For years, analysts saw the Asia-Pacific region as a laggard in terms of digital transformation. Not anymore.
The EY’s Tech Horizon: Leadership perspectives on technology and transformation report showed that the current push toward AI and cloud innovation and the willingness to address the skills gap will see the region at the top of the digital transformation rankings in two years.
“In a dynamic business environment, it doesn’t matter whether the disruption is a global health pandemic or new competition, bushfires or Brexit. Agile, adaptable businesses with advanced digital capabilities are best positioned to weather any storm—and create long-term value,” says Steve Bingham, technology consulting leader at EY Asia-Pacific.
The report highlighted four key drivers:
- Customer obsession: EY sees the rush to adapt to changing customer demand and creating long-term value as the biggest drivers of this transformation. The study showed that companies saw keeping customers happy on par with meeting profitability goals. When asked about key drivers for transforming an organization, 44% said, ‘meeting changing customer demands’, while ‘creating long-term customer value’ and ‘meeting profitability goals’ followed closely behind at 41%.
- Investing in artificial intelligence (AI) and cloud and commitment to innovation: APAC companies’ focused investments in cloud and AI are paying off. Both technologies have made a profound and positive impact on customer satisfaction, the study notes. It also revealed that 87% of Asia-Pacific companies are trying to develop and implement a transformation culture.
- Commitment to innovation: Creating a culture of innovation is a top priority for IT departments in the region, ahead of other factors such as improving security, with 87% of companies in Asia-Pacific saying they would like to develop and implement a transformation culture to address enduring challenges, such as lack of collaboration. When asked about top improvement priorities for the IT function in an organization, almost half (41%) of respondents chose ‘driving innovation to support transformation’ while ‘improving customer experience and engagement’ was the second most frequent concern (38%).
- Plugging the skills gap: While the Asia-Pacific region is aware of a skills gap in their industry (60% acknowledge that there is one), all companies are solving it. Their efforts include developing additional incentives, introducing training programs, and undertaking gap assessments for certain staff. Those who acknowledge the skills gap believe that closing these gaps will speed up their digital transformation efforts, said the EY report.
“At EY, we know that technology is a key enabler of transformation. Disruption won’t slow digital transformation. Instead, leaders understand they must redouble their efforts to unlock long term value,” says Bingham.
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