COVID-19 drives digital transformation for ASEAN enterprises

COVID-19 is driving digital transformation for enterprises in the Southeast Asia region (ASEAN) and will open up wider opportunities for carriers and service providers, says GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company.

Alfie Amir, Senior Analyst at GlobalData, comments: “A large majority of ASEAN enterprises still rely on traditional information communication technology (ICT) such as captive data center and traditional network services, making it more challenging for them to adapt to the changes associated with COVID-19 such as remote working and digital customer channels.”

For ASEAN enterprises, most applications are still hosted in-house and were designed to be accessed by users within the corporate network. Most network services are not agile to adapt to the large number of users accessing from the public network or the internet. Some enterprises are migrating the application compute and storage from in-house to a third-party facility while others are changing their network design by increasing bandwidth, re-dimensioning internal network across the headquarters and branches, and implementing agile solutions such as SD-WAN.

Amir continues: “ASEAN enterprises are having to shift their current ICT priorities to focus on cloud migration, network re-dimensioning, UC deployment and/or expansion and digital services roll-out.”

Before COVID-19, business collaboration applications such as Cisco Webex, Zoom and BlueJeans were rarely used. Today, they have become basic tools to enable work-from-home employees. Apart from internal UC, enterprises are also ramping up their online customer channel. E-commerce is growing fast in the region, but the adoption is still relatively low as consumers still prefer to buy from physical stores. The COVID-19 pandemic is changing user buying preference from stores to online platforms, which is pushing enterprises to build/enhance websites and online stores, digital marketing practices, and online customer support channels.

Amir concludes: “After COVID-19, most enterprises will be more open to the latest ICT solutions, which presents a higher market opportunity for service providers. The domestic providers can highlight their outcome-based solutions combined with local presence, wider interconnect partners, and position multi-cloud solutions to address diverse demands.”

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