WORLD Almost half of Singaporean firms race to digitally transform amid COVID-19 pandemic: survey

WORLD

Almost half of Singaporean firms race to digitally transform amid COVID-19 pandemic: survey

Xinhua

23:09, July 22, 2020

SINGAPORE, July 22 (Xinhua) -- A study has found that 48 percent of Singaporean organizations have accelerated their digital transformation plans as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

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The skyline of financial and business center are seen in the background as people paddle surf along the East Coast Park beach in Singapore on July 17, 2020. (Photo: AFP)

The study, titled the Workday Digital Agility Index, surveyed nearly 900 senior business leaders and C-suite executives in human resource, finance and IT across nine markets in Asia-Pacific region.

The study by Workday, which focuses on enterprise technology for human resources and finance, was conducted in partnership with IDC, a global technology market intelligence company.

Most organizations were unable to adapt during COVID-19, said Workday in a press release here Wednesday.

Due to a lack of digital agility, 71 percent of the Singapore firms surveyed struggled to make changes to their financial plans for the year, with 63 percent unable to realign their organizational structures.

In terms of people and processes, 56 percent of these Singapore organizations were unable to track their people's skillsets to form special taskforces in response to the pandemic, and 44 percent were unable to manage new approval and business processes.

Singaporean organizations identified supply chains (44 percent), sales (42 percent) and the workplace (40 percent) as the areas of their business which were hit the hardest.

In addition, many Singaporean organizations faced the hurdle of a digital skills shortage.

As many as 54 percent of firms lack an enterprise-wide culture of agility, and 52 percent of firms said that less than half of their people are equipped with digital skills and capabilities.

A "staggering" 17 percent of firms said that they have almost no employees with digital experience or skills, said the statement.

The most important areas of focus for Singaporean firms in their digital transformation plans over the next 12 to 18 months are front-end systems for customer touchpoints (56 percent), front-end revenue generating systems (54 percent) and back-end finance systems (50 percent).

The study also found that all Singapore organizations surveyed see digital transformation as a priority, with 94 percent using digital technologies to execute their business continuity plans.

Rob Wells, president for Workday Asia, said that recent events have brought into focus the importance for businesses to be digitally agile. Without the right technological backbone, organizations can no longer move quickly to adapt to rapid change, he added.


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