The pandemic changed everything and while the crisis is past, recovery from economic disruptions and adjusting to long-lasting changes in social and business practices will dominate -organization IT investment decisions and reshape priorities over the next five years.
This is especially true for Asia Pacific (APAC) as it leapfrogs other regions in IDC’s five-stage crisis to recovery framework. With accelerated DX investments creating economic gravity, IDC predicts that the digital economy will accelerate, with over 65% of APAC GDP expected to be digitalized and spending to hit US$ 1.2 trillion between 2020 and 2023.
Business leaders around the region are now focused on their Return-to-Growth investments and Next Normal operating or business models and are looking for guidance more than ever.
IDC’s Top technology predictions for 2021
“Organizations will leverage technologies to adapt for survival, accelerate for growth and reimagine to lead. APAC is already leading the race with digital core investments to strengthen organizational foundation and digital innovation initiatives to overcome COVID-19 pandemic exposed gaps as well as acceleration projects that introduce new business/operating models and help to gain market shares,” she opined.
Figure 1. The Road to Recovery Around the World, IDC, September 2020
According to Ng, these are the top predictions for ICT and industries that will have the most impact on how APAC organizations can adapt to survive, accelerate to grow, and/or reimagine to lead in the Next Normal:
#1: Leadership matures: By 2023, 70% of leaders in A2000 (top 2000 APAC-based) organizations will have shifted their management orientation from processes to outcomes, establishing more agile, innovative, and empathetic operating models.
#2: A digital-first approach in employee engagements: While "digital first" prevails in every experience, 60% of enterprises will invest heavily in digitalizing employee experience (EX) in 2021, transforming the relationship between employers and employees.
#3: Increasing digitalization to deliver customer empathy at scale: By 2021, 65% of organizations will have shifted to digital-first through automated operations and contactless experiences, as physical interactions become an amenity of the past.
#4: Acceleration requires digital resiliency: In 2022, enterprises focused on digital resiliency adapt to disruption and extend services in response to new conditions 50% faster than ones fixated on restoring existing business resiliency levels.
#5: Risk management and growth acceleration can (and should) co-exist: By 2022, driven by board level agenda, 50% of A2000 companies will formalize human oversight of AI-based decision automation to combat distrust of auto generated recommendations and reputational risk.
#6: Growth will rapidly shape permanent work models: By 2021, 25% of organizations will leverage employee productivity software to monitor and improve the digital workflows of their full-time, work-from-home employees.
#7: Business model reinvention is the crown jewel: By 2021, at least 50% of organizations will accelerate innovation to support business and operating model reinvention, fast-tracking transformation programs, to future proof their businesses.
#8: The rise of digital and connected extended ecosystems: By 2025, driven by volatile global conditions, 75% of business leaders will leverage digital platforms and ecosystem capabilities to adapt their value chains to new markets, industries, and ecosystems.
Digital resiliency pillar
“We now know that resiliency as we knew it pre-COVID is not good enough. We need a new benchmark to futureproof us from forward crisis and disruptions, be it the next infection cycle or the next economic crisis. Digital resiliency is the ability of an organization to rapidly adapt to business disruptions, leverage digital capabilities to maintain continuous business operations, and quickly adjust to take advantage of changed conditions,” Ng concluded.