The ASEAN Journey and Priorities for a Digital-First Economy

Article By : IDC ASEAN

There is a high imperative to achieve a digital-first economy in Asia Pacific.

The top three digital initiative priorities by governments in Asia Pacific were policies that promote the development of technology, regulation around responsible use of AI and the use of technology to create smart cities. This, according a recent IDC Future Enterprise Resiliency Survey (FERS), 2022 conducted by International Data Corp.(IDC).

This alludes to the notion that there is a high imperative to achieve a digital-first economy in Asia Pacific. This is not surprising given that in 2022 IDC expects more than half of the global economy will be based on or influenced by digital as most products and services utilize a digital delivery model or require digital augmentation to remain competitive.

ASEAN economies just like the rest of the world have been impacted by disruptive forces such as global health crisis, rising costs, supply chain disruptions and geopolitical tensions that have provided the impetus for these economies to re-think and re-align how business is conducted. However, impetus alone will not be sufficient without a clear digital roadmap and priorities to drive ASEAN economies into a digital-first future.

“According to IDC Future Enterprise Resiliency Survey (FERS), 2022, around 70% of organizations in Indonesia and Malaysia still feel that their digital transformation strategy is more tactical and focused on the short term. However, a whopping 90% of those organizations agree that adopting a clear digital-first strategy is imperative to manage disruptions in the long run. This shows a huge potential, as those organizations understand the need to be digitally resilient and innovative. However, they need clear long-term digital transformation roadmaps and investment to successfully march towards a digital-first economy,” said Dharmaraj Sivalingam, Senior Research Manager, IDC ASEAN.

ASEAN organizations will need to focus on building digital resiliency and innovation to be able to pivot quickly to any form of disruption, which will help them to drive ahead the ASEAN digital economy and keep abreast with the rest of the world. IDC views such organizations as the Future Enterprise, those organizations that can capitalize on change by continuously deriving value from its core business activities, while symbiotically benefiting and contributing to all its stakeholders, within the enterprise, the broader ecosystem, as well as the larger society and environment.

However, ASEAN organizations will need support and close collaboration with the government to successfully drive towards a digital-first economy. A clear national digital roadmap, digital infrastructure investment, upskilling of technology skillsets in the local workforce and improved policies in data governance and privacy would be key to enable the base for a digital-first economy to be built upon.

The digital-first economy will continue to bring disruption and opportunity in equal measure; therefore, it is imperative for ASEAN organizations to keep abreast and continue to derive and provide value in this form of economy.

 

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