New Windows Server 2016 and System Center 2016 accelerates Transition to a Digital Business
Hong Kong, 15 November, 2016 – IT leaders in Asia Pacific are making firm steps towards transforming their approaches to complement their organization’s digital transformation requirements despite having to also manage legacy IT infrastructure. 48% of IT leaders in the region are prioritising hybrid cloud over public only or private only cloud solutions for their organizations in the near future. These are some of the key findings in the Microsoft Asia Pacific survey of 1,200 IT leaders, across 12 markets to understand how they are evolving their IT infrastructure strategies to meet the needs of a digital business.
The next few years will be critical to all IT leaders as they execute on plans for a transition to a modern cloud-based IT infrastructure needed to serve their digital business needs. According to IDC, 60% of top 1,000 Asia Pacific organizations will have a digital transformation at the center of their corporate strategy by the end of 2017.
Digital Now or Digital Mess
IT leaders are constantly struggling to balance legacy IT needs, budget demands and the need to modernise to meet the demands for a digital future. The survey found that currently, 31% of respondents in Hong Kong are already on the hybrid cloud journey which is expected to increase to 37% in the next 12 – 18 months. 34% are still only using private cloud and 35% are using purely public cloud solutions. The study showed that respondents are not likely to increase their investments in private or public only cloud solutions, reinforcing the demand for a more integrated, hybrid approach.
IT leaders are facing increasingly complex IT environments to manage and crave simplicity:
- IT leaders are still having to manage traditional IT assets to support legacy applications and compliance needs
- The innovation in cloud is causing the usage of cloud apps to explode. On average, it is estimated that there are 377 apps being used per organisation in Hong Kong (compared to 340 in Asia Pacific) and they need robust tools to manage them.
- IT leaders are being pulled in many directions. They spend about 52% of their time on maintenance, compliance and operational issues, 25% on developing next generation digital capabilities and 23% of their time working with business leadership on digital transformation initiatives.
- In terms of addressing digital transformation, Hong Kong’s respondents are spending more time on optimising operations, than on engaging customers, empowering employees or innovating with new products, services or business models
- They are concerned about the skills gap in their organisations, citing the top 3 skills most needed in their organisations are in the areas of cloud app management (57%), data analytics (54%) and security (50%)
- Security continues to be a concern in a world facing increasing cyber threats every day. The top three reasons driving their concerns:
- Malware and data theft by cyber criminals
- Employees connecting their personal devices into the organizations’ networks
- Extortion by cybercriminal
- Organisations in Asia Pacific already use an average of 40 security products.
- In Hong Kong, 73% of respondents in agree that there is a need to invest more in IT security solutions and services and 66% agree on the need to reduce complexity of managing the increasing portfolio of IT security solutions and services.
Transforming IT with the Hybrid Cloud
Adopting a hybrid cloud strategy is the next step in the journey for organizations looking to take advantage of modern cloud computing capabilities while continuing to manage their traditional assets.
Of the 37% of IT leaders prioritising the hybrid cloud, 9 out of 10 said they would prioritize an integrated hybrid cloud, with common management tools across both public and private cloud.
Gilman Yu, Cloud & Enterprise Product Marketing Manager at Microsoft Hong Kong said: “Hybrid cloud is a natural progression for all organisations in Asia Pacific, regardless of size, budgets to reach their digital ambitions. It’s a tough balancing act for IT to manage both current and future digital needs of the business. The cloud holds rich new applications which will enable better management tools, intelligent applications and advanced analytics to not just reduce cost and increase efficiency but to also innovate and enable faster time to market. As such, it can’t be ignored but it needs to be managed.”
However, the study also showed that most IT leaders in Hong Kong have traditional views of the cloud. While 81% said they would be comfortable hosting all their business applications on the public cloud in the future, close to half of respondents are only using it for basic applications such as email & customer facing online assets (websites). Only 33% of respondents are using the cloud for application development and operations.
Gilman shared: “There are four areas in which IT Leaders need to step up to enable digital transformation.: Firstly, they need to get up to speed with the modern tools of managing increasing security and complexity. Secondly gain control of your infrastructure with software management tools spanning across public, private, and multiple branded clouds. Thirdly, move quickly to an integrated hybrid cloud which will allow them to benefit from the best of both worlds. Lastly, they need to drive more sophisticated workloads in the cloud to innovate, shorten time to market and maximize the potential which new digital technologies have to offer.”
Microsoft Introduces Windows Server 2016 and System Center 2016 to accelerate move to Hybrid Cloud
IT leaders need to start the planning of their organizations’ digital transformation journey today, and it starts with a clear hybrid cloud strategy. By bringing a cloud model to the business, IT leaders can add scalability and flexibility to their current model, without sacrificing control or security.
Gilman explained:” The transition to a digital business can be a jarring one for most businesses due to legacy systems and processes. IT leaders need to have the urgency to kick start this digital journey, or risk being disrupted. Microsoft is committed to helping enterprise customers in their digital journey, regardless of size and budgets.”
Microsoft has uniquely built-in security to all its cloud and hybrid infrastructure services in an integrated way and at all levels– devices, applications & infrastructure. A firm milestone in Microsoft’s commitment to enabling digital transformation is the General Availability of Windows Server 2016 and System Center 2016 in Hong Kong.
- Windows Server 2016 is the cloud-ready operating system that supports organization’s current workloads while introducing new technologies that make it easier and safer to transition to cloud needed for digital businesses. It delivers powerful innovations including advanced multi-layer security to prevent cyber-attacks and detect suspicious activities; software-defined compute, storage and network features inspired by Azure; and a cloud-ready application platform to deploy and run existing and cloud-native applications.
- System Center 2016 makes it easy for organizations to deploy, configure and manage virtualized, software-defined datacenter and hybrid cloud infrastructure. The latest release of System Center offers an array of new capabilities that amplify the ability to meet the most demanding business requirements, providing support for everything from provisioning the physical and virtual infrastructure to IT process and service management. When complemented with Operations Management Suite, organisations will be able to effectively simplify and manage multiple cloud solutions from a single console.
 Breakdown of respondents: 55.5% of respondents make IT decisions. 44.5% of respondents influence IT decisions.
 Size of organizations: 41% of respondents are working in organizations with 250 to 499 PCs; 59% work in organizations with 500 and more PCs.
 Markets involved in survey are: Australia, China, Indonesia, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Korea, Malaysia, New Zealand, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam
Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT” @microsoft) is the leading platform and productivity company for the mobile-first, cloud-first world, and its mission is to empower every person and every organisation on the planet to achieve more.
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Hill+Knowlton Strategies for Microsoft
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