New insights on digital transformation

In the face of technology led disruption driven by new products, competitors and behaviours, companies have little choice but to embrace digital transformation. Technology offers the opportunity to reach new customers and industries as well as reduce costs, but your ability to successful transform your business is impacted both positively and negatively by the digital environment around you.

The Asian Digital Transformation Index, is the third instalment of a research series investigating global digital transformation. It explores the building blocks for success in a digitally disrupted world and highlights the countries and industries that are best creating an environment for change.

Telstra has partnered with the Economist Intelligence Unit to create the first ever Connecting Capabilities Asia Index, a quantitative ranking of 11 major Asian markets as well as Australia, the United Kingdom and the United States to gauge digital infrastructure, human capital and industry connectedness. The research also incorporates a survey of 870 global executives across six industries as well as qualitative interviews with key executives and experts.

We found that:

Digital transformation is essential for the present and the future. Almost three quarters of organisations (72%) agree that investment in digital transformation is already paying off now, while 87% say digital transformation will be important to them over the next three years.

  • The external environment matters. Access to high quality network services, digitally literate workforce and a vibrant technology ecosystem is increasingly a core competitive advantage for countries and companies alike. Almost all (94%) businesses interviewed believe a country’s infrastructure is important to their organisation’s digital transformation.
  • Asia has some catching up to do. Singapore, South Korea and Japan are leading the way in Asia thanks to their generally strong enterprise grade networks, access to the latest services and technology and well-educated populations. However, while these countries lead Asia, they and the region as a whole is behind the United States, Australia and the United Kingdom on key measures.

Large emerging markets have particular challenges. Large developing countries with big populations, like China, India, the Philippines and Indonesia, are behind the regional and global leaders when it comes to factors like digital infrastructure and e-services. These countries are connecting more people to the internet than anywhere else and many boast world class services in major cities, but emerging markets do face challenges at a national level. Nonetheless, they are improving fast and have huge potential.