The Asia Pacific region is starting to face the pressure of inflation and threat of recession that major economies in North America and Europe have faced in 2022. In 2023, however, as uncertainty’s long shadow continues to stretch further, the stage will be set for future fit technology leaders to make wise investments that will strengthen their resilience and secure future growth.

Here are some of Forrester’s most important predictions for technology in APAC in 2023:

  • Adoption of in-region digital industrial platforms will rise by 30%. Accounting for 45% of global industry value added, APAC’s manufacturing, construction, utilities, and other industrial firms will lead industry cloud adoption via digital industrial platforms (DIPs) that enable firms to connect and analyze industrial data (bridging operational technology [OT] and information technology [IT]) and deliver sustained customer value. With government encouragement and demand from business resilience and technology self-reliance, we expect to see firms in China, Japan, South Korea, and Australia accelerate their local DIP adoption in 2023.
  • Investment in industrial metaverse initiatives will double. 2022 saw BMW open the world’s first digitally designed manufacturing plant in China, and Hyundai announced a partnership with Unity Technologies. None of these are fully realized metaverses, but manufacturing is leading the way in moving beyond today’s metaverse precursors toward more integrated environments. Manufacturers should take a closer look at existing industrial metaverse initiatives and decide how to deliver real employee or customer value.
  • Ten percent of automation budgets will shift to resilience, and process intelligence will revive 20% of failing RPA programs. The uncertainty will push tech executives into a defensive position, settling on known issues and risks and shifting from transformation to resilience — a more rational approach. In particular, 40% of APAC firms that have adopted robotic process automation (RPA) are still beginners and are struggling to identify high-value processes to automate. They will need process intelligence solutions to reinvigorate stalling or flatlining RPA programs.
  • Of the relevant enterprises, 35% will integrate physical robotics with mainstream tech. Japan’s population is the oldest in the world; Singapore, South Korea, and China are also facing dwindling populations. Labor shortages are forcing organizations to pursue robot workers to maintain their resilience. Industries such as food and beverage, janitorial services, commercial and home delivery, healthcare, and manufacturing will all benefit from autonomous mobile robots, collaborative robots, robot security guards, and drones for inspection.
  • The number of APAC-headquartered cybersecurity startups will increase by 10%. Before the COVID-19 pandemic hit, only 61 out of 1,547 global startups were from APAC. With organizations in Australia, Singapore, and India investing, supporting, and championing cybersecurity startups and governments increasing investment in cybersecurity in the region, we expect the number of APAC cybersecurity startups to increase in 2023. CISOs in the region should develop a startup scouting capability and provide support to the local innovation scene.
  • Cloud-native-first strategy and cloud financial operations will take center stage. APAC firms will continue to prioritize container-based, microservices-oriented architectures with distributed capabilities, which can benefit a range of technology domains, such as AI/ML, data management, IoT, 5G, edge computing, and blockchain. While many users lean solely on cloud-native tooling for its cost-free access and light optimization capabilities, they need to choose third-party cloud cost management and optimization tools to face looming inflation and the threat of a recession.
  • One in four tech execs will report to their board on AI governance. Eighty percent of APAC data and analytics decision-makers are building AI technologies, ahead of their global counterparts (73%). Given this wide adoption, regulation and demand for trust in AI will drive one in four CIOs and CTOs to lead AI governance, which will join cybersecurity and compliance as a board-level topic. Future fit tech execs should embrace their new AI governance role and use the opportunity to put an ethical technology strategy into practice across the organization.

There is so much more to discuss on these wide-ranging but very pertinent topics. Read our full report to get more insights on our predictions for the APAC region.

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