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NTT publishes 2021 Global Managed Services Report

NTT publishes 2021 Global Managed Services Report

Digital TransformationHong KongIndustry VerticalsResearch

The NTT 2021 Global Managed Services Report reveals that the primary business driver for CEOs in the coming 18 months (outside of COVID-19) is improving agility and the business ability to respond to change.

One year since the onset of the pandemic, organizations globally have undergone major transformations as they seek to strengthen resilience, increase agility and deliver greater efficiencies. In Hong Kong, 92% of business and IT leaders agree COVID-19 has caused significant changes to their operating processes, while 90% say it has accelerated their Digital Transformation strategy. These are the findings from the NTT 2021 Global Managed Services Report.

Changes to operating processes, along with Digital Transformation acceleration have presented organizations with an opportunity to reimagine their technology strategies and how it aligns to the business. The report found that 94% of organizations in Hong Kong agree their overall technology strategy is either fully (52%) or partially (42%) aligned to their organization’s business strategy needs. This highlights how IT teams have become more responsive to organizational demands. Similarly, it has pushed business stakeholders to fast-track services and solutions already held by IT, such as enabling a distributed workforce, to a far wider audience. Organizations in Hong Kong are also extremely focused on cybersecurity which is ranked as their highest priority technology initiative in the next 12-18 months.

However, despite greater strategy alignment, some disconnect in priorities exists between the business and IT. Globally, 69.9% of operations teams believe the need for a technology strategy that drives business efficiency opportunities is crucial, yet only 48.0% of IT teams agree. Further, 69.6% of operations teams globally consider speed and agility a key component of technology strategy, in contrast to only 53.4% of IT teams.

Damian Skendrovic, Executive Vice President, NTT, said: “The unprecedented challenges that COVID-19 has impressed upon businesses has forced the issue of business and IT alignment into the limelight. And there is still work to do to ensure core organizational priorities are understood by all. IT is under an immense amount of pressure to deliver against present requirements, while concurrently planning for future delivery and innovation. With technology and agility front and center of the business conversation, alignment of priorities is no longer optional, it is critical for the sustainability and resilience of the business.”

As global organizations seek to strengthen resilience, the research highlights significant differences in approach. While some consider cost optimization as a way of creating greater resilience, others are focused on being bold and brave. They view the pandemic as a chance to take advantage of market opportunities and to scale, with 44% organizations in Hong Kong pivoting technology focus to achieve this.

Interestingly, this figure rises to 41.7% globally if an organization currently has at least three-quarters of their IT managed by third parties. On the other hand, if an organization has little to none of their IT managed by a third party, the percentage drops significantly to just 25.7% prepared to pivot focus.

“While not all organizations view disruption as an opportunity, one third have adjusted course because they see a chance to do things better and take advantage; particularly in relation to enabling a more distributed workforce and innovative technologies,” said Skendrovic. “Bold and brave businesses are approaching resilience in a new and innovative light, and trusted technology partners are helping them achieve this.”

The research also highlights how embracing emerging technologies and the ability to automate and deploy innovation at speed as key strategies underpinning the future of business success. And while, in Hong Kong, 86% of business and IT leaders agree emerging technology is crucial for their technology strategy, only 36% believe they have the technology available to meet the organization’s immediate objectives.

This brings to light the conundrum faced by many global organizations. The need to balance present needs, while also investing in technology and process modernization to capture opportunities to scale and evolve.

“Rapid change has been forced on to IT teams. While business stakeholders expect to exercise a degree of agility in execution – IT is saddled with managing their own challenges. From managing vendor complexity, which further extends to integrating disparate systems, along with emerging technologies and legacy infrastructure; through to budget constraints and a lack of skills to keep pace with business demands,” said Skendrovic.

As speed to market becomes a primary competitive differentiator, optimizing Digital Transformation efforts is critical. Organizations who showcase the characteristics of being bold and brave are 50% more likely to optimize their Digital Transformation efforts and partner with managed services providers for over half of their IT support.

Reducing the mounting infrastructure administration pressure on IT teams by embracing a DevOps culture and platform automation, allows IT to optimize transformation efforts by focusing on innovation, and ultimately results in better Mean Time to Repair (MTTR) and cost-optimization, as well as the delivery of continuous improvement across the business.

Skendrovic concluded, “While change isn’t always perceived as positive in the moment, it is important to remember that transformation presents new opportunities for agility, scale, and innovation.”

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