APAC Companies Prioritize Cultural Change and Technology Modernization to Accelerate Digital Transformation

SINGAPORE – 8 July, 2020 – Red Hat, Inc., the world’s leading provider of open source solutions, has announced the results of a commissioned study by Harvard Business Review Analytic Services, on behalf of Red Hat, exploring Asia Pacific’s (APAC) transformation and innovation trajectory against a global backdrop. The study, titled “Understanding APAC’s Success in Digital Transformation,” surveyed 143 business executives from APAC from various industries including financial services, IT and manufacturing sectors.

The study findings state that Asian firms have latched on to digital transformation as a strategy, not just for growth but also for survival. The APAC difference in transformation effectiveness translates into important business benefits for the region’s firms, including helping them bring new products and services to market faster than their global counterparts.

Key highlights of the report included:

  • 95% of APAC executives said digital transformation has gained in importance over the past 18 months.
  • 80% of APAC business leaders ranked cultural change and technology modernization of equal importance for digital transformation.
  • 40% of APAC executives are quickly developing and delivering new applications to market, compared to only 23% of executives in the rest of the world.

According to APAC executives, cultural change stood out as one of the three building blocks of modernization, along with technology and business processes thus creating significant impediments to transformation success. The survey respondents cited that company culture now includes factors such as collaboration (44%), inclusivity (42%), adaptability (41%), and transparency (40%).

The study also revealed that companies looking to digitally transform successfully will need to support their cultural change initiatives with efforts to modernize their infrastructure and application architecture. By combining the two initiatives, companies in APAC can:

  • Adopt continuous integration/continuous delivery methods, which are deemed vital by 75% of the respondents
  • Quickly develop and deliver new applications (40%)
  • Respond rapidly to customer demands (39%)
  • Update systems efficiently (39%)
  • Control maintenance costs (39%)

APAC executives have clear ideas about where to invest over the next 12 to 18 months to maintain their digital transformation momentum. They plan to invest in artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (40%), as well as increase their spending on cloud-based business applications by 8% and business process automation tools by 6%.

Methodology and Demographics

This research was commissioned by Red Hat, and is part of the global study titled “Rethinking Digital”. Harvard Business Review Analytic Services surveyed a total of 690 HBR readers (magazine/newsletter readers, customers, HBR.org users), of which 143 were from Asia -Pacific. Respondents held various job functions across many industries including manufacturing, financial services, technology, and consulting services.

Supporting Quotes

Sajeeve Bahl, vice president and head, Services, Red Hat APAC

“Many businesses are now pressured to deliver products and customer satisfaction in an efficient and agile manner. Companies in Asia-Pacific have been exemplary in driving digital transformation by using technology to support cultural change, which enables them to embrace open source principles, such as collaboration, inclusivity, and transparency. By combining this with open source tools, they can retool the way they work to accelerate innovation and sustain competitiveness.”

Anthony Watson, lead, Enterprise Domains, ANZ Bank

“Transformation isn’t something that happens for only a focused period of time and then there’s no change after that. Our maxim is that constant change is absolutely a part of our organization’s DNA — and that of other organizations across the region as well. We set the expectation throughout our organization that we will be evolving constantly. Our company is using technology to modernize operations to deliver services faster and more efficiently. Technology also lets us better integrate customer feedback as we develop new financial products.”

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