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ASEAN enterprises facing mobility roadblocks

An IDC survey commissioned by Red Hat reveals organisations in the ASEAN region lack mobile-specific skills and tend to approach mobility projects in an ad-hoc manner

Enterprises in Southeast Asia are embracing mobility, yet many still face roadblocks in realising the benefits of a mobile workforce.

Avinash Kalyana Sundaram, research manager for enterprise mobility at IDC Asia-Pacific, said these challenges include the use of DIY tools and a shortage of skills in implementing mobility initiatives, which are often undertaken on a per-project basis.

The challenges were revealed through a survey conducted by IDC across Singapore, Malaysia and Indonesia, where 275 senior IT decision makers shed light on various aspects of their mobility strategies, such as budget, technology and implementation approaches.

According to the Red Hat commissioned survey, nearly 50% of organisations surveyed have minimal or contracted skills to support mobile projects. This problem is most acute in Malaysia, where over 60% of organisations in the country are grappling with skills gaps.

“Many organisations in Malaysia are unable to groom good developers,” Sundaram said, noting that having mobile-specific skills is critical as organisations expand their mobility initiatives.

In developing mobile apps, 31% of enterprises in the region still rely on DIY tools such as native and cross-platform development software.

While these tools may serve their purpose when developing a small number of apps, organisations will run into challenges around security and integration with existing systems as they develop more apps.

According to the survey, only 13% of organisations in the region are using mobile app development platforms to address integration and security challenges, ranked as the top two bugbears in enterprise mobility projects.

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While a third of Singapore organisations have a vision and roadmap for mobility, and one in three Indonesian organisations see mobility as important to their business, planning and execution of projects still occur on a per-project basis.

Sundaram said mobility projects undertaken in an ad-hoc manner can stand in the way of success. Instead, he said organisations should evaluate mobile app development holistically, and create repeatable processes through centres of excellence.

Although it is encouraging that 48% of respondents in the survey said their business and IT teams are collaborating on mobility initiatives, Sundaram said “a lot of mobility projects are still scattered across enterprises with no centralised management”.

Gerald Khor from Red Hat’s mobile business development team in Asia-Pacific said as enterprises roll out more mobility initiatives to transform their business, app development platforms can help companies centrally manage the lifecycle of their apps.

“This includes preparing environments for development teams, designing an app, integrating with back-end systems and reusing some of those integrations, as well as building and testing binary files before releasing the app through private and external app stores,” he said.

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