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2017 New Year message from the APO Secretary-General Santhi Kanoktanaporn

New Year message from the APO Secretary-General Santhi Kanoktanaporn

Change is the only constant, and, irrespective of whether we want it or not, things around the world change and force individuals and organizations to revise the rules of the game. Today, the old adage “success breeds success” does not hold true, and the corporate world is replete with perfect examples of how successful organizations misjudged trends, got stuck in “success traps,” and became irrelevant despite once leading the development curve.

Considering the changing dynamics of the new-age economy, I see three things that are driving the whole world: information technology; the quest for quality; and the drive for sustainable growth. These three are entwined. While technologies like big data and predictive analytics can enable organizations to identify trends, as well as muda (waste), muri (overburden), and mura (unevenness), they also help organizations create more value for their customers. They can be backed up with other technologies like artificial intelligence, the Internet of Things, augmented reality, and the power of cloud computing for driving product quality improvements and sustainable growth.

Looking back, one can see how the world has evolved from the initial three phases of the Industrial Revolution, of man-, machine-, and technology-driven mass-scale productivity, to an era where the public sector has started to play an important role in creating efficient, sustainable global economies. Going ahead, we foresee information and communication technology, biotechnology, and even pure science like physics merging into a new digital era of “everything as a service.”

The name of the game in this digital era is setting the trends. If you cannot do that, then identify them at the early stage. Unfortunately, research shows that only 13.5% of organizations are early adopters. You can still catch up if you are among the 34% of the “early majority,” but if you miss a trend completely you have lost an opportunity. However, if you are among the 2.5% of those disrupting the game and setting the trends to shape your own future, success may be just around the corner.

We at the APO are committed to change and recognize the necessity of defining trends and helping member economies ride the crest of a hyperconnected world where seamless flow of data and information will generate more economic value than the global goods trade. The time is now ripe to plug in new technology components to drive sustainable productivity growth and create hypersmart societies for national good. For the APO, this is just the beginning of a transformation that will harness to benefit member countries in the year ahead.

May 2017 be a stepping-stone to a sustainable and inclusive new world and prove to be a joyful, prosperous, and productive year for you all.

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