Hitachi Data Systems (HDS) has released its Business and Technology Predictions for Asia Pacific in 2016. According to the company’s chief technology officer for APAC, Adrian De Luca, enterprises will experience major digital transformation in 2016 as they strive to improve a host of key tech and non-tech functions.
“Digital transformation is fast becoming an organisational issue. It is no longer just CIOs who are championing the need for digital change, but leaders across all business functions,” he said.
“CMOs are finding that traditional ways of marketing are not as effective any more, while CFOs are discovering that consumer and supplier transaction models have shifted. There is now an almost universal understanding within businesses that all functions need to look at how they transform their own practices through digitization.”
De Luca identified digital transformation, smart cities, cross modal IT, multicloud, and skills shortages as the five key trends that will continue to shape both the IT and business landscapes in Asia Pacific for 2016.
Traditional enterprises will transform into digital natives
DeLuca said digital initiatives are not just coming from the CIO, but from all functions of the business that are creating their own platforms and hiring digital natives.
“CMOs no longer go to the IT department to build their systems. They go directly to the providers and acquire them as a service,” he added.
“The same is true of businesses as a whole. Rather than waiting for a vendor or a competitor to develop a new platform, organisations are building and actively disrupting their own current systems.”
Smart companies will build smart cities
De Luca noted that governments within APAC that lack the capability to develop smart cities were partnering with industry players investing deeply in the Internet of Things (IoT).
“By bringing their own intellectual property, assembling ecosystems of technology providers and integrating them together, they can develop the solutions needed to make these [smart] cities a reality,” he said.
“This means that smart companies will act as the catalysts for making smart cities a reality, as governments open the door through initiatives like Digital India, Smart Nation Singapore, and Digital China. The business opportunities for companies in the sector are huge, with the annual smart city investment in technology alone set to quadruple to US$11.3 billion by 2023, according to Navigant Research.”
Cross-modal IT will unify business silos
De luca claimed it was widely recognised that there are two modes IT organizations could follow to meet the needs of the digital enterprise.
The first was applications that handle traditional systems of record such as CRM and ecommerce systems.
“These systems are built around predictability, accuracy and availability, given the sensitive data they hold,” he said.
The second, according to De Luca was systems of insight such as big data analytics.
“They give a perspective of what is going on inside a business – enabling users to test certain hypotheses by layering datasets over each other,” he added.
De Luca went on to stress that the importance of joining these two modes together to become cross-modal would intensify in 2016.
“The companies that will realise the greatest benefits will be those that are able to use agile methodologies in their workforce and offer quick-to-build application programming interfaces (API) of their business services. Businesses that also successfully build data lakes across their digital assets and standardize their infrastructure will do well too,” he said.
Multicloud will enable transregional business
According to De Luca, the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) promises to bring significant benefits to economic trading conditions within Asia-Pacific.
“To realise the full potential of this agreement, investment in technology infrastructure to connect these economies will be critical,” he claimed.
“This opening up of the market will have an impact on how businesses consume Cloud and expand the options that they have today. With as many as 70 per cent of organisations either using or evaluating hybrid Clouds nowadays, as well as provisions in the TPP to protect offshore data and avoid electronic duties, creating a multicloud across continental borders to allow businesses to expand becomes viable.”
Skills shortage will spark a talent pursuit
Several factors will impact the technology employment market in 2016, De Luca claimed. He said this would force organisations to look at how they will fill the talent deficit to continue to innovate and remain competitive.
“Addressing the IT skills shortage will not just be about pumping out more IT graduates with in-demand skills like data science,” he cautioned.
“Appealing to the interests of the best young talent while investing in increasing the productivity of existing employees will be critical to bridging the gap over the long run.
"The working practices of ‘Gen Z’ workers are vastly different from those before them. With this generation expected to work an average of 17 jobs in their lifetime, they will develop a broader variety of skills as well as be exposed to multiple industries during their careers. Companies will need to figure out how to tap into this. They are driven more by their contribution to society than the logo of the company they work for."