Digital transformation gains high prominence across APAC companies
Harvard Business Review Analytic Services’ recent report showed Asian firms have latched on to digital transformation as a strategy, not just for growth but also for survival.
The APAC difference in transformation effectiveness translates into important business benefits for the region’s firms, including helping them bring new products and services to market faster than their global counterparts.
The report titled, “Understanding APAC’s Success in Digital Transformation,” surveyed 143 business executives from APAC from various industries including financial services, IT and manufacturing sectors. It was commissioned by open source vendor Red Hat.
Key highlights of the report include:
- 95 per cent of APAC executives said digital transformation has gained in importance over the past 18 months.
- 80 per cent of APAC business leaders ranked cultural change and technology modernisation of equal importance for digital transformation.
- 40 per cent of APAC executives are quickly developing and delivering new applications to market, compared to only 23 per cent of executives in the rest of the world.
According to APAC executives, cultural change stood out as one of the three building blocks of modernisation, along with technology and business processes thus creating significant impediments to transformation success. The survey respondents cited that company culture now includes factors such as collaboration (44 per cent), inclusivity (42 per cent), adaptability (41 per cent), and transparency (40 per cent).
The study also revealed that companies looking to digitally transform successfully will need to support their cultural change initiatives with efforts to modernise their infrastructure and application architecture. By combining the two initiatives, companies in APAC can:
- Adopt continuous integration/continuous delivery methods, which are deemed vital by 75 per cent of the respondents
- Quickly develop and deliver new applications (40 per cent)
- Respond rapidly to customer demands (39 per cent)
- Update systems efficiently (39 per cent)
- Control maintenance costs (39 per cent)
executives have clear ideas about where to invest over the next 12 to 18 months to maintain their digital transformation momentum. They plan to invest in artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (40 per cent), as well as increase their spending on cloud-based business applications by 8 per cent and business process automation tools by 6 per cent.
Anthony Watson lead enterprise domains at ANZ Bank said transformation isn’t something that happens for only a focused period and then there’s no change after that.
“Our maxim is that constant change is absolutely a part of our organisation’s DNA — and that of other organisations across the region as well,” he said. “We set the expectation throughout our organisation that we will be evolving constantly.
Our company is using technology to modernise operations to deliver services faster and more efficiently. Technology also lets us better integrate customer feedback as we develop new financial products.”