Ready, Steady, Unsure: Asia-Pacific’s Hopes and Fears for the Age of Digital Transformation
Vice President, Architectures, APJ
Thought Leadership, Digitization, Cloud, Enterprise Networking, Security
Cisco recently conducted a study to assess Asia-Pacific’s technological readiness for digital transformation. We surveyed 1,325 senior IT leaders in companies with more than 500 employees, in industries across the manufacturing, education, retail, financial services, and healthcare sectors in Australia, China, Indonesia, India, Japan, South Korea, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam.
The results of the Ready, Steady, Unsure report help elucidate the top technologies that are defining companies’ digital future, as well as their sense of preparedness to succeed in digital transformation. Specifically, this study shows the close relevance of IT infrastructure to companies’ digital plans and the gaps between their digital transformation strategies and their top IT investments.
For the purposes of this study, IT infrastructure was defined as comprising networking, data center, and cybersecurity. Technologies included in the survey were cloud, cybersecurity, data and analytics, AI, IoT, automation, and 5G.
Ready, Steady, Unsure shows us that, on the whole, Asia-Pacific is confident about their digital future—92% of companies have a digital transformation strategy already in place, and 88% feel this strategy is right to achieve the desired goals. However, larger companies show greater uncertainty towards their ability to adopt the relevant technologies for the future. They are also 13% less likely to modernize their IT in the coming years vs smaller companies. This is not a surprise considering many of these companies have legacy infrastructure stretching back to the 80s, as well as larger user base, devices or data that make it harder—but imperative still—to modernize.
Same trend is observed among developed markets. Japan, particularly, stands out as the most pessimistic about its preparedness for digital transformation, with just 54% of IT leaders reporting that they’re unsure if they are adequately prepared to adopt the relevant technologies for digital transformation.
The results of the study also show that cloud and cybersecurity are recognized by all countries as critical to sustaining a digital future. Cybersecurity seems to be particularly relevant for companies in Vietnam, an interesting conclusion for a country that has long been notorious for its vulnerability to cyber threats. This suggests IT leaders in Vietnam are aware of the implications and taking action.
Despite the overall confidence, there are constraints. For 42% of companies in Asia-pacific, budget is the #1 criterion driving IT decisions and purchases—but as high as 37% of customers regret this decision. This helps to explain why 38% of companies think their IT infrastructure is a roadblock to adopting relevant technologies for digital transformation, such as IoT or Artificial Intelligence.
To ensure companies are fully ready to take on a digital future, there are clear solutions and recommendations to be gleaned from this study.
Firstly, companies must move IT from a cost center to a business enabler. IT has long been an outsourced activity, which is no longer a suitable approach in a time and age it must be thought out for the value it provides to businesses long-term and not just as a means to keep the lights on.
Then, while cybersecurity and cloud are critical to digital transformation, a successful adoption is dependent on the right strategy. Companies should consider an integrated approach to ensure IT environment is simpler and more secure, including cloud, for which companies must also optimize their networks.
This brings us to why it’s so important to modernize and automate the IT infrastructure. As companies expand in technologies, connect more users, devices and data, or grow customer services, they need a secure, scalable and digital-ready foundation for the future.
To learn more about this report, please visit: https://www.cisco.com/c/m/en_au/digital-ready/index.html