spainter_vfx -

ANZ CIOs flag priorities amid inflation concerns

CIOs in Australia and New Zealand are concerned about inflation and plan to adjust their technology priorities to optimise resources and combat cyber threats

CIOs in Australia and New Zealand (ANZ) are concerned about inflation and are looking to adjust their technology priorities to optimise resources and combat cyber threats in 2023.

That was according to research by IDC, which polled 906 CIOs and IT decision makers across the Asia-Pacific (APAC) region, 81 of them in Australia and 50 in New Zealand. Organisations with fewer than 500 employees were excluded from the survey.

Commissioned by Lenovo and AMD, the research, which was documented in the CIO technology playbook 2023 report, also cited talent shortage and high energy prices as among the top three social and economic concerns of ANZ respondents.

Across APAC, cost optimisation and savings came third on the list of business priorities, behind accelerating revenue and profit growth, and increasing customer experience and satisfaction. As the report points out, improved customer experience “is not only important for winning new customers but also growing business with existing customers”.

Understandably, 99% of respondents in ANZ recognised the importance of digital infrastructure in achieving business goals, but they were also much more likely than their peers to consider cyber resiliency a key investment priority.

People understand the importance of having strong infrastructure, said Peter Chambers, managing director at AMD in Asia-Pacific and Japan, but they need it to be cost-effective and to fit within their organisation’s cost restraints.

Turning to the matter of where workloads are deployed, the playbook predicted little change in the next 12 months, with the use of public cloud expected to remain stable after 2022 saw nearly two-thirds of respondents repatriating workloads from public cloud.

But the proportion of workloads running in traditional datacentres is expected to drop from 29% to 27%, with a corresponding increase in private cloud usage from 23% to 25%.

When it came to mission-critical workloads, the picture is slightly different in that both public cloud and traditional datacentre workloads are expected to drop slightly, with a move to private cloud and edge or branch computing.

The reduction in public cloud use is attributed to latency, which Chambers said was a key driving factor, as well as performance issues, and regulatory and compliance requirements, despite major cloud providers continuing to open new locations.

The maturation of private cloud technology means it can now provide the flexibility and agility previously associated with public cloud, thus providing opportunities for repatriation, suggested Manu Mehra, ANZ managing director at Lenovo’s infrastructure solutions group.

Furthermore, moving applications into private clouds helps create a more consistent security environment, Chambers observed.

The shift towards edge computing is tipped to be significant, with 88% of respondents already using it or planning to do so in the near future. Regionally, the leading applications include real-time customer analytics to provide an omnichannel experience, automated quality control and remediation, and asset tracking.

But energy management and smart grid optimisation made the top three in ANZ and South Korea, and this is thought to be “driven by appreciation for sustainability and highly technologically savvy utilities companies”, according to IDC.

One way that CIOs are dealing with this continuing workload sprawl is by looking towards modern data management platforms that provide access across multiple environments and help with business continuity and recovery issues.

While public cloud can meet business continuity requirements, the cost of storing and moving data can be high, said Mehra, so there are multiple issues to consider when deciding whether to locate important workloads in public or private clouds.

Although hybrid cloud or multicloud environments are now the norm, most organisations have yet to align their data strategy with their cloud strategy, he said. There is a need for data to migrate from one cloud to another along with the applications, and ‘private cloud 2.0’ and data management will be critical for digital transformation.

Across the APAC region, almost nine out of 10 organisations will be using or planning to use artificial intelligence (AI) applications in 2023. In ANZ, the top three areas where AI would be applied were security, fraud and risk management, and IT operations, whereas around the region they were IT operations, security, and customer service and support.

Mehra said the playbook was one of the more important reports he had seen, adding that the findings were consistent with the conversations he had with customers and partners.

“In the current economic climate, ANZ businesses are striving to optimise their resources. CIOs are prioritising cyber security to combat rising cyber threats. Meanwhile, the focus on digital transformation through AI and edge computing is vital to cut costs and meet the demand for using these technologies in security, fraud/risk management, and IT operations,” he said.

Chambers noted that the playbook provides CIOs and other business leaders with key insights into 2023 technology trends that would enable business leaders to implement a future-ready digital infrastructure for sustainable growth.

“With comprehensive data-driven insights on key trends such as AI/machine learning, hybrid/multi-cloud and data management solutions, our hope is that CIOs will be better equipped to deal with today’s competitive and volatile business climate,” he said.

Read more about IT in ANZ

Read more on IT strategy

Data Center
Data Management