A Kantar study commissioned by Telstra of 512 ICT and business leaders in North Asia noted that digital transformation needs were already high even before the pandemic, but priorities have since changed.
The report, “Navigating disruption: The future of agile business success” concluded that the changes to the way organisations will continue to work are permanent, with 96% of businesses agreeing that the move to remote work fundamentally changed their business.
The need for collaboration solutions is here to stay as hybrid working models, combining office and remote working, emerge.
The report emphasized that the biggest obstacles to fostering a successful hybrid environment and enabling successful remote working for employees are primarily digital, with cybersecurity highlighted as a key challenge in all markets during the switch to remote working.
Connectivity, infrastructure issues and provisioning of technical support are other key remote working challenges currently facing businesses.
Greater need for security
The study highlights the heightened need to maintain cybersecurity and compliance has caused project costs to escalate. In fact, 70% of North Asian businesses have seen an increase in digital transformation project investments owing to the pandemic with cybersecurity protection and compliance measures being cited amongst the top three technological obstacles to digital transformation projects.
Paul Abfalter, Head of North Asia and Global Wholesale at Telstra, conceded that doing business in 2021 is not easy – it requires resilience, foresight, and nerve.
“Businesses have risen to the challenge of adapting to the reality of remote working by rapidly putting policies in place which let employees easily stay connected and work from home. However, there is still work to do, as businesses need a holistic digital transformation plan which brings together connectivity, cloud, collaboration, and security,” he continued.
The research also found that 58% of businesses in North Asia are considering cybersecurity cloud solutions as a tool to support their employees over the next 12-18 months. Seventy-eight per cent are introducing immediate measures to protect against security threats as a top ICT investment priority, describing this shift in importance as a direct result of COVID-19.
Tangentially, 60% of organisations are aiming to increase their cybersecurity ICT spend to enable this urgent shift in priorities.
“There is no doubt turning vision into strategy and action can be difficult, and the dramatic shift to support remote working has made things even harder. That is why it is crucial to find the right transformation partner for your business,” Abfalter added.