Four out of five companies will not decrease their tech budgets this year, according to a study conducted by the International Data Corporation (IDC).

That’s a bold statement, given that in the same study, 80 per cent of companies reported that they expect a decline in revenue due to the pandemic. This points to the “potential of technology in enabling business resiliency in a recession,” said Sandra Ng, IDC Group Vice President, at the Huawei APAC Enterprise Digitalisation Summit.

Digital transformation will be crucial in helping organisations stay on top of the economic slowdown. We look at three case studies in which Huawei Cloud enabled governments and businesses in the region to speed up digital transformation.

1. Renewable energy

The State Grid Henan Electric Power Company in China is using the cloud to carry out large scale integration of renewables into its power grid. With the help of big data analysis, the company combined information on the real time output of renewable power stations, historical data, and local weather forecast.

This improved solar energy output certainty by 15 per cent, and that of wind power by 10 per cent, shared Edward Deng, Chief Marketing Officer, Cloud & AI Business Group, Huawei at the summit. This contribution of renewable energy is expected to reduce new power grid investments over the next 5 years by CNY15 billion (US$2.16 billion), he added.

The company used Huawei’s cloud and IoT platform to reduce the time taken for data collection and storage from four hours to 30 minutes, Huawei reported in July. Deng said that on top of increasing efficiency, the system is also used for monitoring the electric power company’s pollutant discharge and reducing pollution.

2. Smart city testbed

The state of Sarawak in Malaysia is trialing 5G-based smart city applications. The trials will take place in three phases, which will each test a different set of use cases, said Dr. Dayang Hanani Abang Ibrahim, Deputy Director, Digital at the Centre Of Technical Excellence Sarawak (CENTEXS).

The first phase will test the smart pole. A smart city needs a large number of sensors to collect data. AI-equipped cameras and other devices can be mounted on lamp posts, which are common along Sarawak’s streets. “The smart pole is the starting point and foothold of smart cities,” Dr Dayang said at the summit.

The smart pole can be combined with a smart surveillance system, which uses cameras with facial recognition tech to look out for wanted targets. It can also be equipped with a push-to-talk alarm, which connects citizens in distress to a central command centre. The city can then dispatch help to emergency sites much more quickly.

In the second phase, Sarawak will focus on smart buildings, Dr Dayang said. This includes using apps and other tech to remotely monitor and control a building’s security, temperature and air-conditioning system. CENTEXS will also work with global partners to explore AR and VR tech.

Finally, the third phase will focus on developing an integrated autonomous transport system. Sarawak will work on developing autonomous vehicles with environment sensing and automated operations.

CENTEXS is also driving efforts to equip young Sarawakians with technical and digital skills. The Centre is currently working with Huawei to develop certified ICT programmes, which cover areas such as storage, cloud and security, to meet the needs of a digital economy.

This builds on the work done by CENTEXS’s digital academy, which uses Huawei infrastructure in its training. The academy, spread across six campuses in Sarawak, focuses on training ICT skills relevant to multiple industries, including oil and gas, construction, and manufacturing. These industries were chosen to “match the current talent gaps in businesses”, said Dr Dayang.

3. Improve data processing

Daqing Oilfield, one of the largest oilfields in China, has benefited from the cloud in increasing its efficiency. It uses seismic exploration technologies to detect oil and gas reserves as it is a better option than drilling wells. But this method yields a lot of data, and needs to be very precise. A single seismic exploration work area now covers more than 2000 square kilometres, giving more than 1 TB of data per square kilometre.

The oilfield company turned to Huawei for help. The tech giant built a dedicated oil and gas exploration cloud, which increased seismic data processing capability by five times, and reduced the time needed to process exploration data from days to hours. The cloud also allowed Daqing to reanalyse 10PB worth of existing exploration data using AI and big data to find new insights.

Indeed, the cloud plays an important role in driving digital transformation and enabling companies to adapt to uncertain times. The Covid-19 pandemic has only highlighted the urgency for companies to take up the services that cloud platforms provide. In its “Building a Successful Hybrid Cloud Infrastructure” whitepaper, IDC wrote that “organizations that do not aggressively leverage these public cloud developer services will quickly find themselves isolated from most IT innovations in the marketplace.”

Huawei Cloud offers a wide array of services to help governments and businesses roll out new services and increase efficiency. With more than 3500 tools in its cloud marketplace, Huawei’s public cloud includes many stepping stones so users don’t have to develop services from scratch. This marketplace serves as a one-stop platform, and users can browse and use the applications just as they would on a smartphone app store.

The cloud holds great potential in helping organisations find their footing amidst times of economic turmoil. With the vast number of services it offers, organisations can quickly and easily adapt its services and operations to become more resilient.

Huawei Cloud Summit 2020, Singapore is happening on 28 August 2020. Learn about the latest trends and opportunities in cloud, AI and 5G from industry experts. Huawei will also announce an exciting new programme to fuel startup companies in the region. Register here today.