Digital transformation has been one of the biggest trends across the globe in 2015 and Asia is set to be on the forefront of this digital wave in 2016. An uproar in digital friendly infrastructure coupled with a concerted regional shift towards new technologies has empowered enterprises to make the most of new growth opportunities arising from digital transformation.
Is digitalization really necessary?
As enterprises rush headlong towards a digital future, there is a growing consensus that the blueprint for digitalization needs to be subjected to continuous digital evolution and proactive customization. Enterprises need to develop digital agendas in line with their business objectives and operational requirements, carefully calibrating strategies to ensure optimal digital success.
With traditional ERP systems relegated to providing back office efficiencies and legacy programs lacking the flexibility to fully exploit voluminous data, enterprises need to evolve digitally by stripping off their stiff corset of standard software and start adopting personalized, multifunctional platforms instead. Against the backdrop of data expansion and the proliferation of mobile usage and broadband connectivity in the region, enterprises ought to fashion robust, tailored digital solutions by working with the right partners and commit to a process of continuous innovation.
Achieving success through co-innovation
Cultivating an ecosystem guided by a free exchange of ideas and unbridled innovation is the cornerstone of digitalization. Increased collaboration between technology providers, IT service providers and the strategic arm of enterprises will present businesses in Southeast Asia with opportunities to tap on a wealth of expertise, co-innovate and develop a robust digitalization roadmap to meet rapidly evolving business needs.
A key thrust in the blueprint for collaboration is developing a digitalization stratagem that includes an organization’s digital strategy, business objectives and models, as well as the appropriate strategy for apps, IoT and cloud computing. This roadmap will provide enterprises with a snapshot of their future digital capabilities and new IT structure.
For example, the route to digital transformation might start with designing business processes or analyzing customer data that a company has collected. Generally speaking, there is no clear sequence here: Companies provide the starting point with their IT and business activities—and the IT service provider stands by their side as a software expert.
The IT service provider is responsible for training the IT organization and different departments on how to operate the new systems. The goal for users is to work as independently as possible under initial supervision on implementation, execution and controlling within the new business processes, learn from them and improve them through further innovation.
Enterprises must concentrate on planning, realizing and later autonomously developing the minimum of innovation needed. However, there must be constant communication between IT providers and enterprises, with both parties following the digitalization roadmap as previously set out. Moreover, these agile methods give the team a certain leeway to familiarize themselves with the digitalization processes on their own.
In the face of growing digitalization, firms in the region must commit themselves to a continuous process of reinvention. This involves developing digital strategies, business models, as well as the appropriate strategy for IoT and cloud computing, through the lens of digital transformation. The path to digital evolution is fostering stronger relationships between IT, decision makers and software vendors in the region.
Time to move away from Off-the-Shelf Technology!
In order to navigate the whirlwind of digitalization purposefully, adopting standard digital solutions no longer suffices. While employing the typical out of the box/off the shelf technology may seem like an easier way to embrace digitalization, it won’t help the businesses stand out in the crowd. To stay ahead in the digital game, what enterprises need are tailored technology solutions that are inline with their business needs and goals. With customized solutions business models become more flexible and agile. This can be highly beneficial in the longer run with the constantly changing business parameters.
It is not about software packages, but rather about flexible, changeable, individual applications that are customized for specific needs. These include cloud-capable services, in-memory databases, and CEP, integration and process engines.
The ability for businesses to coalesce multiple platforms and other functions in modular core components that can be implemented and expanded individually is key to unlocking the potential of cloud computation. These building blocks can be assigned at different levels, such as data management and analysis, integration, modeling or process and program logic.
This offers a structure that allows companies to remain competitive while focusing immediately on known weak points and expanding the platform incrementally over the medium term.
Is SEA ready to be a frontrunner in digital evolution?
With digital transformation set to drive the enterprise strategies of 65 percent of Southeast Asian enterprises, there is growing consensus that synergizing and integrating multiple discrete platforms is central to scaling new frontiers offered by digitalization. This indicates that by employing the right technology and working with strategic partners, organizations in the region can capitalize on the wave of digital transformation.
Furthermore, enterprises in the region are confronted with the growing realization that dynamic, monolithic ERP systems lack the agility and functionality to fully exploit the possibilities of digitalization. The adoption of tailored technology solutions bolstered by co-innovations vis-à-vis IT service providers and software vendors will be the key to positioning enterprises in the region as frontrunners in the digital revolution landscape.