In a study released by Microsoft on Monday, 78 percent of Asia Pacific decision-makers surveyed said cloud computing was crucial in their digital transformation strategy.
The findings of the company's Asia Digital Transformation Study also showed 80 percent of the 1,494 respondents across the region saw the need for digital transformation as a long-term growth strategy but only 29 percent have thorough plans in place to do it.
The demand for public cloud services in Asia Pacific is expected to grow 17.7 percent in 2017 to $10 billion, according to research from Gartner. By 2020, total public cloud services spending in the region will rise to $15.8 billion.
Microsoft underwent its own business transformation from a desktop focus to more emphasis on cloud and mobile, and now has data centers in 13 regions across Asia Pacific to cater to the growing demand in public cloud services in local markets.
These centers support Microsoft's public cloud, Azure, which grew revenue by 93 percent on-year in 2016 and saw compute usage more than double.
To navigate the complexities of regulatory compliance and data privacy laws around the region, Microsoft also partners with other data center providers already established in local markets. In China, that partnership is done with U.S.-listed 21Vianet, with data centers running in Beijing and Shanghai.
"China obviously is a huge opportunity that's defined by size (and) acceleration of innovation...you have, by definition, high demand and digitization," Haupter said, adding that many government initiatives were betting heavily on technology.