Technology Helps APJ Pave a Path to New Business Growth

Our new research shows that organisations in Asia Pacific and Japan (APJ) that accelerated the deployment of digital technology tools, skills, and processes are leading the way.

To say it has been a tough couple of years for organisations is an understatement. But for some, the disruption and uncertainty have created new opportunities for transformation and business growth.

Technology has underpinned this transformation. Our new research shows that organisations in Asia Pacific and Japan (APJ) that accelerated the deployment of digital technology tools, skills, and processes are leading the way.

What puts them so far ahead? And how does that lead translate into success? 

The Region Has a Confident and Cutting-Edge Approach to Tech. 

APJ organisations are confident that they understand and can manage technology, and they know the value of the latest tools. Of all the regions we surveyed, APJ is the least likely to see technology systems and infrastructure as a barrier to unlocking their business transformation goals.

These leaders are confident about how quickly they can respond to tech problems: 56% say their organisation is quick to react when technology investments do not work out as planned, compared with 53% of organisations globally.

And there is an understanding among APJ organisations of how technology can augment workforces and plug business-critical skills gaps, such as technology’s ability to process vast amounts of data with speed and accuracy. They recognise the important role of automation and machine learning: 

  • 24% say that automation to augment workforce capacity is a key operational capability, compared with just 21% of organisations globally. 

  • 20% say that machine learning-assisted decision-making is a key operational capability, compared with just 15% of organisations globally.

“The size of data growth that needs to be processed is very high, and there is more variety,” says Herman Widjaja, CTO at one of Indonesia’s largest technology companies, Tokopedia. “Human intelligence can no longer keep up with processing it.” 

APJ organisations also understand that for data to be effective it has to be accessible: 16% say their data is fully accessible across their organisation to those who need it, compared with just 12% of organisations globally.

With Tech Comes Resilience and Opportunity

This relatively bold approach to tech and data puts APJ’s organisations in a strong position as the world moves into recovery mode following the COVID-19 pandemic. Why is that? 

1. Supply Chain Resilience 

These advances in technology and data help to improve supply chain resilience, which is a worry for organisations everywhere. Nearly a quarter (23%) of APJ’s business leaders say that supply chain resilience is a key opportunity for business digital growth in the next 12–18 months, compared with just 18% of organisations globally.

2. Global Expansion 

APJ organisations are far more likely than others to understand that digital growth can give them unrivalled opportunities to expand: 34% say that mergers and acquisitions and divestiture is a big opportunity in the next 12–18 months, while 31% point to global expansion.  

3. Expedited Business Processes 

Internally, too, APJ organisations stand to benefit from this tech-fueled digital transformation. Thirty-four percent of leaders in this region say that the biggest opportunity for digital growth lies in faster cycles between planning, execution, and analysis, while 32% point to faster acquisition and deployment of new skills and teams. 

These are just three benefits of a confident, innovative technology and data strategy that will keep APJ’s organisations leading the way in coming years. 

“There's no lack of opportunity to continue to apply data to new problems,” says Pete Schlampp, chief strategy officer, Workday. “And that's what gets me excited about the future.”

Download the full report “Closing the Acceleration Gap: Toward Sustainable Digital Transformation” for more findings from the office of the CFO, CIO, and CHRO.

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