When determining Forrester’s Technology Strategy Impact Award finalists, we look for stories of customer-obsessed transformations driven by the technology organisation. The companies recognised in this award are executing a future fit technology strategy that enables their company to quickly reconfigure business capabilities to meet future customer and employee demands with adaptivity, creativity, and resilience.
The three finalists of the Forrester Technology Strategy Impact Award for 2022 for Asia Pacific (APAC) show a laser focus on customer and business outcomes and leverage modern platforms, practises, and partnerships.
In alphabetical order, the three APAC finalists this year are the IT and digital teams of:
- DBS Bank
- Dr. Reddy’s Laboratories
Congrats to all the Technology Strategy Impact Award finalists! Each has a compelling story of building future fit technology capabilities. You can read those stories below. The winner will be announced at Forrester’s Technology & Innovation APAC Forum on November 15 — join us!
DBS is a leading financial services group in Asia with a presence in 18 markets.
The bank started its digital transformation in 2014, giving it a comfortable advance against its competition. However, with COVID-19, other banks have caught up to the need to transform themselves. Digitalisation is now considered table stakes. New fintechs and platform companies are also intensifying competition, and new virtual banking licences have been issued in markets like Singapore and Hong Kong.
In recent years, DBS bank has accelerated its technology investments to remain at the forefront of competition, with a focus on strategic technology capabilities (including data, cloud, AI/ML, and site reliability engineering) to improve resilience and scalability. In addition to rearchitecting systems and investing in emerging technologies, the bank continually evolves its operating model to put customers at the heart of what it does. Some highlights from DBS Bank’s submission include:
- Driving shared accountability for customer and business outcomes. Most traditional companies apply customer-engaged tactics such as creating a design centre of excellence. DBS adopted a customer-obsessed horizontal organisation (HO) approach to formalise the collaboration and shared accountability needed across technology and business functions to maximise end-to-end customer and business outcomes. This new operating model, dubbed Managing through Journeys (MtJs), has been rolled out for over 60 customer journeys bankwide this year. It enabled the bank to make significant headway in horizontally rearchitecting its most important customer processes across credit cards, consumer finance, wealth management, supply chain, and foreign exchange.
- Implementing an insights-driven operating model. The bank introduced an end-to-end framework called the Data-Driven Operating Model (DDOM), designed to function as an “ideal operating model” for business and support units in DBS, where all decisions, tasks, and actions are driven by data. With this operating model, the bank aims to drive continuous improvement in business outcomes through the identification of key drivers of such outcomes and through running experiments with fast feedback loops to test out innovative ideas.
- Delivering significant business benefits. The bank’s cloud transformation increased scalability, reduced infrastructure costs, and provided the flexibility of moving between cloud computing models and service providers. Through site reliability engineering, it also enabled a rapid acceleration of release cadence that has grown by a factor of 50 since 2014, with a daily release cadence of 7,200 codes. ADA, the bank’s advanced analytics platform, saw an exponential bankwide growth in usage in 2021, powering initiatives that generated close to SGD100 million in impact on top and bottom lines and accelerated delivery to deployment time by 60%. The bank’s customer-obsessed operating model transformation led to a rise in proportion of digital customers in the consumer and SME (SG and HK) segments from 42% in 2017 to 58% in 2021.
Dr. Reddy’s Laboratories
Dr. Reddy’s is a USD2.6 billion Indian multinational pharma and life sciences company headquartered in Hyderabad, India. Spread over more than 40 countries, the company has always believed in strong digital strategy to create competitive differentiation and aims to enable business success through a mix of:
- Operating model shifts with product and platform transformations, embedding AI in operations, and scaling human-centred design.
- Technology shifts with Zero Trust security, remote and cloud-first operations, and data-as-an-asset and API economy approaches.
- Partner and people shifts with fit-for-purpose partnerships, agile delivery, and certified-to-build/operate models.
Some highlights from Dr. Reddy’s submission include:
- Reimagining Dr. Reddy’s as a platform organisation. This operation reimagined core business processes as platform transactions, thereby breaking silos across functions and sequential workflows through a set of modular reusable process blocks and enabling increased transaction efficiency and speed.
- Driving business adaptivity with emerging tech. This operation achieved a faster time to market to combat price erosion through increased adaptivity with secure and remote access to all systems, plant machinery, and labs. The initiative reduced human error in manufacturing and quality control processes by leveraging cognitive automation and reimagining processes through a deep-learning-enabled content management platform.
- Aligning customer and business value. Cross-functional squads comprising technology and business stakeholders drive new initiatives and leverage value driver maps to deliver value to the customer and the business. Business and customer outcomes drive tech practises and people elements, including tech portfolio investments, prioritisation, and rewards and recognition.
Sportsbet is an online gambling company owned by Flutter Entertainment, supporting the Australian market.
As the hallmark of its customer-obsessed strategy, the company puts its over 2 million customers at the heart of everything it does. A portfolio of over 11 million individual betting products and 3 billion price changes annually puts huge demand on its technology stack. An insatiable appetite from customers for new experiences, an ever-changing competitive landscape, and Sportsbet’s firm commitment to building a sustainable wagering industry means a future fit technology strategy is essential for the business’s success.
Sportsbet’s future fit technology strategy consists of five pillars: AI Driven, Powering the Customer Experience, Awesome Place to Work, Our Tech DNA, and Future Ready. Each of these pillars has enabled Sportsbet to respond to the demands of an ever more complex business environment with adaptivity while maintaining a strong commitment to its customers, therefore enabling Sportsbet to be a truly customer obsessed organisation. Some highlights from Sportsbet’s submission include:
- Commitment to ethical and responsible technology. The sports betting industry has a trust challenge. Prioritising customer safety and privacy above all else gives customers peace of mind that the company “has its customers’ back.” Sportsbet shows empathy, one of Forrester’s seven levers of trust, when it creates safer gambling data science models that enable the prediction of at-risk customers. As a world first, the company can intervene in real time when customers’ behaviour shows they are potentially at risk.
- High-performance technology practises. Sportsbet’s “Our Tech DNA” pillar is focused on creating ways of working in technology that build pride and drive shared accountability for the needs and objectives of the wider business. A technology portfolio prioritisation process allows the Sportsbet executive team to drive technology investments with business and customer value. Practises such as a shared codebase and global platforms enable Sportsbet to lead the development of platforms, including sports models and auto traders, cocreated with other Flutter businesses. These practises are constantly evolving and adapting to the changing landscape that technology operates in — for instance, the company’s DevOps culture is evolving to target a no operations (NoOps) world that either automates repetitive operational tasks or removes them altogether.
- A balance of business, customer, and team member value. A future fit technology strategy allowed Sportsbet to balance the increased regulatory responsibility that comes with a growing market whilst continuing to drive sustained customer engagement. Case in point, Sportsbet’s systems processed over 1 billion bets in 2021, peaking at 65,000 bets per minute on Melbourne Cup Day. The future fit tech strategy also strengthened Sportsbet’s reputation as a destination employer, allowing it to build a workforce with the capabilities fit to create the next generation of products. It recognises the importance of the people aspect of this strategy, which is deliberately placed in the centre, given its influence on the ability to deliver on the rest of the strategy.
Join us November 15–16, 2022, for Technology & Innovation Asia Pacific!
What’s next? We will announce the Technology Strategy Impact Award winner for Asia Pacific during Forrester’s Technology & Innovation APAC Forum, taking place November 15–16, both in person in Sydney and virtually as a digital experience. Stay tuned!