Asian expansion proves challenging for nearly half of Australian businesses: NTT Communications ICT Solutions study finds

Local support for IT and compliance are prerequisites to customer growth in digital-first region

SYDNEY, Australia - 9 September 2016 – According to research commissioned by ICT services provider NTT Communications ICT Solutions, nearly 50% of all businesses that expand into Asia Pacific fail to recognise any greater competitive advantage as a result. The research shows a gap between expectations and reality, finding that although at least half of all businesses named customer growth as one of their top reasons for expanding into Asia, more than 6 in every 10 of them did not increase their customer base.

“This is a surprising result and counter intuitive to the current narrative around business confidence in Asia. While it may be seen as a sure-fire way to ignite growth, Asia is an incredibly diverse continent where the customer requirements, legal regimes, and levels of IT infrastructure can vary immensely between countries only miles apart,” said Tarquin Bellinger, Chief Operating Officer, NTT Communications ICT Solutions. “Australian enterprises need to do their homework before expanding into Asian markets, particularly in areas such as IT and compliance which are not only unique to each part of Asia, but also directly impact their ability to grow and sustain a loyal customer base.”

Regardless of expansion plans or not, the benefit of having onsite staff, resources and local expertise is considered vital to successful growth underpinned by a well set up IT infrastructure.  The network is considered the most important IT service according to 34% of those businesses already expanded. 

The research also suggests that subpar IT performance can directly undermine customer experience: IT issues led to customer dissatisfaction for 6 in 10 businesses. Further, poor services to customers and staff can significantly hurt reputation, something suffered as a result of IT issues by nearly 25% of Australian businesses that have expanded into Asia.

Investing-in-IT“Some parts of Asia are rich in state-of-the-art data centre infrastructure, while others still face issues of network and power supply stability,” said Bellinger. “Australian businesses moving into Asia must find Australian partners with presence in Asia who can provide the IT infrastructure and support that’s reliable, scalable, and fast enough to deliver world-class digital capabilities for both customers and employees alike. Access to global cloud providers is one option that we see customers opting for: doing so can make expansion more cost-effective and flexible thanks to pre-existing infrastructure cover across Asia.”

In fact, the most commonly-experienced IT issue for Australian businesses operating in Asia was a lack of access to IT support, experienced by 49% of businesses. Yet of those enterprises currently planning to enter into Asia, only 10% of businesses cited finding the right IT partner as a challenge during their expansion plans.

“While rightly focused on issues of culture, compliance, and budget, Australian businesses shouldn’t underestimate the importance of getting the right IT partner in place locally,” said Bellinger. “Businesses who can gain access to uniformly top-tier data centres, network infrastructure and technical support across all parts of Asia, while also minimising their investment risks through low-CapEx solutions like cloud, will find it far easier to generate real customer and business growth from their expansionary efforts.”

Australian-based rare earths mining and processing company Lynas Corporation Limited partnered with NTT ICT to deploy a full-service IT solution that has been instrumental in the company’s growth and continued success. NTT ICT worked with Lynas to scope, plan, set, specify, and implement the company’s internal IT infrastructure. Lynas CIO Gillian Kidson said the team partnered with NTT ICT as they needed a strong, agile technology partner from day one.

“It was NTT ICT’s reach, powerful network, and local expertise that made them the perfect partner for our expansion plans.  We were looking for a partner who could provide a range of services, guaranteed performance level at an accessible price and NTT ICT’s single vendor proposition really spoke to this. We rely on NTT ICT’s experience and knowledge to push us in the right direction when making important IT decisions.”

The NTT Communications ICT Solutions Asian Expansion Study set out to identify the trends, challenges and opportunities impacting Australian businesses as they expand in to Asia Pacific. The research is based on responses from 239 Australian business decision makers and IT decision makers. The research defined Asia as encompassing Hong Kong, Singapore, Malaysia, mainland China, Thailand, Brunei, Vietnam, Indonesia, Cambodia, Philippines, Laos, Myanmar, Taiwan, Macau, Japan and South Korea.

For further information, download the white paper and view the infographic.

NTT Communications ICT Solutions (NTT ICT) provides network, infrastructure, security, cloud and managed services to Australian companies who care about quality. Our team of local experts and engineers help companies decide which solution will best suit their business and deliver bespoke tools and services to make it easier for them to operate and innovate. We help companies expand into Asia and globally, leverage their legacy IT and transform into next generation solutions and reduce complexity and risk.

NTT ICT is a wholly owned subsidiary company of NTT Communications, one of the largest ICT companies in the world. Our offerings are backed by NTT Communications worldwide infrastructure, including a leading global Tier 1 IP network reaching 196 countries/regions and over 140 secure data centres worldwide. Every day 80 of the Fortune 100 companies trust our technology to do their work.

Media contact:
Mihika Gujral
+61 2 9956 5733

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