The future of the workspace in ASEAN is digital

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These are exciting times in ASEAN. A new generation of young, technology-savvy employees is entering the workforce and they are changing the nature of the places in which we work. Digital technology is helping transform workplaces beyond recognition, making them into more interactive, collaborative and creative spaces where employees can really thrive and fulfill their potential.

The current workspace landscape

ASEAN is doing well, but challenges remain. Sometimes we simply have to do more to empower our people in the ways they want. The ASEAN region covers a number of countries in Southeast Asia, with Singapore traditionally considered the technological leader of them, but employees there do not currently feel sufficiently empowered: according to research by YouGov, Singapore users say communications and collaboration tools in their workplaces are not mobile-friendly and are not embedded into the applications and browsers that employees “live in” every day. Furthermore, almost a quarter said their employers do not provide the right technology tools for effective communication.

A region of opportunity

ASEAN is well-placed to use digital technology in the workplace to take a great leap forward. Many fundamental elements are already in place in the region, such as a solid economy that generates GDP of $2.5 trillion and a healthy growth rate of 6 percent per year. Smartphone penetration is around 35 percent and growing rapidly, indicating a technology-capable population. Perhaps most significant is that 40 percent of ASEAN’s people are under 30 years of age. They are technology-savvy, and want to have digital tools available to them in their jobs like they do in their daily lives.

With that in mind, companies throughout the region need to focus on how they can transform workplaces using digital tools. According to the IDC report "Unlocking the Economic Impact of Digital Transformation in Asia Pacific", approximately 60 percent of Asia Pacific’s GDP will be the result of digital products or service by 2021, while digital transformation is expected to add 0.8 percent CAGR GDP growth annually by the same year.

New times, new tools

New digital solutions are emerging all the time to help ASEAN’s companies transform their workplaces. Throughout the region we have already seen the adoption of analytics that benefit human resources (HR) departments, unified communications and collaboration (UC&C) solutions are revolutionizing the region’s teamwork and driving productivity, while self-service analytics tools are making workplaces more efficient – Gartner’s report, “Market Guide for Traditional Enterprise Reporting Platforms”, has previously predicted that by 2020 self-service BI platforms will make up 80 percent of all enterprise reporting.

ASEAN is home to a lot of outsourced contact center business, and companies in that sector are leveraging technologies like AI-enabled robot process automation (RPA) and enterprise chatbots to enhance the customer experience – and also to make the workplace a more productive, digital environment. Furthermore, according to the “Shaping a smarter workplace” report from PwC, ASEAN companies could benefit from enterprise mobility solutions like desktop virtualization, which is already contributing to overall effectiveness in the workplace.

The PwC report also details other solutions that ASEAN companies could implement to revolutionize workspaces. These include Unified Communications (UC) tools to help enhance enterprise-wide communication and employee experience, enterprise chatbots to reduce time spent on admin and improve customer engagement and service, and also HR analytics to help improve people-related processes and ensure employees are content in their jobs.

Smart solutions impact positively across the business, from operational efficiency and innovation to how organizations engage with customers and the now essential employee end-user experience. Factors that affect a workplace’s culture and overall environment are now vital to building a smarter workplace in ASEAN.

The smart workplace empowers and inspires people and teams and in turn engages customers better than ever before. Solutions like Cisco Webex Teams from Orange are exactly the type of tool ASEAN business leaders are talking about when they talk of transforming the workplace to a more productive, collaborative environment that drives change. Cisco Spark from Orange offers an all-in-one tool with which enables collaboration and create over multiple UC&C apps, anywhere they like. Through this collaboration with customers and suppliers as well as colleagues – seamlessly over multiple devices from anywhere - new digital tools can revolutionize workplaces and make them smart for years to come: resulting in happier, more productive employees and more satisfied customers.

You can build a smarter workplace in your organization. Download the PwC report, Shaping a smarter workplace, to find out how.
Tuan Le
Tuan Le is General Manager for ASEAN at Orange Business Services. He has been in the role since Jan 2011, and as ASEAN Head of Sales and Operations Tuan provides the leadership and strategic direction to ensure that Orange Business Services stays competitive in line with its focus on growth in the emerging markets. Tuan is responsible for operations in Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Philippines and Thailand and he is based in Orange Business Services Asia Pacific headquarters in Singapore. Prior to this role Tuan was the Asia Pacific Director of Channels at Orange and before he joined Orange in 2009, Tuan was General Manager at F5 Networks. His career also includes nine years in Microsoft in sales and management positions.