The pandemic has driven home the critical importance of unifying people, data and tech, says this cloud integration platform expert.

The Cloud offers a captivating promise of enhanced speed, agility, and efficiency for organizations committed to modernizing business operations and restructuring processes to gain a competitive advantage. Regional tech companies like Tokopedia, Grab, Lazada, and others have offered powerful examples of how digital-first firms can disrupt industries and trigger new shopping trends.

The key to accomplishing this vision of a future-ready enterprise is controlling and utilizing the massive volumes of valuable data generated each moment across the organization so that it can be used to influence decision-making and drive growth.

On a practical level, CIOs of traditional organizations in the Asia-Pacific region (APAC) face conflicting priorities that complicate the journey to achieving the digital-native, cloud-first firms capable of delivering on this promise: They must balance the annual maintenance and operating costs of legacy systems with the adoption of fast, flexible technologies, and manage these systems without the skilled workforce that is needed.

IT talent crunch in APAC

Research shows that the global shortage of skilled workers is worsening, rather than improving. In APAC, a survey by Vanson Bourne and Boomi, a Dell Technologies business, found that 51% of respondents cited insufficient in-house skills as a barrier to transformation.

On top of these constraints, organizations still struggle in silos to leverage data effectively. Unintegrated, poorly-coordinated data repositories and application stacks create static and internally-focused IT infrastructures that restrict innovation and prevent companies from responding nimbly to market changes. As organizations of all sizes responded to the sudden economic changes caused by the pandemic, the importance of these capabilities has been driven home.

Now, organizations realize that digital solutions in an open IT ecosystem are needed to adapt to changing environments quickly and reduce the impact of budget, talent and data challenges.

Fostering customer-centricity, quickly unlocking value from IT investments, boosting agility, making data-driven business improvements, and continual innovation are dependent on connecting diverse information and applications. Disparate systems, manual processes, and disconnected workflows need to be combined and orchestrated to drive operational excellence and great digital experiences without long and expensive development projects.

Aligning all assets and challenges as one

Adopting cloud-based systems and integrations can help align technology with business priorities so that organizations can address challenges quickly and cost effectively. That is especially important given the hybrid IT environments that are becoming the norm across the region. This is what allows financial services companies to expand product and service portfolios, for grocers to automate processes that streamline supply chains for fresh food, and pharmaceutical companies to accelerate the development of life-saving medications.

Without data integration and the tightly-connected peoples, processes and technologies, organizations will fall short of modernization efforts in the post-pandemic global landscape. This means that integration is a concern for more than just the IT department, but a responsibility of the entire organization. The critical corporate unity lays the foundation for future-ready organizations to adapt to rapidly-changing economic and market shocks.

For modernization projects to live up to their potential, integration capabilities need to be faster and more agile than technology solutions of the past. The organizations that succeed in their efforts create unique value propositions that will continually disrupt markets.