Interpolating from this year’s major trust-sapping events, one research and marketing consultancy shares its predictions and recommendations for 2022.

Technology and digitalization predictions for 2022 are streaming in, and one market research firm is expecting remote-working arrangements in the Asia Pacific region (APAC) to lag behind that of the world.

One of the reasons why fewer APAC firms will make the shift, according to Forrester, is that the region’s large manufacturing and contact center industries typically require a stronger physical presence in their facilities. That may lead to just 40% of APAC pivoting permanently to remote-working versus 70% globally.

According to the consultancy, another noticeable trend for firms in the region to consider is the eagerness of 65% of information workers surveyed indicating the desire to return to the office due to high-density, extended-family living situations. The respondents may feel that working from home during the pandemic has made them feel less productive.

Experience management in 2022 

In terms of talent acquisition and retention, APAC organizations will in 2022 need to strike the right balance between in-person (workplace) job requirements and employee preferences or they will risk alienating their workforce and potentially pushing them to find other opportunities.

The data that Forrester uses to analyze the dynamics and trends in different disciplines and industries— including technology and innovation, customer experience (CX), employee experience (EX), and B2C and B2B marketing—is leading to bold calls to organizational and technology leaders to see around the corner, craft a clear vision, and gain a competitive edge to thrive in 2022.

In the new year, the demands of consumers for seamless cross-channel experiences, conveniences, reassurances, and commitments to environmental, social, and governance (ESG) values are expected to grow stronger.

Michael Barnes, Vice President and Research Director, Forrester

Said Michael Barnes, Vice President and Research Director, Forrester: “After nearly two years of reactively responding to the COVID-19 pandemic, APAC firms will finally be able to proactively address changing customer and employee expectations. Too few, however, will fully pivot from the current health crisis to the looming climate crisis. Business leaders must adapt to this new reality, laying the groundwork for bold decisions. Creativity, resilience, and agility—fueled by strong customer understanding and smart technology investments—will separate leaders and laggards, no matter the industry.”

Four other predictions

Additional highlights from Forrester’s 2022 APAC predictions include the following:

  • Trust will become a key business imperative. The world is in a major crisis of trust, driven by concerns over public health, cybersecurity, data privacy, and sustainability. APAC’s financial services industry will be the first to act upon the trust imperative. Companies that ignore the trust imperative will lose 10% to 40% of their customers, accruing to consumers unwilling to forgive firms for breaching their trust.
  • APAC will lag in appoint dedicated sustainability leads. Values-based consumers have put the pressure on firms to elevate their sustainability efforts, but many such plans have remained performative. Only 30% of APAC purchase influencers surveyed had indicated that their firms were taking real action such as making their sustainability efforts more transparent and reducing their carbon footprint or e-waste. Also, just 26% of Fortune Global 200 firms in the region have appointed a sustainability lead at the senior level, as compared to 81% in EMEA and 92% in North America.
  • At least 1bn people will access world-leading digital government services. Governments in the region lead the world in implementing the three pillars of a digital society: digital identity, digital currency, and data interoperability. Countries like Australia, India and Singapore already have established digital identity solutions, and more than 20m Chinese already use the digital yuan, with more trials in the works.
  • Thirty per cent of APAC firms with cloud-first strategies will shift to cloud-native. Cloud-native technologies are expected to transcend all major technology domains, including big data, AI, and IoT. By embracing a cloud-native approach, these firms will accelerate enterprise modernization and implement future-fit technology strategies. But this shift will be slow compared to that in North America and EMEA.

Stay tuned for more forecasts in the weeks ahead.