Digital infrastructure to drive 43% of business revenue in Asia by 2027

Image courtesy of Lenovo.

Lenovo and AMD have jointly launched a new InfoBrief titled ‘CIO Technology Playbook 2023’, that aims to highlight the opportunities, challenges, and considerations for CIOs in today’s data-driven economy, to help them make the right IT investments.

The IDC paper, commissioned by Lenovo and AMD, revealed that with the rapid digital transformation in Asia-Pacific, organisations are expected to generate as much as 43% of the revenue from digitally-connected products, services, and customer experiences by 2027.

The CIO Technology playbook is a study of over 900 CIOs and IT decision makers in Asia-Pacific. The results observed show concerns among CIOs around macroeconomic factors affecting business growth in 2023 and early 2024. For 53% of respondents, ‘high inflation’ is the topmost concern in 2023; half (50%) of the CIOs ranked ‘high energy prices’ and ‘escalating raw material prices’ as the other key challenge areas.

“The upcoming year is predicted to be a challenging one with economic fluctuations and the acceleration of digital transformation. IT leaders in Asia-Pacific are consequently putting more of an emphasis on streamlining processes and utilising technology to optimise resources and increase business agility, so they can react quicker to the changing needs of the industry,” said Sumir Bhatia, President – Asia Pacific, Lenovo ISG.

“In response to the evolving market, businesses in the region are prioritising digital transformation and modernising legacy IT infrastructure. With our pocket to the cloud offerings, Lenovo ISG is well equipped and committed to help modern businesses achieve greater resilience, while keeping cyberthreats at bay,” he continued.

“It is absolutely essential for business leaders to stay on top of technology trends in order to stay competitive in today’s hyper growth environment. AMD has played a critical role in the transformation process of multiple organisations over the years, and we are thrilled to be a part of this joint initiative with Lenovo. The ‘CIO Technology Playbook 2023’ serves to provide CIOs and other business leaders with key insights into 2023 technology trends that would enable business leaders to implement a future-ready digital infrastructure for sustainable growth,” said Peter Chambers, Managing Director, AMD Asia Pacific and Japan.

“With comprehensive data-driven insights on key trends such as artificial intelligence/machine learning, hybrid/multi-cloud and data management solutions, our hope is that CIOs will be better equipped to deal with today’s competitive and volatile business climate,” Chambers added.

The study further highlights that IT decision makers are actively looking to leverage technology to optimise their supply chains and improve asset utilisation, agility, and resilience, enabling them to respond faster to the changing needs of the business. When it comes to business priorities, for 36% of CIOs in Asia driving revenue and profit growth is the top priority, followed by driving higher customer experience and satisfaction, and cost optimisation and savings for 32% of respondents respectively.

Digital infrastructure to significantly drive business ROI

Digital infrastructure can help businesses automate tasks, streamline processes, and improve productivity. 85% of Asia-Pacific organisations agree that digital infrastructure is essential to achieve business goals. With the advent of multi-clouds and rapidly expanding edge infrastructure, CIOs are highly concerned about the growing IT operational complexity and increasing demand for faster response to their ever-changing and evolving business requirements. To accelerate their digital transformation and modernise legacy IT infrastructure, CIOs called out improving cyber resiliency (ranked #1 by 49% of respondents in Asia) and automating digital infrastructure management (ranked #2 by 47% of respondents in Asia) as the top investment priorities for 2023.

Increased focus on hybrid/multi-cloud for cloud/modernised mission-critical workloads

Over the years, organisations have realised that public cloud does not always offer the best application experience and performance or reduce cost burden from ever-increasing cloud workloads. Additionally, security concerns have urged 68% of organisations in the ASEAN+ region to repatriate workloads back from public cloud to private cloud and/or traditional data centres in the last 12 months.

Hybrid or multi-cloud is poised to gain prominence in Asia over the next two to three years, as businesses in Asia-Pacific will continue to run more than 50% of mission-critical workloads on traditional data centre infrastructure, systems and platforms, and private cloud infrastructure. Hybrid or multi-cloud offers the highest levels of performance and meets data security and compliance requirements.

Growing awareness and adoption of as-a-service flexible models

Mindshare of as-a-services based consumption models has increased tremendously in APAC.

Keeping up with the highly volatile, ever-changing business and economic environment, organisations in APAC stated cost rationalisation and optimisation as the key drivers of as-a-service infrastructure. Consumption-based infrastructure offers flexibility and agility, helping CIOs ease financial burdens and invest more in business innovation. 85% of organisations in ASEAN+ are either already leveraging as-a-service flexible IT infrastructure, or are planning to adopt it in the next 12 months.

Unified data management means improved innovation

Data locked in cloud silos will impede every organisation’s ability to successfully digitally transform and thereby meet digital business goals. Efficient data management requires seamless mobility of data in a highly secure manner across the different deployment locations. While there are growing application interdependencies, only 8% of businesses in Asia-Pacific are using a single data management platform, and another 78% of businesses are currently using multiple data management platforms and systems.

Single unified data management platforms offer seamless data mobility across multiple clouds and integrate data across containers and at the edge. Modern single unified data management platforms for myriad data types will be the cornerstone of digitally transforming organisations’ data-innovation journey. CIOs investing in the right platforms and technologies to manage the data explosion at the edge will be in strong stead to build market leadership.

Enhancing customer experience is a priority for CIOs

Businesses across verticals such as manufacturing, retail, logistics, transportation, and energy are increasingly focused on delivering a superior customer experience to drive success in the digital economy.

AI will become mainstream in 2023: The application of AI to enhance customer experience is gaining more prominence among CIOs in the APAC region. Over 88% of APAC organisations are either using or are planning to use AI/ML applications in the next 12 months. This is more prominent in the ASEAN+ region, with 91% of organisations found to be using or planning to use AI applications in the year ahead.

Organisations are expected to use AI-powered applications for a broad array of business use cases and functions across vertical industries. In the ASEAN+ region, some of the top business processes with AI and ML incorporated are IT operations, sales and distribution, as well as finance and accounting.

Edge innovation will be the next frontier in the DX journey: There is a rapid adoption of edge computing in APAC. 88% of the organisations in Asia are either using or planning to use edge computing in the next 12 months for business operations.

Through edge, businesses can improve the optimal utilisation of assets and enhance overall customer experience while ensuring higher uptime or improved reliability. Real-time customer analytics for omni experience; automated quality control and remediation; and asset tracking, geo fencing and management were among the top use cases in APAC.

The survey was conducted across 12 key markets in Asia – India, Japan, Korea, Indonesia, Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand, Hong Kong, Malaysia, and the Philippines.