious again with these world-class and regional events.”
NUTS AND BOLTS An industrious entrepreneur – he is the founder and the CEO of Angkasa-X, the founder and Executive Chairman of AsiaFIN Holdings Corp and the Chief Investment Officer of SEATech Ventures Corp – Dr Seah promises to be a hands-on Chairman for PIKOM. He says he will reserve Tuesdays and Thursdays on his calendar for the association. “It has been our tradition to involve the Immediate Past Chairman in our work. I will also involve my Deputy Chairman more – he will not just be a backup – I will involve him in all activities that I am involved in.” “The team will also have three Honorary Chairmen. All this will make PIKOM stronger and louder. This is my strategy. No one owns PIKOM. The more people want to contribute to the association the better. I welcome the participation of anyone who has ideas and who wants to contribute. These are people who want to serve and we must encourage them.” The association currently has 1000 corporate and individual members. Dr Seah aims to double this figure in his two-year term in office. “2022-2024 will be all about connectivity, ecommerce and spacetech.”
AN EXCITING FRONTIER – ANGKASA X’S SPACE TECH JOURNEY “To boldly go where no one has gone before!” This could be the driving force for some people. But for Angkasa-X CEO Dr Sean Seah and Executive Director Dr William Lim, providing Internet connectivity for everyone – regardless of technology and location – is what drives them on their space journey.
he internet is increasing the income and socioeconomic disparity, and this fact was all the more glaring in the last two years, thanks to COVID-19 and its many lockdowns. Children’s education, businesses, medical consultation were, at best spotty, depending on our bandwidth and Internet connection. The situation for the poor in both urban and rural areas as well as those in remote areas were especially tough. It was as if life stood still for a bit, and yet there were still mouths to feed, bills to pay and learning to keep up with. “At the end of the day, our objective is to provide an alternative broadband internet connectivity network to the underserved people in far off places such as mountainous regions and on islands who still do not have good, if not any, internet connection,” said Dr William Lim. “This is what drives Sean and I with our Angkasa-X project.” In fact, it was the challenges of connectivity coupled with the pandemic that put Dr Seah on his space tech journey. Like most of us, at the height of the pandemic, he was working from home with the family and, at peak hours of the day when
school and meetings were going on, the household was competing for precious bandwidth. “We were caught unprepared,” Dr Seah told myIT. “There were many challenges which state-ofthe-art technology could have resolved. The solution is satellite connectivity. If the pandemic did not happen, I would not have incorporated Angkasa-X to provide an alternative internet broadband connectivity via LEO satellite ”
ONE-WAY TICKET Angkasa-X plans to establish a constellation of low-Earth orbit (LEO) satellites, some 500 satellites, which will provide an alternative to 4G/5G’s ground-laid fibre optic network. Wait, 500? “Many people are unclear of what a satellite is. They think it is a huge and heavy contraption that resembles a rocket. A LEO satellite is what is known as a CubeSat satellite circling earth at Low Earth Orbit,” offers Dr Seah. “A CubeSat is a type of nano satellite that measures 10cm x 10cm x 10cm in size. It weighs a little more than 1kg, is powered by solar panels, padded with heat insulators and can travel at 27,000km/hr circling the earth. It is durable and can perform
a number of applications depending on its fitted payload.” “In the last few months, we have made significant progress in our work. We have completed the design of our LEO satellites, which will feature three payloads in one satellite; Automatic Identification System (AIS), Earth Observation (EO) and The Internet of Things (IoT). It is one of the first of its kind for LEO satellite in this region. We aim to deploy our first LEO satellite by end 2022,” said Dr Lim. “The LEO satellite must be fully tested and certified to be in good working condition before we send it out into orbit. It’s a one-way ticket and if it is not functioning, we will not be able to control it,” says Dr Lim. The government under the 12th Malaysia Plan placed CubeSats in the category of systems integration. Dr Seah, new Chairman of the National ICT Association of Malaysia (PIKOM), says the association is the largest body in Malaysia with hundreds of members involved in systems integration. “We are in the perfect position to give this industry a boost. Our members have expertise in infrastructure, hardware, software, programming, etc, all the nuts and bolts to build, deploy and sustain a satellite industry,” Dr Seah added.
A LEO SATELLITE IS WHAT IS KNOWN AS A CUBESAT SATELLITE CIRCLING EARTH AT LOW EARTH ORBIT.
- Dr Sean Seah, CEO of Angkasa-X
OUR OBJECTIVE IS TO PROVIDE AN ALTERNATIVE BROADBAND INTERNET CONNECTIVITY NETWORK TO THE UNDERSERVED PEOPLE IN FAR OFF PLACES.
- Dr William Lim, Executive Director of Angkasa-X
BUILDING AN ECO-SYSTEM But before satellites are launched into space, there must be an ecosystem to support. Dr Seah takes a leaf out of our national carmaker Proton’s book. “Malaysia’s automobile industry was built from scratch. Today we have the manpower, the brainpower and the infrastructure for this industry. Look at Proton City in Tanjung Malim, Perak,” says Dr Seah. In line with this, Angkasa-X is working with Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM) in Penang to offer professional courses in satellite engineering for its undergraduates as well as certification for external students. The company is in the midst of refurbishing USM’s existing Aerospace Engineering faculty with a state-of-the-art AIT, known as
Assembly, Integration and Testing Centre including a training lab, that will see equipment such as threedimensional(3D) simulation platform, Spacecraft ADCS Dynamic Simulator, Terra Space Environment Simulators, Electrical & Mechanical Work Bench, Nanosatellite Payload Development Pack, Augmented Reality Pack, OrbitCraft 3D Functional Kit and many more to facilitate students with their practical as well as theoretical training in the professional satellite engineering courses. These courses will be offered after mid 2022.
‘BUATAN MALAYSIA’ Besides backings from the industry via PIKOM and non-profit organisations such as the Malaysia Space Initiative (MiSI), Angkasa-X has also gleaned the support of
Malaysian Space Agency (MYSA), which is parked under the Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation. “MYSA Director General Tuan Haji Azlikamil Napiah has given his verbal commitment to support Angkasa-X in the building of the satellite and in the shaping of the ecosystem. “I feel this is a perfect match as it is something which the country has always wanted to do. Not many know that even before Elon Musk launched his LEO satellite into space in 2018, Malaysia launched a remote sensing earth observation satellite back in July 2009. “Malaysia started investing in this as early as the year 2000. Back then we churned out a number of qualified satellite engineers. After some years, however, the project was discontinued. The local talents
moved on to other industries. Some went abroad and are employed by satellite making companies in South Korea, Japan and the UAE. “Perhaps it was a little premature, at that time 20 years ago. It was also very costly. The total investment for the project has dropped significantly. “Now the public sector is ready to take the lead with financial backings from the capital market. With Angkasa-X, we hope to relive this Malaysian dream of exploring space and providing internet connection not just to Malaysians but also to those living in rural areas in Southeast Asia. Hopefully we will be able to put Malaysia on the world map again where space exploration is concerned. In the meantime, we are proud to say that this is truly a ‘Buatan Malaysia’ satellite.
PIECE OF THE SPACE PIE In mid-December, PIKOM launched the event SpaceTech Malaysia at the National Science Centre in Kuala Lumpur. It featured a panel
session on ‘SpaceTech Ecosystem Development in Malaysia’. The global SpaceTech industry is expected to generate a revenue of USD 10 trillion in 2030, and Malaysia wants a piece of this. “I see this industry as a catalyst for Malaysia’s post pandemic recovery. At times like this, we need something new to resuscitate the economy. A 100% Internet connectivity can provide better social inclusion, it can close the gap between the rich and poor in urban areas. It can spur economic activity, especially in areas that do not have connectivity. “The SpaceTech industry, or space economy, would create a slew of many other industries as we design, build, test and launch the satellites here. “We will source up to 70% of the components from SMEs locally. This will establish jobs, create industry experts, bringing in foreign direct investments and help the nation execute its digital transformation strategy,” said Dr Lim.
DREAM BIG The Covid-19 pandemic has seen many enterprising entrepreneurs come up with exciting business plans. Dr Seah and Dr Lim have come up with not just a business plan but an out-of-this-world industry plan. What keeps them grounded? “I think it is reflecting on what can be delivered. If your dreams are bigger than your ability to execute them, then you are misdriven. Look at Elon Musk, I admire him not because of his big dreams but of his ability to execute,” says Dr Seah. “How do I get inspired? By reflecting on the pain points and the needs of people. At the end of the day, we are solution providers. It is our desire to work for the betterment of mankind that keeps us going. “If our focus is on making money then it will be just another business. But we are inspired to help people and to find solutions. This can drive you to do great things,” says Dr Lim.
FEATURE / ANGKASA-X
ANGKASA-X SECURES RM4 MILLION FROM CROWD FUNDING EXERCISE Angkasa-X closes crowd funding exercise with RM4 million in investments.
ngkasa-X has successfully raised RM4,053,115 from 202 investors for its satellite endeavor. With that, in early January 2022, the company closed its equity crowdfunding (ECF) exercise. The Angkasa-X bid has emerged as the top five most invested ECF campaign in early Dec 2021. This places Angkasa-X on the sure path towards launching its first satellite later this year. PIKOM Chairman, Dr Sean Seah, who is also CEO and Founder of Angkasa-X Holdings Corporation, believes that Malaysia’s space project will spur the development of a network of profitable businesses that create and share resources. “There is potential for Malaysia to host a SpaceTech ecosystem. This will be the first in the ASEAN region. “I believe it is time for us to come together, to collaborate and develop an ecosystem,” he said, speaking to a room full of like-minded space enthusiasts, business people and academics at the launch of Malaysia’s
SpaceTech event held at Pusat Sains Negara in Damansara, Kuala Lumpur. “Malaysia has been at the forefront of the space technology since early 2000 with the setting up of special agencies to spearhead the nascent industry. This has enabled the country to develop the technical expertise and talent for the SpaceTech ecosystem. “The boom in private SpaceTech initiatives in recent years places Malaysia in good stead for the next phase of growth. It makes the SpaceTech industry an extremely prospective and lucrative sector for investors,” he said. The event was graced by Tuan Haji Azlikamil Napiah, Director General Malaysian Space Agency (MYSA), Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation (MOSTI). In his speech, Hj Azlikamil said Malaysia has had a footprint in the space industry since 1988. Malaysia has been involved in the SpaceTech since the launching of satellites MeaSAT 1 and MeaSAT 2
(1996), TiungSAT-1 (2000), MeaSAT 3 (2006) and RazakSat (2009). RazakSat is a designed-in-Malaysia Earth-observation Low-Earth-Orbit (LEO) satellite that was launched into near-equatorial orbit in 2009 by SpaceX’s Falcon-1 rocket. He said the country must move from user to producer of space technology. It must look at how it can champion space technology in the region. “Space technology can contribute to the nation’s economy and wellbeing. MYSA is driving the national development of space technology in the country. By mid-2022, we will launch a strategic plan for this industry.” This, he said, will be closely aligned to the pillars of the National Space Policy 2030 in order to contribute at least RM3.2 billion or 0.3 per cent to the Gross Domestic Product by 2030. It is expected to create 5,000 new jobs. “The Malaysian Space Board Bill 2020, passed in Oct 2021, will
“The boom in private SpaceTech initiatives in recent years places Malaysia in good stead for the next phase of growth. It makes the SpaceTech industry an extremely prospective and lucrative sector for investors.” regulate the space industry in Malaysia, allow Malaysia to better coordinate its space activities, harness its potential and ensure that it is in line with international standards.” Aiza Azreen Ahmad, Multimedia Development Corporation (MDEC) Chief Digital Business Officer, in her speech, said the launch event was the start of something “different”. A SpaceTech ecosystem will see the emergence of tech inventions and the adoption of large-scale digital infrastructure. “MDEC can support and help start-ups in the space tech industry,” she pledged. Dr William Lim, Executive Director of Angkasa-X Group, said the company was proud to be part of the SpaceTech initiative. In his speech, he also revealed that in the last quarter of 2021, Angkasa-X had signed up with a satellite launch company and booked its flight for its first satellite. Meanwhile, Dr Norilmi Amilia, EXCO Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM), said more private companies are entering the space industry. This will change the country’s space landscape. “It is a new space business era. USM supports Angkasa-X by providing trainers for aerospace engineering, computer science, and electrical and electronics engineering as well as opening its laboratory facilities to students. USM will manufacture six new satellites. These will be the first satellites to be built in a university in Malaysia. “We will also facilitate the development of the next generation of talent pool. We are happy that the private sector is leading this initiative,” she said. The launch event also saw representatives from Universiti
Institute Technology Mara and Universiti Putra Malaysia, as well as tech company leaders related to the space industry and satellite communications. The panel discussion at the launch event kicked off with a conversation on how the local SpaceTech landscape has transformed over the years from single proprietary system to integrated multi-component systems much like the integration witnessed in the information technology industry. Computer systems embedding artificial intelligence, machine learning, software and robotics are now frontier technologies in the SpaceTech landscape. The same with communications technology, cloud technology, navigation and mapping which are supported by the financial, consulting, training, research, education and HR sectors. IT applications of space technology are wide ranging from internet connectivity, IoT, navigational tracking, disaster management, resource management, governance, meteorology, defence and security. It is forecasted that the global SpaceTech economy is to grow to an estimated 10 trillion by 2030 from USD380 billion in 2020. Spacerelated investment funding for AsiaPacific at USD41.7 billion is ranked second after North America and is gaining momentum. Dr Seah said he is confident Malaysia can lead the world in space engineering. “Malaysia’s National Space Policy was launched in 2019, a little late, nevertheless it is a very comprehensive document. It paves the way for Malaysia to play a bigger role in the international arena,” he said. “The space race is on. There are
already 2,500 satellites in space. Very soon the number will hit 75,000. It is basically a land grab, or space grab, if you want. The ITU filing is on a firstcome-first-serve basis. Hence, the sense of urgency. If we don’t have a plan, we don’t stand a chance in this space race.” The International Telecommunication Union, or ITU, is a special agency of the United Nations. Before a satellite is launched, its owners must first make a satellite filing in order to obtain international recognition. “There are certain challenges to file for ITU slots. Our team has to give an analysis of our mission in order to file for orbital slots.” Malaysia is an active member of the ITU and has been championing equitable access on satellite orbit rights through public and private sector participation. PIKOM, said Dr Seah, currently has three companies, namely Angkasa-X, Celcom and MeaSAT, that have been admitted as ITU_R members. These companies can apply and secure orbital slots and radio spectrum to launch their satellites. “PIKOM will become the central voice of the SpaceTech industry based on its proficiency in technology and system integration, which are the backbones of the space tech and satellite engineering. “PIKOM believes that it should drive the space tech development forward as the association has over 1,000 corporate members equipped with the capability, technology and talent to work with industry, government and academia. “Our members are very excited to see the potential collaboration and to see through this growth for the country.”
FEATURE / ANGKASA-X
TAKING OFF ON THE RIGHT LAUNCH PAD Assoc Prof Dr Farzad Ismail, School of Aerospace Engineering, Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM) shares his thoughts on the importance of industry and academia working together on Malaysia’s space ecosystem. The LEO satellite project must be built on the right foundation. Industries and academia must work in tandem, he says.
my.iT: Please tell me about the School of Aerospace Engineering in USM – a brief background, how competitive the program is, some of your well-known alumni, etc. Dr Farzad: The School of Aerospace Engineering (SAE) in USM was founded in 1999. It is the only aerospace programme in the northern region of Malaysia. Currently, it has 40-plus staff of which half are lecturers. The fouryear undergraduate Aerospace Engineering programme at USM is accredited by the US-Washington Accord through the Board of Engineers Malaysia. There are more than 250 undergraduate and postgraduate students at SAE. The postgraduate education offers both MSc and PhD in research mode. The student population consists of 80% local students and 20% international students. Our undergraduate programme is highly competitive with about only 5-7% success rate for admission each year. Some of our well-known alumni includes Hong Yong Guan (B.Eng 2016), the co-founder of Poladrone; Shah Rizal Ahamad Sha (B.Eng 2007), UTC Aerospace System and Professor Ir Dr Kamarul Ariffin Ahmad (B. Eng 2001) who is now the Head of Department of Aerospace Engineering at UPM. my.iT: What is the mission of USM’s School of Aerospace Engineering? Dr Farzad: We aim to provide quality and innovative teaching and maintain accreditation for its degree programme; to achieve research excellence; to establish and enhance the collaboration with industries for education and research; to serve the society and country by providing the latest knowledge and technology. my.iT: How would you describe the partnership between USM and
Angkasa-X? Why partnerships like these are important? Dr Farzad: The COVID-19 pandemic has caused an unprecedented global disruption. But the pandemic has sustainable online teaching and learning on a massive scale in both urban and rural areas. It is well known that there is a severe limitation of internet connectivity in the rural areas especially in Malaysia. Currently there is no outfit in Malaysia that can provide the required connectivity, at within a reasonable cost. Besides economic reasons, USM and Angkasa-X share a mutual goal in terms of social responsibility. It is about doing something that will have an impact on society. The idea of providing an affordable internet connectivity through satellite services to the poor transforming the economic and social well-being of the bottom billion population. USM and Angkasa-X strive to be the academic-industry partnership in Malaysia that will deliver the first constellation of Low-Earth-Orbit (LEO) satellite services not only to Malaysia but also for the whole ASEAN region. This collaboration is likely a once- in-a-lifetime opportunity. my.iT: How do you see Malaysia’s space story developing in this decade? Dr Farzad: Currently the global space economy is worth USD400 billion (ESPI 2020 report) and is expected to be a multi-trilliondollar economy by 2040. If Malaysia can tap just 1% of this market, it will still be a multi-billion-dollar industry creating new sub- industries and job opportunities in country. A new horizon is on the cards and, together with Angkasa-X, USM Aerospace wants to be the key player in the Malaysian space ecosystem.
my.iT: What could prove to be a hurdle for this growth? Dr Farzad: There is a similar, wellknown foreign outfit called Space X, a direct competitor that already has a few years of head start. Due to the broadcasting restrictions to foreign entities by the local authorities in ASEAN countries, it will be difficult for Space X to penetrate this region. As of now, I do not think Space X has gained permission to provide satellite services in Malaysia or any other ASEAN countries but this scenario can change. In other words, if USM and Angkasa-X cannot deliver internet services using LEO satellites within a sensible period of time then this golden opportunity will be taken up by Space X or some other outfit. my.iT: What can we do to accelerate the growth of space technology in the country? Dr Farzad: The LEO satellite project must be built on the right foundation. It requires having the space ecosystem as shown in the figure below. (Table 1) The most important aspect is that industries and academia must work in tandem. The former will produce the required human capital through education, training and cutting-edge research to support the needs of the industry, which can be divided into upstream and downstream. The upstream portion includes companies that design, manufacture and operate satellites and possibly also work with rocket launchers. The downstream involves secondary entities that deal with the communication and navigation of satellites. For a rapid and sustainable growth of the satellite industry, a clear directive from the upstream and downstream industries not only in terms of the technology required but also the type of human capital that will be employed. With clear
Table 1 UPSTREAM Satellite Manufacturing, Satellite Operator, Rocket/Laucher Manufacturing
NON FORMAL SPACE EDUCATION NGCS, Industries
REGULATORS, MINISTRY, GOVERNMENT AGENCIES
RESEARCH Universities, Governmenet Agencies
DOWNSTREAM Communication, to, Navigation Satellite
Taken from European Space Policy Institute Report - New Space in Asia 2020 (Chapter 8-written by Norilmi Ismail et al.)
directive, universities can streamline their curriculum and focus their research efforts to meet these needs. This engagement between industries and academia must be continuous until the expected target is met. Other than that, NGOs and secondary schools must provide a non-formal education via STEM learning or through extra-curricular activities to instil the interest in space during the youths’ formative years. Central to all this are the government agencies, ministries, state and regulators to support the space ecosystem through coordination, laws and regulations. my.iT: What are the spill overs of a great national space programme, for instance in agriculture transport, environment? What about
“technology transfer” from the space programme into other commercial products? Dr Farzad: The LEO satellites orbit closer to Earth compared to Geosynchronous satellites hence the signal propagation from Earth to satellite and back for the former is much quicker (about 15 times faster). This low latency time of LEO satellites not only provides a more efficient communication services but will also afford the ultimate platform for Internet-of-Things (IOT) in Malaysia and ASEAN as part of the IR 4.0 revolution. This will open up many IoT prospects which covers land, sea and air transport services, machinery operations in factories and agricultural farms, environmental management and control and many more.
FEATURE / ANGKASA-X
NEW HOPE FOR MALAYSIA’S SPACE INDUSTRY Norilmi Amilia Ismail, Founder at SpaceIn, NGO Malaysia Space Initiative, tells my.iT how better connectivity can help improve the lives of Malaysians in far off, remote areas and those in the region. The new space economy will see more private industries involved in the upstream sector and working closely with universities in terms of human capital and R&D.
my.iT: Please tell me about MiSI and SpaceIn – how it started and its goals. Norilmi: MiSI was founded by five young space enthusiasts in 2017 looking for a platform to gather all space enthusiasts to push forward the space agenda. We met at an international conference and were introduced to each other. We realised there was no significant space programme by the Government after the launch of RazakSat in 2009. We formed MiSI a year after meeting each other. I was its first President. Our mission, was for Malaysians to learn more about space; to promote entrepreneurship in the space industry; to promote understanding of issues concerning the space industry; and to promote collaboration between government, industry and academia to advance the space industry. Meanwhile, as a lecturer, I found that my students didn’t have the opportunity to work in the space industry. The industry is small and few private Malaysian companies are involved in space activities. With USM’s blessings and seed funding, I created SpaceIn in 2020. SpaceIn aims to spearhead space exploration activities in Malaysia. We believe in the liberty of space discovery through low cost and commercially accessible technologies. SpaceIn is focusing on developing a PocketQube satellite weighing less than 1kg for IoT application. We also provide High Altitude Balloon Service for space photography and near-space experiment. In order to make space accessible to everyone, we provide space education to the younger generation through CanSat Kit for Education (CaKeD). my.iT: What sparked your interest in space? Norilmi: I challenged myself to take on Aerospace engineering in my
undergraduate days despite knowing that the field was new for Malaysia at that time. I was the third batch who graduated from USM. I worked in the automobile industry for two years and then decided to move back to the space field by furthering my studies in Space Mission Analysis and Design. It was then that I fell in love with space. I met many people in the space industry and found similarities between myself and them. my.iT: What has MiSI and SpaceIn achieved thus far? Norilmi: MiSI is a good platform for space enthusiasts. In our first year, we were recognised by Malaysia Space Agency. We organised Space Entrepreneurship Symposium and got involved in the start-up festival to introduce space entrepreneurship. We also successfully organised the Malaysia-Singapore space summit in 2018 to foster collaboration in space organisations between the two countries. Within a year Malaysia’s USM and UPM were working with Singapore’s NTU in near-space programmes. MiSI also hosted a series of webinars during the pandemics and attracted many space enthusiasts in Malaysia to participate. I can say proudly, MiSI has now become a significant platform for academia, industry and government to sit together to plan, discuss and have space activities together. SpaceIn, meanwhile, managed to create revenues and hired fresh local talents to get involved in Pocketqube projects and space education. We have been selected to be part of the Singapore Space and Technology Ltd (SSTL) Space Accelerator Program. SSTL works with local and international start-ups of varying maturity levels from pre-seed up to Series B working on hardware products and services through the programme.
My.iT: What do you think about the Angkasa-X project? Norilmi: The Angkasa-X project gives new hope to the space industry in Malaysia. All ASEAN nations stand to benefit from this project. It provides the solution for the connectivity problem in ASEAN and should be fully supported. My.iT: How will it improve the lives of Malaysians? Norilmi: The project will improve the lives of Malaysian as connectivity is a necessity. We live in a digital era but sadly, some places in Malaysia do not benefit from it due to the lack of infrastructure for internet connectivity. By having satellite broadband internet connectivity, people in remote areas can be served with better connectivity for their educational activities and get involved in the gig economy. My.iT: In this decade how do you see Malaysia’s space story developing? Norilmi: Malaysia is following the trend of the new space economy. We will see more private industries involved in the upstream sector and working closely with universities in terms of human capital and R&D. Malaysia will have a clear direction set by the Government. Malaysian will see that this space industry will provide more jobs and contributes to Malaysia GDP. my.iT: What could prove to be a hurdle for this growth? Norilmi: Lack of political will can be a hurdle for growth. Even though the involvement of private sectors now shapes the industry, less government support can jeopardise the space program. The Government as a regulator shall protect their interest but at the same time should not implement regulations that will be a burden on the private sector. It
should be a win-win situation for both parties. my.iT: What should we do to accelerate this growth? Norilmi: All the stakeholders in the industry should collaborate to accelerate the growth. The Government must have a clear direction to drive the space programme in Malaysia. my.iT: How can the commercial/ private sector play a stronger role in developing space technology? Norilmi: The new space economy opens more opportunities for space exploration. Before this, funding for space exploration was limited, and what we had came from the Government. Hence the space project was less risky. In contrast, with the various funding resources utilised by private players, we can explore high-risk and high return projects. At the same time, we can also contribute to innovation in SpaceTech by working together with academia conducting R&D. my.iT: How will Malaysia’s space activities provide socio-economic value for the country? Norilmi: The daily life of almost every individual now depends on satellite applications such as navigation, the use of credit cards and weather updates. These satellite applications can develop a good business model for private industries. The business will generate income, create more jobs, solve any related problem, and provide socio-economic value. For example, satellite applications such as IoT and remote sensing images can help the agriculture, and oil and gas industries increase their productivity.
FEATURE / ANGKASA-X
TAKING MALAYSIA TO GREATER HEIGHTS Hafez Murtza, Founder Apadilangit, tells my.iT that Malaysia’s space program and the proposed Space Ecosystem has the potential to make Malaysia a highincome nation, take the country to greater heights and benefit the region.
my.iT: Please give us some background about Apadilangit, the idea behind its creation. Hafez: Five years ago, some parents and students asked me where they can learn about space. They were hoping to find classes or camps where they can send their kids to. There was none and so I came up with plans to establish a space education programme for Malaysia. Together with my best friend Amirul Hazim Kamarulzaman we actively shared our interests within our small communities. The name Apadilangit sparks curiosity for everyone about space. The associations grew rapidly after I returned from the International Training Centre for Astronomy (ITCA) in Bangkok in 2018. I was also actively involved in the NGO Malaysia Space Initiative. my.iT: How do you feel about Angkasa-X – its plans, mission, dreams? Hafez: Angkasa-X has a noble v ision to provide Asean with internet connectivity. Internet is part of our daily life. It is important for everyone in this region to have good access to the internet. The A-SEANLINK Satellite Constellation will close the gap of limited internet access in rural areas in this region. my.iT: What are your dreams for Malaysia’s space plans? Hafez: My dream is to ensure Malaysia become the leading nation in space technology in Southeast Asia. Malaysia has been active in the space industry since the first Measat satellite launch in 1996 and the sending of the 1st Southeast Asian astronaut to the International Space Station in 2007. Malaysia should champion this industry as it has a huge potential, and we stand to gain economically and socially.
my.iT: How can we achieve this dream? Hafez: Malaysian should believe that we have the capability to run a space program. We have a strong space agency, progressive space companies, talented engineers, passionate academia, proactive space NGO groups and energetic outreach space communities. We must have a clear vision when we build the Malaysian space ecosystem. All the groups above must collaborate to build a sustainable ecosystem. The key point here is working together as a Malaysia space family. my.iT: What is holding Malaysia back from becoming a space tech nation? Hafez: A famous Henry Ford quote, “Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t – you’re right”. This shoes how much attitude determines success or failure. The right mind set is important and attitude is contagious. The inner part of the human capacity is crucial to ensure Malaysia become a space nation. Doubts and bad attitude are always challenges to success. We must believe that we can be a space tech nation. my.iT: In this decade, how do you see Malaysia’s space story developing? Hafez: Parliament passed the Malaysia Space bill. This is a stepping stone for us to strategize and plan in terms of governance, financial and other support system. Other initiatives include Malaysia Space Exploration 2030, which gives us an idea of how Malaysia can propel itself in the space arena. On the right track, I believe Malaysia can lead the space tech sector in the region and bring benefits in terms of better connectivity to this region.
my.iT: What could prove to be a hurdle for this growth? Hafez: There are two things needed in developing our space capabilities. The first is talent development and second is capital. We must develop a sustainable pool of talent to support the industry. We must nurture this talent since a young age. Both formal and informal education is important. In terms of capital, we need to galvanize the private sectors with private-public partnerships. This will hasten growth. Higher confidence from financial institution and public will enhance the motivation of Malaysia space talent and the space companies. my.iT: What should we do to accelerate this growth? Hafez: Malaysians should be exposed to the national space mission. We should know the players and the basic ecosystem that will allow the public to participate. In order to go further,
everyone must see the benefits of space technology for the country. Also, all sectors must step up and play their role in ensuring the growth of this industry – the government, financial institutions, communication, manufacturing, innovators, educators, media and others. I personally believe that the collective input from every sector will accelerate the growth as everyone understand the benefit of space tech for Malaysia. my.iT: How can the commercial/ private sector play a stronger role in the development of space technology? Hafez: Cooperation and collaboration among both is important. Space economy is big, it requires cross talent as well as industries. With the rolling out of the Malaysia Space Bill and Malaysia Space Exploration 2030 mission, there will be more space for the private sector to jump in and participate.
In addition, with the emergence of IoT and even the IT sectors can benefit greatly. Malaysia Space Agency (MYSA), PIKOM and NGOs like Malaysia Space Initiatives can help coordinate match making sessions and talks for the private sector. my.iT: How will Malaysia’s space activities provide socio-economic value for the country? Hafez: Internet connectivity, communication, security, IoT, remote sensing, education, innovation, agriculture and tourism will be among the major pillars in providing socio-economic value for Malaysia. With the tech developed by the space industries, Malaysia can become a high-income nation and secure our sovereignty. In a nutshell, I believe the space industry will take the country to greater heights, and will benefit the region as well.
MALAYSIA SPACETECH ASPIRATIONS TAKING OFF WITH SPACETECH HUB CREATION Angkasa-X Signs MoUs with E&E manufacturing companies from Penang.
alaysia is keen on exploring and developing SpaceTech in recent years. While the government has expressed its commitment to rolling out the National Space Policy 2030, the industry is looking into reducing production costs, developing highend technology infrastructure and spurring the local industry’s capabilities. Seeing this opportunity, E&E manufacturing companies from Penang has signed MoUs with Angkasa-X, collectively as the Founding Members of the Malaysia SpaceTech Hub, to bolster crosssector cooperation in the field of space technology. Malaysia SpaceTech-Hub aims to congregate the manufacturing
industry players that are like-minded to come together and paves multiple opportunities for other sectors of the industry to collaborate and exchange expertise. Chairman of Angkasa-X Dr Sean Seah says, “The Malaysia SpacetechHub is aimed at enhancing the
industry’s capabilities in space technology manufacturing, data research, data analytics and innovation in big data processing, boosting the growth of local industrial sector players. This formation will be the start of the satellite manufacturing and data-
driven sectors working together in support of the government’s mandate towards National Space Policy 2030.” The MoU signing is partly driven by the Government’s support for the infrastructure development of SpaceTech in Malaysia. Currently, the government has developed an advanced space technology infrastructure that meets international standards with its satellite installation, integration and testing facilities which includes a satellite mission control facility and a remote sensing satellite ground station, located in Banting and Temerloh. If done right, the SpaceTech sector may fulfil the target GDP contribution of RM3.2billion and
potentially 5,000 jobs created in the next 10 years through the implementation of the National Space Policy 2030 (NSP2030). According to SpaceTech Global Report in 2021, the global SpaceTech industry is expected to generate revenue of $10T in 2030. The E&E companies in Penang will form the backbone of SpaceTech in the country and will be working closely with Angkasa-X to develop and enhance the SpaceTech ecosystem. Each company will bring its expertise and collaborate to realise the nation’s SpaceTech aspirations. Chief Minister of Penang, Chow Kon Yeow, witnessed the MoU signing ceremony. Other guests at the event include senior representatives from MYSA, MDEC, MIDA and USM. “We are certainly proud of this formation as it will spur more opportunities for the local industry to be part of an exciting new journey. This is in line with our wish to diversify investments beyond the traditional electrical and electronics (E&E) industry in Penang, and expand job opportunities whilst attracting more foreign investments. I hope the Malaysia SpaceTechHub will gather more interests and involvement amongst the industry players that see potential in SpaceTech,” added Chow.
The E&E companies that signed with Angkasa-X are as follows: 1. Swift Bridge Technologies Sdn Bhd 2. Cortex Robotics Sdn Bhd 3. MechModule Technology Sdn Bhd 4. Lingtec Instruments Sdn Bhd 5. HP Malaysia Manufacturing 6. GSH Precision Technology 7. AzPower Sdn Bhd 8. Texchem (M) Sdn Bhd 9. LBSB Sdn Bhd
FEATURE / WCIT 2022
WORLD-CLASS SPEAKERS TO GRACE THE PODIUM AT WCIT 2022 The organisers of the World Congress on Information Technology (WCIT) 2022, which will be held in Penang on September 2022, recently unveiled their first batch of confirmed speakers.
t the press conference, YAB Tuan Chow Kon Yeow, Chief Minister of Penang, said Malaysia received the baton from former host Bangladesh in November last year, and is in the midst of putting in place plans for Penang to host the international event. “It is now our turn to shine. We are eight months away from the most anticipated event of the year and, as we count down towards the event, each month, week and day is becoming increasingly critical,” he said. The WCIT2022, fondly known as the Olympics of the World’s Information Technology Industry,
is themed ‘Connecting and Transforming the World’. State investment arm, InvestPenang is the lead agency for the event. “We are delighted to announce that we have a stellar list of international speakers that will be headlining WCIT2022. These are the first batch of speakers that we have confirmed. We are expecting to confirm many more prominent, expert and world-renowned speakers in the coming weeks,” Chow said. Among them are: • Nancy Giordano, strategic futurist, Founder of PlayBig Inc and Author of LeaderING: The Ways Visionary Leaders Play Bigger;
• Mary-jo de Leeuw, one of Europe’s 20 Influential Women in Tech 2021 and Founder of International Women in Cyber Security Foundation; • Dr Soumitra Dutta, Dean Elect of Said Business School, Oxford University, Former Founding Dean of Cornell SC Johnson College of Business, President of Portulans Institute and the co-author of the Network Readiness Index; • Douglas Comstock, Deputy CFO for Agency Budget, Strategy and Performance at NASA; • Gina Romero, CEO of Connected Women, a social enterprise impacting 100,000 women;
• Dr William Magee, Founder of Operation Smile that seeks to improve the lives of many underprivileged children. Chow was speaking at a press conference after chairing the WCIT2022 Steering Committee meeting. Also present at the press conference were State Secretary Datuk Dr Ahmad Jailani Muhamed Yunus, InvestPenang Chief Executive Officer Datuk Loo Lee Lian and National Tech Association of Malaysia (PIKOM) Chairman Dr Sean Seah, who is also the Deputy Chairman of the World Information Technology and Services Alliance (WITSA). Chow added that WCIT2022 will also include local speakers from both the tech and non-tech worlds. Many of them are household names, tech unicorns and established business leaders, he said. Fusionex, a locally-based global technology solutions provider, will be the technology partner for WCIT2022. “Fusionex will roll out the online platform and conference app. It will also be handling the live streaming for WCIT 2022. With their past credentials of successfully rolling out the PIKOM Virtual Engagement Platform (VEP) and the WITSA Global Business Exchange (GBX), I am confident that they are the ideal partner for WCIT2022. “In light of this, I am optimistic that WCIT2022 will be a huge success for Penang and Malaysia,” he added. Meanwhile, PIKOM chairman Dr Sean Seah said that WCIT2022 promises a power-packed three-day event. “It will bring together a unique network of senior business executives, ICT industry leaders, government officials and internationally-recognised institutions. It will showcase the future of technology across various sectors some of which include education, health and lifestyle,
food, fintech, cybersecurity, smart cities, spacetech, agriculture and entrepreneurship. It will feature an exhibition, networking events, WITSA’s Awards Gala and much more.” After the announcement, Chow received a crystal plaque from Dr Sean Seah, symbolically representing the handover to Malaysia as the next host country for the WCIT. Cheah Kok Hoong, the Organising Chair of WCIT2022 promised the rolling-out of marketing plans via roadshows, engaging with heads
of the various sectors and industry partners in the coming few weeks. “We aim to deliver an exceptional experience for everyone in WCIT2022.” WCIT 2022 Malaysia is targeting more than 4,500 visionaries, captains of industry, government leaders and academics that span across over 80 countries. For more information on WCIT2022, delegate registration, sponsorship opportunities and exhibitor inquiries, visit www. wcit2022.com.
WCIT 2022 ANNOUNCES FUSIONEX AS PLATINUM SPONSOR AND TECHNOLOGY PARTNER Fusionex to provide WCIT 2022 online platform that offers seamless end-to-end overall delegate experience throughout WCIT 2022 in Penang.
IKOM has successfully signed up Fusionex as the WCIT 2022 Platinum sponsor valued at over RM1.5 million. This sponsorship includes the provision of an end-to-end WCIT 2022 online platform and application that features a comprehensive system to manage delegate registration, payment gateways, online event management, business leadretrieval, business matching and onsite check-ins, among others. More than 4,500 delegates are expected to attend the 3-day conference from over 80 countries to connect, engage and transform the future of technology that will change the way we conduct the business of tomorrow. Fusionex Group CEO Dato’ Seri Ivan Teh commented, “We are proud to be part of WCIT 2022 and honored by PIKOM’s trust in Fusionex to do our part in support of this global event.” According to PIKOM Chairman Dr Sean Seah, “We are indeed very proud to have our own homegrown multi-award-winning technology provider Fusionex be the first in supporting the World Congress. We
definitely look forward to seeing more tech companies be a part of this international event and showcase our capability to the world.” Penang Chief Minister YAB Tuan Chow Kon Yeow, expressed that he was impressed with Fusionex, “This could not have come at a better time. This year marks the 50th Anniversary of Penang celebrating our industrialization journey. As such, we are thrilled that WCIT 2022 will not only take place in Penang, but is being backed by the largest Big Data
Analytics company and market leader in ASEAN.” WCIT 2022 will be held in Penang from 13 to 15 September 2022, targeting more than 4,500 visionaries, captains of industry, government leaders and academics spanning over 80 countries. Known as the “Olympics of the World’s Information Technology Conferences”, it promises a power-packed 3-day event showcasing the future of technology across various sectors including education, health & lifestyle, food, cybersecurity, agriculture and entrepreneurship among others. Another main feature of WCIT 2022 is the 10-day Penang TechFest, taking place from 8 to18 September 2022. It will feature headlines that include 5G Zone with Autonomous Vehicle Testing, Street eSports, Smart Cities, SpaceTech, DroneTech, Artificial Intelligence, EduTech and more.
NETAPP PREDICTIONS 2022 Attributed to: Matthew Hurford, VP, Solutions Engineering & Field CTO, Asia Pacific, NetApp.
he evolution of technology is constant, driving organisations to continually invest in digital transformation initiatives. Where will the technology evolution lead in 2022? Below are the top technology trends and predictions by NetApp that will gain momentum in 2022 and beyond as the digital transformation accelerates.
“DIGITAL FIRST” AS NEW BUSINESS PARADIGM “While IT teams and IT leaders are historically called on to drive digitisation and increase value, the roles will be reversed in the postpandemic world. At NetApp, we
believe that Digital Transformation will continue to drive strategic decision-making as more enterprises gain a keener insight into its own operational rhythms and data fabric from any of its office across the globe. We see this, for example, in business analytics, where the analysis of user experience journeys become a crucial information source for realtime strategic decisions. We believe that the increasing convergence between digital and analog worlds will result in ‘digital-twin’ concepts being more widely adopted among enterprise. By harnessing this ‘digital-first’ paradigm, enterprises will be able to truly embrace agile developments, test processes
and respond to feedback virtually, even before concepts are being considered for rollout on a larger scale.”
CYBERSECURITY AND RESILIENCY “The pandemic has forced a hybrid workforce, and the past two years have triggered a rapid increase in ransomware attacks as with millions of endpoints connecting to the networks, opening up a multitude of new infection vectors. Companies are facing more threats to their data and ultimately their business than ever before. Accenture’s State of Cybersecurity Resilience 2021 report found that there were on average
FEATURE / NETAPP
270 attacks per company over this year, a 31 percent increase from 2020. Additionally, 81 percent of chief information security officers (CISOs) said that “staying ahead of attackers is a constant battle...” “Against the backdrop of these risks, we believe that enterprises will have to come to terms with the fact that it will be virtually impossible to cut off all threats of infection routes. For these reasons, NetApp recently announced ONTAP, the world’s first enterprise storage and data management platform to achieve Commercial Solutions for Classified (CSfC) validation for a data-at-rest capability package. With this, organisations across the globe can benefit from robust security capabilities to protect customers’ information on-premises and in remote locations from foreign actors, ransomware attacks or other data loss threats they may face.”
SUSTAINED IMPACT OF THE PANDEMIC AND CLOUD ACCELERATION “The global supply chain has been brought close to its breaking point by the COVID-19 pandemic and its impact on air, sea, and land travel. We predict that cloud adoption will accelerate faster as the supply chain constraints drive buyers to find alternatives to purchasing traditional on-premises infrastructure to meet demands. At the same time, optimisation of production lines and business processes can help the system to become more robust in the future. Marrying IT and Operational Technology (OT), for example through digital twin concepts and technology such as IIoT and analytics, has virtually limitless potential. “A recent 2021 NetApp Hybrid Cloud Enterprise Customer Adoption Survey revealed that this rate of acceleration will become even more rapid. 77 percent of executives interviewed globally plan to operate
their businesses in hybrid cloud environments for the foreseeable future to meet growing business demands for faster innovation, while optimising operations and lowering infrastructure costs. “A second driver of cloud acceleration revolves around the major change cycles that are experienced by workforces across Asia Pacific which have been triggered and sustained by the pandemic. Hybrid working environments are the expectation of employees moving forward. The ability to work anywhere will increase the digital capabilities businesses must provide to their staff. Controversially, the pandemic also shone the light on labour shortages surfacing quickly and unexpectedly. This will be both a challenge and opportunity for high-skill sectors like the IT industry. On one hand, there is bound to be fierce competition for skilled personnel; on the other hand, IT itself can deliver technologies that remedy the labour gap, such as low code, no code and AI software development. “Finally, the constant simplification of public services access and the services in general will drive broad buy in for digitisation. People are also going to be more comfortable with providing their data because they have experienced the positive impact of virtualised service delivery.”
PRODUCTISED AI “Artificial intelligence (AI) has been transformative in industries with access to huge datasets and trained algorithms to analyse and interpret them. In 2022, we will see AI permeate more industries, including agriculture, food production, fastfood chains, and the entertainment and hospitality sector. Agriculture and the food industry, for example, will tap on AI for packing and processing, while other sectors gain most from general automation and the simplification of processes.
“We predict that cloud adoption will accelerate faster as the supply chain constraints drive buyers to find alternatives to purchasing traditional on-premises infrastructure to meet demands.” “2022 will usher a new era where AI will become ‘productised’, in three ways. “First, managed services will become a primary delivery mode for AI as communications service providers (CSPs) double down on “Graphic Processing Unit (GPU)as-a-Service” type offerings. This is an important facilitator. A recent report suggested that Singapore’s reputation as a regional technology hub is being threatened by a widening tech skills gap, with a top-ranking central bank authority calling for more foreign immigration to address the crunch. As more industries use AI to remain competitive and innovate, there needs to be a solid technological foundation that can scale accordingly. Organisations need to move their AI projects from siloed infrastructure onto shared, virtualised, production environments, and managed IT services providers will offer critical
expertise to support strategic digital transformation initiatives, ensuring their customer’s IT strategies are cutting edge and remain highly scalable. “Next, tiny machine learning (tinyML) – the intersection of machine learning and embedded internet of things (IoT) devices. Over the past decade, we have witnessed the size of machine learning algorithms grow exponentially due to improvements in processor speeds and the advent of big data. Experts are forecasting a massive increase in AI at the edge, down to very low cost, extremely resource constrained edge devices. Think sensors rather than compute devices. This is another generation of devices that feed the ever-growing edge-core-cloud data pipeline, which industries need to access and leverage to differentiate themselves. “And, finally, the macro perspective on AI and ML becomes clearer. Countries and governments are guaranteed to invest in AI and ML capabilities to accelerate economic transformation and compete on a global basis. AI provides gamechanging solutions to enable organisations to emerge from the pandemic in a strong position. Gartner predicts that by 2025, the 10% of enterprises that establish AI engineering best practices will generate at least three times more value from their AI efforts than the 90% of enterprises that do not.” As more organisations increase their use of AI, they may face many challenges, including workload scalability and data availability. NetApp believes that one key success factor to address these challenges is the seamless replicating of data across sites and regions to create a cohesive and unified AI data pipeline by bringing together data management capabilities with popular open-source tools and frameworks.
DATA TRENDS “The value of data has never been clearer. However, more often than not, it remains siloed within applications, which means that it’s not being used as effectively as possible. At NetApp, we have been advocating a data fabric as a strategic approach to the enterprise storage operations, and Gartner predicts that by 2024, data fabric deployments will quadruple efficiency in data utilisation while cutting down human-driven data management tasks in half. “As technology continues to drive change and innovation, we are seeing the development of several technology sub-trends. First, analytics and optimisation of digital services. As automation and smarter applications take control, FinOps results are much easier to come by. This results in an increased return on investment (ROI) from cloud investments throughout the public and private sectors. “Second, production environments. We are seeing a clear move away from legacy applications towards containerised solutions and microservices to streamline workflows and deliver services. Third, specifically in data storage, Network Attached Storage (NAS) and Storage Area Network (SAN) will continue to be the technologies of choice to underpin digital innovation. Writeable storage media can also still be made more efficient.”
QUANTUM COMPUTING “As technology steadily increase, quantum computing is expected to re-accelerate the performance cycle postulated by Moore’s law. In early 2021, China established the world’s first integrated quantum communication network, and in October, launched the world’s fastest programmable quantum computers. While there has been increased talks on quantum computing, early use
cases are expected to be delivered as a service but will not come into fruition for some time. In reality, quantum computing remains uneconomic for solving real-world problems. But we are hopeful that the manufacturers in the different branches of IT – from security providers to hyperscalers, storage companies, to GSIs/global advisors – will offer greater clarity into their quantum computing strategy in 2022. We believe that these manufacturers will also theorise how they can deliver quantum computing innovation as a service for their customers and overcome branch-specific limitations, like building a data pipeline into the quantum computing cloud.”
SUSTAINABILITY “Green topics are on the rise – as demonstrated by the 2021 Climate Change Conference. Asia Pacific’s environmental, social and governance (ESG) assets under management (AUM) hit US$93 billion in Q3, with over 500 sustainability funds domiciled in the region and about 120 new funds launched in 2021. “NetApp has long been a leader in sustainability and began tackling the reconfiguration of its data centers to operate on green IT principles back in 2007. In our report ‘Breaking down the Glass House’ – released over five years ago – we explained how data storage providers could blaze a new path in building greener data centers that employ features and design to promote sustainability in terms of energy use and the physical space the center occupies, while maintaining or even increasing current efficiency. “Today, our climate risks have become a climate emergency. There is no better time than now to review what all of us can do in Tech to revisit these paths to delivering data-driven green innovation.”