Asia’s tech spend is surging – four ways to optimise investment

All companies are digitally reliant today, and those that were slow to adopt technology before the pandemic have accelerated transformation plans in the past 24 months. 

Extended lockdown periods drove everyone online for work, study, shopping, entertainment, news, and communications, forcing companies to quickly upgrade technologies to meet new consumer behaviours and demands.

Across Asia, companies are embracing this trend. For instance, in Southeast Asia, TechNavio predicts that IT spend in Southeast Asia is expected to increase to US$33.97 trillion from 2021 to 2026, accelerating at a CAGR of 8.4% in the period.

Like all large-scale purchases, spending wisely is recommended for tech stack upgrades. It is far more important to formulate a tech stack strategy, shopping list, and budget that meet your unique needs, rather than blindly getting swept up in the next big thing.

Keeping your wits about you amid surging transformation

It is easy to get carried away by trends, especially when those around you are jumping on any bandwagon without much thought for what they actually bring to the business. This is particularly important for Asia, due to its incredible potential for growth. In Southeast Asia, for example, tech spend is predicted to increase significantly as gross merchandise value is projected to grow by a whopping 20%, reaching US$200 billion. Google’s e-Conomy SEA 2022 report found that the region is on track to hit this milestone three years earlier than expected.

Affordable devices and the pandemic also brought a lot more people online with 100 million new internet users registered from 2019-2022. While the region’s economies are only just beginning to bounce back from lengthy lockdowns, tech funding remained robust throughout, recording 13% growth in deal value from between 2021 and 2022.

The rise of ChatGPT and other AI-led solutions is another game-changing trend. Up to 55% of IT organisations will invest in AI skills by 2023 to run automated IT operations and support end users adopting AI and automation solutions. AI-driven features will also be embedded in business technology categories by 2026, and 75% of large Asia-Pacific enterprises will rely on AI-infused processes to enhance asset efficiencies.

A transformation checklist

Building or revitalising a tech stack to optimise these trends is an urgent need. While procrastination is not an option, neither is a “fools-rush-in” approach. Instead, try this four-point checklist to help you maximise your tech budget and resources.

  1. Mainframes remain the backbone of many organisations
    “Mainframes will remain the backbone of IT infrastructure for most companies” is a key finding from our recent The State of the Mainframe report, where 80% of the IT professionals surveyed reinforced the importance of mainframe resilience, security, and data governance strengths. While cloud-based solutions are popular, companies merging cloud and mainframe technology will be ahead of the curve.
  2. Hybrid infrastructure offers a seamless transition
    “Rip and replace” is an approach more suited to home renovators than IT teams transitioning from mainframes to partial or full cloud solutions.

    Why? If you make a sudden, wholesale infrastructure change, it is almost impossible to maintain the same level of security, data governance, and resiliency provided by a mainframe.

    With the right tools, however, innovative applications can be developed in the cloud and connected to the mainframe with little adoption. Hybrid infrastructure models allow businesses to leverage the reliability and security of their mainframe while also taking advantage of the latest tools to provide teams with the flexibility and user experience they crave.
  3. Hybrid cloud is the future
    With leading companies in the defence, space, banking, and healthcare sectors leveraging mainframe technology through hybrid cloud models, it is expected to remain the industry standard for the near future.

    Enabling core infrastructure to continue living in mainframe environments (while using APIs providing access to cloud, web, and mobile applications) allows businesses to provide a modern experience for employees and end users without risk.
  4. Customer first
    Identifying customer needs and designing a modernisation game plan around these allows companies to prioritise goals and strategies. Putting customers first improves disruption mitigation, saving time and money.

Solid foundations

Maintaining a robust mainframe can be achieved via a measured and ‘right-fit’ approach to launching new tech. For businesses, this empowers them to drive uninterrupted modernisation through a groundwork for transformation that prioritises business value.

By automating workloads and mitigating security and compliance risks, businesses can achieve significant performance and productivity gains, while also improving storage capacity. This can open up boundless possibilities for creating next-generation experiences that meet customers where they are. To fully leverage the potential of their tech stacks, businesses must identify and address their specific needs and reimagine how data is used.