Enhancing Remote Working and Cybersecurity a Top Priority of Asia Pacific

Enhancing Remote Working and Cybersecurity a Top Priority of Asia Pacific

by April 1, 2021

Across Asia-Pacific (APAC), firms are ramping up their digital transformation efforts, focusing primarily on adopting cloud computing, improving cybersecurity and enhancing remote working, a new survey by Australian telco firm Telstra.

The study, conducted in late-2020, polled 420 business decision-makers from various industry verticals spread across seven APAC markets to understand their digital transformation needs and challenges.

The study found that despite COVID-19, APAC businesses still intend to expand across the region, with China, Japan and Singapore named as the top three markets for expansion.

With six in ten organizations having their sights set on entering new markets, investing in technology is considered key to succeeding in expansion ventures with cloud infrastructure and services (41%), cybersecurity (39%) and enhanced remote working quality and update (35%) perceived as the top priorities.

Top ICT priorities that organisations plan to focus on following expansion into APAC markets, Source- The APAC Transformation Vision, Telstra, 2021

Top ICT priorities that organizations plan to focus on following expansion into APAC markets, Source: The APAC Transformation Vision, Telstra, 2021

Increased adaptability, reduced costs and improved customer experiences

The global pandemic has forced companies in APAC to accelerate their journeys of transformation, a move largely driven by a desire to provide processes and improve customer experiences, the study found.

70% APAC businesses have increased investment in digital transformation projects, and more than six in ten have increased the pace of digital transformation and innovation projects as part of their top pandemic recovery priorities.

In APAC, digital transformation initiatives are spurred by a desire to increase adaptability (77%), improve cost structure (65%), increase revenue streams (64%) and deliver personalized customer experience (64%).

Factors driving APAC businesses' digital transformation efforts, Source- The APAC Transformation Vision, Telstra, 2021

Factors driving APAC businesses’ digital transformation efforts, Source: The APAC Transformation Vision, Telstra, 2021

Research firm IDC predicts public cloud services spending in APAC (excluding Japan) to reach US$48.4 billion by 2021, from US$36.4 billion in 2020. As economic activities return to pre-COVID levels, companies are building new technology-enabled business models, and cloud has emerged as a core foundation of this renewed tech focus, IDC says.

With digital adoption accelerating, cybersecurity has emerged as a key area of focus. In APAC, a new research by cybersecurity firm Trend Micro found that 18% of APAC organizations suffered seven or more attacks infiltrating their networks or systems over the past year. The majority (81%) suffered one or more attacks.

Booming digital banking activity

Findings from the Telstra survey echo other trends observed over the past year amid the pandemic.

In the banking sector, COVID-19 has led to an increase in the use of digital banking and digital payments. A June 2020 survey by Boston Consulting Group of 17,600 respondents across 30 countries found that 16% of those surveyed enrolled into online or mobile banking for the first time as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. One in three customers used mobile banking more than they did prior to the crisis, and one in four expects to use physical branches less frequently, or stop visiting all together, once the crisis is resolved.

In APAC, contactless payments shot up 2.5 time from February to March this year alone, Mastercard EVP of Product and Innovation for APAC, Sandeep Malhotra, told Tech Wire Asia earlier this month.

In Indonesia, Bank Central Asia, the largest private bank in the country, reported in February that its mobile and Internet transactions grew by 50.7% in 2020 compared to the previous year.