Salesforce, a global leader in CRM, unveiled findings from Innovation: All Eyes on Asia, a research report on how businesses in Asia view innovation. The study gathered responses from key business and IT decision makers across eight countries in Asia.
70% said customer retention is their key priority for the next 12 to 24 months and more than half (53%) are likely to adopt new innovation to achieve this goal.
Asia (77%) is being viewed as the region to lead innovation globally in the next five years, with America at a close second (64%).
Japan, Korea and China are the top three Asian countries seen to be driving the trajectory.
Asian companies likely to invest in innovation to boost customer retention
In Asia, innovation is seen as the process of creating new and novel solutions to fulfil unmet customer needs. Asian businesses prioritize innovation that empowers them to retain their customers (70%) and more than half (53%) are likely to adopt innovation that achieves this goal. Companies in India (93%), Singapore (88%), Philippines (88%) and Malaysia (82%) are most likely to invest in technology to boost customer retention. Technology is viewed as a valuable tool in accelerating productivity (62%) and providing better customer support (38%).
These findings underscore a focus on customer centricity that is driving the trajectory to innovation in Asia.
Asian companies rank Enterprise Apps, CRM, Cloud Computing and Artificial Intelligence as top innovation priorities
Enterprise Apps (83%), Cloud Computing (82%) and Customer Relationship Management (CRM) are the top three strategic investment priorities for Asian businesses. Additionally, when presented with capabilities of a CRM platform powered by artificial intelligence (A.I.), 78% say they are likely to adopt. Singapore businesses find the concept appealing (84%) and relevant (76%) but only 68% are likely to adopt. India (90%), Indonesia (83%), Vietnam (85%), Philippines (84%) and Thailand (84%) are most likely to adopt (90%) while Hong Kong is least likely to (63%).
Culture Multiplies Innovation
The positive impact of a culture that empowers employees to be innovative is evident in the 77% who agree that innovation has transformed their company operations favourably, with 80% of this group prioritizing innovation within their organization in the next 12 to 24 months. This group of Asian companies are more likely to invest in technology regardless of economic outlook and 79% said they will increase their technology spend even in an underperforming economy where 84% of them view technology as a long term revenue driver.
Knowledge gap hindering pace of innovation
Costs, complexity of technology and lack of talent are the three key hurdles that are holding Asian companies back from adopting innovation. One in three Asian companies believe that future innovation will be driven by public-private partnerships.
“This research shines a spotlight on the innovation landscape in Asia and reaffirms our vision for customer-centricity. The mobile-first culture of immediacy has its roots here in Asia and shapes the new business imperative for Asian companies,” said Robert Wickham, Regional Vice President, Innovation & Digital Transformation, APAC, Salesforce. “The appetite for artificial intelligence by Asian companies is continuing to grow. The Fourth Industrial Revolution is upon us, and companies that harness the predictive prowess of A.I. are well-placed to address challenges in this dynamic region.”
“This report is insightful and we are encouraged by how aligned we are with our customers here in Asia. Placing customers at the center of our business has been the driving force at Fonterra and we are even more inspired now to continue our journey with Salesforce in building a customer-first experience,” said Caitlin Nguyen, Global Digital and CRM Lead, Fonterra.