IDC Asia/Pacific Reveals its Top Predictions for the Future of Operations in 2024 and Beyond

SINGAPORE, 08 January 2024 – IDC predicts that by 2026, 20% of industrial operations in Asia will use AI/ML for vision-based systems and robotic and automation processes to achieve higher efficiencies, reduce downtime, and improve worker safety. This is just one of IDC’s predictions unveiled in its latest report, IDC FutureScape: Worldwide Future of Operations 202 4 Predictions — Asia/Pacific (Excluding Japan) Implications

IDC’s Future of Operations framework describes how organizations can improve their decision-making processes and efficacy by embracing data-driven operations (DDO). Digital technology and cloud capabilities are essential components in DDO, and this is reflected in the data from IDC’s 2023 Worldwide Future of Operations Survey that shows that cloud is one of the top technology priority for organizations in Asia/Pacific. 77% of APeJ respondents say that cloud is essential or very important to their organization’s operations. Other key technologies needed to achieve efficient, resilient, and optimized operations include AI, robotics, mixed reality tools, edge computing, 5G and cybersecurity.

"Organizations in Asia/Pacific recognize the importance of investing in essential technologies for data-driven operations," states Rakesh Patni, Associate Research Director, Future of Operations Asia Pacific.

Looking to the future, Generative AI will be essential to driving greater insights from operational data: 57% of APEJ respondents said Generative AI tools (such as ChatGPT) will be one of the Top 3 analytic tools and techniques their organization plans to make significant new investments in to analyze operational data. Generative AI, employing both unsupervised and semi-supervised algorithms to produce new content based on existing text, audio, video, images, and code, represents a pivotal technology heralding the advent of a novel computing age - the Era of AI Everywhere.

AI will be a cornerstone of the Future of Operations:

GenAI Data Discovery: By 2027, 30% of A2000 will utilize generative AI to produce ad-hoc operational performance reports, saving 10% of operations labor costs from manual data aggregation

AI-driven Industrial Automation: By 2026 20% of industrial operations in Asia will use AI/ML for vision-based systems and robotic and automation processes to achieve higher efficiencies, reduce downtime, and improve worker safety

Cybersecurity Impact of AI: By 2026, 50% of organizations in Asia will leverage AI-enabled advanced threat detection, to mitigate growing risks from GenAI cybercrime tools (WormGPT) used in phishing and ransomware attacks

In the short term (2024-2025) the focus will be on addressing the cybersecurity impact of GenAI cybercrime tools being used to launch ever more sophisticated ransomware attacks and investments in AI/ML vision based systems and robotics to accelerate AI-driven industrial automation to improve operational efficiency and reduce downtime. Longer term (2027 onwards) organizations will leverage GenAI to produce ad-hoc operational performance reports, saving on operations labor costs from manual data aggregation and increasing the speed of internal and administrative tasks.

While the current emphasis has been on AI, IDC also emphasizes the necessity of adopting an integrated approach, encompassing both a variety of technological and strategic facets, to adeptly maneuver through the era of digital business transformation. IDC's Future of Operations predictions for 2023 provide guidance to business leaders on how and where data driven operations can be achieved and maintained:

Talent Development Investment: Driven by rising digital talent shortages, over 40% of A2000 will need to increase talent development spending substantially to execute digital operations roadmaps and achieve ROI targets by 2024

Sustainability Driven OpEx: By 2027, 25% of industrial organizations in Asia will leverage real-time data capture and integration investments for sustainability initiatives to boost operational performance and visibility

Unified Partnership Transformation Strategy: By 2027, 25% of A2000 companies will spend 15% of their digital technology budgets with third party IT and engineering services partners to simultaneously transform multiple operations functions

Private Ops Networks: By 2028, 25% of industrial organizations in Asia will have deployed Private LTE or 5G networks to at least 30% of their operational sites to reduce up-front costs and improve data collection

Edge-native App Data: By 2026, organizations in Asia that have embraced edge native platforms will extract 2x more value from data, and deploy projects 3x faster than those with traditional core, edge, and cloud resources

Cloud Data Repatriation: By 2025, 30% of A2000 will undergo initiatives to pull data back from the public cloud, shifting operational data that does not requires intensive processing locally, reducing OpEx costs by up to 10%

Human Augmentation Through Technology: By 2027, 60% of Asia/Pacific based organizations will augment operational roles with automation technology, elevating employee engagement and unlocking a 50% increase in worker efficiency

"They need to establish core technologies such as cloud, artificial intelligence and advanced connectivity and acquire new digital capabilities to improve their ability to contextualize high-quality data and drive greater insights into their operations. However, they should also focus on talent development through new hires, forming partnerships with service providers, or by enhancing the skills of their current workforce. The combination of skilled talent and appropriate technology, aligned with a strategic approach, is crucial for optimized and efficient operations. The Future of Operations predictions provide insights and guidance to help organizations in Asia Pacific navigate their digital transformation journey," ends Patni.

Each year, IDC releases its top technology predictions at worldwide, regional and country level through its IDC FutureScape Reports   and gives a crystal ball view of what is ahead for the rapidly changing IT industry. These predictions have been used to shape the strategies and business objectives of technology leaders and business executives in the next 1-5 years. All the predictions stated here cover Asia/Pacific implications.

Catch an on-demand replay of IDC's 2024 Predictions presentation that will be available as part of a series of FutureScape webinars addressing the IT Industry, AI and Automation, Digital Business, CIO Agenda, and Emerging Technologies. If you would like to attend any of these webinars, register  and learn more HERE.

Asia/Pacific Japan FutureScape Reports come with a complimentary report that provides specific recommendations for tech vendor sales and marketing leaders. Leverage on IDC insights to better understand clients’ priorities and enhance your storytelling and go to market plans, access the IDC FutureScape: Worldwide Future of Operations 2024 Predictions ─ APEJ Implications: Positioning for Success ─ Opportunities for Tech Sales and Marketing Leaders  market presentation