2020 has been a major turning point in the history of humankind. The deadly Covid-19 pandemic forced the entire world to alter and adapt to the changing times. In order to fight this entropy of disruption, business leaders embraced digital transformation. As the pandemic ravaged through the entire globe, employees and consumers were hit alike due to supply chain disruptions and others. The evolving times forced the consumers to demand for seamless cross-channel experiences, convenience, and reassurance. The need to act quickly and diligently was never so critical to the businesses and the APAC region was no different.
In order to herald a positive change, business leaders started adopting and implementing future-fit technologies like native cloud storage, artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning (ML) and others. Digital transformation has been in force since 2020 but moving ahead into 2022, the scenario will be different.
2022 will be the year for new battlefields for businesses as they compete to build customer trust and expand their presence using the latest technologies and digital strategies. As the old ways of running a business have become obsolete, the future is up for grabs and companies will be moving forward for an agile and resilient tomorrow.
80% of the consumers will conceive the world as all digital
Since the outbreak of the global pandemic, consumers rapidly adapted and shifted to the digital landscape. As per Forrester’s report, 66% of Chinese consumers have started buying online more than the traditional offline channels. Consumers who till now were against the digital mode of operations are now more than willing to continue despite the relaxed restrictions.
Due to their experience in 2020 and 2021, consumers in 2022 are going to have higher expectations from digital experiences. Although they would be considering pandemic-induced disruptions, they would be expecting much better customer service. In order to build a sustainable and successful digital experience, businesses should by now be able to handle pandemic-related disruption.
IT leaders will invest on human centered technologies to boost innovation
Digital transformation and adoption started way back in early 2020. According to Forrester data, 1 in every 4 APAC companies in 2021 stated digital transformation as a key action in business model change. However, going ahead into 2022, this number is going to decrease. The same digital uniformness and stagnant returns on IT investments is forcing businesses to seek new avenues to build business value in an already overcrowded marketplace.
Businesses are going to focus on creativity and innovation with the help of agile technologies and predictive engines which do not just focus on financial results but on outcomes as well. This shift from digital to human centered technology will ensure a tight correlation between consumer experience and employee experience. It will also lead to a net gain in productivity and drive competitive advantage. In 2022, 10% of technology executives will prioritize investments to expand innovation and creativity.
The APAC region is on its way to become a digital society
There are three main pillars of a digital society – digital identity, digital currency, and data interoperability. APAC governments are leading the world in implementing these pillars to establish the digital society. A number of APAC countries already have digital identity solutions like myGovID, Aadhaar, and Singpass. This particular region also leads the world in central bank digital currency adoption. In China, more than 20 million consumers use the digital yuan issued by the Chinese central bank. Similar trials are running for the retail and wholesale industries in Australia, Japan, India, Singapore, and South-Korea. It is estimated that at least one billion people will have access to world-class digital government services.
Trust will become a prerequisite for businesses and digital transformation
The entire world is in a crisis of sorts today. There seems to be a lack of trust caused by the concerns of public health, data privacy, environment, and sustainability. Consumers are now serious and aware of the major social issues. And they expect governments and businesses to work on and be accountable for. In these changing times, governments and businesses use the trust factor to establish deeper connections with consumers. Forrester believes that in the APAC region, the financial sector will be the first one to act on it.
Consumer’s financial well-being and their trust on financial institutions depends on systemic economic risk. As per Forrester’s report, in 2022, 4 to 6 financial giants will implement a system to quantify trust and integrate with their KPIs. For e.g., NatWest Group has its own “net trust score” which is linked to its business KPIs like consumer deposits.