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IT Priorities 2019: ANZ organisations focus on fundamentals

Organisations in Australia and New Zealand will spend more on modernising legacy applications and breaking down data silos this year

Organisations in Australia and New Zealand (ANZ) are ahead of their peers in the Asia-Pacific (APAC) region in implementing IT, choosing to focus on fundamental areas that are critical to the success of digital transformation initiatives.

According to the 2019 TechTarget/Computer Weekly IT Priorities survey, 37% of respondents have prioritised the need to break down data silos – compared with 22% for the rest of APAC – which is critical to support data analytics and artificial intelligence capabilities that are proving to be a source of competitive advantage.

In addition, 34% of respondents are looking to modernise legacy applications, while 28% in the rest of APAC plan to do so.

These topline findings reflect the maturity of ANZ organisations in IT implementations, focusing on areas that make the most impact to the business. And many are getting buy-in from their management, with 73% expecting their IT budgets to increase this year.

Much of their budgets will go into networking (44%), backup and recovery as well as cyber security, underscoring their appreciation of the need to modernise their network architectures to support growing cloud usage amid looming cyber threats.

In contrast, respondents in APAC as a whole are pouring most of their investments into cloud services (44%) and software (38%), suggesting they are less advanced in adopting cloud than their ANZ peers.

ANZ organisations are also not as keen as the rest of APAC in reducing staff budgets. Instead, they are looking to cut spending on consulting services (75%), suggesting a trend towards insourcing and efforts to build their own talent.

As for broad initiatives, ANZ firms are prioritising business intelligence and analytics (36%), business applications and cyber security (35%) over other areas such as blockchain and edge computing (9%), which are still in the early stages of adoption.

Those priorities require them to spend on datacentre projects like security risk and vulnerability management (45%), as well as server virtualisation (37%) in a bid to improve server utilisation rates to support a growing number of applications.

Meanwhile, ANZ organisations are continuing to invest in their IT infrastructures. While APAC respondents are ramping up their cloud infrastructure investments, ANZ respondents appear to have gone beyond that, with a whopping 90% planning to spend more on hyper-converged infrastructure (HCI) for their compute requirements.

In line with their focus on networking, ANZ organisations are also looking more at improving the efficiency of their networks than the rest of APAC through intent-based networking and network automation (32%).

Furthermore, software-defined wide area networks (SD-WAN) will see an uptick, driven by the high use of public cloud infrastructure and application services in ANZ.

With the roll-out of Australia’s National Broadband Network (NBN) well under way, ANZ organisations are also looking to replace traditional telephony with IP telephony offerings (35%).

ANZ’s priorities on getting the data pieces right extend to data management, the top storage priority, suggesting that organisations in the two markets are in more advanced stages of extracting value out of their data than the rest of APAC.

In cyber security, identity and access management (IAM) was at the top of the security agenda in ANZ, and remains critical to keep hackers out of corporate networks, particularly with ANZ’s growing investments in the internet of things that expands an organisation’s attack surface.

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