Forrester’s Asia Pacific (AP) top ten trends outlook launched today as part of Forrester’s series of 2015 global market predictions. We expect the opportunities and threats posed by digital disruption to shift into a higher gear in 2015 with a select group of regional organizations rising to the call, but most falling behind (often without knowing it). Success in a digitally disrupted world will require CIOs to develop a deeper understanding of their customer journeys and invest in mobile customer experience excellence. Here’s a preview of our predictions for the coming year:

  • Digital transformation will drive technology spending growth of 4.9%.Always-connected, technology-empowered customers are redefining sources of competitive advantage for AP organizations. In fact, 79% of business and technology decision-makers that Forrester surveyed indicated that improving the experience of technology-empowered customers will be a high or critical priority for their business in 2015. Similarly, 57% said that meeting consumers’ rising expectations was one of the reasons that they would spend more money on technology next year — the top reported reason for increased technology spending
  • The majority of companies in Asia Pacific will be unprepared for digital disruption. Companies that fail to keep up with, let alone anticipate, the pace of their customers’ consumption behavior will struggle to survive. Although the region is home to some of the world’s digital leaders, a minority of regional companies understand how to build a digital business. Organizational inertia is the biggest hurdle to digital transformation in Asia Pacific and our data indicates most regional organizations do not place a high enough priority on digital disruption.
  • Asia Pacific will turn to mobile messaging apps for customer engagement. With more than one billion users combined on various messaging apps like WeChat, Viber, Line, and KakaoTalk, brands will directly connect and engage with new and potential customers. In fact, in emerging markets across AP, we still see successful SMS-based applications that reach remote areas. Regional CIOs will need to respond to this trend by acting as brokers, helping their marketing organizations source the right technologies, manage integration with internal customer management applications, and mitigate security risks.
  • Customer experience (CX) will fuel better CIO/CMO collaboration. As CMOs in AP become increasingly involved in tech strategy development and procurement, CIOs have struggled to develop constructive relationships and position their teams for success. In 2015, CMOs will become increasingly aware of their technology limitations and the drag that poor planning for integration, application management, security, and compliance can place on their marketing agility. At the same time, more regional CIOs will shift their focus from back-end IT to customer-facing BT. CX initiatives will occur where these two forces meet.
  • Customer insights and big data analytics will sprawl.Businesses increasingly recognize that success will hinge on their ability to close the gap between available data and actionable insight. As a result, analytics spending will increase by 10% across the region. More firms will build customer insight (CI) teams that are separate from business intelligence (BI) teams — and these CI teams will be under the wing of the marketing department. Technology management will increasingly be relegated to a support function for customer analytics.

What rounds out the rest of our top 10? Register for our complimentary webinar on November 26 to learn more and be part of the discussion. Forrester clients can download the full report from