According to a new report from Adobe, APAC organisations are more than twice as likely as their North American counterparts to invest significantly in digital upskilling. The region is also the more open and enthusiastic about AI, according to the report.

34 per cent of APAC organisations said they will invest significantly in digital skills and education, compared to 16 per cent in North America and 25 per cent in Europe. But the skill investment may be more of a case of catch up, rather than foresight.

“It may be that less investment is required by [North American] companies because ongoing training and skills development is regarded as business as usual,” the authors wrote.

“Although there are some leading digital technology companies based in APAC, many organisations in this region are starting from a much smaller base of digital activity in the past, and their definition of ‘significant’ may differ from their counterparts in EMEA and North America.”

Source: Adobe 2018 Digital Trends

The report, 2018 Digital Trends, is based on a global survey of 12,795 marketing, creative and technology professionals in the digital industry across EMEA, North America and Asia Pacific.

The APAC skill investment could prove prudent. According to the report, “digital skills are now inextricably linked to a range of marketing tools and platforms.” Nearly three quarters (73 per cent) of companies surveyed said digital marketing skills and technology are converging.

“Companies doing this are nearly twice as likely to have surpassed their 2017 business goals by a significant margin (20 per cent vs. 11 per cent),” the report said.

Paula Parkes, Senior Director, APAC Enterprise Marketing says, “Rapid economic development and unprecedented growth have positioned APAC at centre stage of the disruption being created by new, digital technologies.”

APAC AI Adoption

The report also found Asia Pacific marketers are enthusiastic about artificial intelligence. While 38 per cent of APAC companies surveyed see no perceived need for AI, that number rises to 51 per cent in North America.

According to the report, most APAC marketers will be using AI within a year. 53 per cent of APAC marketers “are either using AI already, or are planning to use it in the next 12 months, whereas in Europe and North America, adopters are in the minority”.

Source: Adobe 2018 Digital Trends

What APAC companies are doing with AI also stands out. The clear leader is analysis of data at 49 per cent, in line with global trends.

But there are also several narrow use cases of AI, including email marketing (34 per cent), content creation (29 per cent) and creative design work (23 per cent).

Each of these narrow use cases recorded significantly higher responses than North American and European organisations.

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