Digital Transformation: This CNY, Channel Your Inner Dragon and Slay Your Competitors

Digital Transformation

The period immediately preceding the Chinese New Year (CNY) is one of renewal and optimism. CNY, also known as the Lunar New Year, is seen by the Chinese community as the moment to break free from the shackles of the past and start anew on a clean slate. 

Come this weekend, over two billion people worldwide will usher in the year of the dragon1. This occasion is also marked by a holiday period as celebrants traverse districts, counties, states, countries, and continents to be with loved ones or to rest and recharge. 

For businesses, this can be a period of reflection as they chart their course for the year ahead. These are unprecedented times, given the number of problems and the magnitude of the challenges posed by a post-pandemic world, pushed into complete chaos by wars and other geopolitical uncertainties.

It may perhaps, be the right time for organisations to look at how they manage their business processes, and identify areas of weakness. This is the season to consign to the past manual processes and operational inefficiencies. In order to give undivided attention to growing your business, you need first to remove obstacles posed by menial tasks that are being handled manually.

Asean is expected to account for 10% of the global digital trade, or US$1 trillion by 20302. Nations in this region have a stellar internet penetration rate3, and have witnessed the rapid rise of e-commerce whose total value of sales has risen fivefold4. To accommodate this growth, businesses need to swiftly undertake digital transformation efforts, or risk being left behind by competitors.

Organisations are investing significant sums in digital transformation efforts like the implementation of cloud enterprise resource planning (ERP). Revenue from sales in the ERP market is expected to grow from US$1.8 billion in 2019 to US$2.8 billion by this year5

Meanwhile, the overnight sensation that was Chat GPT highlighted the infinite possibilities that generative artificial intelligence (Gen AI) has in store for the global population. The market size of Gen AI in Asean nations is expected to reach US$2.18 billion this year, with a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 23.37% projecting a market volume of US47.65 billion by 20306.

These numbers show the sheer amount of money companies are willing to invest to ensure their operations run like well-oiled machines. Below we examine the benefits of two key solutions – cloud ERPs, and stack integration and workflow automation tools – that can help fuel the growth of your business, and ensure your organisation comes out roaring like a dragon in 2024.

Streamline Operations

Organisations that are on the cusp of rapid growth often find themselves toggling between different solutions as they manage their business processes.

This often leads to different departments having different methods of gathering data and executing business processes. 

A lack of streamlined processes can pose difficulty in scaling, pose compliance risk, and result in missed sales opportunities during peak times like festive periods. 

A cloud ERP system provides businesses with a perfect platform to streamline their processes, while an integration and automation platform can remove silos and bring much-needed organisation.

Automation of Manual Processes

Business processes, especially those involving accounting and finance are tedious when managed manually.

Manual management of business processes also results in human errors, which can be costly if it involves matters related to regulatory compliance.

Customer dissatisfaction is a serious consequence of managing your business processes manually. Delays in customer service delivery, order fulfilment, and response times can cause long-term credibility issues for your business.

Cloud solutions like ERPs and integration and automation platforms don’t just help businesses automate tasks, but they also help free up the time of your staff to focus on growing your business. These solutions also help you unlock insights critical to the growth of your business.

Real-Time Visibility

Without real-time visibility into key performance indicators (KPIs), operational metrics, and financial data, decision-makers may lack the information needed to make timely and informed decisions. 

This can result in missed opportunities, suboptimal choices, and ineffective strategic planning. Limited visibility makes it difficult to monitor and track the performance of business processes, projects, and resources. 

Cloud ERP systems provide real-time access to critical business data and analytics, enabling decision-makers to make informed decisions quickly. 

Automation platforms offer visibility into workflows and processes, allowing businesses to track progress and identify bottlenecks in real-time.


Without scalability, businesses may struggle to handle increased demand, whether it’s in terms of customer orders, data volume, or user traffic. This can lead to service disruptions, slower response times, and decreased customer satisfaction.

Without the ability to scale resources dynamically, businesses may overinvest in infrastructure or personnel during periods of low demand, leading to a waste of resources. 

Inflexible systems that cannot scale efficiently may require significant upfront investments in hardware, software, and personnel.

Cloud ERP systems and automation platforms are designed to scale with the growth of the business. Whether the company expands its operations, adds new users, or integrates additional systems, these platforms can accommodate increased demands without sacrificing performance or efficiency.

Better Decision-Making

Manual, paper-based workflows and inefficient processes can slow down decision-making and hinder agility. Decision-makers may face bottlenecks, delays, and unnecessary complexities when trying to access information or execute tasks, leading to frustration and subpar outcomes.

Traditional systems that lack real-time capabilities make it challenging for decision-makers to access up-to-date information on business performance, market trends, and customer behaviour. Without timely insights, businesses may miss opportunities, fail to address emerging issues or make decisions based on outdated data.

By providing access to real-time data and analytics, cloud ERP systems and automation platforms empower decision-makers to make data-driven decisions. Businesses can analyse trends, forecast future performance, and identify areas for improvement more effectively.

Agility and Innovation

In today’s rapidly evolving business landscape, agility and innovation are critical for staying ahead of competitors and meeting the changing needs of customers. 

Without the right technology infrastructure in place, businesses risk falling behind competitors who have embraced digital transformation and innovation.

Without automation solutions, businesses often rely on manual, time-consuming processes for tasks such as data entry, document handling, and communication. These manual processes slow down operations and make it difficult for teams to respond quickly to changing market conditions or customer needs, inhibiting agility.

Cloud ERP systems and automation platforms enable businesses to adapt quickly to changing market conditions, customer demands, and industry trends. Companies can innovate more rapidly, launch new products and services faster, and stay ahead of the competition.

In a Nutshell

Businesses today are confronted with a set of challenges that are unprecedented in history. The pandemic, the subsequent lockdown, and the closure of borders highlighted the importance of businesses embarking on digital transformation initiatives.

Those who coped best were the ones who had embraced digital transformation and cloud. Events after the pandemic, such as economic uncertainty, rising interest rates, wars and geopolitical uncertainties have combined to create challenges on multiple fronts for businesses.

But these events have also brought welcome opportunities for businesses. As we usher in the Lunar New Year, let’s equip our organisations with the best armoury, blaze a trail of glory, and go out into the business world roaring like a dragon.

  1. Chad De Guszman. 5 Things to Know About Lunar New Year and How It’s Celebrated Across Asia, January 9, 2024. ↩︎
  2. Wei Chuan Lim, Michael McAdoo, Gloria Ong, Nabil Saadallah, Bonar Silalahi, Adrian Ow, Jonathan Kang, and Fiona Lee. How ASEAN Can Use Its Trade Advantage to Power Ahead, May 3, 2023. 
  3. Leander von Kameke. Internet usage in Southeast Asia – statistics & facts, Aug 31, 2023. ↩︎
  4. Sal Arora, Fox Chu, Stanislav Melnikov, and Lizzie Zhang. E-commerce is entering a new phase in Southeast Asia. Are logistics players prepared?, December 21, 2022. ↩︎
  5. Research Nester Pvt. Ltd. South East Asia ERP Software Market Outlook 2024. July 2021. ↩︎
  6. Statista. Generative AI – Southeast Asia. August 2023. ↩︎

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