The Asia Pacific region is expected to be the first to come up from this crisis in 2021, before the US and Europe. 2021 will be the year when organisations would focus more on technology-fuelled experiences, operations, products, and ecosystems.
In their predictions for the region ahead of 2021, across a broad swathe of emerging trends, Forrester painted an outlook that sees organisations flourishing if they can quickly and effectively make use of technology to enable their workforce and develop platforms that differentiate them from the rest.
The predictions made by Forrester are based on the analysis of the dynamics affecting different industries and fields — including changing consumer behaviours, customer experience, employee experience, marketing and technology.
Highlights of key predictions:
- Platform wars will heat up in the region. There would be a tough competition to the top in Asia Pacific, as most companies move to become platform businesses to survive the digital era. Twenty-five per cent of firms are expected to shift from experimenting to pragmatically connecting the key ecosystems to their customers.
- Chief marketing officers will claim control over the full customer lifecycle. CMOs will position everything they do based on their customer — this includes leadership, strategy, and operations. This would result in an increase in expenditure on loyalty and retention marketing by 30%.
- COVID-19 will reduce workplace engagement. The physical, mental, and economic challenges that plagued employers during the pandemic will extend into 2021, resulting in business innovation to drop in 25% of firms in Asia Pacific.
- Chief information officers will embrace cloud-first and platform strategies for speed and adaptiveness. In 2021, 30% of firms will persist with accelerating their spend on cloud, security and risk, networks, and mobility — including struggling firms that are looking to jump and gain advantage post pandemic.
- Asia Pacific to finally catch up on Zero Trust adoption. Zero Trust adoption in Asia Pacific has been trailing behind its global peers, but the acceleration of cloud adoption and the rise in remote work, together with the changing regulations and consumer behaviours, make it a timely development. It is expected that there would be at least one government in Asia Pacific that would adopt the Zero Trust cybersecurity framework in 2021.
According to Ashutosh Sharme, VP and research Director at Forrester, “The pandemic accelerated the need for digital transformation,” with the current economic climate increasing the urgency for organisations to incorporate technology as a strategic asset.
“Asia Pacific is finally entering a decade of a digitally levelled playing field. Firms in the region will be at par with or even exceed the rest of the world in terms of technology-driven business model innovation.”, shared Sharme.