Singapore firms lead region in using tech to boost ops

Local firms are leading the region when it comes to using technology to spruce up their operations, a new noted yesterday.

It found that 45% of businesses polled in indicated that they have a well-defined digital strategy.

Hong Kong came in second at 44 %, while Japan – which led the way last year – was next on 41%.

The DBS Bank survey polled about 1,700 corporate treasurers, chief executives, chief financial officers and business owners from across the region.

It noted that 99 % of businesses indicated that they are facing external pressures to transform digitally, citing a more competitive landscape characterised by supply chain disruptions, and the Covid-19 outbreak hastening the pace of digitalisation.

The top three digitalisation challenges were the speed of change, execution complexity and a lack of digital talent.

Meanwhile, those polled said cash management and trade/supply chain financing were their two biggest investment areas in terms of digital spend.

The survey also found that 80% of Singapore businesses prefer fintech companies as digitalisation partners, a preference also observed in other developed markets, including Hong Kong (73%) and China (69%).

In contrast, the vast majority of businesses in Vietnam, Indonesia, Thailand, Malaysia and South Korea favoured banks as digitalisation partners.

DBS said the use of application programming interfaces (APIs) and enterprise cloud solutions in bank connectivity is expected to continue gaining traction in the region.

In particular, a big shift to the cloud is expected in the next three years, as it has proven a useful tool for businesses to migrate data seamlessly, it added.

The lender said APIs are the most popular mode for bank connectivity, with 48% of the survey's respondents using it in their operations.

Meanwhile, 31% of respondents said they used cloud-based solutions.

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