​Gartner says customer engagement driving APAC digital appetite

Nearly half of the Asia Pacific CIOs Gartner surveyed reported a shift in business models in response to customer engagement.

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Forty-seven percent of CIOs operating in the Asia Pacific region have reported the enterprises they represent have shifted business models, or are in the process of changing them, in a bid to increase customer engagement via digital channels, a new report from Gartner has said.

The findings of the 2019 Gartner CIO Agenda survey were revealed during the Gartner Symposium/ITxpo on the Gold Coast on Tuesday. Gartner said of the 3,000 CIO respondents across 89 countries, 671 CIOs hailed from 16 countries within the Asia Pacific region, representing organisations that produce a combined $6.1 trillion in revenue and $73.7 billion in IT spending.

With customer satisfaction as a key priority, Gartner reported that 31 percent of the CIOs surveyed have evolved their digital initiatives to the "scaling" stage, which is up 19 percent from the same time last year.

"This indicates that digital business is maturing throughout the region, from tentative experiments to application at a massive scale," vice president and distinguished analyst at Gartner Andy Rowsell-Jones said.

"The ability to support greater scale is being invested and developed in three key areas: Volume, scope, and agility.

"All areas aim at encouraging consumers to interact with the organisation. Generally speaking, the greater the variety of interactions that are available via digital channels, the more engaged a consumer becomes, and the lower the costs to serve them are."

The survey results indicate that transformation toward digital business is supported by "steady IT budget growth".

According to Gartner, from a global perspective, CIOs are expecting their IT budgets to grow by 2.9 percent in 2019. However, Asia Pacific is the leading region, with an expected 3.5 percent growth.

"CIOs should use their financial resources to make 2019 a transformative year for their businesses," Rowsell-Jones continued. "Stay active in transformation discussions and invest time, money, and human resources to remove any barriers to change. Enterprises that fall behind in digital business now will have to deal with a serious competitive disadvantage in the future."

Gartner said the top five areas that local CIOs will invest new or additional funding in 2019 are: Business intelligence and data analytics, with 42 percent of respondents highlighting this as a focus; 33 percent will be focusing on core system improvements and transformation; artificial intelligence and machine learning is a focus for 33 percent, as well; cybersecurity and information security is high on the 2019 agenda for 32 percent of CIOs; and a focus for 30 percent is digital business initiatives.

Disclosure: Asha McLean travelled to Gartner Symposium/ITxpo as a guest of Gartner.

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