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Leading a successful digital transformation

By 2021, digital transformation will add an estimated USD1.16 trillion to Asia Pacific's GDP, and increase the growth rate by 0.8 percent annually, according to a new business study released recently.

The research, entitled, "Unlocking the Economic of Digital in Asia [1]", was produced by in partnership with IDC Asia/Pacific.

The study with IDC identified China, Japan, and India, as the potential contributors to the windfall, followed by South , Australia, and Indonesia. According to the results of the study, different economies in the region are likely to keep moving at greatly different speeds. For example, fast-growing India and China are expected to enjoy a comparatively high Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 1.0 percent, followed by New Zealand at 0.7 percent - while Singapore and Malaysia sit at 0.6 percent.

Also predicted in the study was a dramatic acceleration in the of digital transformation across Asia's economies. In 2017, about six percent of the region's GDP was derived from and created directly through the use of digital technologies, such as Mobility, Cloud, of (IoT), and Artificial Intelligence (AI). This is expected to surge to around 60 percent of Asia's GDP by 2021.

The survey was conducted with 1,560 business decision makers in mid and large-sized organizations, across 15 economies in the region and it highlights the impact and widespread disruption that digital transformation is having on traditional business models.

At Microsoft, we believe digital transformation has a positive and measurable impact on Asia Pacific's , and it is widely regarded that every organization needs to a digital . In fact, organizations are seeing tangible improvements from their digital transformation initiatives between the ranges of 15 to 17 percent, which shows that digital transformation is no longer an , but a reality. Digital Transformation brings increased margins, , customer advocacy, revenue from new products and services, and more cost reductions.

These benefits will also improve by approximately 50% in years. We AI as a primary for further growth. Our customers across Asia are already demonstrating a strong of urgency to integrate AI into their businesses as part of their digital transformation initiatives. Backed up by the study with IDC, it shows that AI is top of mind when it comes to investing in emerging technologies right now, today.

While 85 percent of the organizations surveyed by the study have embarked on digital transformation , only seven percent can be classified as true 'Digital Transformation Leaders'.

Leaders will have a full digital strategy in place and earn more than 30 percent of their income from digital products and services - experiencing double the benefits generated from their digital transformation initiatives vs. others.

Leaders realize that the to winning is not just about plug-and-play change. As well as transforming internally, focusing on changing the organization's , an organization must how to realign its entire ecosystem - including, supply chains, partners, and employees.

To become a digital transformation , an organization needs to take an ecosystem-first in the way it creates and delivers products and services to customers. Also, an organization must encourage data sharing and collaboration, both internally and externally, and in an open and trusted manner.

We believe in keeping with the times and leaders in Digital Transformation need to take a fresh look and review their key performance indicators (KPIs). On top of traditional metrics like profit margins; like sales volumes and market share, many are now looking at new ways to measure and better gauge the performance of Digital Transformation initiatives.

A new-look KPI like Data Capitalization could, for example, how well data is used to predict customer behavior. In the study, we found that 51 percent of those surveyed are starting to use data as capital asset KPIs.

Today's leaders are more focused on leveraging data to revenue and productivity and measuring these as KPIs, than before.

Broadly, this is a three-step process: data collection helps to improve decision-making. The from the first step feeds the development of better products and services. Ultimately, this can to new business models that will help to monetize sets of data directly or develop new digital services.

Are you putting digital first in your business? Find out how to here.