Digital transformation will drive technology spending growth of 4.9%
Mobile business will lag accelerated smartphone adoption
MOBILE-powered customer experiences will fuel digital transformation in Asia Pacific in 2015, according to Forrester Research Inc, which has unveiled its top 10 technology predictions for the region.
“In a world of ever-increasing digital demands and shrinking budgets, CIOs (chief information officers) need to be smarter with where they place their bets,” said Dane Anderson, vice president, research director and region manager for Asia Pacific, Forrester Research.
“Successful CIOs in 2015 will improve collaboration with business leaders to craft superior customer experiences,” Anderson said.
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For 2015, Forrester’s top 10 predictions and their implications are:
1) Digital transformation will drive technology spending growth of 4.9%
Seventy-nine percent of organisations consider improving the experience of technology-empowered customers as a high or critical priority for their business in 2015, while 57% of businesses across the region see the rising expectations of customers as the No 1 reason to spend more money on ICT purchases in 2015.
2) The majority of companies in Asia Pacific will be unprepared for digital disruption
Although powerhouses in China like Alibaba and Haier Group are leading the regional charge to digital business success, few local and regional companies understand what it takes to build a digital business yet, Forrester said in a statement.
Regional organisational inertia will be the biggest hurdle to digital transformation in 2015 and Forrester expects Asia Pacific organisations to be complacent to the growing wave of global digital business houses crashing in their backyards.
3) China will be the epicentre of digital innovation
Fuelled by its massive digital population, a lack of legacy approaches and well-funded digital behemoths, China is set to become the world's largest e-commerce market by 2015, with market gains of US$315.3 billion in online sales (business-to-consumer and consumer-to-consumer).
China’s social media arena is also developing at lightning speed with 95% of metropolitan Chinese online adults using social media today.
4) ‘Digital India’ will encounter stubborn roadblocks
The Indian Government’s US$17-billion ambitious Digital India programme has the potential to be a game-changer for the country.
However, Forrester said that while it applaud the Government’s programme to transform India to a digitally-empowered knowledge economy, it predicts that the programme will face key ground-level challenges in terms of infrastructure operations and standards, as well as the lack of technology management involvement.
5) Mobile business will lag accelerated smartphone adoption
By the end of 2015, Forrester expects 36% of adults in Asia to own a smartphone – ownership ranges from a high of 86% in Singapore to 44% in China and a low of 23% in India.
However, few companies will be ready to serve these technology-empowered customers on their smartphones in their moments of need. Mobile will remain small in terms of spend – particularly advertising spend.
6) Organisations will move beyond rudimentary enterprise mobility
In 2015, Forrester expects to see a significant number of small, medium and large businesses across Asia Pacific begin to embrace hybrid tablet/ laptop devices as a start of their enterprise mobility journey.
A growing proportion of forward-thinking businesses in Asia Pacific will begin to examine their employee's mobile moments and those who succeed will think customer mobility, not enterprise mobility.
7) Customer experience: Bridge for CIO-CMO collaboration
In 2015, regional CMOs (chief marketing officers) will become increasingly aware of their technology limitations and the drag that the lack of proper planning on integration, application management, security and compliance will place on their marketing agility.
At the same time, CIOs will shift focus from back-end IT systems to customer-facing business technology.
The meeting point between these two forces will be customer experience initiatives, Forrester said.
8) Asia will turn to mobile messaging apps for customer engagement
With more than one billion users combined on WeChat, Line, KakaoTalk, Viber and WhatsApp, Forrester expects regional organisations to increasingly turn to mobile messaging apps for customer engagement.
The research and analyst firm expects mobile messaging to begin siphoning ad spend away from Facebook, especially for price-sensitive businesses in Asia Pacific that increasingly question the platform’s effectiveness.
9) Apple Pay will dislodge mobile payments gridlock
In 2014, our prediction was that the mobile payments landscape in Asia Pacific will remain riddled by fragmentation. This is expected to change in 2015 as Apple Pay’s technology will accelerate payments and enable new customer experiences.
In particular, China and Australia will run ahead with Apple Pay on mobile.
10) Customer insights and big data analytics will sprawl
2015 will be the year of increased fragmentation for big data as reliance on analytics spreads within and across organisations.
Spending on analytics will increase by at least 10% across the region but a shrinking proportion of this will be visible to the IT budget. Marketing teams will take the lead to seek data-fuelled improvements in customer engagement.
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