The News Makers, with permission from Mr. Praveen Kumar, Senior Vice President & GM – Asia Pacific & Japan at Rocket, will be publishing his written article entitled “The Reign of Hybrid Everything in 2022.”
Several different associations come to mind when we hear the word hybrid. Essentially, they all refer to a combination of multiple elements to create something with the best possible capabilities. In the past, businesses may have attempted to use a one-size-fits-all approach to inform policies, strategies and structures because it felt more straightforward and simplistic. However, as plans to future-proof and transform the business are implemented, organizations are becoming more cognizant of the flexibility and scalability that the hybrid concept offers.
Over the past two years, industries and markets, as well as customers’ needs and preferences have shifted significantly and instantaneously. To navigate changing business environments, organizations need to be prepared to implement various ways of thinking and working that combine the most effective elements of multiple approaches. This is why across every industry, we are seeing a shift toward the world of hybrid to accommodate the need for agility and responsiveness.
In 2022, here are some of the ways organizations will embrace hybrid to drive business objectives:
Reaping the benefits of hybrid cloud
Hybrid cloud infrastructure will continue to be the most practical and beneficial IT strategy for enterprises in the coming years. Most businesses will likely have layers and layers of technology in place that has built up over time. This means that a monolithic technology stack is simply not realistic. Instead, businesses need to leverage their years of technology investments and the latest tools available to create the most effective IT environment for the business.
In Asia Pacific (APAC), where there is a strong shift towards cloud technologies, Singapore is seen as one of the top three IT spenders in the region, estimated to drive over USD50 billion of cloud spend by 2024. Similarly, investments towards public and private cloud services is expected to accelerate in India, Indonesia and Malaysia with a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 25 percent within the forecast period.
Moreover, according to an analyst’s report, businesses in mining, finance, manufacturing, information, media and technology sectors, as well as wholesale and arts and recreation services are expected to face the most significant level of disruption. With around 50 percent of the APAC economy operating in these sectors, moving to the cloud should be a vital component in preparing businesses for the future.
The truth is, simply replacing technology that has served the organization well in the past is not strategic. Doing so will only cause major disruptions to business activity and will require additional resources, which may not deliver value in the end. Optimizing each layer of the existing stack to deliver modern user experiences and improved performance allows businesses to create a unified IT environment and operate more effectively. Modernizing in place with a hybrid cloud strategy will be the best path moving forward.
Responding to the increasing demand for hybrid work options
IT infrastructure that utilize hybrid cloud is only the beginning of the trend towards a hybrid world. Hybrid work structures that combine options for in-person and remote working are also here to stay. Forcing employees to fully return to the office is not going to be effective for attracting or retaining top talent, especially in competitive hiring markets, so it is up to business leaders to learn new management strategies that are tailored to a permanently hybrid workforce.
As the balance of power shifts between the employer and employees, the option to work-from-anywhere has become increasingly attractive to employees seeking more options for flexibility. In fact, according to a recent global EY survey, only 15 percent of Southeast Asian respondents would prefer to work from office full time and majority prefer not to return to pre-COVID-19 ways of working.
With the rise of the hybrid work environment, companies need to re-evaluate and implement changes to their IT infrastructure to effectively support distributed teams. As organizations leverage technologies for collaboration and communication, improve network security, as well as use tools for time management and support other Human Resources services needs, IT leaders will need to manage these technologies and ensure that teams can perform their jobs wherever they choose to work.
Beyond tools and practices: Hybrid as a way of thinking
Moving forward, businesses must change, not just in terms of implementing new tools and best practices, but adopting a company culture that leverages a hybrid mindset. To execute and pursue enterprise-wide changes, leaders need to move away from “this or that” thinking and be more open to new possibilities. In other words, rather than choosing between options, a hybrid mindset looks for a solution by taking the best out of each option.
This requires a significant shift as people are hardwired to create hierarchies and divisions rather than allow multiple right answers to coexist. To thrive in the hybrid world, we need to unlearn certain ways of thinking and utilize integration and interoperability.
First things first, cultivate a growth mindset
To leverage hybrid cloud, hybrid work and hybrid thinking, leaders need to have the willingness to embrace a growth mindset within the organization. Finding the right software and hardware is vital, but if teams fail to create a culture that supports and accepts change, tools and systems will not be able to create real business value.