3 tech trends shaping the data strategy for business in SEA

One of the certainties of 2020 is the vital role that data played to shore up businesses during the uncertain economic climate of last year. Organizations throughout the Southeast Asian (SEA) region cottoned on to the informed benefits that big data could contribute during the pandemic months.

As businesses move away from the devastating effects of the pandemic, the logical progression for a newly-data-driven business is to leverage available insights in order to plan the next steps, involving business recovery and the agility to recover from market disruptions.

Such concerns – along with a renewed cybersecurity threat landscape – are quickly becoming accepted practices in the ‘new normal’ workplace, and it is influencing how the company approaches its operations. For instance, 93% of businesses say they have changed their IT priorities because of COVID-19, according to a new GlobalData research paper commissioned by Australian mobile carrier Telstra.

Now that companies in SEA are earnestly pursuing their digital transformation journeys, the need to ensure a workable data strategy should not overlook these blossoming trends that are expected to dominate the enterprise outlook in this region.

5G-accelerated data

5G is set to provide a wealth of opportunities for SEA countries, according to Kearney, and will represent up to 22% of enterprise revenues by 2025, with Indonesia expected to capture the biggest 5G network share followed by Malaysia, Singapore, and Thailand.

As telecommunications operators around SEA start upgrading their current networks to deliver the high-speed, low latency, and more reliable connectivity that 5G promises, an organization’s data strategy will be impacted as it needs to take into account the vast number of Internet of Things (IoT) enabled devices that 5G will be able to support on internal networks.

And the voluminous amount of data that IoT devices, along with data from the other fragments of the business including external data storage sites, could result in a data storm that might be hard to handle if not properly planned for.

Era of hybrid cloud

The IDC predicts that by 2021, over 90% of enterprises in Asia Pacific countries with the exception Japan will rely on a mix of on-premise or dedicated private cloud, a mix of public cloud providers, along with legacy platforms to meet their evolving infrastructure needs. This will be the era of hybrid cloud.

With data spread across the hybrid cloud, it is vital for organizations to effectively secure and govern their data regardless of where it resides or is used. Businesses that lack strong security and governance systems not only risk being vulnerable to cyber-attacks and insider threats but will also struggle to comply with regulations such as data privacy laws and Know Your Customer (KYC) obligations.

Forward-thinking organizations have countered these challenges by using an enterprise data cloud that can enforce a consistent set of security and governance policies across hybrid cloud environments, including for the most minute access controls, data tracking, and audit logs.

Ethical AI data strategy

Today, ethical AI conversations revolve around the anonymization of data — territories in SEA with the exception of Singapore have traditionally struggled with this. While Australia, Singapore, and South Korea already have AI frameworks in place, other Asia markets including two of the biggest, India and Indonesia, are still formulating regulations to be the national standards for AI innovation in 2021.

Organizations around SEA can consider using enterprise data cloud to simplify their data governance around developing technologies like AI and machine learning, helping to address the lack of transparency around the data models and information infrastructures used to power AI systems.

As we look to 2021, we will see the conversation of ethical AI and data governance being applied to multiple fields and disciplines. Some of the conversation topics will involve emerging smart devices and even self-driving vehicles, so ironing out these concerns will be top-of-mind for many enterprises.

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