Only 1 in 2 Australia businesses thrive in Asia. Will yours?
Only 50% of Australian businesses gain a competitive advantage as a result of expanding into Asia. That’s what the team at NTT Communications ICT Solutions discovered when working on Expanding into Asia, our whitepaper into what it takes for Australian companies to perform well in the Asia Pacific region.
So how can businesses improve the odds for a successful expansion into Asia?
- 1. Quality of Customer Experience
Poor service to customers can have an immediate impact on reputation, and can cause long term damage. Our study found that over 60% of Australian businesses that first expanded into Asia experienced IT issues that led to customer dissatisfaction, and nearly half experienced a drop in operational efficiency. In a competitive environment, such issues can negatively impact customers’ confidence in your products and services.
Having the right, integrated IT setup from the beginning with ample support will allow you to respond effectively to changing customer needs. Making sure that your business is ‘always-on’ gives customers confidence in your brand and will have a positive impact on operational efficiency.
- 2. Get IT involved in any market entry early
Australian businesses cited that involving IT early in the changeover process would be a beneficial factor in successful expansion into Asian markets. Almost 50% of enterprises surveyed believed that getting IT on board early was pivotal to any strategy due to the difficulty in accessing IT support. With this statistic in mind, interestingly only 10% of companies that plan to go into Asia are getting IT involved up front. Finding the right IT provider before entering the market will help ensure that any issues customers may have can be solved quickly.
- 3. Invest in local IT support
Nearly 50% of Australian businesses already operating in Asia say that their most common technology woe is accessing IT support and 50% of businesses had reduced operational efficiency because of IT issues. Having on-the-ground IT support ensures that these issues are less likely to hamper business performance in Asia.
When selecting IT providers, look for multilingual support teams (ideally based in both Australia and the Asian country of operation), SLAs that includes financial compensation, and a deep awareness of how local-market issues – like filtered internet access or unstable connectivity – might impact operations or service quality.
- 4. Choose a scalable network
More than a third of Australian businesses said they experienced poor network performance in their first forays into Asia. These issues can limit organisations’ ability to engage with customers, manage supply chains, or even complete basic administration tasks – not the way any business wants to start in a new market.
Rather than working with a different local IT partner in every market, select providers with region-wide connections to local telcos and network operators. This gives your business reliable network quality in a range of different conditions, but with just one contact-point to focus on if you need to scale up or manage any issues.
- 5. Centralise your approach.
More than 1 in 4 Australian businesses have experienced a cybersecurity breach in their Asian offices. And the more markets you expand to in the region, the more complex Governance processes become.
Working with a single IT provider across all of Asia makes for greater accountability, speed of response, and simplicity of compliance – as long as that provider can effectively manage all third-party vendors in every country of operation. Look for providers who offer dedicated account staff (rather than rotating shifts), SLAs which can be legally enforced on a local level, and a proven track record in handling both local and regional security threats.
If your business has been contemplating an expansion into Asia for some time, consult with peers who have already done so and find business partners (particularly in IT and compliance) who already understand and operate in your target markets.
If you want to raise the odds of a successful expansion into Asia, the time to start planning and selecting the right partners is now.
What’s the greatest opportunity your business sees in Asia?