What Drives Digital Transformation in Asia?

“Digital Transformation is not a choice but our reality and our future.”
“In the 19th century, the world was Europeanized. In the 20th century, it was Americanized. Now, in the 21st century, the world is being irreversibly Asianized.”
“We now see that Asia has become the digital champion.”
  1. Customer Centricity: Several researchers have identified CC to be an underlying success factor for the digital transformation of a company, as customers are the main beneficiaries of digitalization. Customer centricity is the proclivity of an organisation to focus on the organisational and interdisciplinary challenges associated with managing and designing the customer experience successfully. To provide their consumers the most convenient customer journey, Asian companies utilize DT to reshape the value chains, sharpen market intelligence, improve efficiency and reduce time to market. “They really care about the customer (…) on a different level than we experience it in the rest of the world.”
  2. Adaption readiness: describes the company’s abilities to adapt successfully to changing customer demands by leveraging on their ability and speed to innovate, and can be measured by the rate, in which innovations are introduced into the market. Several studies have confirmed that the speed of technological innovation and the adoption rate of new emerging technologies is a key reason for DT and the resulting economic growth in Asia. Operating in a society which is characterized by a highly digitally native mindset and a fast innovation acceptance rate, Asian companies have learnt to constantly adapt to their customer’s changing demands, in a timely matter that is unparalleled to any other region in the world. “People get very quickly used to new technologies that are surrounding them, and adapt quite quickly.”
  3. Government: To reap the benefits and address the challenges of the digital transformation, the gap between technological developments and policy frameworks requires to be tackled. In the quest to develop advanced technologies, shape a supporting environment and foster digital transformation, many Asian governments leave no stone unturned regarding policy and direction by minimising unwarranted implications while promoting diffusion of technology and industry development. All in all, governmental influence to foster a business-friendly digital economy is one of the key drivers for DT. “Asian economies are also benefitting from supportive government policies to encourage regional cooperation and to promote growth.”
  4. Digitally Native Mindset: This KSF was discovered in scientific research and mentioned throughout all expert interviews and describes the higher acceptance rate for advancements in the digital economy, i.a. the population’s digital mindset. Some experts even call this phenomenon “customer pressure”, as the consumers in Asia are prone to follow the newest trends, have the latest technology and expect the companies to adapt to their needs. This DNM, which influences the adoption rate in which consumers and businesses adapt to new digital products, paired with a strong internet economy and the availability of being constantly connected via internet devices, is an enabler for digital transformation and Asia, making that region a digital champion. “In some ways, Asia has leapfrogged the West in adopting of digital technologies.”
  5. Education: Research agrees, that the impact of human capital is a main differentiator. This makes the education system to one of the key drivers for a successful DT of a country. Asian countries have understood the necessity of educating their talents throughout all stages of their lives and thereby, the influence of the national education system becomes fundamentally significant. Asian universities try to develop specific digital strategies, to follow the massive trend towards DT and digital technologies. However, education and training is not only a core priority during school, but continuous to be an essential asset to attract and retain managerial, technical and entrepreneurial talent in the companies and to tackle issues related to digital literacy.
“In some ways, Asia has leapfrogged the West in adopting of digital technologies.”

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