Digital transformation hits its stride in Asia

17/03/20175 Minute Read

Driven by the need to reduce cost while retaining an innovative and competitive edge, companies across Asia have steadily embraced digital transformation (DX).

Organizations that successfully leveraged on new technologies in DX, such as new print capabilities, were able to enhance their reputations and establish new boundaries within their industries, as Sandra Ng, Group Vice President, IDC Asia/Pacific, pointed out.

“The digitalization of nations, economies, industry ecosystems and enterprises are pushing new competitive benchmarks in areas of business process excellence and new monetization/business models,” she noted. “The new hyper-digital era presents opportunities and competition/challenges that go beyond geographic and industry boundaries.”

Governments in Asia are also spearheading the DX process, including efforts to develop Singapore and India into smart nations. In fact, IDC1 predicts that come 2020, nearly 80% of an organization’s ICT budget will be spent on third platform solutions and services.

Breaking down silos in an evolving workplace

In this era of high-speed connectivity, enterprises seek solutions to integrate and run various business processes and platforms more effectively. This integration culminates in the breakdown of silos in order to provide better customer experience on multiple touch points.

Hence, successful integration via tech solutions can transform a disjointed business landscape into one that is empowered by data.

“We are going through the fourth industrial revolution as we speak. And it is one that is driven by data,” explained Cesar Cernuda, President of Microsoft Asia Pacific. “Organizations need to look at how data can provide unprecedented and timely insights to enable actions, which result in better engagement with customers, empowerment of employees, optimization of operations, and transformation of products and services.”

Central to such data and communication is print; print documents are vehicles of data, and successful organizations rely on data heavily, putting it at the center of their business strategy. In fact, 46% of CXOs are already using data as a tool to make better and more informed decisions. As the entry and exit points of data in an organization, printers play a pivotal role in business transformation and performance.

This unprecedented access to timely insights and data means that organizations are better able to drive new business models that resonate with millennial consumers and their millennial workforce. Set to make up 75% of the workforce by 2025, attracting this demographic will hinge largely on meeting their expectations of how work can be carried out, particularly in a manner that appeals to their sensibilities as digital natives.

One way to do so is to offer them the resources to work the way they need it. While going paperless may seem to be the norm in today’s digital age, print volume has actually increased in some offices; 6 out of 10 respondents from India and China mentioned that they are printing more than they did a year ago, due to access to more digital content. Plus, 7 out of 10 respondents believe that this print volume will increase next year, or at least remain the same.

Customized solutions are a factor to consider

With the increasing importance on IT, enterprises are expected to spend an estimated $3.54 trillion dollars on technology in 2016. However, it is important for businesses to invest in the right technology mix when carrying out DX. While opting for off-the-shelf packages might appear to be the easiest option, companies looking to stay ahead of the digital game should go for tailored forms of technology that aligns with their needs and business goals. These customised solutions imbue enterprises with flexibility and are beneficial in the long run as businesses navigate changing industry landscapes.

For instance, the discrepancies between printers of the past versus printers in the DX era begs closer examination. Traditional printers usually only work for one user, or had to connected to LAN if other users wish to use the device as well—leading to fragmented print management. On the other hand, DX printers can print through WiFi, apps and near-field communication, and is designed with the end-user experience in mind. They are scan-optimized, capable of intelligent archiving and analytics, and can connect to the cloud for flexibility and ease of management.

Mastering DX will not be an overnight process for any company, so C-suite leaders should align their enterprises with the right technology providers, in order to define, innovate and establish their digital strategies, acquiring the best tech solutions to take their businesses to the next level.

Driving business transformation in Asia with DX

Enterprises in Asia are leading the way in DX, and their initiatives are in turn transforming their nations into smart economies. Thanks in part to the region’s robust digital infrastructure and its 8.6 billion connected devices, industries in Asia are able to actively implement DX strategies corresponding to a range of digital readiness and corporate objectives.

For example, Singapore’s national developer of industrial infrastructure, JTC has been leveraging on innovative solutions to reduce manpower requirements, by deploying drones to survey gutters and experimenting with robots to paint buildings.

It’s not just the large enterprises and government bodies that are on the digital track either, according to Bertrand Launay, Vice President, Small and Midmarket Solutions & Partners (SMS&P), Microsoft Asia.

“SMBs in Asia want to increase profits and reduce costs, and they are not hindered by legacy systems. It is possible that 100% of SMB businesses in Asia will be on the cloud by 2020,” he stated.

This digital overhaul forecast was also echoed by IDC, with their research predicting two-thirds of Asian CIOs initiating a data transformation and governance framework to turn information into a competitive business differentiator next year, and 80% of B2C organizations revamping their “digital front door” to support up to 10,000 times more customer touch points by 2018.

Ultimately, the DX process isn’t simply about replacing old systems with new and digitised ones. For an organization to successfully reap its benefits, it must be open to the possibility of allowing technology to enhance every aspect of the business, reshaping and redefining processes throughout the company in order to gain a competitive edge over others in their markets.

To gain more insights on leveraging print to thrive in the DX era, download the IDC InfoBrief.

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