Asia’s Digital Transformation – Now or Never!

June 8, 2021

Born in Bagalkot, Karnataka Vinay has been a rank holder throughout the school and secured the 14th Rank in Karnataka state in his board 10th exams. Vinay holds a bachelor’s degree in Computer Science Engineering from Karnataka University, India. He is passionate about exploring new technologies and applying them to solve business problems. In his 22+ years in IT, he has successfully managed a number of large applications for a variety of domains. It is his vision and farsightedness that has made Infovision Labs to be known amongst his peers as one of the fastest-growing start-ups in India.

The year 2020 speeded the existing digitization of businesses by almost 5-7 years. The pandemic led businesses towards the rapid introduction of various digitally enabled products and services. Businesses today are embracing various virtual and digital services. Digital transformation, Cloud, IoT, AI, and AR have become the key players.

A report indicated that 1 out of 3 consumers of digital services started using a new application during the COVID-19 times. As per a recent market research report published by a leading organization, the Digital transformation industry in the APAC geography is likely to grow at a CAGR of 26.9% and will be close to USD 825.11 billion. One of the other key factors driving the digital transformation industry is the growing demand for innovations and customer demand for future-ready business solutions.

Over the years, there has been a dynamic shift in leadership mindset, which has eventually led to the conclusion that digital transformation is about the journey of changing people’s mindsets rather than just implementing technology.

While embarking on a digital transformation journey, I suggest the team start with these three actions. The first step is to define a direction for the transformation journey and relate to the changes that the business needs. The second and integral factor is to build a culture of experimentation and promote participation in the digital transformation journey. The third is to attract and develop a pool of digital talent that is diverse and champions in the field of digital transformation.

Geographically the Asia Pacific region is the hotbed for adaptation of digital transformation across various business domains. More than 50% of enterprises have kept digital transformation as their top priority, followed by cloud infrastructure and artificial intelligence. Leaders across organizations are struggling to maintain the pace of adaption and at the same time get the correct skill set that delivers and resistance to change from employees.

The need of keeping their businesses future-proof and resilient is making the companies leapfrog their peers and adapt to technologies. Along with this is the evolution of various new sectors like online education, telemedicine, online travel services, eCommerce, and more. AI, IoT, and 5G along with core cloud infrastructure and edge computing will make streaming of data and real-time big data analytics possible.

The growth will be further influenced due to increased investment by SMEs in digital technologies, which is predicted to grow substantially in the regions of Singapore, Japan, China, South Korea, India, and Hong Kong. The key enabler being the need to drive new business propositions and provide a better user experience to the clients. This along with empowering businesses to be agile, flexible, and future-ready.

In Singapore, the growth in digital transformation is owing to the factors of Combating rising labour costs, remain competitive across the various markets, and the efforts and initiatives by the government. At present leaders are shifting their focus of moving other aspects of technology to the cloud due to the main reason of cost and compliance.

Over the coming year, with every business adapting to digital in some form, the demand for skilled professionals will grow. Thus, the need for collaboration with the various stakeholders is a must along with re-skilling of the existing workforce. The need for cloud computing and cloud infrastructure has grown ten-folds and is recognized by businesses across domains.

With the implementation of digital transformation, businesses will benefit by boosting customer relations with digital technology, redefine the buying path, and streamline the customer success path. With the help of digital technology, previous business decisions can be accurate due to data backup. Accurate insights on customer behavior will further generate better scope for the business to plan growth initiatives.

Use Case

Here is a use case that will clarify it further, the country of Bangladesh did not have learning management systems and digital infrastructure. Owing to lockdown during the Covid-19 pandemic the University Grants Commission (UGS) has launched newer policies that will now require all universities to go digital and to make admissions, teaching, and learning activities accessible online. Within four months, mainstreaming of digitization was done. At present, around 3,800 classes are held online daily with more than 220,000 students in attendance.

The government of Indonesia is planning to revitalize the manufacturing sector by implementing Industry 4.0 technologies. This is to be done across the main GDP contributor sectors of food and drink, textiles, clothing, automotive, electronics, and chemicals. At the same, the government of Singapore has earmarked considerable investment in research and development to strategies on adopting Industry 4.0.

The process of digital transformation is steadily gaining momentum, across various counties of Asia thus putting this region at the forefront of the world’s digitalization trend. Organizations are embracing digitization which has resulted in visible productivity improvements, greater cost savings, expanded reach into new markets, and the development of new customer segments.

This is due to Asia’s willingness to “think big,” leverage technology innovation, and experiment. Through this period of unprecedented digital transformation implementations, few nations of the Asia and Pacific region are at the forefront. Singapore, Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, and India have been the torchbearers in this transformation journey.