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Emerging technologies will drive the next manufacturing boom in ASEAN

Ivan Low, Regional Enterprise Sales Leader, Lenovo South East Asia | July 21, 2015
Businesses will need to continue investing in emerging technologies to maintain their competitive advantage.

Ivan Low, Lenovo
Photo: Ivan Low

This vendor-written piece has been edited by Executive Networks Media to eliminate product promotion, but readers should note it will likely favour the submitter's approach.

ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) has always been an exciting region for investors, showing great growth and potential, and its manufacturing industry is set to accelerate ASEAN's already impressive development. A recent report by Singapore's Economic Development Board commented that ASEAN has become the "new investment hub of [Asia] seeking to equal if not replace China as the region's manufacturing powerhouse." The report also noted that foreign investments in ASEAN is at an all-time high, with the majority going towards manufacturing and services.

One of the biggest reasons for this is the rapid adoption of the latest technological trends amongst the emerging economies in the ASEAN region. A recent McKinsey study predicted that the employment of disruptive technologies would produce US$220 billion to US$625 billion in annual economic impact for Southeast Asia. As such, careful attention should be paid to the four biggest technological trends of the moment — big data, cloud computing, mobility and social media — and how these will affect ASEAN's crucial manufacturing industry.

Big Data drives massive returns
Big Data promises to help companies glean valuable insights from data analysis that can be applied to business strategies. Companies particularly value Big Data for its ability to help predict trends, allowing them to stay ahead of the curve. As with cloud computing, big data requires the use of stable and powerful enterprise hardware to collect and analyse the massive influx of data.

The analytical capabilities of Big Data can help businesses to critically examine every aspect of their operations, with benefits like the optimisation of production processes and distribution chains. Companies in the manufacturing business also benefit from the predictive capabilities of Big Data, which have been harnessed into driving improved processes, faster product development, reduced redundancies and increased yields.

Through the customer insights provided by Big Data, companies can anticipate customer needs and focus their research and development efforts to create products which their customers will find truly useful.

Cloud computing ensures seamless integration
With the advent of high-speed internet connections, IT functions — such as the storing and processing of data — which have previously been performed by on-site hardware and physical connections can now be done remotely over the Internet, freeing up physical space and reducing costs.

Companies have begun to migrate their intranets to the cloud, and IT departments can now support users from across the globe, leading to more secure networks and an easier deployment of software changes. Generally referred to as cloud computing, this trend necessitates the use of stable and reliable enterprise hardware to facilitate the transfer of data, especially in conjunction with the collection and analysis of the massive amounts of data involved in Big Data analytics.

 

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