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Opportunities and challenges in ASEAN: Up, close and personal with SAP’s Claus Andresen

AvantiKumar | Dec. 21, 2017
Computerworld Malaysia ‘rapid-fire’ interview with SAP’s new Southeast Asia President and MD Claus Andresen.

SAP SEA President and MD Claus Andresen

Photo: Claus Andresen, SEA President and Managing Director, SAP


  Here is a Computerworld Malaysia 'rapid-fire' interview with SAP's new Southeast Asia (SEA) president and managing director Claus Andresen.

Back in August 2017, when German software solutions giant SAP announced the appointment of Claus Andresen, the official profile described a leader focused on helping governments and businesses better leverage technology.

As well as leading teams across Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia, Philippines, Vietnam and other emerging markets in SEA, Andresen is an experienced presenter at international conferences having published a number of articles around Service industrialisation.

In this Computerworld Malaysia interview, the focus was on the Southeast Asia region.

What's been your assessment, so far, of the opportunities and challenges in ASEAN countries?

Andresen: There is huge potential for growth and investments in ASEAN. PWC's forecast sees Thailand, Malaysia, Vietnam, the Philippines, and Indonesia moving to be among the top 25 biggest economies in the world, with Indonesia rising to number four globally, by 2050. This comes to no surprise as we look at the ASEAN market landscape - with its 630 million people (more than half of it under 30) and US$1.5 trillion consumer market, ASEAN is going to be the shining star of foreign investors. Southeast Asia is the 4th largest exporting region in the world, accounting for 7% of global exports. As a single economic entity, ASEAN would be the world's 7th largest economy. The region is said to have seen economic growth averaging a healthy 4-5% per annum since its formation.

Member countries in ASEAN are fully cognisant of this huge potential, and their goals of accelerating the economic growth, social progress and cultural development in the region through joint endeavours and promoting regional peace and stability underline that. The ASEAN goals are aligned with the United Nation's Sustainable Development Goals - to end poverty, protect the planet, and ensure prosperity for all as part of a new sustainable development agenda. From a development and governance point of view, it also includes goals such as sustainable cities and communities, and responsible production and consumption.

However, in a fast-changing and volatile world, where digital transformation is impacting businesses, governments and even individual lives, ASEAN faces some key challenges that will test the resilience of governments: business and tech life cycles are moving at a faster pace; the rise of the disruptive platforms and their impact on services; use of data analytics to engage citizens; the rise of technologies such as Artificial Intelligence (AI), Machine Learning (ML) and Robotics and how they have upped the ante for governments; and the constant threats of cyber-security.


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