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Firstly, we will see the continued rise of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) community. ASEAN is projected to average 5.2 per cent annual growth from 2016 to 2020. In addition, ASEAN is forecasted to become the 4th largest economy by 2050, with a combined GDP to increase fivefold to US$10 trillion by 2030. This is attributed to a rising middle-income class, the China connection, and the integration of ASEAN. Together with the implementation of the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC), which has forged closer integration among ASEAN's economies by lowering barriers to trade, and the driving force of strong fundamentals, there will be significant investment opportunities for businesses in Singapore to pursue.
Businesses get real about accelerating digital business
Secondly, in 2017, we will go beyond talking about digital transformation to having a real dialogue about what organisations actually need to be doing to evolve, survive and thrive in the era of Digital Industry. The Singapore government has created the new Government Technology Agency to help drive digital transformation in the public sector, underscoring the importance of digital transformation in both public and private sector. This digital era is fuelled by three core elements that act as accelerators for Digital Industry, and they are; a culture of high speed innovation (as much about business model as technology) which is underpinned by both modern elastic infrastructure and digital-enabled employees. Organisations across all industries need to know how to leverage the power of digital technologies to create new and disruptive business models. Only those businesses who embrace a new mind-set to protect and preserve their existing infrastructure while investing in new digital technologies will reshape markets, deliver apps and services at hyper scale and become the leaders of the new digital industry.
The spotlight will shine on the employee experience in 2017
Thirdly, employees' demands will drive an overhaul of digital workplace trends. The future of work requires an intentional focus on the employee experience across the entire workforce. Just as consumer applications, such as Grab and Deliveroo, have disrupted our personal and work lives, businesses need to focus on disruption for employees from inside the company. Organisations with engaged employees outperform those without by over 200%, but most companies already think their employees are engaged. Generally, that is not the case.
In 2017, we will start to see companies build employee-centric experiences that align both the digital and cultural changes needed to meet modern demands on where, when and how employees do work. The focus will move from IT service to a consumer-like employee service that empowers the workforce to be professionally successful and personally satisfied. This could be in the form of raising incidents on an application rather than filling up tedious forms and long e-mails to have the IT department resolve an incident.
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