The study reveals that nearly half (48%) of Singapore organizations are executing digital transformation as a coordinated strategic program. Digital transformation is defined as exploiting modern technology and communications to transform key aspects of business to achieve a state of digital readiness. The most popular ongoing or planned digital initiatives are in workforce efficiency or effectiveness (55%) and customer services (54%).
However, despite recognizing the importance of a digital presence to customer engagement and market development, Singapore companies have yet to actively embrace the innovations needed to deliver that transformation. For example, only 32% see social networks as essential to customer engagement and market development, and a mere 22% believe the use of mobile technology is critical to customer engagement and market development. Just 21% of Singapore companies believe the Internet of Things will be critical, and an even smaller proportion at 19% feel the same way about wearables.
Companies that have achieved high level of digital transformation are reaping the benefits. As a result of their digital initiatives, almost half (48%) of the Singapore respondents have seen an increase in overall profit. 40% have experienced increased customer acquisition, while 38% have witnessed positive customer retention and a growth in revenue.
“This study provides proof that companies which forge ahead with digital transformation will be able to compete more effectively in the application economy. Companies in Singapore are certainly aware of the advantages of remaining competitive, but I believe more can be done to help businesses reap their desired benefits,” says Stephen Miles, CTO, APJ, CA Technologies. “Intimately linked with this concept of digital transformation is the effective use of software, which more local companies can look into to improve efficiency and effectiveness.”
The results of the study also spurred the development of the Digital Effectiveness Index (DEI), a measurement tool developed in partnership with Freeform Dynamics. Responses relating to market competitiveness and business scorecard metrics were translated into numeric scores then combined to form the DEI. Survey participants were then segmented according to their index scores.
Using this measure, an elite group of ‘Digital Disrupters’ has emerged: companies achieving high returns from digital investments and driving market and organizational disruption. In Singapore, they represent the top 8% of respondents based on the DEI. The study shows that revenue and profit growth among the APJ Digital Disrupters are twice as high as among mainstream organizations.
These Digital Disrupters possess traits and behaviors that mainstream Singapore organizations can learn from in order to develop their digital transformation capability. For example, 95% of global Digital Disrupters agree/strongly agree with the need to become more of an app-centric, software-driven business, versus 74% of Singapore respondents. Moreover, 77% of global Digital Disrupters have agile development fully in place, compared to 52% of Singapore companies. While 64% of global Digital Disrupters broadly use application programming interfaces (APIs) to build mobile apps, only 41% of companies in Singapore do.
“To stay ahead in the application economy, Singapore companies need to disrupt across their traditional organization structures, processes and systems. Mainstream businesses simply cannot continue with the status quo—they must undergo significant change to fully integrate digital into all aspects of their business. By becoming an agile, software-driven organization, they can quickly create the omnichannel digital apps needed to thrive, deliver a superior customer experience and close the gap on competitors,” said Miles.
The global online survey of 1,442 senior IT and business executives was sponsored by CA Technologies and conducted by industry analyst firm Freeform Dynamics in July, 2015. A total of 615 respondents were from APJ; this covered Australia, China, Hong Kong, India, Japan, Singapore, and South Korea. The study’s respondents assume senior business and IT positions at public and private enterprises across nine industry sectors with revenues of $250 million or more. The study was augmented by in-depth telephone interviews with key industry executives. For full survey methodology details, see the report “Exploiting the Software Advantage: Lessons from Digital Disrupters”.
About Freeform Dynamics
Freeform Dynamics is an IT industry analyst firm. Through research and insights, the company aims to help busy IT and business professionals get up to speed on the latest technology developments, and make better-informed investment decisions. For more information, and access to Freeform Dynamics’ library of free research, please visit www.freeformdynamics.com.