In the face of structural change and rampant crises, the world—and the technologies reshaping it—is experiencing a drastic shift. Even the very nature of disruption is evolving, with challenges such as talent gaps and inflationary pressures frequently demanding our immediate attention. To outpace these events, CIOs need to leverage resilience capabilities as a competitive advantage. Seizing opportunities to differentiate the business through financial, supply chain, the business ecosystem, and sustainability can help them thrive in this new digital era.
With this outlook, some may expect IT spending to shrink drastically. Yet this hasn’t seemed to be the case. On the contrary, spending on digital technology is set to grow by 3.5 times the economy in 2023. It’s clear that more organisations are looking to establish a foundation for operational excellence, competitive differentiation, and long-term growth.
A handful of businesses are already doing so as they transition from just adopting digital transformation to embodying what it means to be a digital business. Whereas digital transformation in its earliest iteration—digital transformation 1.0—focuses on driving mobility and tapping on the then-nascent Internet of Things, the subsequent phase prominently features technology such as artificial intelligence and machine learning and ways to extend their use across every aspect of the business.
Digital businesses are the next step in this evolution; they are staunchly digital-first and are hyper-focused on delivering business value and outcomes through digital innovation. This will become a crucial transition for businesses. After all, 40% of total revenue for Global 2000 organisations will be generated by digital products, services, and experiences by 2026.
Understanding the successes of past IDC Future Enterprise Awards winners
Amidst the disruptive forces in the business landscape, forward-looking digital businesses are leveraging digital technologies to optimise their operations and performance.
We look at Midea Industrial Internet (MIOT), the recipient of the Future Enterprise of the Year at the IDC Future Enterprise Awards 2022. The company is actively deploying AI and advanced digital technologies to enhance the user experience while empowering their employees and partners with the right digital tools. This has resulted in a flexible and efficient supply chain that has reduced their delivery cycle by 56% and enhanced the way they collaborate with partners. At the same time, they also increased the inventory turnover of finished products by 125%, paving the way for other enterprises in the manufacturing industry to become the next digital business.
Visionary leaders, too, play a significant role in every digital business as they are instrumental in leading the business toward an ambitious vision. Suresh Sundararajan, the recipient of the CDO of the Year Award (Singapore) in 2022, is the then-Chief Officer and now CEO of Olam Ventures and Olam Technology Services.
Sundararajan has redefined the company’s purpose of reimagining global agriculture and food systems, and this is buoyed by his beliefs in good leadership: the ability to manage ambiguity and look at things through an experimental framework, which can open doors to more possibilities for the business. This is in line with his advice for future leaders, which is to invest in people without putting constraints on their suggestions and ideas. At the same time, transformation is dependent on using the right technologies for the problems a business is solving. According to Sundararajan, businesses should not be led by the most current technologies to embrace transformation. A better approach is to identify what the issues are, and then look into the technology that can be deployed to solve them.
Taking risks with emerging, cutting-edge technologies is another approach of many digital businesses. This is what Zuellig Pharma did which it to becoming the recipient of the Best in Future of Intelligence and Special Award for Digital Resiliency in 2022.
The pharmaceutical company wanted to build an ecosystem of solutions that will better connect patients and their pharma clients. That’s why Zuellig Pharma had invested heavily in data and data analytics, becoming a pioneer in the use of blockchain as part of their solution on traceability. These technologies are used to develop eZTracker, which helps bring their pharma clients and customers together by delivering data-driven insights, such as ensuring that healthcare products being delivered are from an authorised source. Zuellig Pharma has also created eZRx, a B2B eCommerce platform for buying and selling healthcare products, and eZHealth, an app that offers patients access to comprehensive healthcare services.
Recognising the next digital business for Asia Pacific Japan IDC Future Enterprise Awards
To recognise the next generation of digital businesses and leaders, the 2023 Asia Pacific Japan IDC Future Enterprise Awards is now open for nominations. Any end-user organisation can nominate their project or initiative, or be nominated by a 3rd party organisation—agencies, associations, and IT suppliers—to gain recognition in the execution of the initiative in one of the categories.
The IDC Future Enterprise Awards follows a two-phased approach to determine country and regional winners. Each nomination is evaluated by IDC’s country and regional analysts against a standard assessment framework based on IDC’s Future Enterprise taxonomy. All country winners will then qualify for the regional competition, where a regional panel of judges comprising IDC Worldwide analysts, industry thought leaders, and members of the academia, will determine the regional winners.
Entries will be judged based on the eight building blocks organizations need to successfully close the digital gap and become Future Enterprises in a digital-first world: Connectedness, Customer Experience, Digital Infrastructure, Industry Ecosystems, Intelligence, Operations, Trust, and Work.
Individual awards for CEO and CIO/CDO of the Year will also be handed out, as well as Special Awards for Digital Innovation, Digital Resiliency, and Sustainability. New in 2023, Special Awards for the best Digital Native Business as well as Smart Cities initiatives for Citizen Wellbeing, Connected City, and Digital Policies will also be given out.
Learn more at IDC Future Enterprise Awards 2023.
Register for an account at IDC Future Enterprise Awards Platform to submit an entry.
CIO, Enterprise Applications, Enterprise Architecture