The government role in driving digital resilience for a thriving digital economy

Two things that everyone has learned during the ongoing pandemic recovery is 1) consumers, citizens and customers are completely reliant for organizations to be always-on, and 2) data truly is a primary ‘digital asset’ of business. The availability and access to critical data and applications has reached a new level of criticality, as every sector of business and society accelerate adoption of digital capabilities. 

Asia looks set to fully embrace the digital economy as the expectation for the region is to recover faster. For China in particular, the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) are projecting China to hit 8% growth in 2021, compared to 3.2% for the US. While Asia is expected to rebound as a region by 6.8% this year, according to the Asian Development Bank. High technology adoption rates and infrastructure rollouts like 5G make many Asian markets among global leaders in digital readiness.

Despite growing consumer digital savviness, the optimism around a thriving digital economy is threatened by growing risks to ‘digital resilience’. The ability to secure, protect, access and recover data always, are all crucial to building digital resilience which is the key foundation for any digital economy. But this digital resilience needs to be embedded at all levels of business and society, hence governments must take the lead in driving home the resilience message.

Accelerated digital drives security spike

Digital transactions and e-commerce are skyrocketing, and cloud adoption is through the roof, but set against that is the surge in cybersecurity threats. According to CheckPoint Research, cyberattacks in Asia Pacific exploded 168% year-on-year for May, while there was a 53% increase from April to May in one month alone this year. 

Addressing these growing security risks is just the first step to ensuring better digital resilience. Digital resilience measures modern digital capabilities for survival and growth. The big question today is: How are organisations actively strengthening resilience of their business processes, existing and new digital infrastructure?

Governments have a responsibility to educate, and in some areas, regulate all sectors on the growing risks to data at both personal and business levels. The message today must be to adopt a mindset where data protection, data access and data management must all be addressed holistically to achieve a higher state of digital resilience. 

The challenge with enterprises and SMEs today is that data protection costs and efforts are increasing as legacy systems continue to struggle to support modern services and innovation. Customers don’t have confidence that their data across all their platforms are fully protected and recoverable.

According to the annual Veeam Data Protection Report 2021, inadequate backup or failure to meet SLAs topped the global data protection challenges for 2021 at 40% (up from 31% in 2019). At the same time, 82% of all organizations in Asia Pacific recognized that they have an “Availability Gap” between how fast they can recover applications versus how fast they need applications to be recovered. As a follow-up, 77% of those same organizations said they have a “Protection Gap” between how frequently data is backed up versus how much data they can afford to lose.

Research data from Veeam also show that enterprises that deploy modern data protection solutions are experiencing 50% lower five-year cost of data backup and recovery, and 55% more efficient data backup and recovery teams¹. 

Sound data the bedrock for growth and innovation 

Technology and tools are just part of the solution to data protection, data availability and digital resilience. Improved data management increases availability through automated and instant recovery, keeping data platforms healthy without manual intervention, and reducing compliance risks. 

Managing data without proper process reduces efficiency and can increase the time of recovery. Systems need automated processes to simplify management and recovery while reducing risk. Better data accessibility is the result of well-managed systems and defined data practice processes. Well-managed data provides near perfect availability and uninterrupted accessibility, driving data trust and integrity.

When data is readily accessible, innovation is accelerated. Legacy backup traps data, not allowing it to be reused, leveraged and integrated with real-time data streams for analytics. Modern data management can help unleash this data, driving business goals faster. Backup can no longer be just for backup. The powerful central repository of data can now be used for more. By reusing the trapped data in backups, organizations can drive business analysis, decision making, development and richer customer experiences faster.

Governments have provided much impetus to drive enterprises and SMEs to adopt more digital technologies. It’s critical they now back this up with sound advice and lead by example on better protection, data protection, data availability and digital resilience. This will require an ecosystem effort from businesses, the community and academia. But it starts with governments.

Without addressing these critical elements around our data, we put all of today’s growth, recovery, innovation and digital transformation efforts at risk.