For most Asean companies, becoming a digital-first organisation has become a top objective.
As Asean countries continue to cope with the epidemic, particularly its economic impact and the need for businesses to respond fast to changes, many businesses are focusing on accelerating digital transformation.

The desire to be successful and innovative in a digital-first economy is only growing greater. Organizations in Asean are increasingly striving to be a part of ever-growing and dynamic industrial ecosystems, not just to innovate and make income from digital products and services.

“In the future, we will see more Asean enterprises forging partnerships and collaboration with ecosystem players to derive value from shared data, applications, and operational initiatives,” says Dharmaraj Sivalingam, senior research manager for Asean at IDC, a global information and communication technology (ICT) market intelligence firm.

“This will result in the development of novel products and services, as well as improved customer engagement and experience.”

The main ICT and business themes that will affect how Asean organisations and industries operate in a digital-first future are listed below, according to IDC:

  1. Digital is king: By 2023, one out of every three businesses will make more than 15% of their revenue from digital products and services, up from one out of every six in 2020.
  2. Diversity is important: By 2025, 55 percent of successful digitally inventive goods will be created by teams that comprise people who are creative, critical thinkers, analysts, and automators, as well as software engineers.
  3. The value of trust: By 2023, 35% of businesses will devote half of their security budgets to cross-technology ecosystems and platforms built for quick consumption, as well as unified security capabilities to support agile innovation.
  4. The value of ecosystems: By 2026, data shared throughout industry ecosystems, applications, and operations initiatives with partners, industry bodies, and business networks will account for 30% of revenue for the top-500 firms in Asean.
  1. Digital twin scaling: From 2021 to 2027, the proportion of new physical assets and processes that are modelled as digital twins will increase from 2% to 24%, resulting in improved operational performance.
  2. Scaling with knowledge: Investments in intelligent knowledge networks that turn structured and unstructured data into findable and actionable knowledge will result in a 20% increase in information utilisation for 25% of major organisations by 2026.
  3. Evidence-based culture: For digital-first businesses, this is a must. By 2026, 20% of companies will combine behavioural economics and AI or machine learning-based insights to influence employee behaviour, resulting in a 60% increase in desired outcomes.
  1. Digital infrastructure at the core: By 2025, a six-fold increase in high-dependency workloads will have led to 65 percent of the top 500 Asean firms implementing standard architectural governance frameworks to enable infrastructure compliance reporting and audits.
  2. Networks’ commercial value: By 2022, more than half of businesses will place a premium on connectivity resiliency to ensure business continuity, resulting in uninterrupted digital engagement with customers, workers, and partners.
  3. By 2024, digital-first organisations will have shifted 50% of all tech and services spending to as-a-service and outcome-focused models, enabling compassionate customer experiences and resilient operational models.

“The future of Asean businesses is truly in their hands.” Sudev Bangah, managing director of IDC Asean, says, “It is time for organisations to take control of their path and demand the desired outcomes for their business.”

“Technology is both an enabler and a tool, and what they choose to do with it in the next 12 to 60 months will be telling.”

“With over 85% of Asean businesses opting to push through or accelerate their digital projects, technology will be the’make or break’ compass that guides them through the crosswinds of a digital-first future.”

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