In a post earlier this month, we highlighted how Office 365 adoption has increased by 400% in Asian SMBs (Office 365 was first launched in Singapore, Australia, and New Zealand in June 2011). It appears that the optimism about cloud adoption is reflected in the metrics of at least one government body. According to the Singapore Economic Development Board, Singapore is home to approximately 50 percent of South East Asia’s data center capacity. Countries in this region include Cambodia, Thailand, Vietnam and Malaysia, Indonesia, Philippines, and others.

Moreover, the Singapore government has been aggressively pushing for the deployment and adoption of cloud services in the country. For instance, expenditures incurred on cloud computing services qualify for enhanced deduction under the Productivity and Innovation Credit (PIC) provision; this is essentially a 400% tax deduction on the amount spent on various purchases and training activities (PDF). If such payments are made to non-residents for services rendered in Singapore, a withholding tax of 10% of gross income will be applicable.

“Cloud adoption in Singapore will accelerate rapidly in the next few years,” says Clement Goh, managing Director of Equinix South Asia, a data center services provider. The statement came in a press release in which the company announced it is investing an additional US$28.5 million to increase the number of cabinets to 3,256. The fourth phase of the company’s expansion at the Singapore International Business Exchange (IBX) data center is expected to be available by the end of 2012, and is timed to meet customer demand in Singapore driven by the growth in cloud adoption.

“The rapid adoption of cloud services means that no business can ignore it anymore,” asserts David Loke, the executive director of ReadySpace Network Pte Ltd. ReadySpace is a Singapore cloud and managed hosting provider that also has offices in the United States, Hong Kong, and Malaysia. In anticipation for an upsurge in demand, Loke says his company is working with other cloud providers on pertinent security standards to bolster confidence in this sector.

It’s understandable why smaller businesses that are not able to afford the licensing and hardware costs of setting up their own Exchange or SharePoint servers would happily opt for a cloud offering. As a former IT professional who relies heavily on email, I first made the move from my own Exchange Server to Intermedia to cut down maintenance overhead before finally switching to Exchange Online when it was launched last year.

What are your experiences with using cloud services? Whether it is a disaster or a hassle-free encounter, please add your anecdote in the comments section.