This paper delivers an analysis of the top megatrends ANZ business and IT leaders believe disruption of their orgs and how they're using data to prepare.
- By Tech Research Asia sponsored by NetApp Australia
Megatrends and Data
Adapting to Disruption
By Tech Research Asia
Sponsored by NetApp Australia
Are Australian and New Zealand organisations ready to leverage data to deal with
megatrend disruption? This Tech Research Asia (TRA) insights paper – sponsored by
NetApp Australia – introduces the results of a survey of 468 ANZ business and IT
leaders. It delivers an analysis of the top megatrends likely to cause disruption, how
organisations are using data, and the potential role for the concept of a data fabric.
A checklist of strategic questions is also offered to help your efforts to adapt.
• One in two business and IT leaders in Australia and New Zealand perceive the
potential for significant long-term disruption to their organisation as a result of
megatrends. The top three are: Economic Change; Technology Innovation and
the Internet; and Changing Consumer Expectations and Behaviour.
• Less than 25% of ANZ organisations surveyed are already directly using data to
prepare for the changes these trends will bring. Most note ongoing challenges
with leveraging data for success including timeliness of access, and issues with
• Better use of data is perceived to provide benefits of 18% to 32% in a range of
variables, including both financial and operational areas.
• Build the concept of a data fabric into your strategic planning as you move to a
hybrid technology and service environment in order to optimise your ability to
• Use the checklist contained in this insights paper to help you establish a
strategic technology plan for managing and leveraging your data to adapt to
the megatrend disruptions specific to your business.
The top megatrends Australian and New Zealand business and IT
leaders believe will disrupt their organisations and how they are
using data to prepare.
Countries: Australia and New Zealand
Of ANZ business and IT leaders
have a cloud strategy and almost
one in two expect to use a data
fabric in future to help manage
data in a hybrid environment.
Adapting to megatrend disruption will be imperative for all ANZ
organisations. Turning data into actionable knowledge will be
key to these efforts. In turn, this requires having an optimal
data management solution for hybrid technology and service
120 10 - Very highly disruptive to my organisation 9 8 7 6
Source: TRA (N=234)
We all have near-term goals and pressures to get things done by this week, month,
quarter, or even by year’s end. That’s just a natural characteristic of doing business,
and there are few that can escape this reality.
Indeed, we are often consumed by reaching our most immediate targets. But across
Australia and New Zealand there are also several longer-term megatrends that will
considerably impact the operations of a range of organisations. These are not your
run of the mill technology-industry fads that tend to come and go at the whims
of marketing budgets or media attention spans. And they run deeper than the
average quarterly or year-on-year trends that many organisations fixate on.
They are fundamental structural changes happening on a wide scale that are often
beyond the control or influence of any individual or sole organisation. In many
ways, they are what will define our collective futures.
This TRA insights paper outlines the top megatrends that 468 ANZ business and
IT leaders identified during an online survey conducted in April-May, 2015. It also
investigates how data management and data fabrics will play a role in helping
organisations succeed as the impacts of change are felt.
The Top Megatrends:
Disrupting ANZ Organisations
TRA asked ANZ business and IT leaders to tell us what they perceive to be the
most disruptive megatrends that they will face in the long term (more than five
years from now). Research participants were asked to rate 17 trends on a scale
of 1 to 10, with 1 indicating no disruption is expected and 10 being “very highly
disruptive”. The aggregated list below shows what your ANZ peers perceive to be
the top 10 megatrends (based on survey respondents that selected a rating of “6”
1. Economic Change
2. Technology Innovation and the
3. Changing Consumer
Expectations and Behaviours
4. Population Growth
5. Ageing Population
6. Cyber Attacks
7. Rise of Asian Economies
8. Political or social change/
9. Global warming
10. Access to and quality of
These results echo the findings of other research in the scientific and academic domains,
including that from the CSIRO in Australia. In both Australia and New Zealand there has
been persistent and widespread discussion about the changing nature of economies, how
consumer behaviour is adjusting, and the role technology innovation can play. Below we
provide summary information on the top three trends.
ANZ IT Leader Megatrend Ratings
1. Economic Change
Selected by 46% of CIOs and 49.6% of CxOs as
Economies are always changing. However, in both Australia and New Zealand –
as with much of the rest of the world – it is fair to say there are some significant
structural economic changes unfolding that will impact performance over the long
Both the Reserve Bank of Australia and the Reserve Bank of New Zealand – along
with most economists – have noted the long-term impacts of factors like the end
of the mining boom, China’s rise and recent troubles, house prices, changes in
consumer preferences, commodity price fluctuations and demand, and slow global
growth to name but a small selection of variables at play.
While the policy settings and strategies employed to adapt are different between
both countries, across ANZ there has been a similar discussion taking place about
how to best adapt to a clearly changing and more global economic environment.
Further, considering the impact any significant changes in the economy can have
on individual organisations it is therefore not surprising this is considered the most
potentially disruptive megatrend across ANZ.
Yet, not only is the question whether the steps being taken today are in the right
direction to deal with this megatrend, but it is also whether we have the agility to
change course in time should further disruption occur or our current bearing prove
2. Technology Innovation
and the Internet
Selected by 44% of CIOs and 47% of CxOs as being
It is often said that one of the few constants in the world of technology is “change” and
that the pace of change is increasing exponentially. One only needs to look at the rise of
smartphones and mobile apps as an example.
The theory of “Disruptive Innovation” posited by Clayton Christensen is arguably the
poster child for this adage and has been widely adopted and adapted. While the theory
is contested by some, there are many examples of how technology and the Internet
can fundamentally change industries. From email and the birth of the World Wide Web
to e-commerce, social media and the sharing economy, there is no shortage of tales of
disruptive success and woe across industries. This is as true in ANZ as it is in all developed
Many organisations from outside the ICT industry have already acknowledged the
potential for disruption and have invested in their own innovation capabilities.
TRA expects more and more organisations from all types of industries will adopt a
strategic mindset that posits their business as being founded in technology in future –
making the majority of organisations a “technology organisation” and more job roles,
“technology roles”. They won’t necessarily be defined and described by technology
industry terminology, but technology will be at their core. This will happen in order
to determine their own fortunes as a direct result of the potential for technological
innovation to change the way they operate.
3. Changing Consumer
Expectations and Behaviours
Selected by 32.5% of CIOs and 40% of CxOs as
Today’s consumer is more empowered with information and choice than at any
other time in the past in ANZ. They can make informed decisions and change who
they engage or spend their money with ease. Add to this fact that people are living
longer, are arguably more affluent, and are used to immediate gratification and you
have a potent recipe for fundamental changes in expectations and behaviour.
Yet, the disruption this megatrend is already wielding in the form of newer
channels of digital engagement, is not entirely replacing traditional means of
communication and trade. Many consumers in ANZ expect to continue being
offered high levels of service through in-person or analogue channels. TRA expects
this to continue to be the case: the new consumer will expect to be offered all the
best ways of engagement from the past along with all of the new ways, including
platforms that are yet to be envisaged. It is here that ANZ organisations will need to
be able to adapt to succeed.
While the scope of this paper prevents us from investigating all of the trends more
thoroughly, it is clear that a significant portion of ANZ business and IT leaders are aware of
the potential disruption they face. However, we encourage all ANZ business and IT leaders
to invest the time and resources to undertake further reading to understand the long-term
trends that will impact their organisations. It’s important to note that certain trends bore
greater impact depending on industry based on the survey results:
• Only in the financial and insurance services industry were IT and business leaders aligned
on the top three disruptive megatrends (economic change, technology innovation and
the internet, and changing consumer expectations and behaviours);
• Federal government organisations were concerned about cyber attacks;
• Local government respondents identified disruption from the ageing population;
• Utilities provider business leaders were concerned about global warming;
• CxOs at construction firms pointed to the rise of Asian economies as potentially
• Mining industry IT leaders nominated a squeeze on natural resources.
10 - Very highly disruptive to my organisation 9 8 7 6
Source: TRA (N = 234)
ANZ Business Leader Megatrend Ratings
We also found that:
It is never easy to be able to put aside the required time and talent to investigate
issues that might not be acutely influential on short-term goals. However, this
is more often said in hindsight by those who regret not being prepared or able
to adapt. The prudent approach is to make the time and establish a long-term
strategy. TRA recommends that you evaluate your capabilities for leveraging data
and the performance of the underlying infrastructure as both of these factors will
impact your ability to adapt.
Data Today and Tomorrow:
Optimising for Success
It is increasingly clear to many that the ability to effectively mitigate the downsides of
megatrend disruption and grasp the positives will be heavily informed by how well we use
the data available to us.
For example, better data will help policy makers and financial investors to understand
the broader impacts on any given industry from structural economic change. A deeper
understanding of how demographics are changing and the correlated implications this has
for the delivery of healthcare services and economic policy may assist local governments and
healthcare providers prepare for the future.
There are many more possible examples applicable to a range of industries and issues. Yet,
despite the noise around data analytics permeating from many corners of the ANZ market,
there appears a long way to go: less than a quarter of organisations are already using data
to prepare to adapt to megatrend disruption.
As part of the survey process, TRA also asked a number of questions about how respondents
are capturing, storing, and using data. We found that:
24% of ANZ business
leaders and 20%
of IT leaders say
they are using
data to prepare for
the disruption of
The 3 industries that perceive the
highest threat of disruption as a result
of megatrends are:
• For IT leaders:
#2 Agriculture, Forestry
#3 Federal Government
• For business leaders:
#1 Healthcare and
#2 Local government
#3 Financial and
The 3 industries least likely to perceive
a threat from disruption as a result of
• For IT leaders:
#1 Arts and recreation
#3 Accommodation and
• For business leaders:
#3 Information, media and
Q. What challenges do you have
with leveraging the data you have
captured or have access to?
• 4 in 10 CIOs, and 6 in 10 CxOs say they are not sure how much data their
organisation is storing today. Two thirds of respondents expect an increase in
the amount of data they store in future. However, TRA would have expected a
• Business leaders are more likely to indicate they use the data they capture
in more ways than IT leaders, except when it comes to reselling data and
using data for experimental analysis. Governance and compliance, improving
customer experience, traditional BI, RD, and improving operational or supply
chain efficiency are the most common ways data is used.
• IT Leaders are more likely to indicate they have achieved benefits in financial
areas as their top three outcomes than business leaders from using data. CxOs
meanwhile rate operational improvements, better customer engagement, and
lower costs as their top three outcomes.
For both CIOs and CxOs the average level of improvement from using data (as a
perceived percentage compared to past results) ranges from 18% to 32%.
• However, there are a wide range of common challenges with using data noted
by survey respondents. Securing data, finding cost-effective storage, and
timeliness of access to data are the top issues indicated.
TRA believes that part of the challenge – and also the opportunity – with using
data lies in establishing effective management of what is increasingly becoming
a standard model for ANZ organisations: a hybrid technology and service
0 10 20 30 40 50
Not sure how to
appropriately analyse the
We're concerned about lack
of data portability across
Our internal data
management skills are not
We struggle to act on the
insights generated from
data capture and analysis
Ensuring we adhere to
We struggle to find people
with the skills to analyse the
Creating valuable insights
from the data
Timeliness of access to data
Lack of appropriate
Cost-effective storage of
Securing our data
Source: TRA (N=468)
Data Fabrics: Managing a
hybrid technology and service
Across ANZ there is an unmistakeable shift occurring in how organisations
procure and manage IT infrastructure. This change has implications for how
well any given entity is able to leverage data. In short, many organisations are
moving away from a predominantly on-premises model, where infrastructure
and applications were located in an organisation’s own data centre(s) or that of a
colocation or service provider facility and managed internally.
This trend has amplified in the last two to three years and follows on from a
period of data centre and technology silo consolidation driven heavily by the
adoption of x86 server virtualisation among other factors.
Today, however, the majority of ANZ organisations are adopting cloud computing.
Many now have, or are moving to, a hybrid environment that increases the
number of services being consumed (and typically reduces the infrastructure
technologies being managed).
The contemporary IT environment can often involve a mix of on-premises
infrastructure and managed services or outsourcing, Infrastructure as a Service
(IaaS), Platform as a Service (PaaS), and Software as a Service (SaaS). As part
of TRA’s survey, we asked ANZ business and IT leaders to describe their cloud
computing strategy. The majority already have one in place, or are looking to
develop one in future.
It is important to note that this refers to “strategy” and doesn’t necessarily reflect
the hybrid reality of many organisations’ IT environments.
There are ultimately many drivers for adopting the “as-a-service” approach that cloud
computing embodies along with many benefits and challenges. In TRA’s view one of the
most powerful reasons for adopting a hybrid cloud approach is because, done right, it
can hand a degree of agility and flexibility back to the organisation. This is especially true
if you are able to achieve application and data portability across providers. Not only can
an organisation achieve faster speed to market (or innovation), scalability, and ultimately
better performance by locating applications and data on the most optimal infrastructure,
but they can also place pressure on providers to deliver more value as there is a far lower
barrier to changing to a competitor than in the past. According to the survey results,
eight in 10 organisations believe that data and/or applications portability is somewhat
relevant to highly relevant to their cloud strategy; for both data and applications, 22% to
25% of CIOs and CxOs consider portability to be “highly relevant”.
A critical capability for success in this kind of data and application portable hybrid
environment is having the right level of visibility and control. While there are many ways
to achieve this, one of the more notable to consider is that of a “data fabric”. While
one in two survey respondents said they expect to invest in a data fabric within 18
months, TRA believes there is still some misunderstanding about the concept.
Source: TRA 2015, (N=468)
to, or in
to, or in
Q. How would you describe your
organisation’s cloud strategy?
Different from other types of “fabrics” a “data fabric” can be defined as a
technology-enabled strategy for obtaining a unified view of your data so you can
store, access, protect, share, analyse and archive it in a consistent and predictable
way across multiple internal and external data centres including public cloud
computing services [see graphic below for a visual representation]. Some of the
important components of a data fabric include:
• Data management (including namespace management, data security,
authentication and access control, locking, snapshots/versioning/ cloning, disaster
protection/failover/failback and audit/compliance),
• Data transport (data replication, data tiering, data migration)
• Data services (data protection, multi-protocol data access, monitoring, billing,
chargeback, analytics, application integration, governance, risk and compliance
• Data storage, backup, and recovery
• Distributed applications and database applications
If your organisation is faced with megatrend disruption, then using data to generate
knowledge that can help the organisation adapt and respond effectively will be
important. By association this means making sure you are able to optimally manage
this data in a hybrid technology and service environment. A data fabric approach is
one strategy to evaluate in order to achieve this goal.
TRA offers the following checklist of
strategy questions to help your organisation
commence its own journey to prepare to
adapt to megatrend disruption:
Have you established a multi-stakeholder
team to research and evaluate the
potential disruption your organisation
might face from long-term megatrends?
Do you have a well-articulated strategy
for dealing with megatrends that is
understood and embraced by the
Do you have the right talent inside your
organisation or do you need to bring
on board partners or recruit in order to
adapt to megatrend disruption?
Has sufficient funding been allocated
towards projects related to the strategy?
Does your organisation have the
capabilities required to execute on the
strategy or do you need to consider
Do you have the leadership required
to steer the organisation through
On your use of data:
Are your stakeholders fully aware of both
the internal and external data that is
available to them?
Are they able to securely access data in
a timely manner to make decisions or
generate new business?
Do you ensure training for data
analytics? What steps do you take to
ensure data and related tools are used
How are you measuring the success of
Do you have a team established for
investigating how the organisation might
use data in different or new ways to
Have you explored the option of using or
providing open data?
What data do you need more of, or to
improve, in order to adapt to megatrend
On your infrastructure and
Are you adopting a hybrid cloud and
infrastructure environment? If so,
do you have a strategic plan in place
for ensuring you are able to achieve
seamless portability of applications and
Do you have checks and balances in
place to ensure your software licensing
remains compliant in a hybrid model?
Have you investigated the concept
of a data fabric and the relevant
suppliers? Could this help you: 1) react
more quickly?; 2) Make better quality
decisions?; and 3) Secure your data
Do you have an ongoing strategy for
ensuring your IT environment is able to
remain agile and modernised in order to
support the use of data in any projects
related to megatrend strategies?
A Checklist for ANZ Business and IT Leaders:
Megatrends, Data Management, and Data Fabrics
Source: TRA 2015
A Data Fabric Vision
Tech Research Asia was commissioned by NetApp Australia to undertake
an online survey of IT and business leaders in Australia and New Zealand
organisations with more than 100 employees in April-May 2015. Survey
respondents had to have an intimate understanding of their organisation’s IT
strategy in order to qualify for participation.
A total of 468 organisations participated with 90 in New Zealand and the
remainder (378) in Australia. The demographic breakdown of the survey
sample is shown below:
This report was commissioned by NetApp Australia. For more information
on how NetApp helps businesses of all sizes please get in contact.
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