Future-Proofing with Digital Resiliency Built on Modern IT Infrastructure

5 Key Takeaways for Today’s Digital Leaders - From digital adoption to digital acceleration, and now digital resiliency

Eddie Tay
Future-Proofing with Digital Resiliency Built on Modern IT Infrastructure

With more and more businesses moving towards data-driven, multicloud environments that support Artificial Intelligence (AI), blockchain, and other state-of-the-art applications, many parts of the world saw advanced IT infrastructures become increasingly mission-critical. In Asia-Pacific and Singapore however, the past five years actually saw significant underinvestment in digital infrastructure.

As part of the opening of Equinix’s fifth data center in Singapore, Equinix hosted an exclusive webinar for key experts across the industries in Singapore, where key insights were shared around the critical role of digital acceleration and digital resiliency in enhancing business performance, and I had the privilege to be a part of it.

Architecting the digital infrastructure for Singapore’s new future

Singapore’s growth has been exponential through global and regional setbacks. It has positioned itself as a central figure for businesses looking for growth and access to the Asian market and beyond.

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According to Sandra Ng, Group Vice President at IDC who presented a keynote session at this webinar, the consequences of this underinvestment in digital infrastructure became abundantly clear when the pandemic struck, resulting in widespread disruptions as businesses struggled to cope with limitations imposed by social distancing measures. 88% of Singapore and APJ organizations are investing/planning to invest in technologies to create the required digital capabilities to return to growth and/or compete better in the post-vaccine marketplace. And that’s digital adaptation, acceleration, and resiliency for you!

Continuing this trend, digital acceleration and digital resiliency became key themes in 2021 and going into 2022. For digital leaders, resiliency is now top of mind. After all, there is no telling when the next infection cycle will begin and how new variants of the virus might affect the market.

However, the success of these developments will hinge on the modernization of IT infrastructure, which will be critical to opening new chapters for organizations on their way to becoming enterprises of the future. But what does this mean in terms of investments, commitment, and prioritization? Here are five key takeaways for today’s digital leaders.

1. Digital acceleration is the starting point for digital resiliency

Many organizations across Asia-Pacific are now poised to step up their digital transformation agenda based on digital foundations they established prior to the pandemic. IDC’s research shows that 48% of organizations in Asia-Pacific are showing a more holistic and/or long-term financial commitment to digital transformation. They have also kickstarted processes that allow them to master digital resiliency in order to mitigate risk and manage disruption – not just in a single department but across the enterprise and into their digital ecosystem.

However, digital investments will not lead to digital resiliency if there is no risk management focus. There are still as many as 45% of organizations focused on siloed digital initiatives. They pursue new opportunities to the detriment of digital resiliency, rolling out digital strategies that fail to manage risk from a resiliency standpoint. For these organizations, there is still work to be done.

2. Digital resiliency results in better business performance

Digital resiliency involves more than mitigating risk and managing disruption. It can also have a direct impact on business performance metrics. In fact, IDC shared that digitally resilient organizations report over 50% improvements in profitability, revenue, innovation, customer satisfaction, cost savings, and employee productivity. Singapore organizations are doing better than APJ organizations on the digital resiliency charts, with 26% of them deemed as more resilient, compared to the APJ figure of 15%.

Examples of organizations in Asia-Pacific and Singapore that have achieved digital resiliency include:

  • DHL, which has long invested in digitalization and protecting its employees, while maintaining agile back-end processes.
  • SATS, which significantly invests in technology to facilitate its digital resiliency and to ensure that their employees are ever ready when the international markets reopen.
  • Dairy Farm, which invests in the entire operations and supply chain, ensuring they get the right products to the right consumers at the right time, despite supply chain disruptions during the pandemic.
  • Coca-Cola, which focuses on disseminating data to relevant business leaders in every country in which it operates so they can adjust capacity with agility and maintain stability.

3. Digital resiliency leaders prioritize for the long term

Organizations that prioritize long-term digital resiliency and business success are focusing on below:

  • Modernizing IT infrastructure to support emerging digital applications
  • Harnessing data to extract intelligence to create new organizational value
  • Using software to drive innovation
  • Reinforcing privacy and security to protect and gain the trust of key stakeholders
  • Enhancing the customer experience to generate more revenue

These priorities all hinge on having a sufficiently robust and scalable IT infrastructure to meet the organization’s needs, which is why businesses in Asia-Pacific are racing to invest in IT infrastructure. The urgency is especially pronounced given the underinvestment seen over the past five years and accelerated digital transformation over the past year, driven by the pandemic.

4. Modern IT Infrastructure hinges on Automation, Personalization, & Platform Organization

Savvy tech leaders are delivering on crucial business outcomes by modernizing IT infrastructure to a level that enables the organization to fully harness the capabilities and benefits of emerging technology. This enables businesses to deploy three key success drivers in a post-vaccination landscape:

  • Automation and augmentation: These have become key global trends amid social distancing measures, enabling businesses to make up for being unable to operate at full capacity.
  • Hyper-personalized consumer experience: With consumers shifting rapidly from physical service to online self-service, hyper-personalization has become the key to standing out in a crowded marketplace. This requires an agile digital ecosystem.
  • Platform-based organizational approach: Large enterprises with a complex and highly federated structure rely on a centralized platform to connect workloads, deploy interconnected applications and dynamic services, and facilitate agile financial decision-making.

At the end of last year, IDC predicted that at least 65% of the GDP coming from Asia-Pacific will be digitalized by the end of 2022. Organizations that fall behind due to outdated infrastructure risk losing crucial market share to competitors, especially since direct investments into digital transformation are predicted to exceed US$1.2 trillion between 2020 and 2023.1

5. IT executives must assess their IT infrastructure for readiness

If you are an IT leader charting a course for sustainable digital resiliency, a key priority is figuring out whether your digital infrastructure is ready to help you accelerate quickly from a digital standpoint, and whether it is sufficient to help you deploy success drivers and achieve positive business outcomes.

Having the right partner can be instrumental. When choosing a partner, focus on solution design and compatibility. Can this partner take your legacy systems into account and bring you from where you are today to your desired state? Do they have internal developer support, or do they provide support through a connected ecosystem?

Forward-looking tech leaders with an eye on digital resiliency would do well to examine their needs and capabilities and look towards future implications from a digital infrastructure perspective.

Learn more about how Equinix can strengthen business digital resiliency and support the digital transformation of organizations via our Equinix Partner program.

To tune in to Sandra Ng’s keynote session from the exclusive webinar, please visit the link here: https://www.equinix.sg/resources/webinars/digital-infrastructure-for-singapores-new-future

88%

of Singapore and APJ organizations are investing/planning to invest in technologies to create the required digital capabilities to return to growth and/or compete better in the post-vaccine marketplace.

Eddie Tay
Eddie Tay Senior Director, Networks, Asia-Pacific