The Future of Businesses and Jobs in Asia Pacific’s Digital Economy

January 10, 20199:43 am2385 views

A study on Future Business and Jobs conducted by Manish Bahl showed that businesses and jobs must evolve in an economy of algorithms, automation, and AI. Manish together with Cognizant and Roubini ThoughtLab conducted a study to analyse the Future of Work series “The Work Ahead” to gain the perspective of next-generation business leaders.

It was revealed in the study that the digital era has ushered in one of the most important business transformations, and Asia Pacific is poised to reap the economic rewards. There will be over 53 percent of global internet population by 2020 and a fully capitalising on digital can add US$1 trillion to Southeast Asia’s GDP over the next 10 years.

It is mentioned in the study that Asia is speeding down a digital highway. It means that about US$660 billion revenue across Asia Pacific region has moved from potential to mainstream status of digital businesses. There is no speed limit, stop signs, or slowdown in sight. In other word of digital economy, mastering new rules of business is highly important. By doing so, you’ll know how to handle new workflow, workforce, work responsibility, work skills, and work attitudes.

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Mastering the new rules of business

The more you invest, the more you make – Significant investments are required to win new markets, innovate and improve efficiencies, manage maintenance costs during the transition, and many more important part of business. Asia Pacific, in this case, is set to heavily invest in digital initiatives. Respondents in the study said their organisations are applying an average of 15 percent of their total revenue for this purpose. It means that in total, almost US$120 billion on digitisation in 2016 alone and it was estimated to increase by about 93 percent to US$232 billion in 2020. Oracle Co-CEO Mark Hurd said in the report, “Consumer IT spend has grown five times in a decade. Companies IT spend in that timeframe is flat … Consumers are innovating. Companies are not. Companies have to keep up.”  

Reassess what you measure – To achieve great investment, you need to reassess what you measure. It means that there is no-brainer in digital investment as it is directly linked to a company’s revenue growth. Remember, your competitors are also investing so you need to keep the enormous ROI afloat.

Convert savings into new money – Your back office is a digital sweet spot. What does it mean? It means – as cost savings reaped by digitising back-office operations to eliminate inefficiencies varies by industry, digital transformation is same as a do-or-die proposition. All sectors will be impacted. To prevent this, you need to convert your savings into new money. It can reduce costs and free cash to fuel innovation, and your organisation’s initial savings should be reinvested into business in order to improve customer acquisition and retention activities. It can as well build and strengthen your technology platforms.

Ignore, defend and then go under – A truly innovative company is born and reborn. They will always open to or develop ideas to create new value. In this case, leaders play their role to turn market threats into opportunities. So, instead of competing against digital startups, leaders should collaborate with them.

Technologies of the future: fact, not fiction – Lastly, you should turn your attention to new digital technologies. The study showed that AI was regarded as the most impactful tech, followed by wearable, drones, 3D printing and blockchain. Eric Schmidt said, “There will be so many sensors, so many devices, that you won’t even sense it.” Also, you do not need to be a geek to understand that IoT will produce a tectonic shift in the way we live. All you need to do is adapt and use them as best as possible in your workforce.

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