APAC firms worry digital startups will drive them out of business

Faced with competition from digital startups, 52 percent of enterprises in the region fear they will lose market relevance in the next three to five years, while 61 percent have experienced business disruption.
Written by Eileen Yu, Senior Contributing Editor

Enterprises in Asia-Pacific, including Japan, are anxious about digital disruption and increasing competition from startups, which they say may drive their business obsolete.

Some 83 percent of enterprises in the region said digital startups posed a threat to their business, either now or in the future, with the majority already concerned about disruption, revealed a study by Dell Technologies. Conducted by Vanson Bourne, the survey polled 4,000 business leaders in 16 global markets and 12 industries.

It noted that 52 percent of Asia-Pacific respondents expressed concern about competition from startups, which they feared might cause their organisation to lose market relevance over the next three to five years.

Some 61 percent already had experienced disruption in their respective industry in the last three years due to the emergence of new technologies such as Internet of Everything. Another 58 percent expressed uncertainty over how their industry would take shape in the next three years.

Among those that had kicked off their digital transformation strategy, 77 percent felt this needed to be more prevalent within their organisation. Some 60 percent said their company was unable to meet customers' critical demands including enhanced security and 24 by 7 access to services and data. Another 65 percent admitted their organisation failed to act on data intelligence real-time.

Dell EMC's Asia-Pacific Japan president for commercial, Amit Midha, said lower barriers of entry and strong support from governments had fuelled the surge in digital startups across the region. "Failing to innovate will impact the competitiveness of established Asia-Pacific businesses in the digital era."

According to the survey findings, organisations were beginning to realise the importance of digital transformation and a formalised plan to keep pace.

Some 78 percent pointed to the need for a centralised technology strategy, while 70 percent said their organisation was planning to invest in IT infrastructure and digital skills. Another 73 percent were beefing up capabilities in software development.

Planned IT investments over the next three years would focus on key technology areas including analytics and big data, converged infrastructure, and Internet of Things.

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