Asia Pacific look towards embracing technologies to advance their digital transformation strategy: F5 Networks survey

Asia Pacific look towards embracing technologies to advance their digital transformation strategy: F5 Networks survey

Asia Pacific organisations are keenly taking advantage of embracing emerging technologies to accelerate their digital transformation projects. F5 Networks’ (NASDAQ: FFIV) latest 2019 State of Application Services report revealed that 41 percent of Asia Pacific organisations are employing containers, and taking advantage of agile development methodologies to deliver applications smarter and faster. While such shifts present new opportunities for automation and agility, complexity levels also arise; leaving organisations with additional challenges such as enforcing consistent security and optimising reliable performance standards.

“As Asia Pacific businesses look to further advance their ongoing digital transformation initiatives, the ability to modernise its application portfolio and infrastructure is taking center stage,” said Adam Judd, Senior Vice President, Asia Pacific, China and Japan, F5 Networks. “This year’s State of Application Services report demonstrates that amid companies’ efforts towards digital transformation, the ability to enforce consistent security lies at the heart of application services. By maintaining uniform policies, security, and availability across their entire portfolio of applications, organisations can best leverage their application capital—and continue to grow their business.”

In its fifth year, the State of Application Services 2019 report surveyed 1,863 respondents in Asia Pacific, exploring the approaches companies take on their digital transformation journeys and how they optimise application services for competitive advantage and business impact. 

Embracing new and emerging technologies 

Asia Pacific organisations are embracing digital transformation, with a focus on deploying emerging technologies. Digital transformation continues to be a significant strategic driver regionally, with 66 percent of organisations currently having or planning to have digital transformation projects, raising the importance and possibilities of big data and real-time threat analysis. A/NZ and India, in particular, notched up the highest scores in embracing digital transformation, with figures of 93 percent and 94 percent respectively.

Additionally, Asia Pacific organisations are keen on emerging technologies, with more than half (56 percent) of respondents already employing technologies such as containers today. These shifts all point towards an automated, business-driven and cloud-centric application landscape–yielding enterprises with a competitive edge filled with a diverse range of new business opportunities.

Consistent security and visibility are key in a multi-cloud world 

The core challenge associated with multi-cloud adoption remains in enforcing consistent security across all applications. Overall, only 34 percent of Asia Pacific respondents had the confidence to withstand an application-layer attack. This is understandable, given that the average organisation uses 765 web apps, which pushes application security to the forefront. As such, organisations should look at more than just perimeter security, as network firewalls alone are insufficient in delivering adequate protection for enterprise applications. 

In fact, respondents globally have acknowledged that the adoption of a combination of security services (WAF, behavioral analytics, application access control) would be well-served. Likewise, optimising application performance visibility is critical to the digital health and success of businesses, and we’re already seeing organisations in Asia Pacific prioritising the adoption of big data analytics (52 percent), artificial intelligence (42 percent), and real-time threat analytics (38 percent) for such a purpose. 

Automation and orchestration are on the rise, though barriers remain 

Organisations in Asia Pacific are ahead of the automation and orchestration game, with 60 percent of respondents already deploying such initiatives. However, challenges remain. The lack of skilled professionals is keenly felt by regions such as ASEAN (52 percent) and Japan (54 percent), as they struggle to cope with a global workforce shortage. A rise in regulations due to the implementation of data privacy laws is also affecting A/NZ (58 percent), ASEAN (51 percent), and India (51 percent), as their forced regulatory compliance risk company data loss and IP thefts. Outside of external factors, business processes are also affected by the lack of a budget for new tools, further hindering technological adoption. These barriers all reflect a need to remove end user concerns for further infrastructure progression.

This year has found distinctive contrasts across several regions in the Asia Pacific, particularly in the responses on digital transformation, emerging technologies, as well as automation solutions. As digital transformation continues to change the landscape, deploying consistent application services enables organisations to keep pace and thrive. By maintaining uniform policies, security, and availability across their entire portfolio of applications, organisations can best leverage their application capital—and continue to grow their business.

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