COVID-19 pushes businesses to change IT priorities

Businesses in South-east Asia, Australia and Newland are prioritising improving ICT and security resilience for business continuity plans.
By: | June 18, 2020

Businesses in Singapore, Malaysia, the Philippines, Australia and New Zealand are increasing their investment in unified communications and collaboration tools, including video conferencing for remote working.

They are also accelerating cloud adoption, and looking at role-based ICT solutions that incorporate strong automation and digital tooling.

84% of business leaders see this as a high priority compared to a global average of 74%, according to a new white paper from Telstra that surveyed C-suites and IT decision-makers’ responses to the COVID-19 pandemic, and how they are recalibrating their IT strategies.

Marjet Andriesse, Managing Director, Asia-Pacific, Telstra, said, “While businesses in SEA and ANZ had better preparation for major events including pandemics (22%) compared to other regions, they still see the challenges of COVID-19 as a major catalyst for a significant pivot in their overall IT strategy.

“This pandemic has shown us how businesses need adaptive technologies and secure collaboration tools to ensure connectivity among people, especially in the face of difficult business conditions and market volatility.”

Globally, 93% of businesses reported that they have changed their IT priorities either “incrementally, significantly or dramatically” in response to COVID-19, with the top priority being to set up policies for their remote workforce. This includes ensuring employees can connect securely while accessing their applications and data.

Business continuity plans (BCPs) also need to improve, while nearly one in 10 enterprises failing to have a BCP pre COVID-19. Of those organisations that did have a BCP in place, almost a third (29%) did not have plans in place to respond to an unexpected global event such as a pandemic.

Businesses thus, need to not only widen the scope of their BCPs, but also rely on more data tools to discover the hidden relationships between data sets, identify more vulnerabilities and consider ways to generate a risk score on a more formal and regular basis, Telstra advised.

Video conferencing and cloud-based contact centre solutions have also emerged as some of the most transformative technologies to the enterprise, with 98% of the survey respondents seeing “an increased reliance on video conferencing to replace face-to-face meetings post COVID-19 recovery.”

To support the remote workforce, European, SEA and ANZ companies are looking to ensure networks are software-defined, cloud-ready, and are more automated and flexible. Currently, eight out of 10 businesses revealed that they have a percentage of employees who are not able to work effectively due to ICT challenges.