27 November 2018

Is South East Asia ready for the Fourth Industrial Revolution? – The Roadmap for the Digital Revolution

Today it is very popular to build use cases. I often found these as useful but never so easy to relate too. We all see things differently, our problems or our challenges and then set about building on our own, often ignoring many commonalities. We are all guilty of “reinventing the wheel” even when there are so many similarities from a use case.

In this final part of this series on S E Asia where we have been looking at the constraints and opportunities for the Fourth Industrial Revolution to take hold, I think the value of constantly mapping problems to solutions, relating how challenges can be overcome, is essential.

I want to offer some general steps in building pathways and roadmaps that allow each client or agency involved to build out their own evolution. Having that expertise to provide assistance to build solution roadmaps or pathways can be a unique USP.

By offering a structured (higher-level) design you can begin to work through the pathway to move from an existing business into a fully connected one, based on the 4th Industry Revolution. Each company has a specific journey to go through but it really helps if there is some commonality. This helps us all relate to others are working through similar issues and that does help to become a powerful motivator to “push” on.

The competence of building roadmaps that help, especially in large complex challenges, needs a level of consistency in approach so it can be evaluated, compared and recognized. Re-inventing the digital wheel multiple times is unproductive.

These are my opening attempts to prompt further thinking

Focusing on a three-step evolution design in product and service fit for digitalization

I believe S E Asia, in general, has a three-step process to go through. Those who can offer an evolutionary pathway, taking an integrated product and service design together in the design, will gain significantly.

But how can businesses achieve this?

Strengthen the foundations within the organization (cybersecurity, partner management, providing solution for devises through sensors, IT, technical support, organization training and cultural awareness to achieve a basic connectivity is a rich source of revenue growth

Provide the integrated services of developing a new business architecture through lifecycle management, strong partnership arrangements, integrating both physical and digital, delivering greater predictive maintenance, connecting data sources and educating the use, value and understanding of data, through analytical services and modeling. Educate in the potential of a digital business model shift.

Shift to an open ecosystem approach: Be able to build out and form the greater connections gained by offering platform and ecosystem services and full servicing support. Having a growing awareness of the power of ecosystems in what it brings; in solving more complex challenges, in collaborating across industry borders, in appreciating that others bring skills and expertise you are unable to duplicate within your own organization allow the ability to tackle more radical solutions that can provide higher value creation

These three- steps above are a strategic design of a business to build a foundation for a roadmap for customers. I believe this approach is different in market or solution design than those taken in developed countries.

Building the digital and product solution specific roadmaps “as a service” is highly valuable

At a high level, there is this general need to

1) design a digital strategy that enables IR4.0,

2) To Educate and build out a new digital business model understanding,

3) focus on the enablers that enable or disable the digitalization program and

4) become the orchestrator who is in prime position for providing solutions and services for the longer term.

In this roadmap, we need to pass through legacy – from web-enabled into digital ready, exploring and protecting the System of Record, building the System of Engagements and, alongside it, the System of Intelligence to build an evolutionary path that is future orientated, scoped accordingly and scales in its design.

This pathway build will be most probably needing a world of two-speeds, a dual approach, to tackle today’s issues as one focus overcoming present inhibitors and those moving towards IR4.0 as the other, offering more dynamic solutions, that are focused on building the future digitally connecting solution set that connects the individual form into a global network.

Asking consistently “what, where and which” advanced technologies can best serve their economic and strategic needs becomes a constant part of the roadmap design.

The need to build a powerful case for IR4.0 in S E Asia that follows common understanding

To focus on the opportunities, I think we need to build a set of business cases. In their simplistic forms we need to build around the following steps:

Build the Business Commons– communications, infrastructure understanding, governance and cyber security that resonate in S E Asia

Identify the take-off factors– expansion, market factors, points of competitiveness, spend on infrastructure for IR4.0

Transfer factors– that accelerate adoption understanding and value, flow and transfer of knowledge and exchanges, the value of ecosystems, partners, and relationships

Emphasis the Innovation dynamo potential – drawing out the entrepreneur within, building knowledge of customer needs, product solutions that connect and give ongoing value.

Then finally, we need to give S E Asia a distinctive regional flavor

Taking talk to action, building relationships that are increasingly valued, drive transformation in their way, build out a realistic time to commit, build the agenda for a robust enterprise solution, build in consistently digital trust and deliver ‘leaps of performance and opportunity’ as the return.

In Summary for the whole series

South East Asia has specific challenges within IR4.0. To address these global solutions and having a real depth of local focus is key. Infrastructure is critical to satisfy population growth and aspiration and continue with recent past economic growth.

To be ready for the Industrial Revolution 4.0 needs dedicated hard work. The issues to be addressed are tough ones. Many of the countries within the region are not as well-positioned to benefit from the significant changes being driven by the Fourth Industrial Revolution.

Increasingly there will be a polarized two-speed world. Singapore & to a lesser degree Malaysia are becoming equipped. For the likes of Thailand, the Philippines, and Indonesia it is a demanding task.

All countries in the ASEAN region must develop unique capabilities and work out the cost-benefit equation to determine impact location attractiveness. There are still choices left to position yourself to capture an increasing traditional set of manufacturing opportunities and some here in S E Asia should go that route.

While a few need to work towards being a more advanced manufacturing economy. Both choices need robust pathways to digital transformation irrespective and that requires infrastructure to be in place. It is called a revolution for good reason, it is highly disruptive.

Read the other parts of the series “Is South East Asia ready for the Fourth Industrial Revolution?”:

Part 1: How big is the challenge really?

Part 2: The application of innovation, the Asian way

Part 3: What are the real opportunities to invest in in S E Asia

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