Microsoft Asia and IDC Asia Pacific just released findings of a study which suggests that higher education institutions in APAC can double their rate of innovation with AI (artificial intelligence)!
APAC Higher Education Can Double Innovation With AI!
The Microsoft-IDC study – Future Ready Skills : Assessing APAC Education Sector’s Use of AI – found that AI (artificial intelligence) will help double the rate of innovation for higher education institutions.
This involves using AI to better manage student performance and enhance student engagements, while optimising operations to reduce work amongst the faculty and administrative staff.
Based on the study, the top business drivers to adopt AI in higher education include better student engagement, higher funding, and accelerated innovation.
Institutions that have already adopted AI say that they are seeing improvements in the rate of 11% to 28% in those areas.
By 2021, Microsoft and IDC predict that institutions using AI will experience the biggest jump in funding – 3.7X, which is higher than most industry sectors in Asia Pacific.
AI In Higher Education Case Study
Developing a globally engaged citizenry is one of Japan’s key priorities. However, many students avoid studying or going abroad, as doing so can delay them from taking classes they need to graduate.
The Faculty of Engineering at Hokkaido University, for example, has chosen to implement AI as part of its mission to encourage students to study abroad.
They developed a Microsoft Azure-based e-learning system that leverages AI and automation capabilities. This system lets students keep up with coursework back home, with course preparation streamlined from days to mere hours.
AI Skills Required For The Future Of Higher Education
Both education leaders and their staff are equally positive about the impact of AI on higher education jobs.
A large majority (61%) of both segments believe that AI will either help them do their jobs better, or reduce repetitive tasks.
21% of education leaders, and 13% of their staff also agree that AI will help create new jobs in higher education.
However, the requisite skills for an AI future are currently in shortage. The top three skills that education leaders believe will face a shortage in the next three years include :
IT skills and programming
Quantitative, analytical and statistical skills
The Study also noted a disconnect with the perception of education leaders of their staff’s willingness to reskill to adapt to an AI future.
26% of education leaders believe that their staff have no interest to reskill, but in reality, only 11% of their staff had no interest to reskill.
Sophos has just released their global report – Exposed: Cyberattacks on Cloud Honeypots with very alarming findings for servers worldwide! Get the full details and find out what this means for your business and IT operations!
Cyberattacks On Cloud Honeypots
A cloud honeypot is a cloud-based system set up to resemble targets of cybercriminals. When attached, they enable security experts to study the cyberattacks.
During the course of the study, Sophos had set up honeypots in 10 most popular Amazon Web Services (AWS) centers in the world like :
Cyberattacks On Cloud Honeypots Report Findings
During the 30 day period, Sophos reported:
A cloud honeypot that was set up in Brazil was attacked a mere 52 seconds after it went live.
Cloud servers were attacked an average 13 times per minute.
More than 5 million attacks were attempted on the network of honeypots in the 30 day period
This data sends a very chilling warning to every company worldwide of the real danger cyberattackers/cybercriminals present.
Cybercriminals are constantly scanning for weak and vulnerable open cloud buckets. They are the points of entry into servers or other networks.
“The Sophos report, Exposed: Cyberattacks on Cloud Honeypots, identifies the threats organizations migrating to hybrid and all-cloud platforms face.
The aggressive speed and scale of attacks on the honeypots shows how relentlessly persistent cybercriminals are and indicates they are using botnets to target an organization’s cloud platforms.
In some instances, it may be a human attacker, but regardless, companies need a security strategy to protect what they are putting into the cloud,” said Matthew Boddy, security specialist, Sophos.
“The issue of visibility and security in cloud platforms is a big business challenge, and with increased migration to the cloud, we see this continuing.”
Microsoft and IDC Asia Pacific just unveiled the results of their latest study of the AI growth potential for Malaysia. Here is a video of their briefing, and a summary of their key findings!
The Microsoft-IDC Report On AI Growth Potential For Malaysia
The Microsoft-IDC report on AI growth potential for Malaysia is based on their 2018 survey of 100 business leaders and 100 workers in Malaysia.
Presenting the key findings were K Raman, Managing Director of Microsoft Malaysia, and Jun-Fwu Chin, Research Director for IDC Asia Pacific Datacenter Group.
Increased Innovation + Productivity
Titled “Future Reader Business: Assessing Asia Pacific’s Growth Potential Through AI“, it revealed that Artificial Intelligence (AI) will almost double the rate of innovation, and boost employee productivity by 60% by 2021.
Low Uptake Of AI So Far
Even though 70% of the business leaders surveyed believe that AI is instrumental for their organisation’s competitiveness, only 26% of organisations in Malaysia have begun their AI initiatives.
The Top 5 Reasons For Adopting AI
For those companies who have already started their AI initiatives, these are their top 5 reasons :
Better customer engagements (31%)
Higher competitiveness (31%)
Accelerated innovation (12%)
Improved efficiency (12%)
More productive employees (8%)
Initial Results Of AI Initiatives
For those companies, their AI initiatives have resulted in some tangible improvements of between 17% to 34% in those 5 areas. They forecast a further boost of 60% to 130% over a three-year horizon.
Malaysia Not Prepared
The study also evaluated the six dimensions critical to developing Malaysia’s AI growth potential, and found them wanting. In particular, Malaysia is weak in data and investments.
Top Three Challenges
Business leaders who are already adopting AI cited these three top challenges in realising their companies’ AI growth potential :
Lack of thought leadership and commitment to invest in AI
Lack of skills, resources and continuous learning programs
Lack of advanced analytics or infrastructure and tools to develop actionable insights
Leaders + Workers Are Positive About AI
The study also found that 67% of business leaders and 64% of workers in Malaysia are positive about AI’s impact on the future of jobs.
In addition, the study claims that workers are MORE optimistic about AI creating jobs than replacing them, than business leaders!
Editor’s Note :We find the high favourability by workers to be highly questionable, and have requested more information about the type of workers surveyed by IDC.
It is possible that the workers they surveyed are high-level executives who see AI as a useful tool that will enhance their jobs, rather than the job killers that many low-level executives and blue-collar workers are worried about.
SAP believes that family businesses in Southeast Asia have the potential to disrupt industries and drive economic growth, but they need to embrace digital innovations. Claus Andresen of SAP Southeast Asia explains why, with the help of a new study by The Economist Intelligence Unit.
Family Businesses In Southeast Asia
Southeast Asia (is a high-growth region, where family businesses make up a significant proportion of SMEs. These family businesses are aware of the rapid change in technology and markets, and these are impacting their outlook and strategies.
In a new SAP-sponsored study by The Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU), Southeast Asian family businesses ranked the pace of technological change as their foremost area of concern – one that may present the most significant threat to their growth over the next three years.
Q&A With Claus Andresen
At the of the SAP Leonardo briefings at the new SAP Leonardo Center Singapore, we sat down with Claus Andresen, President and Managing Director of SAP Southeast Asia, to talk about the new study, and importance of digital innovation to these family businesses.
“The landscape and dynamics of family businesses in Southeast Asia is unique, with many of them still being in the first or second generation. Given their small or medium sizes, these businesses have the competitive advantage of being agile and nimble, which put them in a better position to adapt to the rapid pace of change in the market,” said Claus Andresen.
“When we look at the broader SME segment in Southeast Asia, SMEs account for between 95 to 99 percent of establishments across ASEAN, contributing massively to the GDP. This may put them in prime position to drive disruptions across industries and economic growth across the region. But to do this, these organisations should first and foremost embrace digital innovations and integrate digital technologies into their overall strategy.”
The EIU Study On Family Businesses In Southeast Asia
The EIU study, called “Planning for Prosperity: Assessing Family Business Future-Readiness in South and Southeast Asia“, is based on a survey of 300 family business executives across eight countries in the APAC region – Bangladesh, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Sri Lanka and Thailand.
According to Michael Gold, EIU Editor, “Executives in Southeast Asia show less confidence in their abilities to meet future challenges than their peers in South Asia. In order for family businesses in this fast-changing region to keep up, they will need to adapt to new technological developments and modernise their way of thinking to bring their businesses into the 21st century. Otherwise, the next generation may not throw in their chips with their parents’ companies.”
Despite feeling the pressure from the emergence of new technologies, the executives in the study are strongly confident of their organisations’ readiness to utilise new technologies like :
data analytics : 67%
machine learning : 62.3%
automation : 65.7%
cloud computing : 63.7%
SAP Partner-Packaged Solution For SMEs
To support the digital innovation of SMEs in Southeast Asia, SAP announced the availability of SAP-qualified partner-packaged solutions for SAP Leonardo.
These are fixed-scope packaged solutions that offer predictable prices, and are structured to provide a fast return on investment.
Packages based on SAP software together with a partner’s services and intellectual property, with a fixed scope and a fixed price,
A rigorous qualification process, with validation of the partners’ ability to deliver,
Microsoft today unveiled findings of its Asia Workplace 2020 Study, where it found that employees in Malaysia do not feel empowered to embrace the demands of the digital workplace.
The Microsoft Asia Workplace 2020 Study Summarised
While 70% of Malaysian respondents consider themselves to be mobile workers and spend at least 20% of their time working outside of their offices, only 41% feel empowered by their organization’s culture and managers to be able to work together productively and collaboratively.
Here is an infographic that summarises the key findings of the Microsoft Asia Workplace 2020 Study.
After the launch of its Workplace 2020 study, Microsoft hosted an experiential event for its customers to test their collaborative skills using Microsoft Teams. The Amazing Teams Challenge was organized at Botanical Gardens and saw participants complete challenges across 4 pit stops located at different parts of the Gardens.
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The Microsoft Asia Workplace 2020 Study Key Findings
Microsoft’s Asia Workplace 2020 Study found that employees in Malaysia do not feel empowered to embrace the demands of the digital workplace.
70% of Malaysia respondents consider themselves to be mobile workers and spend at least 20% of their time working outside of their offices
Only 41% feel empowered by their organization’s culture and managers to be able to work together productively and collaboratively.
In addition, only 32% of respondents agree that their organization is committed at a leadership level to ensure every employee is included in closing the digital skills gaps within the workforce.
The Study involved 319 working professionals from Malaysia. It sought to understand shifting employee behaviours and gaps in the workplace when it came to productivity, collaboration and flexi-work practices.
A Digitally Savvy Workforce is Key to Digital Transformation
An earlier version of the Study conducted in 2015 found that 41 out of 100 respondents in Malaysia were ready for the New World of Work, whereby organizations had the right People, Place and Technology principles in place to enable a productive, collaborative and innovative workforce. This year, 48 out of 100 respondents felt so, indicating that organizations in the market are slightly more equipped, although more can be done to move the needle.
But beyond People, Place and Technology factors, the rise of the 4th industrial revolution has also accelerated the pace of transformation. A recent Microsoft Asia Digital Transformation Study conducted in late 2016 found that ‘Empowering Employees’ number two digital transformation priority among Malaysia’s business leaders. On the other hand, having a digital skilled workforce was one of the top barriers in their digital transformation journey.
New Work Styles and Organizational Conflicts Need to Be Addressed
It is evident that mobile professionals in the market are embracing flexi-work today, and organizations should look at new workplace practices, especially with the impeding influx of digital natives (born after 2000) entering the workforce for the first time.
More than half of the respondents (71%) value work-life integration today, where the boundaries of work and life have blurred, but have enabled mobile professionals to be able to collaborate and work virtually.
The Study also found that organizations need to address several structural challenges within the workplace to ready themselves for the digital age, as well as flexi-work practices:
Organization’s Leaders are a key enabler to drive flexi-work practices in the workplace: Only 32% agree that their organization’s leadership is committed in bridging the digital skills gap in the workplace.
Organizational culture is important: Only 26% agree that their organization has invested in culture development through training and development led by HR
Access to newer, data-centric technologies to enhance collaboration and productivity: Only 27% feel that their organization has invested in analytics and data tools to help them make informed and timely decisions; only 28% agree that their organization has given them tools to simplify workflows
New World of Teams Requires New Approaches
Workplace shifts have undeniably resulted in new ways of work, where technologies have enabled increased collaboration between individuals and teams across geographies and groups. However, the Study found that there were certain gaps today that hindered collaborative and productive outcomes from teams.
The top five challenges included:
Too many face to face meetings that are taking up productive time (34%);
Teams are not open to new initiatives to improve processes (26%);
Teams take too long to respond to internal issues (25%);
Teams are too rigid and not open to new ways of work (24%)
Team members are not accommodating with flexi-work schedules (20%)
However, respondents feel that strong leadership and vision (50%), access to technology tools for collaboration (48%), as well as an diverse team members across job functions (40%) can help build more collaborative teams.
Access to Newer, Collaborative Technologies will Enhance Productivity
The Study also found that respondents are seeking better devices to help them become more productive at work. Beyond hardware requirements, 33% hope to have access to information and data on mobile devices, 31% wish for cloud-based productivity tools and 24% hope for real-time collaboration capabilities.
When asked about emerging technologies that will help build better work environments by 2020:
45% think real-time intelligences will help them make informed decisions at work
45% believe Artificial Intelligence will be able to help perform tasks independently
37% look forward to virtual workspaces that support instant messaging and document sharing
The recently announced Microsoft Teams brings together people, conversations and content, along with the tools that teams need. It’s integrated with familiar Office applications and is built from the ground up on Office 365 and Microsoft’s global, secured cloud.
Chat for today’s teams. Microsoft Teams provides a modern conversations experience, with threaded, persistent chat to keep everyone engaged. Team conversations can be either private or visible to the entire team, and users can access multiple teams, making it easy to switch between projects.
A hub for teamwork. The Office 365 applications and services that teams use every day — Word, Excel, PowerPoint, SharePoint, OneNote and PowerBI— are all built-in, so people have the information and tools they need.
Customization for every team. Microsoft Teams offers the ability to customize work spaces with tabs, connectors and bots from third-party partners as well as familiar Microsoft tools like Microsoft Planner and Visual Studio Team Services. Today, more than 150 integrations are available or coming soon, with companies like SAP, Trello, Hipmunk, Growbot and ModuleQ building on the platform.
Security teams trust. Microsoft Teams is built on the hyper-scale, enterprise-grade Office 365 cloud, delivering the advanced security and compliance capabilities our customers expect. Teams supports global standards including SOC 1, SOC 2, EU Model Clauses, ISO27001 and HIPAA.
Customers worldwide are choosing Microsoft Teams to enable collaboration within their organizations. Since announcing the preview in November, more than 50,000 organizations have started using Microsoft Teams, including Alaska Airlines, ConocoPhillips, Deloitte, Expedia, J.B. Hunt, J. Walter Thompson, Hendrick Motorsports, Sage, Trek Bicycle and Three UK. In Asia, customers such as Amicus, Blackmores, Graincorp, Objective Corporation, Readify and RSL Queensland have adopted Microsoft Teams for their workplace.
The tight integration of Office 365 and Microsoft Teams means that when a group is working on a project everyone is assured that the most current artefacts and content are available immediately.
 The Microsoft Asia Workplace 2020 Study was conducted between February and March 2017 involving 4.175 respondents in 14 Asia markets. The 14 markets include Australia, China, Hong Kong, Indonesia, India, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, New Zealand, the Philippines, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand and Vietnam. All respondents were pre-qualified as at least spending 30 hours per week in a full-time role, or spending at least 20 hours per week in a part time role.
 The Microsoft Asia Digital Transformation Study was conducted between October to November 2016 involving 1,494 business leaders in 13 Asia Pacific markets. The 13 markets include Australia, China, Hong Kong, Indonesia, India, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, New Zealand, the Philippines, Singapore, Taiwan and Thailand. All respondents were pre-qualified as being involved in shaping their organisations’ digital strategy, and are working in firms with more than 250 employees.