Oon Chew Boon – NetApp

Market Recovery and Future-Proofing Southeast Asian SMEs with All Flash Storage

By Oon Chew Boon, NetApp’s Lead Solution Architect, Malaysia & Brunei

As the region braces itself for another wave of lockdowns, organisations are now going beyond adapting to the new normal, to future-proofing their businesses against further disruptions and crisis. In fact, the demand for IT infrastructure products for cloud environments, including public and private cloud went up by 2.2% in the first quarter of 2020, according to IDC’s Worldwide Quarterly Cloud IT Infrastructure Tracker[1]. However, with businesses being focused on market recovery following the lifting of restrictions by the government, it is inevitably the smaller organizations that have to work harder to contain costs and prioritize essential spending on solutions that will take them through the long term.

In Southeast Asia, there are more than 70 million SMEs employing over 140 million people, and accounting for 99% of all businesses in the region[2]. Given the significant role that SMEs play in driving the region’s economy, it is important that they continue to thrive. But how can they be sure that the IT solution they invest in today will serve them well tomorrow?

The answer lies in adopting storage and data management solutions that are simple, smart, and highly secure such as the all-flash storage system. All-flash are built for today’s needs but are also ready to adapt to the requirements of tomorrow, or in a post pandemic world.

Invest in Security

Southeast Asia is one of the fastest-growing regions for digital innovation, spurred by advanced internet connectivity and smartphone adoption. But with this growth comes the increased risk of cybersecurity vulnerabilities.

Even before the pandemic, we have seen an increase in ransomware incidents and data theft or hacks.  PWC reported that organizational responses to recent global events will cause a net-negative impact on the cybersecurity posture of the business, due to existing risks being left unaddressed as security expenditure are being cut, as well as new risks that are emerging with the shift to remote working and implementation of new technologies[3].

As governments around the region look towards protecting businesses and citizens alike through tightening their laws on data and privacy protections, ASEAN SMEs will also need to relook at how they manage and protect data.

If an incident occurs, synchronous replication for zero data loss can help businesses to avoid losing their most critical data. It can also save pending transactions with integrated application-consistent backup. Beyond that, the business’ application data will be encrypted and secure, empowering SMEs to control their data access, while also complying with all data protection and privacy laws.

Invest in Simplicity and Scalability

A small enterprise often means a leaner IT team, perhaps even a singular IT ‘go-to’ generalist. Therefore, SMEs should look for a data and storage management solution that comes equipped with intuitive management software that is easy to provision and deploy quickly. This will make it easier for SMEs to manage their storage needs even without a dedicated or specialized team. Furthermore, they should also look for systems that can consolidate and manage all files and block data from a single system to increase storage efficiency.

Beyond that, SMEs need storage solutions that are scaled to fit their needs. Paying for too much storage that they do not need right now is an unnecessary use of resources. At the same time, SMEs need solutions that can grow as their business grows. A solid storage management system allows them to store more data for less with inline data reduction. Flash storage also means a ten-times faster application response time, thereby increasing efficiency. This will allow SMEs to put more time and money towards other priorities, like making their customers happy.

SMEs can also enjoy affordable scalability by combining their on-premise data and storage management system with hybrid multi-cloud integration. This adds another dimension to scalability and cost optimization, giving businesses the best of both worlds; high performance computing on premise with the cost-effective value and flexibility of cloud computing.

Invest Smartly

They say that hindsight is 20/20. However, having accurate foresight gives a clearer picture for SMEs to plan and execute their business strategy. Through data-driven insights, SMEs can identify and correct IT problems before they occur.

Beyond that, the system should also increase the ability of IT teams to support new business opportunities by leveraging the latest technologies like artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning (ML) and deep learning (DL). This can be done by removing complexity and bottlenecks at the edge, core, and cloud to enable more efficient data collection, hence, accelerating AI workloads.

The NetApp® AFF C190 entry level all flash storage addresses enables SMEs to enjoy a secure, simple, scalable, and smart data and storage management system that are within their IT investment budgets. It comes with enterprise-grade features such as comprehensive data services, integrated data protection, seamless scalability, new levels of performance, and cloud integration. Beyond that it can also provision storage in minutes, manage file and block data on a single system. It will also reduce overall storage costs by effortlessly connecting to the business’ choice of public cloud providers such as Google Cloud, Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft Azure, IBM Storage Cloud, and Alibaba Cloud.

SMEs that want to modernize their IT infrastructure will get to do so by investing in a solid all flash storage system like the NetApp® AFF C190. This will give them the peace of mind to invest their cost savings in other business and customer priorities, subsequently future proofing their business through the pandemic and beyond.