The growth of content delivery networks in ASEAN

In this picture taken on August 22, 2016, pedestrians walk past the Google Inc. offices in New York, USA. (Bloomberg/Michael Nagle)

The total population of the 10 ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) member states has grown to over 640 million people in 2017 as the region is home to about 339.2 million internet users. It is currently the fourth largest internet market. Google revealed that Southeast Asia is expanding at a rate of almost four million users a month, making it the fastest growing e-commerce market globally. Frost and Sullivan also reported Southeast Asia will become one of the world's fastest-growing regions for e-commerce revenues, exceeding 25 billion dollars by 2020.

According to a news release distributed by CDNetworks – a global CDN (content delivery network) – majority of Internet users in Southeast Asia's emerging markets are mobile natives and expect "everything as a service". They have little consumer loyalty and patience. They value sites that can offer them smooth and seamless experiences.

The latest report from cyber security firm Kaspersky Lab also stated that companies in Southeast Asia are among the most vulnerable in the world to computer hackers. Businesses could lose millions of dollars and customers due to cyber attacks.

“The threats in Southeast Asia are growing and companies have to protect against that,” Eugene Kaspersky, Founder and CEO of Kapersky Lab, said during a conference held in Saint Petersburg, Russia.

This demand for seamless web and mobile experience has led the bulk of Internet traffic to flow over to CDNs. CDNs will allow internet users to enjoy buffer-free videos and films, lag-free gaming as well as smoother and more secured online transactions. Cisco predicted that 62 percent of all Internet traffic in Asia Pacific will cross CDNs by 2021.

Aside from the end users, enterprises – from small and medium businesses to global corporations – will be able to benefit from partnering CDNs from their private networks, well-established infrastructure and local knowledge of emerging markets. With the help of CDNs, companies will be able to navigate local regulations and optimise the performance of their websites and applications based on local or regional telco partnerships to provide the best user experience. A CDN could also provide added security – a topmost concern for every online business – and data intelligence for insights into customer behaviour.