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IT Priorities 2018: Growing interest in hybrid IT in ASEAN

CIOs and IT professionals in Southeast Asia have earmarked hybrid infrastructure as a top priority in 2018, in spite of waning interest across the wider Asia-Pacific region

Organisations in Southeast Asia are looking to augment their on-premise datacentres with cloud-based resources in an increasingly hybrid IT landscape in 2018, a new survey has revealed.

According to the TechTarget IT Priorities 2018 survey, 24% of respondents in ASEAN cited hybrid IT as a priority this year, representing a growth rate 23% year-on-year.

In contrast, interest in hybrid IT has waned across the wider Asia-Pacific (APAC) region, with the number of respondents indicating it as a priority declining 10% year-on-year.

With more ASEAN organisations looking to implement hybrid IT strategies, about a third of IT professionals who participated in the survey expect to roll out public cloud infrastructure services this year – higher than the APAC average of 25%.

According to Gartner, the growth of cloud infrastructure services and the decline of traditional datacentre outsourcing are driving a massive shift towards hybrid infrastructure services. In fact, the technology research firm has predicted that 90% of organisations will adopt hybrid infrastructure management capabilities by 2020.

But before that, organisations will need to virtualise their infrastructure. Across the ASEAN region, about half of organisations in the survey prioritised server virtualisation over other datacentre infrastructure technologies, higher than the APAC average of 46%.

The good news is, ASEAN organisations are also extending their virtualisation initiatives to include networking, for which 26% of respondents expect to virtualise this year with technologies such as software-defined networking (SDN) and VMware’s NSX, up 140% year-on-year.

Converged infrastructure appliances

Along with virtualisation, converged infrastructure offerings have seen heightened interest from IT professionals in ASEAN. Some 22% of respondents said they would roll out converged infrastructure appliances this year, up 11% year-on-year.

The growing adoption of data analytics and greater awareness of data protection laws have also prompted 29% of respondents in ASEAN to consider data management systems as their top storage-related initiative, compared to 23% of respondents across the APAC region.

Interestingly, even as more organisations are ditching traditional tape storage for disk-based options, tape technology is anything but legacy for some IT professionals in ASEAN.

According to the study, 9% of respondents plan to invest in new tape technology such as Linear Tape-Open 8 and Linear Tape File System, representing an increase of 45% year-on-year. At the same time, ASEAN IT professionals are considering a mix of public and private cloud storage as part of a larger hybrid IT strategy.

Read more about IT in ASEAN

  • Singapore’s DBS Bank laid the foundation for its digital strategy a decade ago, starting with an overhaul of its IT systems before going big on cloud computing in later years.
  • Forward-looking organisations ASEAN are embracing artificial intelligence, but uneven access to connectivity and a lack of skills and understanding of the technology are holding back wider adoption.
  • A large proportion of businesses in ASEAN will be affected by Europe’s General Data Protection Regulation, but awareness of the new rules remains low.
  • A “mega cloud” that weaves together multiple private and public clouds, along with the use of AI to perform data-driven “thinking tasks”, could emerge in 2018.

Amid looming cyber threats that have already resulted in at least one massive data breach in ASEAN in 2017, a majority of respondents (56%) in the survey cited data loss prevention as their top security priority. This was followed by endpoint security (48%), e-mail security (44%) and identity and access management (40%).

Meanwhile, with more organisations coming under pressure from the faster pace of business and disruption from more agile startups, survey respondents across ASEAN have earmarked big data analytics and IT automation as their top broad initiatives. Some 61% also expect overall IT budgets to increase this year.

The annual survey polled nearly 2,000 IT professionals in Australia, China, India, Japan, South Korea, New Zealand, as well as ASEAN where 335 respondents across industries such as financial services and education participated in the survey.

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