Firms will accelerate investments in new technologies and platforms to enable their workforce and provide differentiated experiences

SINGAPORE, October 15, 2020Forrester (FORR: NASDAQ) predicts that 2021 will be the year that every company will double down on technology-fuelled experiences, operations, products, and ecosystems. According to Forrester’s Asia Pacific 2021 Predictions, released today, the success of organisations will depend on how quickly and how well they harness technology to enable their workforce in the new normal and build platforms that differentiate them.

Forrester’s Predictions reports analyse the dynamics impacting different industries and disciplines, including changing consumer behaviours, customer experience, employee experience, marketing, and technology. Key 2021 Predictions from Forrester for Asia Pacific include:

  • Platform wars will heat up in the region. With the battle for supremacy heating up in Asia Pacific, most companies will become platform businesses to survive in the digital era. Twenty-five percent of firms will shift from experimenting to pragmatically connecting the ecosystems essential to their customers.
  • Chief marketing officers will assert control over the full customer lifecycle. CMOs will put the customer at the centre of everything they do: leadership, strategy, and operations. As a result, spend on loyalty and retention marketing will increase by 30%.
  • COVID-19 will reduce workplace engagement. The physical, mental, and economic challenges that employees had to contend with in the face of the pandemic will extend into 2021, causing business innovation to drop in 25% of firms in Asia Pacific.
  • Chief information officers will embrace cloud-first and platform strategies for speed and adaptiveness. In 2021, 30% of firms will continue to accelerate their spend on cloud, security and risk, networks, and mobility — including struggling firms looking to leapfrog and gain advantage coming out of the pandemic.
  •  Asia Pacific finally catches up on Zero Trust adoption. Zero Trust adoption in Asia Pacific has lagged its global peers, but the acceleration of cloud adoption and an explosion in remote work, as well as changing regulations and consumer behaviours, make it ripe for change. At least one government in Asia Pacific will embrace a Zero Trust cybersecurity framework in 2021.

“The pandemic accelerated the need for digital transformation,” said Ashutosh Sharma, VP and research director at Forrester. “The current economic climate has increased the urgency for every enterprise to embrace technology as a strategic asset. Asia Pacific is finally entering a decade of a digitally levelled playing field. Firms in the region will be at par with or even exceed the rest of the world in terms of technology-driven business model innovation. COVID-19 affected Asia Pacific first, and we expect it will also be the first to emerge from the crisis.”


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