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IT Priorities: APAC enterprises readying recovery budget

Enterprises in Asia-Pacific are investing in cloud and other key technologies to not only survive but thrive in the post-pandemic world

Asia-Pacific (APAC) enterprises are bracing themselves for the new normal with investments in cloud infrastructure and other key technologies that will enable them to survive and thrive in the post-pandemic world.

According to the 2020-2021 TechTarget/Computer Weekly IT priorities survey, investments in remote working and cyber security have become easier to justify than before as more companies come to terms with managing a remote workforce.

The survey, which polled 265 IT decision-makers across APAC, found that remote work enablement initiatives had accelerated since the start of the pandemic (40%), along with security and risk management as cited by a third of respondents.

These investments were needed as APAC firms sought to keep their businesses going amid the pandemic, with other investments on the horizon that will enable them to take advantage of new opportunities that have emerged.

Key to the latter are capabilities to improve productivity, with 38% of respondents planning to enable more automation around technology management so that employees can focus their attention on innovation and value-added initiatives.

That is being complemented with initiatives to increase resilience and agility, a hallmark of organisations that have invested in agile development and infrastructure, so that they can respond faster to changing market needs.

Indeed, the survey found that 38% of respondents planned to move more workloads to the cloud as they gravitate towards an operating expenditure model, not only for services but also for hardware investments for those that still require on-premise equipment.

While investment in on-premise hardware has been declining, there is still a place for it in private cloud datacentres, especially converged infrastructure. According to the study, 34% planned to spend on converged infrastructure, signalling their desire to simplify their IT infrastructure to improve resource utilisation and agility.

Still on infrastructure, APAC organisations are also investing in virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) to support a growing proportion of remote workers (29%) along with mobile app development as they look to support new customer and employee engagement models.

To mitigate the security risks of having a more mobile and remote workforce, APAC organisations are planning to spend more on vulnerability management (33%), suggesting that they are still struggling to plug the loopholes in their systems, as well as web security initiatives in tandem with growing usage of web-based services and applications.

These applications are increasingly being developed in-house in cases when doing so is likely to yield competitive advantages. More than half of survey respondents said they would invest more in DevOps in the next 12 months, along with microservices and application modernisation initiatives, suggesting that APAC organisations are striking at the heart of digital transformation efforts.

The pandemic has put the spotlight on disaster recovery and business continuity, which have become top of mind in boardrooms as organisations put their business continuity plans to the test. According to the study, 27% of respondents planned to spend more on disaster recovery, followed by virtual machine backup (25%) and business continuity (20%).

Network resilience is also a concern, with nearly half of APAC respondents reporting connectivity issues while working remotely. With just one in five respondents reporting no issues with connectivity, it is not surprising that upgrading cloud connectivity and virtual private networking investments are top of mind in the region.

As for overall IT spending, the proportion of respondents that planned to increase their IT budgets (15%) is still higher than the global average of 10%, even though slightly more planned to cut budgets (41%) than the rest of the world (38%).

Read more about IT in APAC

  • Modernising its infrastructure and putting digital at its core has given Singapore’s Government Technology Agency the agility it needs to respond to the Covid-19 pandemic.
  • Malaysia’s AmBank Group is tapping open source, DevOps and data science to improve customer service and develop bespoke services for a broader market.
  • Indonesia’s Bank Mandiri has built a big data platform to track transactions and monitor the health of its workforce, among other big data analytics initiatives.
  • Australia’s ANZ Bank now runs 30% of its internet banking services on Red Hat OpenShift in a move that has energised developers and paved the way for more automation.

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