Rethink digital transformation strategy through retransformation

Maxis is calling on organisations in Malaysia to rethink and reevaluate their digital transformation strategies.

Launching its Retransformation campaign the Malaysian service provider believes the call for action was reinforced by the findings of a survey commissioned by Maxis, the IDC-Maxis Digital Technology Assessment 2020.

The findings of this survey is featured in an IDC InfoBrief titled Digital Transformation in Malaysia 2020.

The InfoBrief provides a comprehensive overview of the digitalisation efforts of Malaysian corporates in four key technologies. It explores the adoption, challenges, and benefits of cloud, software-defined networking (SDN), Internet of Things (IoT), and cybersecurity, essential ingredients for digital transformation. With the current COVID-19 environment, the functionality of these technologies has become a focal point for companies as they work to overcome challenges and reinvigorate their businesses.

Key findings from the survey reveal that organisations lack the long-term strategies required to successfully transform their businesses. It is a key factor in their inability to reap the full potential of digitalisation initiatives:

  1. 93 per cent of corporations in Malaysia having implemented cloud but they have not been able to reap the benefits of doing so due to migration struggles and a lack of talent and knowledge of cloud services; more than half of the respondents were still operating on legacy infrastructure.
  2. 61 per cent of organisations were unclear as to how SDN would work with their existing network as they were uncertain about interoperability with their existing networks and lack the necessary skills.
  3. Many organisations have yet to implement end-to-end security, with only eight per cent among those surveyed having employed an end-to-end security solution, despite cybersecurity having become a priority in recent years.

Paul McManus, chief enterprise business officer at Maxis said, digital transformation goes “well beyond simply adopting new technologies”. “As we react to the new normal, such as implementing new communication tools to facilitate remote working arrangements, the time is now to rethink and re-evaluate digital transformation strategies for the long term, which involves a complete change in the organisation, from IT systems to processes to people,” he said.

Marco Gabrielli, senior market analyst at IDC Malaysia said, technologies should provide organisations with a secure digital environment that can process elastic, on-demand needs with real-time data for actionable insights.

To this end, IDC has identified four technologies – cloud, software-defined networking (SDN), Internet of Things (IoT), and cybersecurity – that will help Malaysian organisations meet today’s challenges. The IDC-Maxis Digital Technology Assessment 2020, commissioned by Maxis, throws the spotlight on where Malaysian organisations stand when it comes to these four technologies.

1. Cloud

The study found that Malaysian organisations are still showing strong demand for cloud services, which aligns with worldwide trends. However, they still struggle with cloud migration, and a lack of talent and education about cloud services.

About 93 per cent of those surveyed say they have adopted cloud technologies but 60 per cent still operate on a legacy infrastructure, which results in inefficient performance and security challenges.

What many of these cloud adopters lack are organisational leaders who can support the standardisation of processes across the enterprise, enabling consistent data protection and security while addressing business needs. Many also must deploy and manage hybrid and multicloud environments more effectively.

2. SDN

Even before the pandemic, organisations worldwide have been expanding their network geographically, decentralising network architecture frameworks to cater to a mobile and remote workforce.

This comes with challenges: A quarter (25 per cent) of respondents in the IDC-Maxis survey say IT operations need to be more responsive to business demands, while 33 per cent are worried about growing cybersecurity threats with decentralisation.

Other challenges were:

  • The inability to incorporate emerging technologies
  • Constraints on IT budget, skills and time, and misaligned strategic goals

SDN plays a key role in overcoming these challenges. About 65 per cent of surveyed organisations indicated that they plan to upgrade their networks to SDN technology, despite Malaysia still being in the early phases of SDN adoption.

3. IoT

The disruption of supply chains and demand patterns has made it imperative for organisations to use real-time analytics for proactive decision-making. In Malaysia, 24 per cent of respondents have already deployed IoT solutions, according to the IDC-Maxis study.

IoT has helped organisations with business continuity and cost optimisation as well as with new revenue streams for the next normal.

Among survey respondents, 76 per cent cite real-time visibility as their main adoption driver for IoT. Other drivers of IoT in Malaysia are increased productivity and cost reduction.

4. Cybersecurity

By now, cybersecurity has become a focus in many organisations around the world, including Malaysia. This year, the increase in remote working and a larger mobile workforce have exposed data and applications to a new and wider spectrum of attacks.

Yet, only 8% of the respondents in the IDC-Maxis survey uses end-to-end security management. Without an integrated approach to security, Malaysian organisations lack full visibility over their suite of security solutions which manage cyber threats. CIOs have to align strategic goals internally and identify the data that needs to be protected.

Looking to a post-pandemic world

“Malaysian organisations preparing for the post-Covid-19 world need to invest in the four enabling technologies to ‘flatten the curve’,” said Gabrielli.

“Just as the world has to persevere in its efforts to combat the coronavirus, organisations must break through their roadblocks to digital transformation to emerge stronger and more prepared for an unpredictable future.”

IDC recommends that organisations take these four steps when it comes to adoption of these four technologies:

  • Use data to drive strategic priorities
  • Deploy your digital technologies end-to-end
  • Automate your processes
  • Fast-track DX through partnerships


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