Singapore takes the wheel on data driven technology

Companies in Singapore are the most likely in the Asia Pacific to use data analytics and visualisation, cybersecurity and robotic process automation (RPA) in the next 12 months, according to a survey by global professional accounting body CPA Australia. Singapore-based businesses are already the top users of RPA in the region, with 57 per cent of local respondents saying their company deployed RPA as a business tool.

The Business Technology Report 2022 surveyed 820 professionals across various industries in Singapore, Australia, New Zealand, mainland China, Hong Kong, Malaysia and Vietnam. Respondents were asked about technology adoption in their workplaces and the impact it had on business performance.

CPA Australia Singapore Divisional President Max Loh said the take-up of technology by businesses in Singapore would pay dividends.

"New technologies enhance organisational efficiencies by automating many mundane as well as high volume tasks. This allows employees to focus on work that needs strategic thinking, such as customer engagement or creating more value for organisations and stakeholders," Loh said.

More than 80 per cent of respondents in Singapore said their company has a digital transformation strategy, higher than the survey average at 77 per cent. About one-third of respondents said their organisation will start or continue implementing a digital transformation or technology strategy in the next 12 months.

According to Loh, "Technology will play a pivotal role in an evolving future workplace. It's critical for companies to invest in and fully embrace advanced technologies to maintain their advantage in a globally competitive marketplace."  

However, the survey reveals many companies need external support to overcome barriers to digital transformation. High financial costs and a low return on investment were a challenge for 37 per cent of respondents while 35 per cent pointed to a shortage of technology talent.

About two-thirds of Singapore respondents said their business worked with technology companies or vendors in the past year to supplement their technology needs.

To address the talent shortage, respondents from larger-sized companies were more likely to report they had outsourced their technology needs. Respondents from smaller-sized companies upskilled or reskilled existing employees.

CPA Australia Digital Committee chair and PwC Singapore Digital Business and Risk Services Leader Greg Unsworth said tech talent would be in high demand as companies become more digital.

"Data scientists and engineers, cybersecurity specialists, and developers of all sorts will be highly sought after. Considering the ongoing talent challenges, including the shortage of talent faced by many, it is not only pragmatic but it's also becoming increasingly vital for businesses to upskill or reskill their current workforce and harness the capability of driving human-led and technology-enabled productivity, innovation and growth," Unsworth said.   

Read the Business Technology Report 2022