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Security concerns push Asian organisations to adopt managed and hybrid IT services

Security needs are persuading organisations in Asia Pacific to adopt managed IT, and hybrid services are crucial for digital transformation, according to a CenturyLink study

Managed and hybrid IT services, a mix of in-house and outsourced, are terms that have been doing the rounds in enterprise IT circles, but until now there hasn’t been much data to show how and why organisations in Asia Pacific have been adopting them.

A study by global IT services company CenturyLink shows that security concerns are the main reason why organisations in the region are going for managed or hybrid IT services. According to the report, 84% of organisations cite security as the key driver for considering managed service providers. Other leading factors include compliance and regulation (67%) and cost reductions (62%).

“As more organisations turn to a blend of in-house and third-party IT services, it is important for IT leaders to address concerns about security,” said Gery Messer, managing director Asia Pacific at CenturyLink. “They need to carefully assess their technology partners to ensure that security capabilities are well embedded in all of their offerings – managed hosting, managed services, network solutions, co-location and cloud. Only then will they be able to help IT transform into a secure hub for innovation.”

Bill Taylor-Mountford, vice-president, Asia Pacific and Japan at LogRhythm, said: “It is no surprise to see organisations turning to managed service providers when it comes to security. As organisations look to manage their business more effectively and invest in resources that are core to what they do, having experts taking care of critical infrastructure such as IT and security is a sound strategy.”

Steve Ledzian, technical director Southeast Asia at FireEye, added: “As organistions around Asia aggressively pursue digital transformation, it is important to remember that the resulting technology-enabled business model itself is then susceptible to cyber attack. For enterprises operating digitally, a cyber attack against their IT infrastructure impacts the business. It is important for firms to resource their security capability to protect the business itself, not just to protect some IT gear.”

The CenturyLink report also revealed that 75% of Asia Pacific (Apac) organisations already outsource at least one datacentre, network, security or applications service to third-party managed service providers and that hybrid IT services are crucial for digital transformation to take flight.

Hybrid IT pervasive

The report revealed hybrid IT as the pervasive IT infrastructure model for organisations in Asia Pacific, including Japan (APeJ), as the vast majority of organisations take transformative steps to match workloads to a blend of in-house and third-party services.

The report also found that service delivery improvements involving datacentres (63%) and networks (52%) are key drivers for executives to outsource IT services.

The CenturyLink Asia Pacific Hybrid IT Readiness Report 2016 surveyed 600 decision-makers across six key markets in the region – Australia, China, Hong Kong, India, Japan and Singapore – in September 2016.  

“As industries continue to transform, a paradigm shift is inevitable,” said Ajay Sunder, vice-president telecoms at Frost & Sullivan Asia Pacific. “The transformation journey from traditional IT to hybrid IT is becoming the new normal for enterprises across Asia Pacific. This is a result of organisational priorities as they keep up with business growth momentum.”

But Glen Duncan, senior research manager, IDC Asia/Pacific, does not fully agree with the findings of the CenturyLink report.

“While CenturyLink’s report on hybrid IT in Apac is certainly pointing in the right direction on most ICT indicators and trends, various IDC Apac surveys conducted in 2016 suggest that CenturyLink’s key claims are probably too aggressive,” he said. 

“The IDC findings suggest that a majority of organisations in APeJ are yet to fully embrace a digital transformation strategy. As a result, the pressure to adopt off-premise datacentre services in order to support digital transformation efforts is only slowly developing.

“Although hybrid IT is certainly starting to gain attention in many organisations throughout APeJ, it is still too early to say it is pervasive.”

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