Diversif-Asia Part 3: Understanding Your IT Capabilities

29/10/2019 09:29:26
For those who wander outside the well-worn Asian tourist tracks, sparsely populated areas, while not necessarily punctuated by electric lights or glowing cities, will certainly light your way with the dusky white glow of mobile phone screens. City dwellers have evolved to navigate subways, taxis and trains with their eyes permanently fused to screens, never taking a step off from their path, were looking up might be more of a hinderance than a help. A window washer hangs 8 stories up from a homemade 2X4 and rope construction, scrolling through social media or ordering home appliances for same-day delivery. The Asia Pacific region claims the honour of the fastest digitization rate from 2013-2018 and accounts for 41% of global spending in digital commerce.

Hong Kong, Japan and Malaysia were brought online in 1992. Indonesia, Korea, the Philippines and Singapore followed in 1994 – followed yearly by the rest of Asia and full APAC connectivity in 2003. With many countries having taken a monumental technological leap in a very short time, and infrastructure construction in some rural areas still developing, an IT strategy may sound like a daunting task, but is simply a commitment to a set of coherent, mutually reinforcing policies or behaviors aimed at achieving a specific competitive goal. The World Bank writes “Digital technologies also have spread rapidly among businesses and governments, with nearly 60% of businesses in East Asia and Pacific having an internet connection, compared with 50% in the rest of the world.”  

It’s no longer enough to be connected – we need to be technologically advanced. Diagnosis of your technological capabilities is offered as a professional service – but should you wish to do your own due diligence, there are several points which are important to address, said best in the observations of Miles Pritchard, Annalect data and technology consultant:

Gain a full understanding of your existing infrastructure and technology and how it works or doesn’t work.

Hardware, servers, routers and switches. Software, ERP, applications and CRM. Internet, email, Wi-Fi and web. Human planners, builders, managers and administrators. When was your hardware purchased and installed? Who and what manages your software and applications and how? What options do you have if disaster strikes? Will the system you have in place still perform if you grow? Do they even perform now? When computers need constant repairs, energy bills are climbing, applications and slowing, storage space is filling and security breaches are imminent – all good indicators that it’s time to update your infrastructure. Reach out for help to determine what you need.

Clearly define your business requirements and embed them throughout the process.

For example, if O&M is difficult to manage or you plan to expand in the future, consider implementing an enterprise cloud computing platform to reduce reliance on manpower and expertise and make scalability easier. Those who wish to save space, consolidate their data center and are in need of a more expedient cloud computing platform, all of these available in a software-defined hyperconverged infrastructure such as Sangfor aCloud. Those with security concerns will plan to upgrade to a next generation firewall or a suite of intelligent detection and response security products, like those provided by Endpoint Secure.

Choose a technology partner that you can communicate clearly with and who can help you define your requirements and suggest personalized solutions.

Asia is a mesh of unique cultures, languages, religions, infrastructure and expertise. While global vendors are the most widely known, they may not have regional support services or partners. Companies without a dedicated and highly skilled IT team will need a vendor with an understanding of the unique regional requirements, especially relevant to APAC based businesses. For example, if you plan for future local expansion, choose a vendor with local partners. If you plan to expand internationally with a HQ in-region, a vendor with a global footprint would be a more appropriate partner than going-local. Finally, ensure that your provider offers after-sales service and long-term partnership and support options.

Evaluate your IT team and fill your knowledge gaps with technology.

2.93M cyber-security positions unfilled globally, determines we are in the midst of a cyber-security expert shortage. Subject matter experts are valuable for a time, but as IT changes, so do enterprise needs – and the expert must adapt or perish.  SMB’s often have a very small IT team or a single administrator. In Jeremy Gupta’s experience, all that is needed for an effective team is technical capability, flow & flexibility and behavioural maturity. With these elements, technology can make up the difference.  A cloud enterprise management platform can dramatically simplify IT infrastructure and O&M, as well as carry business applications like core databases, ERP, financial systems and production systems. Implementing a secure web gateway will simplify internet behaviour management, and products like Sangfor’s Internet Access Management (IAM) solution, go well beyond a normal SWG, offering professional internet bandwidth management, application control, URL filters, traffic control, information control, illegal hotspot/proxy control, behaviour analysis and wireless network management – and eliminating the need for a highly-paid, 24/7, security expert IT team.

The APAC region is a world of diversity and contrast where the 900M people who still live in extreme poverty still have access to the same smartphones as the greatest concentration of millionaires in the world.  

SMBs are a source of employment, competition, economic dynamism, and innovation; they stimulate the entrepreneurial spirit and the diffusion of skills. Because they enjoy a wider geographical presence than big companies, SMBs also contribute to better income distribution.

Asia is unique. Diverse. With limitless potential. And with this comes the ability to technologically support the market stalls, world banks, farms, 5-star hotels and corner stores. Gaining control of your technical capabilities and utilizing them to the best of your ability is good. Sangfor will help you utilize them to the best of our considerable ability.

Why Sangfor?
Founded in 2000 and a publicly traded company as of 2018 (SANGFOR STOCK CODE: 300454 (CH)), Sangfor Technologies is an APAC-based, global leading vendor of IT infrastructure solutions specializing in Network Security and Cloud Computing. Visit us at www.sangfor.com to learn more about your internet security options, benefits and functions, and make your IT simpler, more secure and more valuable.

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