The report, Understanding APAC’s Success in Digital Transformation, is based on a survey of 143 business executives from APAC explores Asia Pacific’s (APAC) transformation and innovation trajectory against a global backdrop.
The survey commissioned by the Harvard Business Review Analytic Services, on behalf of Red Hat, revealed that Asian firms have latched on to digital transformation as a strategy, not just for growth but also for survival.
The APAC difference in transformation effectiveness translates into important business benefits for the region’s firms, including helping them bring new products and services to market faster than their global counterparts.
Among the key highlights of the survey:
- 95% of APAC executives said digital transformation has gained in importance over the past 18 months.
- 80% of APAC business leaders ranked cultural change and technology modernization of equal importance for digital transformation.
- 40% of APAC executives are quickly developing and delivering new applications to market, compared to only 23% of executives in the rest of the world.
According to APAC executives, cultural change stood out as one of the three building blocks of modernization, along with technology and business processes thus creating significant impediments to transformation success. The survey respondents cited that company culture now includes factors such as collaboration (44%), inclusivity (42%), adaptability (41%), and transparency (40%).
The study also revealed that companies looking to digitally transform successfully will need to support their cultural change initiatives with efforts to modernize their infrastructure and application architecture.
Combining the two initiatives will enable companies in APAC to:
- Adopt continuous integration/continuous delivery methods, which are deemed vital by 75% of the respondents
- Quickly develop and deliver new applications (40%)
- Respond rapidly to customer demands (39%)
- Update systems efficiently (39%)
- Control maintenance costs (39%)
Anthony Watson, lead, Enterprise Domains, ANZ Bank, opined that transformation isn’t something that happens for only a focused period-of-time and then there’s no change after that.
“Our maxim is that constant change is absolutely a part of our organization’s DNA — and that of other organizations across the region as well. We set the expectation throughout our organization that we will be evolving constantly. Our company is using technology to modernize operations to deliver services faster and more efficiently. Technology also lets us better integrate customer feedback as we develop new financial products,” he added.
APAC executives have clear ideas about where to invest over the next 12 to 18 months to maintain their digital transformation momentum. They plan to invest in artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (40%), as well as increase their spending on cloud-based business applications by 8% and business process automation tools by 6%.
Sajeeve Bahl, vice president and head, Services, Red Hat APAC, observed that many businesses are now pressured to deliver products and customer satisfaction in an efficient and agile manner.
“Companies in Asia-Pacific have been exemplary in driving digital transformation by using technology to support cultural change, which enables them to embrace open source principles, such as collaboration, inclusivity, and transparency. By combining this with open source tools, they can retool the way they work to accelerate innovation and sustain competitiveness,” he concluded.