The study - developed and commissioned by CA Technologies, and carried out by research consulting firm TRPC - found that Singapore led the region in terms of its readiness to integrate, develop and benefit from application usage. It was joined by Australia, South Korea, Japan and Hong Kong in the top half, while Malaysia, China, Thailand, India and Indonesia made up the rest of the ranks.
Figure 1 The CA Technologies APJ Application Economy Index 2016 evaluates three main pillars that are critical for a vibrant application economy.
“Regardless of whether they are in the Disruptors, Challengers or Mainstream group, markets will still need to focus on creating conditions for businesses to thrive in the application economy. They can do so by continuing to do well in their key success characteristics, while mitigating current and potential weaknesses,” said Lim May-Ann, managing director, TRPC.
The index evaluates three main pillars that are critical for a vibrant application economy, with each pillar comprising various parameters:
- Government Use and Support of Technology and Innovation: To develop sound technology policies and promote innovation, governments themselves should understand and use software and applications.
- Internet and Mobile Infrastructure: Without the necessary infrastructure and enabled access to technology, an application economy cannot fully develop. Basic connectivity and network backbones must be in place, along with an environment which supports business growth and transformation.
- Business Agility: The ability to move nimbly and quickly in driving – and capturing – market disruption. For this to be possible, countries need to have an environment conducive for entrepreneurship and new forms of commerce to happen.
Singapore’s ranking was boosted with its top placings for government use of technology, strength of intellectual property protection and innovation. The country’s ranking was also lifted by strong numbers for business agility, with lead scores in the time taken to set up a business, debit card penetration and mobile payments readiness. However, Singapore’s cybersecurity strength was an outlier where it ranked 6th, suggesting that this area requires more attention.
“Singapore’s leadership position is unsurprising, given its consistently high scores across all categories, especially in the government use and support of technology is especially strong,” said Nick Lim, vice president, Asia South, CA Technologies. “While Singapore is in good stead to thrive in the application economy, dynamic socio-economic conditions in the region will create unique opportunities in emerging markets, so businesses will find it more critical than ever to harness software to stay competitive and relevant in a fast changing world.”
The second part of CA’s study examined future leaders of the application economy through the use of Market Potential Accelerators (MPA). This index evaluates factors which have the ability to impact and accelerate market potential in the new application economy. They are: (i) the number of smartphone users in a market, (ii) the number of people who use mobile Internet on a daily basis, (iii) the use of virtual social networks, (iv) the daily use of mobile applications, and (v) the size of the youth demographic in the market.
Figure 2 The Market Potential Accelerators Index evaluates factors which have the ability to impact and accelerate market potential in the new application economy.
When MPA are taken into account, Singapore risks slipping to 4th place if it fails to address gaps in its market. Some of the challenges faced by Singapore include a mature mobile market with limited share for new applications and a small total size of smartphone users. However, opportunities exist for the country in the form of strong daily mobile Internet use, daily use of applications and use of virtual social networks.
Singapore’s drop in rankings in the MPA highlights how the pace of innovation must keep up with the rapid pace of disruption in today’s application economy. Enterprises must act fast to capture market share, and governments need to push ahead with policies to improve infrastructure ahead of demand.
The 10 parameters of the Application Economy Index (AEI2016) and five Market Potential Accelerators are sourced from publicly-available indices.
As indicators used had different units and scales, any indicator that did not use a 10-point scale was normalized to make the indicator values comparable, as well as to construct aggregate scores for each economy.
Read more about CA’s APJ Application Economy Index here.