“Organisations are going to be transforming for the foreseeable future,” says Pete Schlampp, chief strategy officer, Workday. “There’s really no shortage of opportunities to continue to transform.”

Those opportunities are no longer optional. As COVID-19 lockdowns forced everything from customer purchases to workplace collaboration online, organisations have had to accelerate their digital transformations.

For the third year running, we have surveyed business leaders to find out how they are creating more agile organisations. And we found that success varies markedly from region to region.

How is digital transformation going in Asia Pacific and Japan (APJ)? And what are the region’s organisations doing differently? 

Organisations in APJ are leading on four fronts.  

1. Accelerated Transformation is Widespread

APJ’s organisations were quick to recognise the importance of accelerating digital change during the pandemic. More than four in 10 leaders in the region (44%) say that the pace of their digital transformation has accelerated since the start of 2020—compared with 39% of organisations globally and just 36% in North America.

“Technology around the world is rapidly evolving, and every day it becomes more advanced,” says Herman Widjaja, CTO at Tokopedia. “To follow the trend, we must scale ourselves up—even just a little progress is better than nothing.”

2. Digital Revenues are Stronger

Perhaps as a result of that acceleration, organisations in APJ have seen less of a dip in their income from digital products and services or new digital business platforms than those in other regions. 

  • 37% of APJ organisations currently get more than half their revenues from digital, which is down 17 percentage points from 2021. 

  • 34% of organisations in North America say that more than half of their revenues are digital, which is a drop of 29 percentage points from 2021.

3. Internal Operations are Evolving

Compared with the global average, APJ organisations are ahead in digitising their day-to-day internal operations. More than a fifth (21%) say that the majority of daily operations are now digitised, compared with just 18% of organisations globally and 16% in EMEA. 

Some industries have benefited greatly from this internal shift to digital as the pandemic has threatened the continuity of their daily operations. 

“Generally, as a business manager, you make a strategy and you say, ‘Okay, what workforce do I need for my strategy?’,” says Bilal Waris, head HR Centre of Excellence and operations at AirAsia. “[During COVID] that suddenly changed to, ‘What strategy is possible with my workforce?’.” 

4. Digital Capacity Exceeds Demand

Perhaps most importantly, accelerated transformation in APJ is already benefiting the region’s organisations. 

  • 46% of APJ organisations say their digital strategy enables them to continually keep pace with, and often exceed, the demands of their business. 

  • 41% of organisations globally say the same.

This confidence is crucial when organisations are facing unprecedented pressures on several fronts, and when any significant investment must be carefully evaluated and justified.

In APJ, the Future’s Bright—and Digital

Organisations in APJ are not only profiting from digital acceleration now, they are also positioning themselves to benefit significantly in the future. In the process, they are emerging as digital leaders and establishing a framework for organisations around the world to follow. 

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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