By Moti Uttam
THE tech industry has seen several highs and lows during the pandemic. One key impact from the pandemic is, it has forced traditional businesses to fast track the adoption of digitalisation, more so for businesses offering consumer-centric products and services.
The demand for technology infrastructure and digital services has increased tremendously leading to businesses accelerating the digital transformation for business agility and sustainability.
According to Khazanah Research Institute researcher, Siti Aiysyah Tumin, only high-skill occupations and selected high-paying sectors and self-employed are applied to working from home, whereas some workers cannot work from home due to technological limitations and nature of the job. Similar trends have played out globally.
At the same time, the demand for bandwidth has escalated excessively as a high percentage of Malaysians are currently working from home. The internet usage jumped to 32.1% during the second week of MCO as observed by Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC).
Businesses that are providing online operations are experiencing a huge surge in adoption with the current demands. Video conferencing apps such as Zoom, Cisco Webex, Google’s Hangout and Meet social platform and other tools have become a necessity to sustain day to day operations.
Despite the obvious adversities and challenges, Malaysia has now leveraged on its technology capabilities to a national brand identity from both a business and consumer standpoint. Key leaders realised that technology is the key element to tackle the pandemic challenges and the local technology industry is expecting a rise in adoption and usage.
With this, they hope to have government initiatives to boost local SMEs and startups capabilities. Such as, strengthening digital content, accelerating digitalisation, enhancing e-commerce and adopting 5G technologies.
Here are four major trends key leaders ought to consider and address the challenges the pandemic has created for business agility, resilience and performance:
- More cloud and cloudification – Demand for expansion of cloud migrations and modernisations wherever architecturally possible and economically feasible. Megaprojects may have slowed or paused, but they appear to be increasing the number of quick and targeted ‘move-to-the-cloud’ initiatives which deliver business value much faster.
- Application modernisation pace accelerates –Demand for consistency of operation. Limited time and resources have accelerated the modernisation of application portfolios including legacy ERP application. More clients want to transition from on-premise versions of Oracle and SAP to SaaS versions of the same, and to hand-off execution and operation of those applications to solution providers.
- Hyperconverged for infrastructure scales out (and back) like never before – The effects of COVID-19 have hit businesses in waves. For example, the IT teams who pivoted first to embrace digital commerce and customer experiences now face a new challenge: quickly scaling out operations to capitalize on the explosion of digital business. On the other hand, sudden COVID-19-related economic contractions require more resource flexibility than ever before. As a result, we anticipated continued strong growth in hyperconverged and software-defined infrastructure that is well suited to the rapid scale up, down and reallocation of resources.
- Work-from-home IT elevates the importance of automation – Increasing assistance for IT leaders with tech support as well. IT leaders are more motivated than ever to take the ‘administration’ out of engineering. This is sparking more interest in management tools that automate manual tasks and processes.
What is clear from the pandemic is that companies and organisations can no longer run its businesses using methods from yesterday. They have to be agile, resilient yet able to perform in the current times of volatility and uncertainty.
Moti Uttam is the managing director, Hitachi Vantara (Malaysia). He has vast experience in the IT industry and has witnessed the quantum leaps in technology over the last two decades. He currently leads Hitachi Vantara’s operations in Malaysia and views the current state of digitalisation as the beginning of a much-awaited shift.