By 2025, digital technologies are expected to deliver 30 per cent GDP growth in Southeast Asia alone, 20 per cent to 30 per cent GDP growth in India, and up to 22 per cent GDP growth in China as digital transformation takes hold.
That’s a key finding of a new study by Cognizant which said the transformation agenda has introduced unforeseen challenges, in the form of new investments, organizational structures, internal skills, change management, and roles and responsibilities for companies.
Called Asia Rising: Digital Driving, the report notes, “By 2020, emerging economies will account for approximately 60 per cent of the increase in global spending. The region’s digital story is all about growth — massive growth. At the heart of this, Asia-Pacific companies are counting on digitization as a key element in their near- and long-term future. Tech entrepreneurs are already leveraging digital platforms and quickly building billion-dollar fortunes, thereby challenging traditional business models and industries.”
Already Four of the top 15 worldwide global public Internet companies (Alibaba, Tencent, Baidu and JD.com) are based in China, according to the study.
“Their total combined value is $542 billion. Venture capitalists and equity firms looking for the next Alibaba are pumping billions of dollars into e-commerce companies such as Flipkart in India, hoping to unearth the next new thing.”
Among the key findings of the study;
- Digital first is the new norm. While 37 per cent of companies are already undergoing digital transformation, almost 60 per cent plan to embark on the transformation journey over the next 12 to 24 months.
- “Digital” equates to growth. Improving new products and services (63%), increasing revenue (60%) and improving sales, new customers, marketing and customer relations (58%) are the top three goals for digital transformation.
- Digital means money, period. Going digital could propel revenue growth more than 13% by 2017, up from 7.6% today for the companies surveyed.
- Digital now! In some parts of the world, “digital” is still an initiative for next quarter — or the one thereafter. In Asia, however, rising customer expectations (65%), increased competition (57%) and demanding employees (55%) are compelling companies to start now. Any organization not acting — at full speed — on digital is on a fast track to market irrelevance.
- Business-processes-as-usual is a strategy to lose. Companies are more likely to be disrupted by poor integration across processes than by competitors or customers. The sales/marketing/customer service process (62%) will be most impacted by digital transformation, closely followed by new product/service development (60%), as well as strategy setting and implementation (46%), and financial planning, tracking, analysis and reporting (45%).
- Strong digital leadership will shape the growth agenda. The role of the chief digital officer will become more and more pivotal; 70 per cent of companies surveyed plan to have this role in place over the next two to three years.
The authors conclude, “A new era of business, technology and commerce is emerging. Our report shows that switched-on leaders already recognise the need to transform the very essence of business value generation, as well as their own vision surrounding technology, work and the global economy.”