A10 Networks recently released worldwide research that reveals the challenges and priorities of enterprise organisations in today’s post-pandemic era as we learn to live with the COVID-19 pandemic and how this is shaping future technology requirements.
Of the 225 corporate organisations surveyed in Asia Pacific, as many as 95% showed high levels of concern for all aspects of enterprise digital resilience. Overall levels of concern were highest around optimisation of security tools to ensure competitive advantage and delivering superior user experience with customers accessing their ecosystem both easily and securely. Further, organisations were also extremely concerned about their internal capability to service IPv4 and migrate to IPv6 as well as demonstrating awareness of the importance of balancing security and efficiency.
Private cloud is the preferred environment
Increased network traffic has compounded the challenges faced by respondents, with 81% of Asia Pacific business organisations reporting an increase in network traffic volumes over the past 12 months. This increase was 39% on averaged compared to the global average of 47%.
When asked about the expected breakdown of their future network environment, 75% of Asia Pacific business organisations said it would be cloud-based, with 33% indicating private cloud as their preferred environment. However, they are not reassured by their cloud service providers, with 48% stating that they cannot meet their SLAs.
The Enterprise Perspectives 2022 study was conducted by independent research organisation Opinion Matters on 2,425 senior application and networking professionals from ten geographies: UK, Germany, Southern Europe (Italy and France), Benelux, Eastern Europe, Nordics, US, India, Middle East and Asia Pacific.
The research was conducted to understand the challenges, concerns and perspectives of large corporate organisations as they continue to adapt their IT strategy and infrastructure to the rigours imposed by digital transformation and a hybrid working environment.
Cyberthreats are Escalating
Undoubtedly, the intensifying threat landscape is causing many concerns: compared to other areas, Asia Pacific respondents were more concerned about the loss of data and sensitive assets in the event of a data breach due to a cyber attack. Other concerns include ransomware, potential downtime or lockdown in the event of a DDoS attack, and the impact this would have on brand and reputation.
In response to these concerns, the research showed a clear shift towards Zero Trust approaches, with 39% of Asia Pacific business organisations saying they had already adopted a Zero Trust model in the last 12 months.
The new normal may resemble the old normal
Although there has been an infrastructure shift to support distributed home and remote working, 63% of Asia Pacific business organisations say that all or most employees will work in the office in the long term, compared to an average of 62% across all regions surveyed. Only 14% say that a minority or no employees will work from the office and the majority will be remote. This runs contrary to the predictions of a seismic shift to a permanently hybrid enterprise with application and network professionals expecting the old normal to reassert itself.
“The world has changed irrevocably,” commented Anthony Webb, Vice President A10 International, at A10 Networks. “The pace of digital transformation has accelerated beyond expectations. However, as we move out of crisis mode, organisations are now focused on digital resilience, moving to the cloud and strengthening their defences. There is a clear need to help employees work in the way they feel most comfortable. And we are seeing a gradual shift to Zero Trust models. The return to the office environment may be due to the strong anxiety IT professionals have about security, the cloud and aspects of digital resilience and continuity, as well as the ability of their IT systems to cope with it.”
Technology investment priorities
In terms of investment priorities, artificial intelligence and machine learning have undoubtedly come of age, with 52% of Asia Pacific enterprise organisations saying they have deployed these technologies in the last 12 months. Furthermore, 45% say they have implemented blockchain technologies, as well 42% say they have deployed IoT devices to help business functions.
Interestingly, when asked which technology is the most critical for business resilience in the coming year, metaverse technologies scored the highest, followed by artificial intelligence, machine learning and blockchain technologies.
Looking to the future, the adoption of cybersecurity initiatives will likely become higher, and this includes Zero Trust models. With more widespread implementation expected, as Asia Pacific enterprise organisations become educated around the benefits. It is clear from the study that there is unlikely to be any relief from the pressure on Asia Pacific businesses in the coming years.
“With escalating threats, post-pandemic fallout, the current Russia-Ukraine conflict, not to mention rising energy prices and inflation,” Webb concluded. “Business organisations really need to consider many issues. To address these issues, companies must continue to invest in modern technologies, such as Zero Trust, that enable automation and protection, along with a balance of defence and agility for an increasingly multi-factor infrastructure.”
To download the full study: Enterprise Perspectives 2022: Zero Trust, Cloud and Remote Work Drive Digital Resiliency [click here].
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