How automation keeps enterprises ahead of the curve

August 22, 2023 08:57
Photo: Reuters

After a period of relative isolation, Hong Kong is gearing up to step back into the global limelight. Many industries have seen relentless seismic shifts, with their market landscapes shaken up again and again.

Yet one thing remains unchanged: the market rewards those who dare to disrupt. Disruption requires innovation, which then requires businesses to move toward new frontiers while adapting and scaling to keep ahead of the curve. This begs the question, though - how can enterprises achieve these goals and ensure that they get a slice of the pie while keeping their operations running smoothly?

The answer, Red Hat believes, is automation.

Defined as the use of technology to perform tasks with reduced human assistance, automation has the ability to simplify change by cutting down menial tasks and provides an efficient way for businesses to manage, change and adapt not just certain parts of their organisational infrastructure, but their operations as a whole. This makes automation a valuable strategic differentiator for organisations who wish to focus on new projects, strategies and innovation in order to take advantage of Hong Kong’s post-pandemic recovery.

The significance of post-pandemic innovation in Hong Kong

Innovation pushes businesses to keep striving for greater heights in the business world. Today’s world is one of increasing complexity characterised by higher data volumes, faster business cycles and ever-more demanding customers. In this volatile climate, traditional business models, processes and skill sets can put a company at a competitive disadvantage.

As Hong Kong enterprises try to regain their footing during the post-pandemic recovery, many are embarking on strategies that call for the transformation of IT projects. Those that do so can spend less time focusing on IT processes. Instead, they can get ahead of the curve by spearheading initiatives that drive revenue growth, enhance customer experience, improve productivity and manage risk.

So how can organisations achieve digital innovation? One place to start is by implementing and adopting consistent and agile infrastructure, which can reduce complexity and decrease operational costs. These strategies can encompass critical areas such as automation, open source, cloud technology and more.

Automation as a trend for staying competitive in Hong Kong

While automation can act as a strategic tool for enterprises everywhere, its strengths shine even brighter in Hong Kong. Though the city has been slowly recovering with the gradual loosening of restrictions, the full resumption of cross-border travel has kicked the market back into overdrive, creating a myriad of opportunities for businesses to transform both their position in the market and within their organisations. As normality has returned, Hong Kong businesses investing in automation can seize new opportunities and carve out new niches.

One such area is the financial services industry. With over 78 of the world’s top 100 banks calling Hong Kong home, the financial sector is one of city’s calling cards on the global stage. This comes with pressure to meet heightened consumer expectations and ward off competition from non-traditional service providers, all the while keeping up with ever-evolving regulatory changes.

To overcome these challenges and deliver results, many financial institutions are pursuing digital transformation, with automation playing a key role. By employing automation, institutions can automate manual, time-consuming processes and deploy technologies that adapt easily to changing requirements. This helps streamline operations while unifying new and existing IT resources into an optimised, manageable environment, thereby reducing costs and risk.

Looking locally, the Hong Kong-headquartered AIA Group, Asia’s largest insurance provider, used automation to reduce its service time by cutting provisioning times from over 90 days to around 1 hour. This enabled its IT teams to focus on creating innovative services rather than spending time on manual processes.

And as a non-financial services outfit, the Hong Kong Jockey Club (HKJC), has also embarked on its infrastructure automation journey.

Looking ahead

The market's move toward the digital frontier is here to stay. Rather than clinging on to traditional processes, Hong Kong enterprises should leverage the shifting tides and champion innovation, starting with their own technology and company culture. Adopting automation can build trust with customers by allowing enterprises to foster a customer-centric culture and deliver top-tier services. At the same time, it can strengthen relationships within the organisation by upskilling employees and attracting and retaining new talent.

By incorporating automation, enterprises can improve resilience, efficiency and time to market, which ultimately simplifies real-time processing and reduces operating costs. This will equip Hong Kong businesses with the flexibility and adaptability needed to support growth and development and create a long and sustained future for years to come.

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General Manager - Hong Kong, Taiwan & Macau, Red Hat