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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.

Cloud computing has proven to be a massive boon to businesses with multinational operations, as is often the case with businesses that set up manufacturing centres in ASEAN while keeping other aspects of their businesses, such as the design and engineering teams, in other countries. Cloud computing has ensured that these teams working across different continents are completely synchronised with one another, reducing redundancies and improving productivity.

Hardware mobility will bring businesses places
Over the last two decades, personal computers have become progressively smaller and more portable, unchaining users from the immobile desktops of yesteryear. Tablets and smartphones have exploded in popularity, enabling media consumption on the go.

At the same time, most mobile devices on the market were designed for media consumption and entertainment rather than productivity, and do not support enterprise applications. This has led to a demand for products built specifically for business users for maximising productivity while retaining the mobility offered by portable devices.

This can be seen in the manufacturing sector, which allows employees to perform stock-keeping and inventory management through real-time data updates. Powerful enterprise devices also allow users on the go access to functions which require intense computing capabilities, such as modelling software for the design and engineering teams.

Social media connects brands and consumers
Social media has dramatically altered the relationship between customers and businesses, and customers are now able to share their opinions and feedback on companies and their products with a global audience. Shrewd companies have recognised and harnessed this trend for the benefit of both their customers and themselves.

Through the analysis of social media, companies are able to receive authentic and honest feedback from consumers as well as discover trends, which manufacturing companies can then translate into the creation of better products. In other words, social listening tools driven by the powerful computing capabilities of enterprise hardware become an extremely important type of research and development, especially in conjunction with the predictive and analytical capabilities offered by Big Data.

This is especially important in the ASEAN region, which is a melting pot of different cultures. Companies need to be extremely sensitive to customer sentiments and avoid triggering cultural sensitivities. Social media is thus one of the best ways of measuring customer reactions, allowing businesses to respond quickly and appropriately so as to keep customers happy.

Emerging technologies will make or break ASEAN's manufacturing industry. With the right choice of technology, manufacturing enterprises can optimise productivity, reduce operational costs, improve customer experience and grow faster.

A recent report from IDC predicts that intra-Asia trade for the manufacturing sector will continue to grow in 2015, while the emergence of new governments in some countries and investor interest from other countries including China will help this trend to continue. Business leaders within ASEAN's manufacturing industry are becoming increasingly aware of the importance of the latest technologies in enabling them to take full advantage of this business trend, and are deploying them to great effect. IDC reported that 37 percent of Asia Pacific manufacturers are already using Big Data and Analytics technologies to improve production quality management.


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