This year, riding the trends listed below can boost corporate resilience, but sustaining the success requires something fundamental: an open culture.

From shifting to work-from-home policies to customers’ increasing demand for better services and experience, organizations are finding that they need to transform faster to address the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

This year, expect technology trends are expected to continue to evolve as reliance on technology becomes more critical in 2021. To ride out the wave rather than sink in it, forward-thinking organizations in the Asia-Pacific (APAC) region should rethink their digital transformation strategies based on the following trends, according to Frank Feldmann, Vice President, APAC Office of Technology, Red Hat Asia Pacific:

Frank Feldmann, Vice President, APAC Office of Technology, Red Hat Asia Pacific
  1. Tapping on the three enablers of intelligent connectivity
    APAC will continue progressing on its 5G journey. While commercial 5G services are already available in nine markets in the region—including South Korea, Japan, and China—another 12 have officially announced similar plans. The increased availability of 5G will help drive the adoption of Internet of Things (IoT) and edge computing to deliver ultra-low latency, high bandwidth network, and effectively support large-scale distribution of endpoints.

    More APAC organizations and cities will be adopting 5G, IoT, and edge computing in 2021 to become more connected and efficient. Emerging use cases for the three technologies include analyzing sensor data for predictive maintenance and quality control; augmented reality systems for remote operations; and personalized ‘connected experiences’ for customer and supplier engagement.
  2. Making sure the hybrid cloud is secure
    Customers and employees alike now expect business applications and services to be highly available, on-demand and secure. To achieve that, organizations should embrace hybrid cloud (on-premises, private or public cloud) in order to run workloads across any environment more easily and quickly.

    According to the Red Hat’s data, the top three reasons for organizations to run their applications across hybrid cloud include improving data security, gaining IT agility, and addressing data privacy concerns. Security will remain a focus area as organizations progress in their hybrid cloud journey.

    The challenge when it comes to security is that it is made up of different elements such as endpoint, network and data security. One way of overcoming this is by adopting an open security automation framework that unifies the different security practices using a set of automated workflows. By doing so, organizations can gain greater visibility across the entire security function, enabling them to identify threats or remediate cyberattacks faster.
  3. Going cloud-native and containerizing app development
    Cloud-native applications can respond quickly to change. They can adapt and evolve with new features and functionalities (that are released incrementally) more quickly, reliably and frequently with less risk. As more organizations increase the scalability and availability of apps, those that also embrace cloud-native development are in a better position to build and run responsive, scalable, and fault-tolerant apps on any cloud.

    To unlock the benefits of cloud-native development, exploit containers as a key technology for to enable applications to be packaged and isolated with their entire runtime environment. This makes moving them between environments easier while retaining full functionality.

    With containers, developers can more easily release and update apps as a collection of loosely-coupled services like microservices, instead of having to wait for one large release.
  4. Making sure not to be late to automate
    Customers are demanding more at a faster pace, while IT architectures are ever-changing and built on increasingly complicated technology stacks despite organizational resources stretched by remote workforce concerns.

    To address these requirements, APAC organizations are increasingly turning to automation to reduce complexity, improve productivity, and lower operating cost. Some APAC banks are already using robotic process automation (RPA) to approve credit card applications, automate payments, and validate claims. Because RPA can augment and mimic human judgment and behavior to replicate rules-based human action, it reduces the time taken for those tasks.

    However, organizations must have an enterprise-wide automation strategy instead of deploying automation in silos in order to fully benefit from the technology. 
  5. Adopt and sustain an open culture to complement technology modernization
    According to Red Hat’s own study, 80% of APAC business leaders surveyed ranked cultural change and technology modernization of equal importance for digital transformation.

    Cultural characteristics key for good DX include adaptability, inclusivity, transparency, and collaboration. Organizations surveyed that had supported cultural change initiatives with efforts to modernize infrastructure and application architecture had been able to quickly develop and deliver new applications, respond rapidly to customer demands, and control maintenance costs.

    With APAC businesses recognizing that DX is driven by a change in mindset, Red Hat foresee more organizations embracing open principles, processes, and culture this year. Such organizational openness can nurture collaboration and empower employees to bring their best ideas and selves to work, which can help accelerate innovation and address changing customer and business requirements in an agile manner.

Now that organizations have outlived their survival goals to achieve business continuity, they can focus on the present and near-term future by adopting flexible, agile and scalable technology solutions.