Remote asset management, manufacturing-revenue resilience and financial-wellness banking are what businesses can pivot around to stay relevant.

While having a sound digitalization strategy had been on the agenda of organizations in Asia Pacific (APAC) over the last few years, COVID-19 has made it a de facto business survival mandate now.

According to some studies, APAC has been seeing an accelerated DX push, with 60% of organizations stating that the pandemic has accelerated their digital communications strategy by at least five years. This is evident in sectors such as retail, e-commerce, finance, manufacturing and automotive, and the trend is expected to continue in 2021.

Anneliese Schulz, Regional President, APJ, Software AG

What are some trends expected to shape the region’s technology and business landscape this year and beyond? According to Anneliese Schulz, Regional President (Asia Pacific & Japan), Software AG, as digitalization becomes a focal point in the post COVID-19 era across industries, the following broad technology trends can provide some insights for organizational leaders to weigh the level of DX in mind.

  • Rise of digitalized remote asset management
    Due to lockdowns and restricted-movement orders, there has been limited mobility and a bigger need across industries to be able to remotely monitor and manage company assets and their respective lifecycles. This has translated to increased investments in Remote Asset Management, with more organizations seen to leverage the power of Internet of Things (IoT), analytics and Augmented Reality (AR) to keep remote assets running smoothly, with minimal disruptions.

    Smart asset management solutions, which offer real-time access, visibility and connectivity, offer useful insights around predictive maintenance and the operational status of assets. This, in turn, allows organizations to suss out how they can continually enhance the customer experience through a more effective asset utilization strategy.

    Through leveraging smart sensors and analytical tools, organizations can be immediately alerted to critical situations and irregularities around machine functionalities and irregularities. As they are able to obtain real-time information on the performance levels and inner condition of machines, organizations can place their focus on prompt actions, including immediate repair and replacement measures in the case of breakdowns, to ensure smooth business operations and less energy wastage.
  • Manufacturing shifts towards the digital customer and revenue resilience
    Choppy demand, broken supply chains and urgent changes are just a few of the challenges facing manufacturers now. Agility in business decisions and having the ability to respond quickly to customer demands will be essential as they reassess their operations and business models.

    With the transformation of the customer journey, driven by a new desire for touchless buying channels, digital enablement will become a top commercial priority for manufacturers in the region. This is why they are shifting towards innovative selling models such as Anything as a Service (XaaS) and outcome-based offerings directed towards creating recurring revenue and improving revenue resilience. These models allow organizations to stay connected with customers throughout a product’s subscription life and increase the total customer lifetime value.

    Given the known successes in virtual selling, manufacturers will continue to increase their digital investments to stay engaged with their targeted customer base, while balancing the safety needs of employees. With direct channels, manufacturers are expanding enterprise programs and increasing efficiency with sales specialists and hybrid inside-sales roles.
  • Banks’ evolution as a financial wellness partner
    Customer data will be integral, not only to personalize and differentiate banking experiences, but also for recommending products and services beyond traditional banking, with the intent of serving customers in a personalized manner. The new world of banking will entail evolving payments that become smart, safe and flexible in both retail and commercial banking. Moreover, the permanent change in the channel mix will see banks’ face-to-face engagement with customers fading. Physical branches are not going to go away entirely, but they will be reserved for high value, appointment-based activities. To compensate, the personal touch has to be delivered digitally and intelligently.

On the road to economic recovery across industries in APAC, there is no other way but up, and leveraging progressive technology will be a critical element that will distinguish winning organizations from the laggards in 2021 and beyond.

Digitalizing across the value chain should be regarded as a top priority as organizations move towards strengthening their capabilities around building business resilience.