The inventions of the Internet of Things has caused a digital transformation in different parts of the world. It has shifted from being overhyped speculations and forecasts to a reality. Companies have started adopting new revenue generation methods and business models. Asia-Pacific, also known as APAC, is one of the largest economies worldwide. About 60 percent of the globe’s population lives in this region. In this article, we discuss digital transformation in APAC firms and how they are accelerating it.

Asia-Pacific Firms Embrace Digital Transformation

Hong Kong and Singapore are among the largest technology markets in Asia-Pacific. Many companies in the region have started digitizing their operations. About 67 percent of decision-makers in Asia-Pacific admitted that their firms are undergoing digital transformation.

Forrester interviewed 53 executives from medium and large firms in Hong Kong and Singapore in the fourth quarter of 2017. The decision-makers were from high-tech, healthcare, entertainment, insurance and financial services, government, and telecommunication industries.

Some APAC firms have established culture, technology, talent, strategy, and structure as the five major competencies. Companies need to simultaneously develop all competencies to transform digitally. For the digital marketing revolution to continue, strategy leaders need to strengthen structure and talent. Many firms in the region lag in these two competencies.

Chief Information Officers (CIOs) should choose the right IT measures for their firms as governments try to boost the economy. Rishi Mehra, the Chief Financial Officer (CFO) for Aon in Asia, said in a Workday webinar that Aon has developed a close relationship with its customers. It has planned for different financial scenarios to maintain its share in the market despite the current pandemic. Unlike Aon, more than 75 percent of CFOs in Asia struggle to adjust their budgets, forecasts, and financial plans as companies respond to COVID-19.

A recent Workday Study reveals that 75 percent of firms from Indonesia, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Thailand, and Singapore have rigid processes. Mehra stated that companies with agile systems are usually able to hasten their processing time thus helping in financial scenario planning.

Companies that apply the same processing techniques they had in the 2000s tend to take long to process various scenarios. Around 60 percent of the respondents admitted that their firms lack a flexible enterprise culture and 68 percent of CFOs were using ad-hoc reports to make crucial decisions. They still rely on information technology to generate these reports.

About 31 percent in the Workday Study said that APAC firms have accelerated their digital transformation efforts. Around 24 percent of the participants are prioritizing this transformation. Rob Wells, President of Workday Asia, stated that the recent events worldwide have shown the importance of businesses being digitally agile. Having the right technology will help firms adapt to drastic changes in the business environment.

Over 75 percent of APAC firms are facing financial constraints due to the Coronavirus outbreak. Being one of the busiest economies in the world, Governments in Asia are helping industries to embrace digital transformations. For example, the government of China started the “Made in China 2025” initiative to help the country realize Industry 4.0. The plan will help the industries and the state to invest in R&D to develop leading-edge technologies.

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