Businesses in Asia Pacific & Japan burdened by data, research finds

MOST businesses in Asia Pacific and Japan (APJ) are struggling with the proliferation of data, said a global commissioned study released by Dell Technologies recently.

The research, conducted by Forrester Consulting, revealed that rather than offering a competitive advantage, data has become a burden due to a number of barriers including a data skills gap, data silos, manual processes, business silos as well as data privacy and security weaknesses.

This ‘Data Paradox’ is driven by the volume, velocity and variety of data overwhelming businesses, technology, people and processes.

The findings are based on a survey of more than 4,000 decision-makers from 45 countries including 1,000 respondents from nine countries across APJ, including Australia, Indonesia, New Zealand, Singapore and Thailand.

The research builds on the Dell Technologies Digital Transformation Index research, which assesses the digital maturity of businesses around the globe.

The Digital Transformation Index revealed that ‘data overload/unable to extract insights from data’ was the third highest global ranking barrier to transformation (APJ: 3rd), up from 11th place in 2016 (APJ: 12th).

Meanwhile, two-thirds of respondents (Global: 66%, APJ: 67%) say their business is data-driven and state “data is the lifeblood of their organisation.”

However, only a little over a fifth (Global: 21%, APJ: 21%) testify to treating data as capital and prioritising its use across the business.

According to the research, 70% globally and 73% in APJ say they are gathering data faster than they can analyse and use, yet 67% globally and 69% in APJ say they constantly need more data than their current capabilities provide.

This could possibly be the result of:

  • Global: 64%, APJ: 62% guarding a significant amount of their data in data centres they own or control, despite the known benefits of processing data at the edge (where the data is generated);
  • Poor data leadership – Global: 70%, APJ: 69% admit their board still doesn’t visibly support the company’s data and analytics strategy; and
  • An IT strategy that doesn’t scale – Global: 57%, APJ: 54% are bolting on more data lakes, rather than consolidating what they have.

Consequentially, the explosion in data is making their working lives harder rather than easier.

Global: 64%, APJ: 66% complain they have such a glut of data they can’t meet security and compliance requirements, and Global: 61%, APJ: 66% say their teams are already overwhelmed by the data that they have.

“At a time when businesses are under immense pressure to embrace digital transformation to accelerate customer service, they need to juggle getting more data in, as well as better mining the data that they have,” Dell Technologies president (Asia Pacific & Japan and Global Digital Cities) Amit Midha pointed out.

“Particularly now, with 44% globally and in APJ saying the pandemic significantly increased the amount of data they need to collect, store, and analyse.

“Becoming a data-driven business is a journey, and they will need guides to help them along the way.”

Despite the fact that businesses are struggling today, the research found that many have plans for the future.

Global: 66%, APJ: 67% intend to deploy machine learning to automate how they detect anomaly data, 57% globally and in APJ are looking to move to a data-as-a-service model while Global: 52%, APJ: 47% are planning to look deeper into the performance stack to rearchitect how they process and use data in the next 1-3 years.

The research pointed to three ways that businesses can turn their data burden into a data advantage, namely to modernise their IT infrastructure, to optimise data pipelines to enable data to flow freely and securely while being augmented by AI/ML, and by developing software to deliver the personalised, integrated experiences to customers. – Sept 15, 2021

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