Ready, Steady, Unsure
A Technology Perspective into
Asia-Pacific’s Readiness for
Digital disruption is sweeping all industries and countries, and the pace of change brought about by technology innovation will only accelerate. Asia-Pacific, Japan and China (APJC) is primed for opportunity in the age of digitization, but the landscape of digital preparedness is perhaps as varied as the countries and cultures that constitute the region.
Many developing markets in APJC find themselves at an advantage, with digitization presenting brand new opportunities for countries and organizations to leapfrog their more developed neighbors who are encumbered by the weight of legacy. In the same way, a smaller company’s efforts to digitally transform can no doubt be buoyed by agility, versus the complexities a larger enterprise can face in the pursuit of transformational change.
But whether big or small, one thing is very clear – in order to keep pace, compete, and differentiate, organizations today must be ready for the digital battle. And the success of any efforts to digitally transform will be dependent on having the right expertise and weapons to win: a robust digital strategy and the IT infrastructure and technologies necessary to bring it to life. Business and government leaders everywhere understand the imperative for digital transformation, but there is more work to be done to bridge the divide between digital strategy and the IT investments that need to be made.
With the emergence of artificial intelligence, the Internet of Things, exponential growth of data volumes, the need to navigate a multi-cloud world, and the ever-increasing threat of cyberattacks, we have reached an inflection point. An organization’s future (and fortunes) will rest with its ability to harness technology to reach new goals, overcome new challenges, and anticipate - not just respond to - customer needs and shifting market conditions.
Being ready for battle – and recognizing whether you are or not – has never been more important.
President, Cisco Asia-Pacific,
Japan and China
A Cisco survey of IT executives across 11 countries in Asia-Pacific finds confidence in their digital future. Ninety-two percent of companies in the region said they have a digital transformation strategy, and 88% that it’s the right one to achieve the desired business goals.
However, the level of confidence in the region varies - particularly among larger organizations, and in developed markets – due to concerns with budget, talent and IT infrastructure readiness
Japan stood out: 81% of IT executives said their companies have a digital transformation strategy, but 59% don’t feel confident about it. Developing markets, such as in ASEAN, also indicate some worry about which technologies to adopt, but some are recognizing the importance of key ones and planning for a mobile future. For now, however, the common ground is in those technologies where the downsides of neglect are clear: Most IT managers in private and public sectors there, for example, said they took cybersecurity seriously, and were well down the road to adoption.
The Cisco survey (see Figure 1) – conducted by an independent third party research firm - interviewed more than 1,300 key executives in IT, including Chief Information Security Officers, Chief Information Officers and Chief Technology Officers, as well as vice presidents and directors of IT, heads of IT and heads of IT infrastructure from education, financial services, the public sector, healthcare, manufacturing and retail about their attitudes and plans surrounding key technologies. Those included cloud, cybersecurity, internet of things (IoT), artificial intelligence, automation, big data and analytics, and 5G.
The objective of the survey was to assess companies’ preparedness for digital transformation and, specifically, identify gaps, or harmony, between IT investments in key technologies and infrastructure and their Digital Transformation strategies. In the survey, IT infrastructure was defined as comprising networks, data centers and security.
These are the key findings from this report:
Confidence in digital preparedness is high, except in Japan and larger organizations
The Cisco study reveals companies in Asia-Pacific are highly confident about their digital future: 92% said they had a digital transformation strategy, and 88% feel that strategy is right to succeed. Another 88% of IT leaders also think they are adequately prepared to adopt the relevant technologies for the future. Japan is the exception, where 59% of IT leaders said their digital strategies are falling short. Larger organizations, too, seem to be more challenged: 19% of IT leaders in larger organizations don’t think they are adequately prepared to adopt the relevant technologies for Digital Transformation vs 7% in smaller companies.
IT leaders are prioritizing price over assurance
Budget is the number one reason why IT executives in large and small organizations are not investing in the technologies considered relevant for digital transformation (42%). In fact, they admit they have made compromises to bring down the cost of their IT purchases. However, 37% of IT leaders regret the decision because the solution was unreliable (48%) and didn’t meet the expectations (45%), forcing 49% of the companies to top up the initial investment.
Aging infrastructure is a roadblock, particularly for larger organizations
When asked about why they are not able to adopt the relevant technologies for the future, 38% of IT leaders across all markets in Asia-Pacific indicated aging infrastructure is a barrier. And while 90% of companies said they have made upgrades to their IT infrastructure in the last three years, not all parts are getting covered: 30% said they had not upgraded their networking, data center or security, the three infrastructure components surveyed for this report. Here, too, the divide between larger and smaller organizations is clear: 42% of larger organizations are less likely to modernize their IT infrastructure compared with 29% of mid-sized organizations and 25% of smaller ones.
Cybersecurity and cloud are a top of mind
Sixty-five percent of IT leaders in Asia-Pacific consider cybersecurity paramount to succeed in digital transformation, particularly in financial services (80%). Eighty-five percent of companies regionally have adopted it and 42% indicated they had made security upgrades due to a breach. Cloud is equally relevant: 70% of IT leaders consider cloud a priority and 80% have adopted it. The study also reveals 63% of companies are adopting SD-WAN, suggesting they may be optimizing their networks for cloud.
Expect a big push in automation!
While automation didn’t stand out as a technology shaping companies’ digital future, 83% of them plan on rolling it out in the next 6 months to a year. The push seems to be coming from developing countries, such as Vietnam, rather than from developed countries, such as Japan.
The bigger the organization,
the greater the uncertainty about digital preparedness
While the overall scenario in Asia-Pacific is one of confidence, there’s a divide between larger and smaller organizations, with those employing 10,000 or more showing lower confidence in their digital transformation strategy than their smaller counterparts. Seventeen percent of the nearly 228 large organizations said they didn’t think their company’s strategy was adequate, compared with less than 10% of the 440 smaller companies (those with less than 1,000 employees). The difference was starker when asked whether their companies were adequately prepared to adopt the relevant technologies: 19% vs 7%. (See Figure 1)
The divide can also be found between industries: IT managers for larger organizations in education (13%) and public sector (14%) said they had no digital transformation plan, while 20% of those in the public sector who said there was a plan expressed it was inadequate to support future digital needs. And while Japan (see below) was the most pessimistic, large organizations in other countries were also gloomy: nearly 30% in Malaysia and 11% in Thailand said the plans were inadequate.
This suggests larger organizations feel more challenged about their digital transformation strategy and what should be done – which is probably not surprising. Many larger organizations have legacy infrastructure, some of it stretching back to the 1980s. Indeed, a McKinsey report indicates that by 2020 65% of companies’ infrastructure will still be legacy even though they aim high to adopt digital technologies, such as cloud or analytics, as also shown in this Cisco survey. Another McKinsey study commissioned by Cisco adds that companies in Asia-Pacific spend US$11 Billion every year running their networks – a result of lack of modernization.
But it’s not just about IT, it’s a cultural issue. A 2018 report by the Boston Consulting Group found that successful companies were five times more likely than less successful ones to have focused on changing their culture to prepare employees for the digital transformation. Over the longer term – three years or more – the gap was even wider.1
The larger the company, the more devices, products, markets and processes have to be adapted to connect to the industrial IoT. Much of this, PwC points out, sits among plants and processes that "have remained little altered for decades," but now must be connected to "robots, conveyor belts, smart meters, generators, substation equipment, transformers and the like and information technology such as back-office systems and software."
For those at big organizations, it can be a daunting challenge.
1It’s Not a Digital Transformation Without a Digital Culture, BCG, April 13, 2018
"As with any great bargain, there is a price. In enterprise technology, most great deals mean an implicit trade-off – maybe it is not the newest technology, it has a shorter warranty, it’s manufactured with less durable parts, or it doesn’t offer security. No matter how you look at it, lower cost means you are getting something less.
As the role of technology – and the CIO - shifts to being a greater contributor to an organization’s revenue, it is more critical than ever to consider carefully the trade-offs in the IT buying decision. More than the technology itself, CIOs and IT decision-makers overall must look beyond the price and consider the entire ecosystem: do the different parts of the IT infrastructure integrate with each other? Is the environment secure? Is IT able to scale as users and things do too? Can the technologies deliver the expected business outcome? Only by looking at all this will businesses position themselves to reap the valuable rewards of their digital journey. As many companies who treat technology purchases as a cost decision have learned, the lowest cost rarely delivers the best outcome." – Brink Sanders
Brink Sanders – Managing Director, Software and Network Transformation, Cisco Asia-Pacific, Japan and China
Budget is the key reason why organizations, large and small, are not upgrading their IT infrastructure. More than three quarters of mid-sized companies and two-thirds of smaller organizations blamed money. These numbers were significantly higher than other reasons they gave, particularly among big companies. The larger the organization that had not upgraded in the past three years, the less likely they were to have plans to upgrade in the near future: 42%, compared with 29% of mid-sized organizations and 25% of small ones.
Almost all IT leaders in every country expressed regrets about the trade-offs they had made in their IT decisions, but that’s most evident in Vietnam, Indonesia and Thailand. In particular, they had foregone after-sales support and continued innovation in an effort to make their budgets go further. Vietnamese executives were twice as likely as their counterparts in China, Korea or Singapore to tradeoff after-sales support to bring down costs; Thais were twice as likely as their Australian colleagues to having to ditch continued technology innovation to shave costs. (See Figure 2)
This meant IT managers had to invest in other technology layers or had difficulty integrating with existing systems. More than 80% of Vietnamese managers who admitted making trade-offs said they had to invest in other layers to compensate, double the average; nearly two thirds of Thais and Indonesians complained they had problems integrating their purchases into existing systems.
At the same time, these are all the same countries that have invested heavily in upgrades, particularly in data centers, in the hope of acquiring additional capabilities and adopting new technologies. Yet, at least in manufacturing, the problem may not simply be solved by bolting on new technologies.
McKinsey’s study of 'Industry 4.0' - a term that covers the same technologies as this survey -reported that many Southeast Asian manufacturers' IT systems date back to the 1980s, and have been gradually added to as technology evolved. The result, the report said: "processes and data became isolated in siloed systems."
it is falling behind
"Japan has long been a technology powerhouse, but is aware more can be done to firm its position and competitiveness in Asia-Pacific and in the world in face of digital transformation. Under the government’s guidance, through the Future Investment Strategy 2018, Japan is en route to do just that and accelerate innovation and business creation by capitalizing on its competitive advantages, such as R&D capability in robotics and in industries like manufacturing. The government’s initiative addresses key strategic areas for success, including automation and remote real-time services, smart systems, robotics, mobility, next-generation healthcare system or modernization of infrastructure.
Tokyo 2020 is, for sure, a great opportunity and an anchor for companies and government to address many of these priorities. As the long-term partner of Japan in its technology journey, Cisco is helping Japan modernize its IT infrastructure for 2020 and beyond, in areas of mobility, cloud, IoT, artificial intelligence, automation, and security. Cisco is highly committed to contributing to Japan’s digital future." – Dave West
Dave West – Vice President, Cisco Japan
Japan has long been the global technology leader, and in many areas it still is. It is the largest manufacturer of robots, delivering more than half the world’s supply.1 But that doesn’t mean its managers are not anxious about the future, and whether their IT infrastructure won't support future digital trends. Nearly 60% of them said it wouldn't. No other country reflected a similar level of concern about the future. In fact, in seven countries – India, China, Vietnam, Indonesia, Singapore, Thailand and the Philippines - confidence was above 90%. (See Figure 1)
This concern was most deeply felt in the public sector, where more than three quarters of those who said their department had a digital transformation strategy thought it inadequate, but other sectors were hardly buoyant: manufacturing (61%), retail (60%) and financial services (55%), all thought preparations had fallen short. Only those in healthcare were optimistic.
The perception that Japan is slipping technologically is a familiar one. In part it’s because of the high standards the country set for itself. In some cases, the blame appears to be down to just missing opportunities. The Financial Times wrote last year2 about the country's massed ranks of vending machines. Nearly half of the country's 4.9 million vending machines sell drinks. If these were networked all sorts of user data could be gathered, according to the national trade association. Fuji Electric, which makes many of the machines, says only 100 are connected to the internet. "The IoT is still very much in the development stage with our customers," the FT quoted the company as saying.
Cisco's survey of Japanese IT managers offered some insight into how these problems take root. For them, the overwhelming brake on upgrading their infrastructure is the budget: whereas managers elsewhere were as likely to cite complexity or a lack of understanding, 86% of Japan's IT executives blamed budget constraints. They indicated they were feeling the pinch in other ways: new technologies were as likely to help save costs as they were to improve productivity (61% vs 64%). Compare that to China, where productivity scored highest, but only slightly ahead of boosting innovation and improving customer experience (69%). Japanese managers, meanwhile, appeared indifferent to improving things for the customer: less than a quarter of Japanese IT managers hoped technologies would improve the customer experience.
1International Federation of Robotics, 2018
2Internet of things tops Shinzo Abe’s list of priorities,
Oct 24 2017
Japan and automation
While Japan has long been synonymous with robots (Sony's first AIBO robot pet appeared in prototype 20 years ago, and it remains the world’s largest producer of robots), Cisco's survey shows that on the whole IT managers do not seem to see automation shaping, or likely to shape, their company's future. It scores lowest as a technology (save for 5G). Only 30% of Japanese IT managers chose it as a shaping technology, half compared to China or Korea. (See figure 2)
In part, this is because automation has long been core to the Japanese industry – it has the fourth greatest robot density in manufacturing in the world, after South Korea, Singapore and Germany. But elsewhere automation has proved a challenge. This is most visible in Education and Retail, where less than 20% selected it. And most surprisingly, in the public sector and healthcare, no respondents said their companies or organizations had adopted any form of automation. Asked why, respondents in healthcare blamed either a lack of qualified staff or their current IT infrastructure. Given Japan's aging population and low unemployment, it appears that there is still some way to go for Japan to embrace the benefits of automation beyond the factory floor.
The government in August warned that both problems needed to be addressed. The report, submitted by Toshimitsu Motegi, minister of economic and fiscal policy to the cabinet, said the country was experiencing the worst labor shortage in a quarter century, and warned that some industries may already be seeing earnings suffer as a result. "It is crucial that we invest in human resource development and implement features of the fourth Industrial Revolution such as AI, IoT (Internet of Things), and robots," Kyodo quoted him as saying3.
A report from McKinsey illustrated what this might look like in healthcare. The challenging demographic outlook, where 31% of the population is above 60 years old (age compared with 13 and 18% in China and the United States), would need technologies that connected such diverse things as "sensors, monitoring health conditions in real time, surgeries done in rural hospitals with remote-controlled robotics, or robots taking care of household chores and delivering food or medicine to the elderly."
It may well be that healthcare IT managers know this vision is not new: While companies and universities have long experimented with robot carers, or 'carerobos', they inhabit a small market. The Economist late last year said the government expected it to be worth about $500M by 2020, but much of that will be coming from government subsidies to both producers and their nursing home customers.
3Japan economy needs AI, robots to offset aging population: white paper August 3, 2018 (Mainichi Japan)
Big data and analytics -
driving China, and not just business
"Chinese organizations are at the forefront of digital transformation and are prepared to invest in the relevant technologies to succeed, including big data and analytics. Big data plays a crucial role in not only driving businesses, but also pushing boundaries and propelling the future of China’s digital economy, which is fast becoming one of the biggest in the world. By harnessing the power of data and analytics, businesses can grow and deliver on the promise of China’s economic momentum.
At the same time, in an economy heavily driven by data and analytics, we expect cloud adoption to grow in China, driven by regulation tailwind and the value proposition of cloud technology. At Cisco, we can help organizations use data for business and customer insights and to successfully adopt cloud, be it private or public, by providing the tools to manage and secure data seamlessly across the entire cloud environment. Cloud will, for sure, enhance the opportunity for organizations in China to further leverage its data, innovate and digitally transform." – Hera Siu
Hera Siu - Vice President and CEO, Cisco Greater China
China has long been pushing big data, and its giants (Tencent etc.) have vast data sets culled from their millions of users. The analyst firm IDC reported in April that China will be the biggest market in Asia/Pacific (excluding Japan) for big data and business analytics solutions, with spending forecast to reach $5.5 billion this year.
While the big players – Alibaba, Tencent, Baidu – dominate the market, the data they collect is feeding a much broader growth in analytics. Zhouheiya, a specialized food chain, added crayfish to its duck-focused product line after discovering via Alibaba's data analytics service that the word crayfish is searched most during April to August – a time when braised duck less sought after.
Manufacturing, healthcare and financial services managers also listed as the most important technology transforming their companies.
This is not driven solely by the private sector; public sector managers put it only behind IoT as a technology shaping their organizations. While 56% of them listed big data and analytics, only a third listed cloud and only 11 percent automation. (See Figure 3)
Indeed, China's big data plan, launched in 2016, aims to quadruple the size of the industry by the end of the decade, cultivating 10 world-leading big data companies and up to 15 experimental zones. The pilot zone of Guizhou has already attracted the likes of Foxconn, Microsoft, Tencent and Alibaba, according to research by Gao Feng, a consultancy4.
The interest from the public sector is not purely supportive of business: China is working with Tencent and Alibaba to build a social credit system based on data supplied by the companies.
China isn't alone, however. IDC listed Australia as the second largest regional spender on big data and analytics. And it pointed to Southeast Asian players as ones likely to see the fastest growth in spending over the next five years: (19.7% CAGR), Philippines (19.0% CAGR) and Thailand (18.2% CAGR)5.
While this spending is only modestly reflected in the Cisco survey, interest was: in all countries more than half of IT managers chose big data as a technology that is shaping, or will shape, their company's future.
4China’s Digital Landscape and Rising Disruptors:
Module 2.9 Big Data, December 2017
5Big Data and Business Analytics Revenues in the Asia/Pacific (excluding Japan) Will Reach $14.7 Billion in 2018, Led by Banking and Telecommunication Investments: IDC April 11, 2018
Australia: old infrastructure,
but not compromising on the new
Australian IT managers were for the most part positive: among the developed economies Cisco surveyed they were the most likely to say their organization was prepared to adopt the relevant technologies for digital transformation (89% vs 86% in Singapore, 81% in South Korea and 46% in Japan.) But there are concerns.
More than 20% of Australian IT managers said they hadn't upgraded their infrastructure in the past three years. Only Japan came close. (See Figure 4) Australia's financial and public sectors were the most likely to be affected, with a third of IT managers in each saying they hadn't upgraded in the past three years. Most managers cited budget constraints. Regardless, Australian IT managers emerge in the survey as the ones who are less likely to put price over quality, with 33% indicating they had not made any tradeoffs to reduce the cost of their IT infrastructure. In Thailand, for example, not a single IT manager said he had not made any tradeoffs.
On another positive note, 71% of executives from Australia who hadn't upgraded said they planned to in the near future – even though that figure was still low compared to Southeast Asian countries and South Korea.
And despite ongoing concerns about the country’s national broadband and 5G network plans, Cisco survey shows 5G is taking shape in Australia. Thirty-six percent of IT managers consider 5G a technology that will shape their digital future – slightly above regional average (34%). Indeed, Open Signal, a company that collects and analyses data on mobile connection speeds, said it had in recent months seen big jumps in 4G download speeds in Australia, which it put down to big network investments from the main carriers.
India: Deer in the headlights?
About 20% of Indian IT managers say their infrastructure is a decade old – or older, according to the survey. Only counterparts in Indonesia say the same. Some, such as those in China, Vietnam, Australia, Thailand and Malaysia say none of their infrastructure is that old. Of those IT managers in India who said they hadn't upgraded their infrastructure in the past three years, 70% added they were overwhelmed by the influx of new technologies. This figure was much higher than elsewhere (Japan was 30%, for example). A lot of the concern seems to be in larger organizations – those above 10,000 employees. While only 2% of IT managers of small Indian companies – those employing less than 1,000 people – said they did not believe their current IT infrastructure would support future digital needs, that number rose to a quarter in organizations with more than 10,000 employees.
South Korea: An uneasy relationship
South Korean manufacturers are constrained from adopting key technologies because of budgets, according to the survey. More than 50% of Korean manufacturers cited limited budgets as the reason why they had not adopted cloud technologies, higher than the regional average of 40%. This was after Korean IT managers in the manufacturing industry listed the technology as second (74%) only after big data as the most important technology shaping their company’s future.
Except for the public sector, 60% IT managers in Korea have their eyes set on 5G – that’s the highest percentage regionally and only China comes close with 46%. While the survey didn’t show the requirements and implications of deploying such technology, Korean IT leaders are for the most part the most concerned about talent. For example, 52% of them indicated unfit talent is the reason their companies are unable to deploy artificial intelligence.
Singapore's push into big data analytics – the cornerstone of its smart nation strategy – is being driven by larger organizations, according to the Cisco survey. Not only did Singaporean IT executives cite big data as the most important technology shaping their organization, but the proportion rose depending on the organization’s size, placing Singapore ahead of other countries in terms of taking the technology seriously. (See Figure 5)
Put this down to two primary factors: government initiatives and the emergence of regional ride-sharing and e-commerce giants based in Singapore. A study by KPMG commissioned by the Competition Commission of Singapore6 found that the efforts of government agencies had helped to ease the high costs associated with implementing and setting up analytics infrastructure, as well as facilitate data sharing. It also pointed to the growth of private ride booking companies such as Grab and Uber (which merged in this year) and the pure e-commerce companies such as Lazada as stimulating the development of analytics capabilities in those sectors in Singapore.
There are other government initiatives too, where government-run agencies and think tanks have collaborated with the private sector to explore the use of analytics in new areas. Fujitsu Limited, Singapore Management University and A*STAR's Institute of High Performance Computing, for example, are leveraging artificial intelligence and big data analytics to help the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore improve vessel traffic management in one of the busiest ports in the world.
6Understanding the Data and Analytics Landscape in Singapore, August 2017
Vietnam: Besieged but fighting back
"Digital transformation is no longer just a vision in Vietnam, it is a reality. Businesses across the country are adopting technology and harnessing its power to overcome challenges and unlock new growth opportunities. From improving operational efficiency to empowering a mobile workforce and enhancing customer experience, technology is helping companies on multiple fronts.
As businesses progress on their transformation journey they are starting to understand that for them to be able to exploit the full potential of digital adoption, they need to make cybersecurity a fundamental part of their digital strategy. While companies are starting to adopt technologies that can help them, there is a need for Vietnam to develop local capabilities, especially on the talent front and for closer collaboration among all stakeholders on sharing intelligence to ensure they stay a step ahead of malicious actors." – Thuy Le Luong
Thuy Le Luong - Managing Director, Cisco Vietnam
Vietnam, too, has a plan – this one about cybersecurity. A recent AT Kearney survey commissioned by Cisco on cybersecurity in the ASEAN region showed Malaysia, Indonesia and Vietnam are already blocking 3.5 times more threats than the global average. Another cybersecurity survey by Cisco7 in the region found that a third of cybersecurity incidents in Vietnam cost the victims more than $10 million – compared to a regional 4% and a worldwide 3%, and way ahead of the next biggest victim, Australia (10%).8
That said, Vietnam is not standing still. In January it set up a Cyberspace Operations Command to oversee government control of the Internet and military IT-related issues. In June, its national assembly passed a law designed to tighten cybersecurity, to come into effect on Jan 1, 2019.9
Cisco’s survey shows IT leaders are also taking the issue seriously: 81% of them said they were upgrading their IT infrastructure to improve their cybersecurity posture, the highest number both among other technologies for Vietnamese managers and for cybersecurity in the region. Vietnamese executives in financial services and managers in the public sector were the ones taking it more seriously: All those surveyed in government said it was important, and 94% of those in financial services. That this message was already being reflected in deployment decisions was clear: 88% said they had already started to adopt cybersecurity - the largest proportion both of technologies adopted, and of all technologies adopted by any country. (See Figure 6)
At the same time, Cisco’s survey reveals supreme confidence on the part of the country’s IT managers. It scored highest (99%) when they were asked whether their organization had a digital transformation strategy, and was the only country where all managers said they believed their institution’s digital transformation strategy was adequate to achieve their goals. (They recorded the same unique score when asked whether their strategy was adequate to adopt the relevant technologies for digital transformation.) Not only that: more Vietnamese IT executives than any other country surveyed included cloud, cybersecurity and automation among technologies that were shaping, or would shape, their company’s future, suggesting that Vietnamese managers are laser-focused on the key technologies for this stage of their country’s development. Drilling down further, the survey data suggested that all sectors and organizations, large and small, are thinking the same way.
7 Cisco 2018 Asia Pacific Security Capabilities Benchmark Study, Sept 2018
8 Cisco 2018 Asia Pacific Security Capabilities Benchmark Study, Sept 2018
9 ‘Vietnam: Withdraw Problematic Cyber Security Law,’ Human Rights Watch, June 7, 2018
Indonesia: Brick and mortar retailers slow
to react to the Go-Jek challenge
Indonesian retailers do not seem to be reacting fast enough to the technology-driven shifts in their industry. Despite the rapid growth of Go-Jek into areas once associated with the ubiquitous mall – food delivery, payments, banking, grocery, stylists, even massage – Indonesian retailers are still behind in adopting the technologies necessary to challenge the platform giant. Nine percent of IT managers in Indonesian retail said their companies were not adequately prepared to adopt the relevant technologies. (Most other sectors had no one suggesting they were not prepared.). This number rose to 14% when they were asked whether their company’s strategy was enough in itself to achieve their goals. Link Retailers had listed the cloud as by far (86%) the most important technology shaping their company’s future, suggesting that cloud adoption – the foundation of any digital strategy – among retailers was lower than IT managers would like.
sees salvation in big data
Thai civil servants see a big future for big data and analytics in their organizations – 79% of respondents in the public sector said it was shaping, or would shape, their organizations’ future – rating even higher than cybersecurity. This illustrates how governments in emerging Asia see analyzing the data they are collecting, or could collect, on their citizens could help make providing public services more efficient. In March General Prayuth Chan o-cha, Thailand’s prime minister, announced his Digital Government Plan 2017-2021, aiming to incorporate an integrated information network to develop digital capabilities within all sectors, including agriculture, tourism, education, the medical profession, investment, disaster prevention, and public administration.
A slow-burn love affair
with big data
Malaysia’s civil servants are much more likely than their counterparts in other countries to say that their organization has started adopting big data and analytics (BDA) – 79% against 52% for all countries surveyed. That said, there was still some concern among some public sector IT managers that their current IT structure wasn’t enough – 17% said no, and 14% said they weren’t sure, while 22% of those who said their department had a digital transformation strategy said it wasn’t enough to adopt the relevant technologies.
This nuance – high adoption of analytics, but concern that what was being done wouldn’t be enough – might be explained by the country’s aggressive embrace of big data. Several years ago the government introduced its own big data roadmap, hoping to make the country ASEAN’s leading big data analytics hub. A white paper by Frost & Sullivan10 in 2015 saw gaps in the initiatives, recommending the country “adopt a more focused approach towards R&D and infrastructure initiatives.” It concluded that “significant efforts are needed to help Malaysia unlock the potential economic impact of BDA.”
10 National Big Data Analytics Initiative: Assessing the Opportunity and Impact of Big Data Analytics in Malaysia, F&S, 2015
Philippines: Confusion, and an uneven response to cyber threats
More than 20% of civil servants in the Philippines said that their government department did not have a digital transformation strategy, higher than the average. And while 58% of those surveyed said they had started to adopt cloud services, only a quarter (26%) of public sector IT managers said they had begun to adopt cybersecurity (compared to 82% of those in the Philippines’ financial services industry and 62% across public sectors in all countries surveyed.) The Philippines government in January said it would invest about $40 million in upgrade its cybersecurity capabilities, after the elections commission’s database was hacked last year, and 68 other government agencies targeted by hackers in 2016 alone.
Cybersecurity and finance
"Cybersecurity needs to be an integral part of digital innovation. As our technological landscape evolves and new cyber attacks emerge, it’s never been more important for organizations to detect threats quickly. Cisco has dramatically reduced the time to detect threats to hours, compared to the industry average of more than 100 days. We’re able to do this because our integrated architectural approach to security, harnesses the power of automation, which helps our customers to secure their organizations more effectively from the network, to the endpoint, to the cloud." – Stephen Dane
Stephen Dane - Managing Director, Security, Cisco Asia-Pacific, Japan and China
Financial services take cybersecurity very seriously - 80% said it was a technology that was, or would, shape their industry, compared to, say, 55% in retail. (See Figure 1)
This in itself isn't surprising: The World Bank estimated that customers of financial services suffered 65% more cyberattacks in 2016 than customers of any other industry, itself a 29% increase from the previous year.1
Digging deeper into the data, however, reveals a worrying picture: while 80% of IT executives in the industry rated it as a technology that would shape their industry, only 69% said they had started to adopt it. (See Figure 2) And that number fell to 62% when those adopters were asked whether the technology had been fully installed (that's still the best of all sectors). Another 30% of those financial services IT managers adopting the technology said they were half way there.
Given how cyberattacks and cyber theft have ravaged the industry for at least a decade, the numbers reflect how slow some organizations are to adopt robust defenses. The Cisco 2018 Asia Pacific Security Capabilities Benchmark Study concurs, highlighting that while 42% of executives consider cybersecurity a high priority, as many as 9% of respondents indicated they do not have any dedicated cybersecurity professionals at their organizations, and 13% do not have executives who have direct responsibility and accountability for the cybersecurity of their organizations. Perhaps unsurprisingly, only half of the cybersecurity alerts that are received are investigated – even when 51% of those alerts are actual incidents.2
Accenture uncovered similar mismatches between executives acknowledging the problem and doing enough to protect their organizations. While a worldwide survey of over 900 executives conducted by Accenture Strategy found that over two-thirds of respondents believe the likelihood of a cyberattack to be "very" or "extremely" high, only 9% run inward-directed attacks and intentional failures to test their systems on a regular basis. "There is a significant disconnect," the report concluded, "between cyber threat awareness and preparedness in most organizations."
These threats can come from anywhere: Henry Shek, Head of Cyber Security Services KPMG in China, wrote in a recent KPMG paper3 that one of the region's biggest problems was on the cyber risks arising from third-party service providers and connections. Banks are taking action, he said, to not only check their own preparedness but also to evaluate the security controls of third-party providers, scrutinizing what data is being shared with outsiders, and even beginning to conduct cyber security simulations that involve testing third-party connections and personnel.
This is a start, but it's only that - especially with the rise of open banking, where customers can use their banking data on other platforms. According to a survey by the Economist Intelligence Unit and Temenos of digital banking, while 71% of respondents are focusing their digital investment on cyber security (the biggest focus), only 17% are concerned about those third-party relationships.
1 Cybersecurity, Cyber Risk and Financial Sector Regulation and Supervision, Feb 24 2018
2 Cyber Security: Confronting the Threat, Accenture, 2015
3 Global perspectives on cyber security in banking, KMPG, May 2018
For decision makers about which technology to focus on, the landscape can be confusing. The Cisco survey highlighted the divides between how some countries and industries are adopting technologies, where the divide isn't easy to explain. Take the retail industry and the internet of things, or IoT, as an example. While consumer IoT is already taking off, the retail industry itself is still responding unevenly. Developing countries like Thailand, the Philippines and Indonesia rank it very low as a shaping technology (lowest of all technologies in all those cases), (See Figure 3) while India, Australia, China, Japan and Malaysia rate it higher (all but Japan rating it as the most influential technology on the list).
This may reflect the different pace and paths that markets within Asia are taking to adopt online retail.
GM Insights, a consultancy, estimates $9 billion was spent on IoT in retail last year, and that the global market would grow by 19% CAGR by 2024.4 Most of this spending is on digital signage, but also on supply chain management, payment systems, and smart shelves/doors. IoT can also help minimize waste, control costs, and reduce the risks of delivery product shortages. This growth will spur demand for greater network capacity: A joint report by ESCAP and the ADB in June said that retail data created by IoT devices in 2020 would require 1,000 times the network capacity the 2016 level, with 4G networks incapable of handling this growth.
Spending on retail IoT in the physical world is likely to be dwarfed as more and more consumers do their shopping online - a trend that is much more pronounced in Asia. A report by Zebra Technologies5 last year found that 70% of retailers worldwide were ready to adopt IoT to improve their consumers' experience. But while most of that spending was likely to focus on technologies such as locating customers in their stores and personalizing the customer's in-store experience, the emphasis in Asia-Pacific was different. There, retailers said, more shoppers would migrate from brick and mortar stores to online channels than their counterparts elsewhere: Nearly 80% of respondents in the region said they planned to support buying online for pick-up elsewhere.
It's notable that this trend - already highly visible in China - is moving quickly through emerging Southeast Asia. Last year, Google estimated that the e-commerce market in the region had doubled over the last two years, reaching around $11 billion by the end of 20176. The GSM Association, or GSMA, pointed to marketplaces where small businesses sell to consumers on mobile-first platforms run by players like Lazada, Shopee and Tokopedia.7
4 IOT in Retail Market Share, Sept 2017
5 Reinventing Retail: 2017 Retail Vision Study
6 e-Conomy SEA Spotlight 2017
7 Mobile Economy, Asia Pacific 2018
Manufacturing and automation
"Manufacturing plays a critical role in Asia-Pacific’s economy and its overall competitiveness in the world. Governments are heavily investing in the sector to ensure this region stays ahead, and every country has an Industry 4.0 body with programs underway. This is leading to the emergence of new manufacturing hubs other than the already highly advanced manufacturing sectors in Japan and Korea. With the introduction of Industry 4.0 and new digital capabilities, we also see a shift from advance automation to real-time analytics and integration of connected systems, which manufacturers are already leveraging for intelligent operations, workforce safety, higher productivity, and faster go-to- market. In time, as products become servitized, data in manufacturing will eventually lead to a whole new level of customer experience - from the power plant to the customer – faster, better, and more personalized.
For all of this to happen, a top performing digital ready infrastructure is critical. This includes a modern networking and cloud framework that is not only able to connect the entire value chain, but also able to store and process all of the data that lives within it – with speed and security. With the amount of data and connections in factories, data protection is indeed a top-of-mind concern for manufacturers. At Cisco, we promote an end-to-end approach, from the edge to the cloud, and help our customers leverage the network itself, their most pervasive asset, to be able to detect and remediate threats even before they happen." – Ruma Balasubramanian
Ruma Balasubramanian – Vice President of Enterprise and Digital, Cisco Asia-Pacific, Japan and China
In Asia, expect to see automation in manufacturing expanding beyond its heartlands of Japan, South Korea and China. Manufacturing companies see automation as a shaping technology - even in those countries where labor is cheap. As many executives in countries like India, China see it impacting their company's future as those in South Korea and Singapore, where automation is much more advanced. And then in countries like the Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam even more executives see it shaping their business. (See Figure 4)
Several factors are shaping this.
Exporting countries sometimes lumped together as 'the Mighty Five' - Malaysia, India, Thailand, Indonesia and Vietnam - recognize that they must adopt automation for their manufacturing industries to remain competitive. This is no distant threat: The Financial Times8 reported that shoemaker Nike has been working with Flex, the high-tech manufacturer, to automate the labor-intensive process of making sports shoes. This would drive down costs, but also allow the company to get new designs to market more quickly. Vietnam, the FT says, supplies 75% of Nike's shoes.
Indeed, automation is as much driven by other factors as the labor costs that originally made the Mighty Five attractive outsourcing centers. Labor accounts for only a small percentage of a garment's cost - between 10 and 20%, according to the ADB's Asian Development Outlook, which says savings are derived more from reduced waste and higher volume, meaning companies enjoy a better return on fixed costs. Robots that sew a whole garment are some ways off, the ADB says, but within a decade companies may be able to 'restore' their manufacturing with the unit cost of, say, a shirt to 40 cents - less than what it costs in India.
Complicating the picture is that the automation industry itself is evolving: prices of robots have fallen by roughly half between 2010 and 2016, according to economists at Barclays Capital. In the past, only large companies who could afford the high capital cost and the time and expertise required to program these robots to perform specific tasks, according to a paper published by the International Federation of Robotics in March. Both factors, it said, have resulted in a low adoption rate by smaller and medium-sized manufacturers, which account for almost 70% of manufacturers globally. This is starting to change, the IFR, said, as the cost of installing and running an industrial robot - including not just the robot hardware but the peripherals and systems integration - falls.
8 Nike’s focus on robotics threatens Asia’s low-cost workforce, FT, Oct 22 2017
Cloud is driving the transformational bus (except for China)
"A great majority of organizations today in Asia-Pacific live not just in a single cloud, but what we call a multicloud world. This means they are adopting various public clouds in combination with their private one - a strategy that has paid dividends and helped companies accelerate growth and digital transformation. While the trend will continue, it’s important organizations think about how they are optimizing for this new reality and rethinking their security and networking frameworks to avoid very common challenges, such as lack of interoperability in the environment, deficient security, or unexpected increase in costs.
Cisco’s approach is to help companies optimize and successfully deploy their multicloud strategies – through simplification of management, artificial intelligence, big data and analytics, and policy. This ensures interoperability across the multicloud environment, visibility over all of the data, traffic, costs, consumption, and even threats - wherever they are. No other IT company makes it possible for organizations to operate in a multicloud world – with speed, agility and security – like Cisco does." – Courtney Dodds
Courtney Dodds – Managing Director, Data Center and Cloud, Cisco Asia-Pacific, Japan and China
Cloud figures highly on nearly all countries' agendas, whatever their stage of development: more than 80% of respondents in India, Australia and Vietnam chose it as a technology that was transforming - or would transform - their company. It was the most important technology to respondents in Japan and Indonesia. Vietnam, the Philippines, South Korea and Singapore listed it second. Only in China does it lag in 5th, but this was partly due to those in the public sector, only a third of whom said that cloud technologies were being adopted - roughly half the overall figure across all countries and sectors.
It's not surprising that the cloud looms so large across the region: according to Cisco’s data, annual global cloud traffic will reach 19.5 zettabyte (ZB) by the end of 2021, up from 6.0 ZB per year in 2016. Global cloud IP traffic will account for 95% of total data center traffic by 2021. Cloud is definitely the technology which is seeing most adoption. The same is true when it comes to industry: only financial services and the public sector, understandably, listed cybersecurity as further ahead in terms of adoption.
But still some are holding off. Why? A mix of factors, but the market variations are interesting: In Vietnam and Thailand most of those that haven't adopted it cite budget constraints, while the majority of counterparts in Australia and Singapore say they are unsure of the implications and impact on the business.
Notable is the growing investment in software-defined wide-area-networking, or SD-WAN. SD-WAN technology allows network managers to be more flexible in planning their network needs and lower their operating costs by making use of broadband internet capabilities - a key component of cloud technology. Cisco’s survey found that a majority of countries were more likely to be upgrading their SD-WAN routing than their traditional routing technology. This was also true when asked about their upgrading plans for the near future: in Indonesia, all respondents said they planned to, while in South Korea and Singapore, none said they were planning to upgrade their traditional routing equipment. This interest in SD-WAN suggests that companies are optimizing for cloud, particularly in retail, manufacturing and financial services. A recent survey of 850 companies across five industries by Frost and Sullivan bears this out: a third of them had either already deployed an SD-WAN solution or have a deployment underway, while another 61% will deploy SD-WAN in the next 12-24 months.1 IDC last month released a report projecting the SD-WAN market to grow 40.4% per annum, to be worth $4.5 billion by 2022.2
1 Frost & Sullivan Global Survey Reveals Enterprises Deploying SD-WAN Plan to Replace Branch Routers, Aug 22, 2018
2SD-WAN Infrastructure Market Poised to Reach $4.5 Billion in 2022, Aug 8, 2018
but not others
5G is still being tested and its specifications have yet to be agreed upon, but a significant minority of executives are already watching it closely. While only a third of Indonesian IT executives, for example, chose it as a technology shaping, or likely to shape, their companies' future, more than half of those put as one of the top two technologies.
The telecommunication body drawing up standards for 5G, the 3rd Generation Partnership Project (3GPP), is expected to have them ready for commercial deployment next year. The initial plan is for the network to deliver substantial performance improvements compared to LTE, including theoretical speeds 100 times faster than 4G, response time (latency) a 1/5 of 4G, and 100 times more connections per base station. The hope is that these capabilities will push new data-heavy mobile technologies, such as augmented reality, autonomous vehicles and industrial IoT, into the mainstream.
China, South Korea and Japan are considered leaders in 5G, and for the most part the Cisco survey reflected that: nearly half of Chinese IT executives said it would shape their company's future, while the number was 59% in Korea. (Only 22% of Japanese executives said so.) In a recent report Frost and Sullivan said that while South Korea and Japan will likely be the first to commercialize 5G - Japan was home to some of the earliest 5G trials in the world, China will dominate the early commercialization stage, partly because of its size, and partly because of government support.
However, by 2022, the report said, India will be hot on their heels. And the Cisco survey suggests that pockets of Southeast Asia clearly consider 5G to be something they too should be watching more closely. More than half (57%) of Vietnamese IT executives in the manufacturing sector counted 5G as among the technologies likely to shape their future - the lowest compared to other technologies, but still higher than their counterparts elsewhere save South Korea, one of the pioneers of 5G. And two thirds of executives in Thailand who chose it as one of their top shaping technologies joined their counterparts in Indonesia as prioritizing it.
The numbers may be small, but 5G is already in decision makers' plans beyond the shores of the big three. In a report on the mobile market in Asia released in June the GSMA listed the Philippines alongside South Korea and Australia as aiming to be the first country in the world to launch 5G services. The Cisco survey found that half of public sector IT managers in Indonesia counted 5G as a shaping technology, far higher than their counterparts in any other country. The Cisco survey did not ask respondents whether 5G technologies were already being adopted, because standards have not been agreed, but there is evidence money is already being spent: Indonesia is running trials for the 5G network during the Asian Games in August.
For Indonesia, the opportunities are clear: it is on the cusp of becoming world's third largest smartphone market this year - behind China and India, according to the GSMA's June report. By 2025, the GSMA predicts, Indonesia will have among the highest smartphone adoption rates in the world, at just under 90% of total connections.
AI skills are holding back adoption
of the technology
A shortage of skills is a concern for IT leaders overall: 41% said that was the reason why they were not able to adopt the relevant technologies for digital transformation. The problem is particularly acute in artificial intelligence, a crucial technology whose usefulness has been revived with the help of big data, the cloud, and raw processing power. When companies were asked how far down the track they were in adopting each particular technology, AI came last for each country.
For all those executives who said they hadn’t adopted AI, all industries numbered a shortage of adequately skilled staff in their top two reasons. The public sector, financial services and manufacturing listed it first. The shortage is particularly acute in India, Thailand, Japan and Australia, where IT executives listed it first.
(See Figure 1)
This is not a purely Asia-Pacific problem. A recent survey of LinkedIn profiles and other sources found about 22,000 profiles related to AI, with only 3,000 of those open for new opportunities.3 The report acknowledged this woefully under-reported the likely number of AI experts, especially in China, where the government is working with the private sector to boost the number of workers skilled in AI, and Japan, long a center of AI, but largely inwardly focused.
Everywhere resources are being assigned: Research by O’Reilly found that a majority of respondents (75%) to their survey about AI said their company was using some form of in-house or external training program to make up for the shortfall of expertise. Almost half (49%) of respondents said that their company offered “in-house on-the-job training,” while 35% said their company used either formal training from a third party or from individual training consultants or contractors.4
3 Global AI Talent Report 2018, Jfgagne.ai, Feb 2018
4 How Companies are Putting AI to Work Through Deep Learning, O’Reilly, 2018
Expect a big push this year
Asked when they planned to roll out automation, 83% of IT executives (See Figure 2) said it would be in a year or less – only cybersecurity comes close (6%). This is a trend that was already visible last year: The International Federation of Robotics reported that shipments of robots rose 31% last year, to 387,000, from a year earlier. This is particularly true in Asia Pacific: shipments rose 37%, against about 20% in other regions, confirming the region's dominance.
Infrastructure - Building a foundation
"Modernization of IT infrastructure in enterprise is still overall a hard process, often leaving many companies discouraged to make the necessary changes to keep pace with the demands of a digital world. But organizations have reached an inflection point, and a transition to a more intelligent and automated IT infrastructure is in order, so that they are able to address the digital demands more rapidly in face of the be the growing number of cyber threats, users, devices and things.
For sure, 15 years ago we didn’t think today we would be able to do everything from our phones, automatically, with a click of a button. Today, the same is thought of enterprise – not possible. But change is in motion, and Cisco has been innovating dramatically in recent years to be able to make the foundational aspects of every single company – their networks, clouds (private and public), security - much simpler to not just upgrade, but also manage, consume and protect. This way, we are able to help companies shift their focus from IT management to the realization of new value, new innovation and new business models." – Vish Iyer
Vish lyer – Vice President of Architectures, Cisco Asia-Pacific, Japan and China
One concern: organizations that are upgrading (90%) aren’t upgrading all the core parts of their IT infrastructure. Of those who had upgraded their infrastructure in the past three years, 30% said they hadn’t upgraded their network, data center or cybersecurity, the three components surveyed for this report. Given the trend in the survey to cite budget constraints when deciding not to adopt even standard technologies (for example, Vietnam (59%), Korea (47%) and Singapore (56%) were more likely to cite budget constraints than other reasons for not adopting cloud technologies), this suggests that organizations are having to make hard decisions about core components when upgrading their infrastructure.
The result: their infrastructure may not be sufficient to manage the next generation of technologies at the core of this survey. Across all technologies respondents were as likely to say that their current infrastructure was not capable of supporting those technologies, as they were other reasons — a shortage of skilled staff, budgets, uncertainly about the implications for their business of these technologies.
Indeed, in some cases it was the main reason given: In China, for example, nearly half (49%) cited it as a reason for not adopting artificial intelligence, one of the key technologies earmarked by the Chinese government in its long term plan — and cited by Chinese respondents to the survey as a key shaping technology, behind only IoT and big data.
Vietnamese managers, too, said their current IT infrastructure was not capable of supporting new cybersecurity technologies, raising worrying questions about their ability to counter threats and fulfil their ambitious cybersecurity plans (see separate entry.)
On a positive note, those that did upgrade their networks said they were most likely to have been driven by new technology requirements (70%), which suggests companies are taking seriously the network demands of new technologies.
Take an integrated approach to cybersecurity
One of the most important conclusions offered by this Cisco study is that cybersecurity is a top of mind for most IT leaders across Asia-Pacific, who are taking matters into their own hands. As good as that is, it’s not enough to be digitally ready. Choosing the right strategy is what will make the difference.
At Cisco, we recommend an integrated security strategy, from the endpoint, to the network, and to the cloud, as a way to reduce complexity and increase effectiveness. Most companies have a multitude of vendors and products for each part of the IT infrastructure, resulting in a security landscape that is weaker and harder to manage because the different security elements are not integrated.
Cisco’s approach is different: adopt a single and intelligent platform that provides visibility across the entire IT infrastructure and is able to detect and fight threats even before they happen – automatically and wherever they are. In doing so, Cisco is able the detect and eliminate cyber threats in just hours compared with the industry average of over 100 days.
Optimize networking and security for cloud
Another key takeaway offered by this report is that companies in the region are heavily adopting cloud. Its relevance is justified for the scalability, agility and costs savings it offers in principle. But like a digital transformation strategy will fail if there isn’t a combined change in processes, skills and technologies, so will cloud strategies if the IT infrastructure isn’t optimized.
That said, Cisco’s approach and recommendation is that companies rethinking both their security and the networking framework to avoid common problems companies face, such as complexity of the cloud environment, lack of security or unexpected increase of costs. Also, with data growing by the second, it is critical this optimization framework is done through automated and intelligent mechanisms.
Move IT from a cost center
to a business enabler
Budget constraints are appointed in this study as the number one roadblock to innovate and invest in the relevant technology areas for the future. This situation may be explained by the traditional strategy of outsourcing IT, making this function be seen as yet another cost line in the balance sheet. But the mindset is, and will have to change in face of the digital revolution.
In digital transformation, technology is both the reason and the answer (part of it) why organizations must shift IT from a cost center to a strategic partner with a seat at the table. IT is no longer a function that supports others, but the one function that is embedded in all others – be it marketing, customer experience, R&D or sales.
Another point to consider – perhaps the most important – is that technology is now the means to innovate more, faster, create new markets, and drive customer experience. We only have to look at the newer digital companies to understand what that means. And what that means is that technology has become the reason for new and bigger sources of revenue.
Grow automation in your IT infrastructure
to shift focus from IT management to generation of new value
Automation can be a very wide concept when we talk about digital readiness. Surely, what comes to mind is manufacturing and the robots in the factory floors. But automation is everywhere when you work with Cisco: networking, security, data center, cloud, and all areas that form the core infrastructure of any company.
The importance in automating these areas - that are still largely manual in most organizations – is to help them shift the focus from IT management to how IT can help the business generate more innovation, better customer experience, or new services. The most foundational reason is that a box-by-box approach can’t keep up with the increasing number of users, devices, and certainly not cyber threats. But when the core infrastructure becomes automated, managing, scaling and securing a company and its assets become much simpler, faster and effective.
A key area of innovation for Cisco is the network. Cisco was the first company to launch the first next generation network, also known as intent-based networking, which can be looked at as a machine learning at scale that allows companies to manage large digital environments centrally and automatically, with just a few clicks. In a non-automated network environment, any given deployment and change can take weeks to months.
Build a strong IT foundation for the next level of IT innovation and business differentiation
Behind any great digital company, there’s a great IT foundation. This includes networking, data center and security amongst other elements.
Recognizing whether or not your company has a solid IT infrastructure – that is automated, simple, scalable, secure – is the first step to be digitally ready and succeed in digital transformation. Making the right choices and investments for the future, without compromises, are the second one.
While the pace of change to build this strong foundation will be different for larger and smaller organizations, the pace of digital is still the same for both. And for both, the core infrastructure will be the X-factor that will set winners and losers apart in the digital transformation battle.