F5: The application service market continues to explode

Updated: Dec 31, 2020

The progress of the digital transformation of enterprises in the Asia Pacific region is comparable to that of the global level, but the demand for efficiency, security, and availability of application services is more urgent. With the deepening of enterprise digital transformation, the deployment of enterprise multi-cloud and hybrid cloud architecture is common, and IT and business process automation is on the rise. More and more enterprises realized the benefits brought by the increase in the scale and speed of application deployment, but at the same time, it brings complexity.

Based on their original architecture, enterprises are increasingly relying on multiple public and private clouds, and need to implement modern application architectures so that they can deal with evolving complex threats. This analysis comes from the "Report on the State of Application Services in 2020 (Asia Pacific Version)" recently released by F5 Networks. This year is the sixth year that F5 has continuously released the State of Application Services Report. The report has gathered nearly 2,600 respondents from various industries worldwide. The opinions of the interviewees are quite representative, and among these interviewees, more than 1,300 are from the Asia-Pacific region.

According to the report, the progress of the digital transformation of enterprises in the Asia-Pacific region is comparable to that of the global level, but the demand for efficiency, security, and availability of application services is more urgent.

F5: The application service market continues to explode
F5: The application service market continues to explode

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Security threats to application services continue to rise

In-order to cope with the complex multi-cloud environment, enterprises are adopting more application services, such as service grid and access control, to accelerate the deployment in the public cloud and container-native environment. However, survey data show that this trend will accelerate as companies become more and more adept at using the data delivered by their application ecosystem to achieve advanced analytical capabilities and better business outcomes.

However, most enterprises have not implemented a stead security architecture for their applications. What they have focused on is time-to-market rather than security. The report on the status of application services 2020 (Asia Pacific Edition) reveals a major problem that continues to plague enterprises in the Asia Pacific Region - the technical gap of network security.

The survey shows that because companies need to manage traditional architecture, multi-cloud, hybrid cloud, and modern architecture to deliver applications, their requirements for application services are constantly changing. In order to cope with the limited skills and integration challenges, companies have chosen to provide a standardized open ecosystem, and especially favor application services that are both safe and easy to use.

Five characteristics of application service market in the Asia Pacific Region

1. 82% of companies in the Asia Pacific region (Global: 80%) are in the process of digital transformation and are increasingly focusing on speeding up their listing.

With the continuous progress of enterprises in the implementation of digital transformation, IT, and business process optimization measures are becoming more and more mature. Many enterprises have gone beyond the initial stage of business process automation and are now expanding their digital business through the cloud, container, and choreography technologies.

This, in turn, has driven the creation of new ecosystems and a substantial increase in API calls. For 60% of enterprises, applications are critical to their business; 38% of enterprises surveyed said that applications can support their business and bring competitive advantages.

2. 86% of companies in the Asia Pacific region (Global: 87%) adopt multi-cloud, and most of them are still working hard to improve security.

Enterprises use public clouds to participate in the industry ecosystem, fully adopt cloud-native architecture, and deliver applications simultaneously at the speed of business development. The above results were confirmed by 28% of respondents in the Asia-Pacific region. These respondents said that by the end of 2020, more than half of their applications will be deployed in the cloud.

However, compared with local data centers, enterprises have much lower confidence in their ability to withstand application-layer attacks in the public cloud. In the Asia Pacific region, 76% of companies said they had the biggest gap in security skills. This contradiction indicates that the demand for easy deploy solutions is growing to ensure consistent security across multiple environments.

3. 71% of companies in the Asia Pacific region (Global: 73%) improve efficiency through network automation.

Because optimizing it and business processes are the main driver of digital transformation, most enterprises are engaged in network automation. Despite the challenges, the enterprise's capabilities are steadily improving and moving towards more consistent automated deployment across all critical pipeline components (application infrastructure, application services, network, and security).

4. 68% of companies in the Asia Pacific region (Global: 69%) use more than 10 kinds of application services.

With the development of cloud-native application architecture, more and more enterprises deploy relevant application services in the local and public clouds, such as access control and service discovery. The modern application environment needs modern application services to meet the requirements of scalability, security, and availability.

5. 63% of companies in the Asia Pacific region (Global: 63%) still transfer the main responsibility of IT operation to application services, but more than half of enterprises surveyed also transfer this responsibility to teams with DevOps capability.

Operations and infrastructure teams continue to assume primary responsibility for selecting and deploying application services. However, as companies continue to expand their cloud-native and container-native application portfolio, the DevOps team will assume more responsibility for application services.

F5 is also continuously enhancing its application service capabilities. Last year, F5 completed the acquisition of NGINX. As a result, F5 can implement multi-cloud application services in all environments, meeting the demand of scale, security, and reliability required by network operations teams. At the beginning of this year, F5 announced that it would acquire Shape for approximately $1 billion, realizing the combination of F5’s application protection expertise in cross-cloud environments and Shape’s anti-fraud functions to enhance network security.

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