How technology is supporting asia’s economies during a time of unprecedented disruption

As Asia’s businesses struggle with series of social, political and natural disturbances, managing and maintaining operations when staff are forced to work remotely is becoming an increasing and all too regular concern.

The challenge for Asia is that despite, once again becoming the centre of the global economy, it is still prone to instability and disruption, both natural and man-made. The convergence of some of the most dynamic and concentrated economies in the world is now regularly offset by the fact that we reside in one of the most naturally turbulent and unpredictable regions in the world.

Volatility – a new norm

For many companies in Asia, business resilience and continuity – once an afterthought – is now a priority.

The recent disturbances in Hong Kong, bushfires in Australia, and the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak across Asia and beyond have left many businesses struggling to cope with employees who are physically unable to make it to the office yet still required to be ‘present’ and productive for the business by their employers.

Technology steps up in time of need

As millions of people remain isolated across the region, the pivotal role of technology and how it helps keep the world’s economic engine running has been pushed into the spotlight.

Over the past few turbulent months, a range of software, solutions and applications have ensured that prescient Asian businesses have managed to continue operating while navigating the recent unpredictability and uncertainty.

Without a doubt, cloud technology has helped. The adoption of public, private and hybrid cloud services provided access to, and availability of, critical data.

At the same time, the transition from hardware-based to software-defined infrastructure means that physical access to datacentres is no longer required and central operations can be handled remotely or by a skeleton staff. Thus, the heart of many organisations has continued pumping.

A truly mobile workforce

VDI (Virtual Desktop Infrastructure) and DaaS (Desktop as a Service) are perfect examples of how technology is keeping Asia’s businesses running. VDI is a cloud-hosted desktop normally located in an on-site datacentre and operated and maintained by in-house IT personnel.

The advantages are that it provides the ability to customise and control the on-site hardware and environment – ideal for companies with highly sensitive data. The flexible infrastructure can also be easily expanded in small steps. This is an optimal solution in the face of unforeseen, increased demand,  as we have seen with the recent unpredictable events.

That said, the true benefit for the enterprise is that it provides mobility and flexibility for personnel without compromising business security, productivity or performance. VDI allows employees to work from anywhere, on any device with secure and complete access to their work desktop, files and network.

At the height of the Hong Kong unrest, the city’s financial giants used VDI to maximise the safety of their staff, avoiding unpredictable and hazardous commutes, and allowing them to operate safely and securely at peak capacity.

DaaS on the hand is a fully outsourced solution providing a virtual desktop. It neither relies on, nor consumes, any internal hardware. It provides the same flexibility, safety, security and access as VDI – but it is fully handled by a third party and hosted on their cloud.

It is a software-based future

Together, VDI and DaaS models provide Asia’s businesses with a simple and accessible option for ensuring their staff remain as productive and efficient no matter where they are physically located. The two models are set to become central pillars of the region’s continuity strategy as businesses seek to mitigate future risk and disruption.

However, what about those less fortunate businesses who are caught with a workforce isolated from the office and unable to work? Well, there is relief at hand. 

As VDI and DaaS are cloud based solutions, virtual workspaces for teams, customers, or partners can usually be up and running in under an hour. Isolated staff can then have safe and secure access to any application simply from their home web browser, with no software download or upgrade required. It is almost as simple as point and click.

For Asia’s intelligent businesses, their prudent approach in a volatile region is already paying dividends.

For the rest of the region’s companies, the sooner we all embrace the modern tools we require to keep our staff mobile and productive, our business resilient to disruption, and our economies growing in turbulent times, the sooner we will cement the region’s pivotal role. It is up to all of us to ensure Asia continues to lead the global economy for the next century.