2016 saw the adoption of digitalization all across Asia. In developed economies, such as Singapore, Hong Kong and South Korea, digitalization has observed a higher demand primarily driven by the opportunity to save costs in the current volatile economic situation and the need to stay competitive in this era of digital disruption. Enterprises in Asia are starting to see the return on investment (ROI) from their investments made in upgrading their digital infrastructures as they can now leverage these upgraded digital infrastructures to accelerate digital transformation within their organizations.
In 2017, we will see Asian countries making further investments into digitalization that will result in completely new business models further disrupting the industry. Through digitalization, capabilities in the areas of real-time analytics and Internet of Things (IoT) will gain more relevance as it will not only help businesses increase efficiencies and revenues, but will also help to define the roadmap to success for the future.
With Asia being the “fertile ground for innovation”, we will see emerging economies evolve fast and catch up with the pace of digitalization. Industries such as financial services (FSI), telecommunications and retail have led the way of digitalization in the region in 2016. With the coming year, we will also see manufacturing and healthcare organizations investing heavily in digitally enhanced infrastructures to drive business transformations.
Technology has been evolving rapidly over the past few years. In 2016, we have seen some of prominent trends such as data analytics, machine learning, IoT, enhanced API management shaping businesses significantly. We are also seeing an increased focus towards omni-channel initiatives aimed at enhancing customer experiences and the overall customer journey. Application and service architecture are getting more sophisticated imparting greater agility, flexibility and adaptability to Asian businesses.
In 2017, we will see these trends further evolving and achieving greater sophistication with respect to each of the industries, such as:
Predictive analytics would potentially be the most powerful tool in 2017. A technology that enables business and IT to predict future trends and rapidly turn ideas into applications, predictive analytics would be a game changer for Asian businesses.
The integration of cloud across the enterprise IT infrastructure will provide businesses the opportunity to quickly transform themselves. However, the speed of adapting to this change would be of essence in defining the success of businesses. The faster an enterprise transforms itself, the easier it will be for them to turn a business challenge into a new business opportunity.
Artificial Intelligence (AI)
Automation will probably become a bigger mainstay in 2017 with advanced technologies enabling the shift of human exclusive tasks to machines. We will see the rise of intelligent automation and machine learning, leading to smarter implementations such as virtual personal assistants (VPAs), smart advisors and more. The rapid adoption of chat bots will also continue in the coming year leading to more human-like customer interactions.
Micro service Architecture
More businesses will look towards adopting micro service architectures, an emerging pattern for building distributed applications that will support agile delivery and scalable deployment of emerging technologies. In fact, a recent Gartner report predicts that containers are also emerging as a critical technology for enabling agile development and micro service architectures.
Digital Disruption in 2017
Digital disruption has become a reality for businesses in Asia, and has been quite impactful in reshaping market dynamics and competitive strategy. In the coming year, the relevance of digital disruption in the region is only going to increase as more digital start-ups and private equity (PE) firms will set their footholds in Singapore and other key markets in the region such as China and Indonesia.
Asian businesses, particularly in Southeast Asia, will face challenges due to evolving e-commerce and digitization. Companies will struggle in terms of finding the right resources, and training & developing staff as per the changing business landscape.
2017 will be an exciting year for businesses in Asia. On one hand, the increasing impact of digital disruption will give rise to newer challenges for businesses, while on other hand, it will also open a new world of opportunities for businesses to explore and conquer. Choosing the right business-technology mix will be the roadmap for success for Asian businesses and will enable businesses to remain competitive in the highly competitive and growing business landscape.