The Shift to Cloud Computing in Japan

Ivan (이반) Porta
8 min readJul 8, 2023

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Cloud computing has revolutionized IT infrastructure and services globally, with Japan playing a key role in this transformation. In this article, I will talk about the journey of cloud computing in Japan, starting from the pre-COVID-19 era, then moving to the acceleration driven by the pandemic and its current state.

Understanding Cloud Computing: Private, Hybrid, and Public Cloud

Before we dive into the journey of cloud computing in Japan, it’s crucial to understand the different types of cloud services quickly.

  • Private Cloud: This cloud service environment is dedicated to a single entity. It can run on infrastructure owned by the company or in a third-party data center facility.
  • Public Cloud: This is a cloud service environment built, controlled, and maintained by a third-party provider. Multiple organizations use the services through different payment models (such as pay-as-you-go or membership). For example, Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure, and Google Cloud Platform.
  • Hybrid Cloud: This combines public and private cloud environments. For example, a financial company can run public cloud services on privately owned infrastructure through AWS Outposts or Azure Stack.

Pre-COVID Situation in Japan (2018–2019)

In 2019, Japan had a diverse cloud computing landscape. Both public and private cloud models were common, with private cloud models having a larger market share, primarily due to concerns about the security level of public cloud environments. Despite some hesitancy about the public cloud, the Japanese public cloud market was one of the leading markets in the Asia-Pacific-Japan (APJ) region, valued at an estimated USD 8 billion in 2018, compared to USD 1.71 billion in South Korea [1][2], and USD 4.7 billion in Australia [3][4]. It was also projected a growth to USD 18 billion in 2023 with a compound annual growth rate of approximately 18% [5].

Public Cloud Services Spending in 2018

Key Market Players

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Ivan (이반) Porta

Microsoft Certified DevOps Engineer Expert | MCT | MCE | Public Speaker