Singapore firms lead digitisation efforts in APAC: survey

45% of corporates in the Lion City have a "well-defined strategy".

Singapore businesses continue to spearhead digitisation efforts across the Asia Pacific, according to DBS’ 2020 Digital Treasurer survey.

In terms of digital readiness, almost half (45%) of corporates have a “well-defined strategy”, the highest proportion in the region and overtaking Japan’s top position in the 2019 survey. This was followed by Hong Kong (44%) and Japan (41%).

Businesses in the Philippines (10%) and Vietnam (8%) were the least digitally-ready.

However, only two in 10 companies in APAC have a “well-defined strategy”, compared to almost half of businesses in the US and UK.

Amidst a more competitive landscape characterised by supply chain disruptions and with the pandemic rushing the pace of digitalisation, almost all businesses in the region (99%) have indicated that they are facing external pressure to transform digitally. Key pressure points include changing consumption patterns from their customers and key markets, competitors and growing supply chain complexities.

Whilst businesses surveyed understood the need for change, the same businesses are also facing obstacles in adopting new technology such as the speed of change (80%), execution complexity (75%) and lack of digital talent (64%).

In terms of digital spend, cash management (33%) and trade/supply chain financing (30%) represent the two biggest investment areas for APAC businesses. Banks remain the most popular partner to keep abreast of fintech innovations and identify the right solutions, with seven in 10 businesses citing this preference – in line with last year’s survey findings (69%).

This is especially prevalent in Vietnam (90%), Indonesia (84%), Thailand (82%), Malaysia (80%), and South Korea (76%).

Six in 10 (59%) businesses are looking to implement cloud-based solutions in the next three years, with close to three in 10 (29%) planning to implement cloud infrastructure in the coming 12 months.

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