Covid-19 has resulted in significant shifts in workforces, business practices and job functions and increased the necessity for businesses to embrace technology to facilitate effective remote work. While technological innovation has been a key measure of business success for several years, uptake and investment in technology will continue to define the success of organizations in 2021, consistent with Forrester’s Asia Pacific 2021 Predictions report.
Public Cloud will Skyrocket
Adoption of technologies like public cloud, AI and 5G will skyrocket in 2021, as technology will fuel experiences, operations, products, and ecosystems, Forrester predicts. it’ll also drive changes to the functions of chief marketing officers and business structures.
The report, released today, provides 12 key predictions for APAC business and technology leaders in 2021.
Included within the key predictions is that chief marketing officers will shift from leading ad buying and campaigns to taking control of the complete customer lifecycle. “Successful CMOs” will reinvent themselves, their teams, and therefore the marketing function in 2021 to integrate marketing and customer experience, the firm said. Loyalty programmes are going to be re-emphasized and media money will shift into retention methods like email and customer service. As a result, spend on loyalty and retention marketing will increase by 30% in 2021, Forrester posed.
As marketers increasingly put the customer at the guts of all their business functions, customer experience (CX) capabilities will improve. While Forrester predicts that firms will cut CX technology spend in 2021, the capabilities “will actually improve”. Organizations will move to at least one voice-of-the-customer program, resulting in consolidation of CX tools and technologies. This move will save organizations many thousands (or millions) of dollars, the firm said, and can help them realise the worth of the technologies that remain.
Elsewhere, competition among platforms in APAC will intensify in 2021. In India, the main target are going to be on Amazon, Jio Platforms, Flipkart and Paytm. In China, competition will intensify between Alibaba, JD.com, and Pinduoduo in China, and in Southeast Asia between Gojek, Grab, and Shopee. 1 / 4 (25%) of firms will shift from experimenting to pragmatically connecting the ecosystems essential to their customers in 2021, like healthcare, commodity , and manufacturing, while pulling investment from nonessential areas like travel.
One adverse effect that Covid-19 will wear businesses in 2021 may be a drop by innovation, Forrester predicts, because the physical, mental, and economic challenges that employees had to deal with within the pandemic extend into 2021. One-quarter (25%) of firms will experience a drop by business innovation, it predicts, as a results of muted workplace engagement that lowers productivity and discretionary efforts. Businesses will got to review workforce policies and HR functions to inspire and empower employees in remote working.
Technology investments are going to be required to support a replacement workplace in 2021. Nearly half (48%) of APAC managers anticipate a permanently higher rate of full-time, remote employees. Technologies like conversational AI , machine learning, and hardware advances are expected to grow to assist employees adjust. Forrester forecasts that by the top of 2021, one out of each four remote workers are going to be supported by new sorts of automation, either directly or indirectly.
The economic and practical value of cloud computing was proven during 2020 (see Zoom’s meteoric rise as an example) and its application will spike in 2021, Forrester predicts. Many businesses flocked to public cloud services during Covid-19 to affect spikes in customer engagement and launch new apps. Forrester had previously predicted that the general public cloud infrastructure market would grow 28% to succeed in $113.1 billion in 2021, but now it predicts that the worldwide public cloud infrastructure market will grow 35% to $120 billion in 2021. Furthermore, it predicts that Alibaba Cloud will take the amount three revenue spot globally, after AWS and Microsoft Azure.
China is predicted to drive 5G tests and innovative business models in 2021, with initiatives in major verticals like healthcare, manufacturing, retail and smart cities.
Beyond technology, Forrester predicts that having strong values at the guts of a business will become more of a billboard imperative for companies in 2021. Economic and social issues are delivered to the fore during the Covid-19 pandemic, with many consumers in APAC already making purchase decisions supported values like environmental protection and a commitment to consumers’ data privacy, Forrester said. In 2021, more will vote with their wallets and have interaction with brands that plan to ethical practices that support the area people and businesses.