Recent survey findings show that 72% of IT decision makers in Hong Kong believed CXOs see IT as strategic business driver. Their top three business priorities are to enhance customer experience, automate processes, and deliver savings and find efficiencies

On 5 September, EMC released the survey findings collected at the Hong Kong leg of EMC Forum 2014. Close to 130 IT decision makers, comprising business and IT management and executives, technical architects, data scientists and storage/infrastructure managers, answered an optional survey about their views on the role of IT as an enabler of business change in the context of megatrends like cloud, mobile, social and big data.

Including Hong Kong, this year's EMC Forum 2014 has and will run in 50 locations worldwide between July and November under the theme "Redefine."

This article aims to compare the survey findings between Hong Kong (127 respondents) and three of its Asian counterparts: Taiwan (920 respondents), Japan (168 respondents) and South Korea (401 respondents). Survey results for other locations, such as Singapore, Kuala Lumpur and Sydney are yet to be released.

Hybrid approach preferred to public-only

In general, businesses saw cloud, mobile, social and big data -- collectively called the next-generation technologies -- would bring their organizations competitive advantages. This view was most popularly held by businesses in Hong Kong (88%), followed tightly by other Asian locations: Taiwan (84%), South Korea (79%) and Japan (77%).

Although businesses generally appreciated the competitive advantages brought about by cloud adoption, IT decision makers will not readily outsource the majority of their applications "only to the public cloud." In Hong Kong, just six percent of the survey respondents said "yes" to the approach. Taiwan shared a similar level of sentiment at seven percent. In Japan, surprisingly, 18% of the IT decision makers were ready to outsource most of their apps just to the public cloud -- three times more likely than those in Hong Kong.

Despite the general hesitation about the "public cloud-only" approach, more than two-thirds of respondents in Hong Kong (67%) recognized the "need" for hybrid cloud adoption to achieve greater IT agility and security. The confidence levels on hybrid cloud adoption were significantly higher in Taiwan (75%) and Japan (79%), but alarmingly low in South Korea at 54%.

Where the above four megatrends were expected to impact various business areas, the top three picks for Hong Kong IT decision makers were: improving customer experience (39%) streamlining business functions and improving efficiencies (37%) and management of mission-critical business operations (25%).

Varying top business priorities

Regarding the top business priorities when implementing new technologies, the top three business priorities for Hong Kong businesses were enhancing customer experience (35%), automating processes (33%) and delivering savings and finding efficiencies (31%).

Taiwan and Japan shared similar top business priorities: delivering savings and findings efficiencies (46%, 49%), innovation in product line and services (40%, 38%) and help win new customers (30%, 39%).