The region nevertheless managed to catch up with the feverish pace required to survey the pandemic’s impact.

What are the common challenges facing organizations that are undergoing digital transformation, and how they can accelerate their transition towards becoming intelligent digital workplaces?

While the trend of remote-working continues this year, one May 2020 global study of 450 senior IT and business decision-makers may yield some clues as to how the Asia Pacific region (APAC) is faring.

The study, commissioned by Adobe, focuses on digital document processes, and offers the following observations:

  • APAC businesses were less prepared to support remote work than other regions
    Before the pandemic, the use of digital collaboration and productivity tools in the region was developing. Only 13% of APAC respondents considered e-signatures to be standard protocol in their businesses initially, almost five times lower than that in North America. This was exacerbated by the misperception that there is no regulatory support for electronic approvals.

    At the time of the survey, this was quickly shifting, with “most” APAC businesses providing employees with technologies to facilitate or improve remote-work.
  • APAC organizations expected to adoption and spend on digital document processes
    Pre-pandemic, APAC organizations fell behind other regions in digitizing their document processes, but since the pandemic, have needed to intensify their efforts. Some 46% of APAC respondents planned to increase their adoption of digital document processes and may raise their spend by 51% on average, in spite of likely budget reductions.

    The survey report expects that businesses will equip their digital workplaces with intelligent technology to become more resilient, agile, and scalable.
  • Going forward, businesses need to boost digital collaboration for continuity and agility
    The report asserted that, in 2020, firms shifted their automation focus to back-office processes, but had created gaps in their operational processes due to the rush: but in 2021, decision-makers need to uncovering and address such gaps. In APAC, 60% of respondents considered document workflow automation important in supporting business continuity and agility, as it can connect and automate content creation and collaboration.

    Improving employee collaboration post-pandemic was also a top priority in the region: respondents understood the urgency and importance of building a strong foundation for the future of work and enterprise collaboration.

Regardless of region, intelligent automation can eliminate repetitive and mundane tasks to create a people-centric, intelligent, and digital workplace, according to the report.