Asia Pacific businesses embracing 4th industrial revolution

Anuradha Shukla

Digital Disruption

Business leaders in Asia Pacific are keen on embracing the 4th Industrial Revolution, according to a newly released Microsoft study.

Eighty percent of the 1,494 business leaders working in organisations with more than 250 employees from 13 Asia Pacific markets believe they need to transform to a digital business to enable future growth.

However, only 29 percent of the respondents said that they have a full digital strategy in place today.

While 49 percent are in progress with specific digital transformation initiatives for selected parts of their business, 22 percent still have very limited or no strategy in place.

"Lessons from past industrial revolutions have taught us that organisations that do not evolve fast enough will be less competitive or even obsolete as they face disruptions in every industry," said Ralph Haupter, president, Microsoft Asia. "We urge organisations of all sizes to digitally transform themselves amidst changing demands externally and internally, to stay relevant."


Engage customers

As consumers now have access to data, organisations should deliver a new wave of deeply contextual and personalized experiences, while balancing security and user trust.

Organisations should empower their people and help them to collaborate from anywhere.

The manufacturing, retail, and even healthcare sectors can shift from merely reacting to events to respond in real time. These sectors can also consider pre-emptively anticipating and solving customer issues.

Findings of the survey also indicate that 78 percent of respondents regarded cloud computing as essential in their digital transformation strategy.

"Emerging technologies, specifically, cloud, analytics and new capabilities like AI and IoT will give organisations new capability to transform," said Haupter. " But real transformation only happens when they bring their people along with them. Equipping employees with the right tools to enable them to be part of solution to be more responsive, data driven and customer centric are also key."