Singapore CxOs mean business when it comes to going digital
By Digital News Asia March 31, 2017
- Key frustrations are connectivity, manual processes and understanding needs
- LoB leaders expect to take charge of their technology needs in the next 24 months
FUJITSU has commissioned new research that has found that "line of business" (LoB) leaders in Singapore expect digital technologies to change what they do in future and they placed high priority on technology-related skills when asked what they will need in future to succeed in their roles.
The 500 Singaporean leaders from marketing, human resource, finance and operations who took part in this research shared their views on digital and how it impacts their work.
With the exception of finance leaders seeing ‘flexible work’ as the trend having the greatest impact in 2017, the majority of LoB leaders from other roles cited ‘changing customer behaviour’.
While the type of digital technologies they view as important are role specific, the benefits available from these technologies are viewed as consistent across all roles: real-time access to accurate information, achieving goals more quickly or efficiently, and spending less time on manual tasks.
The top challenges listed by LoB leaders suggest that their organisations have yet to take full advantage of these benefits available from digital technologies.
Marketing LoB respondents said they want to provide better customer experiences and react more rapidly to the competition, for instance, while finance LoB leaders were concerned about understanding market swings and keeping pace with always-on access to data.
Report generation was one of the top challenges for operations leaders, and talent management a focus for LOB respondents in HR.
One in two Singaporean business leaders say their organisation has already begun an organisation-wide digital transformation programme.
When asked how they rate their organisation’s overall strategy regarding technology as it relates to their role, less than 40% think that the strategies are mature.
A number of LoB leaders also felt that IT department has not listened to them, saying that the “IT department doesn’t understand my needs as a business user”.
The key frustrations felt by business leaders about technology were connectivity, manual processes, understanding needs, and supporting or enabling the use of new technologies.
With these frustrations, it is not surprising that nearly 20% of all LoBs in Singapore already bypass the IT department to make technology purchases at their own discretion, with a further 20% in full control via the IT department.
LoB leaders across all roles expect to take charge of their technology needs in the next 24 months, either independently, or in collaboration with IT.
“Singaporean LoB leaders welcome digital transformation and want to see more of the benefits from digital technology implementations in coming months, even going so far as to take a more active role on IT decisions. It is imperative for the CIOs and the IT department to collaborate more closely with LoBs to ensure that they are not only maximizing value for LoBs with the digital solutions they want, but also fulfilling organisational goals at the same time,” said Fujitsu Singapore country president Wong Heng Chew.
“Fujitsu is committed to determining the real-world concerns from LoBs in order to provide Singapore customers with the right human-centric solutions and ultimately drive successful digital transformation outcomes in this new hyperconnected era.”
Key highlights from the study include:
- All LoB respondents (Marketing 49%, finance 33%, operations 48% and HR 32%) are aware of the need to transform their approaches over time. Changing customer behaviour was identified as a significant trend for 2017. Work flexibility and digital business models are also key macro trends for 2017.
- LoBs in Singapore are familiar with emerging technologies and realise the need to embrace them in future. Payments-related technologies, including online and contactless payments as well as mobile wallets, and location-based services were the emerging technologies predicted to have the most impact on LoBs in Singapore. Artificial intelligence (AI) and Internet of Things (IoT) platforms were also considered significant.
"It's clear Singapore's business leaders think digital is the way of business today and in future. They know what it can do for them personally and their organisations - and they like it. Notably, they will increasingly have influence and control over IT investments and outcomes. This is true for both core technologies and systems as it is for emerging tech,” said TRA Asia Pacific research director Trevor Clarke.
“This isn't 'shadow IT'. It's just business and IT leaders need to step up and collaborate. That won't be easy, but communication and cultural change is an imperative for future success."
Tech Research Asia (TRA) was commissioned by Fujitsu to undertake research on line of business (LoB) leaders’ views regarding digital technology and how it will influence the way they work.
Results are based on an online survey was carried out between Oct 14 and Oct 17, 2016 with a total of 500 executives responding. These respondents work in organisations with more than 100 employees and in sales & marketing; operations, human resource; and finance & accounting.
A representative spread of industries was captured in the survey sample and 42% of organisations had more than 500 employees.